Archive for March, 2010


March 31, 2010

As I try to compose this commentary, I only wish I had begun keeping score in January. My perception of what has been going on with the Republican party is that of a meandering rudderless movement with nobody in charge. I guess if they had a strong leader that can corral all this energy and anger that has grown on the right side, they could make a more serious run at picking more seats in Congress.

Right now, the party is being led by a right-wing radio pundit, Rush Limbaugh, and the idealogues of the Fox News Network. As I’ve said before, the political wing of the Republican party has been subservient to Limbaugh and Fox since the departure of Dick Cheeney and Karl Rove. During the Bush administration, the right-wing punditry of the country took its orders and direction from the Washington. Now, they are giving the Republican denizens of Washington their marching orders. This is backfiring on the Republicans because it shows they don’t have the strength to lead their own party and they are getting implicated as allies with these “leaders” who continually make outrageous and radical, sometimes racist or homophobic statements in public. The troubling thing is the subservient political side makes no attempt to distance themselves from these radical right-wing extremists! In fact, they cheer-lead from the well of the House of Representatives and from the balconies of the U.S. Capital! Can they really be that stupid? This is such a small sliver of the American population and to pander to them is going to turn off more mainstream conservatives in the long-term.

Representative John Shadegg(R-AZ), a seven termer in Congress, when asked who the leader of his party is, and he can’t answer. He did, however, claim Limbaugh is not the party leader. House Minority Leader John Boner(R-OH), is not effective because of his unwillingness to work with the “Democrat” party and his unrelenting doom and gloom rants about the future of the country. He has a note of disgust and hatred anytime he is engaged on the political discourse of the American government. He seems to have hitched his wagon to the tea-baggers, which is a dead-end. Senator Mitch McChinless(R-KY), the Senate Minority leader, is a leader of a group of weak Republicans in the Senate. He has been able to keep them from not cooperating with the Democrats and the White House on the governance of the country. I think McChinless has made a serious mistake by leading these empty suits in that direction. All members of the Senate were elected by their constituents to do the job of governing the country. By choosing to do nothing, McChinless has put many members in serious trouble this fall. Americans are not going to sit still for their paid representatives very much longer for doing nothing. As I’ve said before, in the private sector they would have been fired long ago for lack of performance. I did a double take this morning when watching Andy Card, Bush II’s Administrative Aide, say the President needs to get to work governing the country! Which is it, Andy? The President is forced to make recess appointments because the Republicans are holding them up in the Senate, and the Republicans castigate him for it, without an explanation or apology for why the President had to do it. The President is doing the job his constituency voted him in to do, he is actively involved in the governance of the country, unlike the Republicans, who only sit around with their thumbs up their asses!

America sees the President and the Democrats working their fannies off to govern our country. America also sees the Republicans stalling and obstructing the process of governing the country. The only time America sees movement in the Republican party is when they bow down to the tea-baggers and the radical right-wing pundits or publically slam the President for doing his job. I firmly believe Americans expect better from their leaders regardless of party or ideology. Americans expect the people they vote into office to work. I think they expect Congress to work together for the common good of our great country. In my opinion, both parties had better get on the same page with regard to the recent SCOTUS ruling that gives corporations, domestic or foreign-owned, 1st amendment rights including the right to “buy” candidates and elections. This is a serious affront to the very core of our democracy, and Congress needs to get to work to overcome it.

I’m not trying to give the Republican party any tips to win in the fall, but I’m merely pointing out the stupid track they are taking. By being complacent with the tea-baggers and birthers, the level of violence will rise, the level of hate speech will get more vitriolic, and the result will be a revulsion of the right-wing extremists that in turn will take down the most conservative of the subservient Republicans politicians. Not to break my arm patting myself on the back, but I have been pretty accurate with my political assessments and predictions. I wish I could transfer that to the NCAA college basketball tournament! Anyway, it’s going to be a beautiful day out here on the northern plains, so enjoy and thanks a lot for reading today. I look forward to reading your comments.

Cam Obert



March 30, 2010

The Mermaid

I attended the 6th annual Mounds View town hall meeting last night. Probably only my second appearance before council in 6 years. I guess that doesn’t make me any different from most residents of towns like this except for the fact I was on the city’s planning commission for many years back in the ’90’s. I also made a couple runs for city council during that time. Alas, I fell away from the operations part of the city, mostly out of frustration and disillusionment. I was so happy to get together with an old friend of mine, Barb Haake, a long time Mounds View resident, recipient of the Mounds View Citizenship Award last year for her many years of service to the city including stints on the council, planning commission, cable commission, airport commission, Rice Creek Watershed district commissioner, and she served us in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Barb and I were not often on the same side of the issues, but we have always enjoyed our mutual respect where we can discuss the issues without malice or rancour. In local government, political party affiliation is not an issue for serving. At this level we are simply serving our constituents. Barb, is a Republican, and served in the House as a Republican. I’ve never had a problem with that. As you all know, I’m a little to the left of most Republicans.

I stopped being involved in my city because of frustration. We are an older inner ring suburb of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. We are on the north side of the cities, generally considered the poorer of the suburban areas surrounding the Twin Cities. Our city, like the ones around us, began as working class residential areas. Our city features very small homes, many sub-one thousand square feet in size, and large treed lots, some as large as over one acre! As time has progressed, the base of the population in our town, didn’t really progress with it. They still had a view of “my home is my castle”. They have rejected government regulation and even taxation. As younger, more progressive thinking people began moving into these towns the way of thinking began changing. Mounds View, once known as the suburban town where it’s okay to put cars and trailers on blocks in the yard, has started to change, slowly. Since quitting my involvement with the city, I have noticed things changing, slowly. I campaigned on the premise that your home is your financial investment, and to treat it and your surrounding neighborhood accordingly. I was shouted down by the private property rights residents. They didn’t understand that when they let their property go to hell, it adversely affects the dollar values of all the homes in the neighborhood as well as diminishes the quality of life in our neighborhood. The wheels of civic government turn very slow.

We have a commercial sector in our town, the Highway 10 corridor. Since I have lived here, about 20 years, every few years the city commissions another study for what to do with it. Nothing, however ever changes. When I sat on the planning commission, I opposed and voted against all issues brought before us regarding residential development on Highway 10. Not only is it not safe for residents to be right on a four lane divided throughway, it hinders potential quality commercial development. Well, the council approved it anyway. We still have old eyesore properties on the highway that haven’t been dealt with. The residents at the meeting were asking why we don’t have any quality eateries? First off, the city can’t will companies to come in here and secondly, the Highway 10 is still an embarrassment to the city. What business would want to locate here?

While on the planning commission, I had two nicknames given to me by the residents; Mr. Edina and Mr. No. The property rights people called me Mr. Edina because I was trying to model a development track for Mounds View that would mirror what Edina did the prior two decades to make them one of the most desirable suburban communities in the United States. At the time, Mounds View residents had higher property taxes than Edina residents. Our residents couldn’t get the concept of pay me now, and save later, with the benefit being a much nicer community to live. They also coined the name Mr. No, because almost every request for variance by residents, I rejected. It was so bad, and I was on the losing end of so many of these property rights votes that I finally publically asked the question; Why have codes and ordinances in the first place if we keep rubber stamping these requests? I could never get the residents to understand the importance of codes and ordinances. They are to keep the community safe, appealing, and improve the property value for all of the investment holders, the home owners. The most appalling instance came years after I left the planning commission. A building permit was granted for a new home to be built in an established neighborhood. When a permit is issued, that means the city has reviewed the plans and approved the plans as shown by the builder. Sometime after construction began, foundation walls poured, floor joists in place and framing going up, a city inspector noticed the footprint or the house was several feet closer to the street than the approved plan had shown. Construction was ordered stopped until the situation was reviewed. The proposed resolution had the builder come first before the planning commission with a request for variance regarding the set-back from the street. Once past the planning commission, it would go to the council. Well, to be granted a variance, one must show or prove a “hardship”. The builder claimed his hardship was that the house was already under construction and the costs and time delays weren’t workable. The planning commission approved the variance and the council rubber stamped it. I was outraged! I actually went into city hall raised holy hell about it! Now, because of the gutless move by the city, the neighbor to the north is shadowed by this huge McMansion.

A big reason why progress is so slow in our town is the turn-over of the council and mayor. It seems every time a new regime comes in, they spend so much time undoing what the regime prior to theirs did. By the time they get going on their platform, it’s election time again. Trying to get things done in a small older suburban town is very difficult and time-consuming. We have a great city administrator, Jim Erickson, who has been with the city since I was on the planning commission years ago. Jim does a great job and tries to keep a flow or continuity going. Our city is based on a charter, which, in my opinion gives the residents way too much say and control. Our city for years has been a case of the inmates running the asylum! Why bother electing people to govern us if they have to keep answering to a small dysfunctional group of residents that only seem to want to call the shots. A city manager form of government is much more effective. The council and mayor set the vision and priorities and then have a competent city staff carry out the wishes of the council. We elect the officials to govern for us, not to be figure heads that must answer to a charter and/or a small group of citizens. This works more efficiently because issues are dealt with in a more timely fashion.

When I was active in the city over a decade ago, the hot issue was street reconstruction. We were shown many options for what needs to be done, and how it was going to be paid for. After a leading civil engineering firm educated us on the most practical way to reconstruct the streets was to do a curb and gutter installation. This was the most expensive method, but also the most functional and the longest lasting. In other words, the best value or bang for the buck. It would involve a combination of city and assessment funding. Well a group of residents got a petition together by the terms of the city charter, and pushed through the cheapest construction possible, a mill and overlay with no side protection for the asphalt. In our harsh tundra like climate, this is a stupid thing to do because of the frost and heave cycles and ground moisture, the road start crumbling from the edge in no time and soon the whole road is in bad shape. Well now, after years of debate, the city is embarking on a three-phase road reconstruction project using of all things, curb and gutter construction and funding by government sources and assessments. Didn’t I promote that years ago and was shot down as a big tax and spending liberal!

Small town government doesn’t really interest me anymore because it moves way too slow and is still pushed by loud minorities that get their way because they are loud. I have to give credit to the folks that serve on the council and as department heads in the city. I think it’s a thankless job. I do honor them for their commitment to the cause and the perseverance to do it daily. Residents can really be difficult to deal with. That’s my view of my town, a neat little town only twenty minutes from the Twin Cities. My interest are much more with national government and politics. I give state politics more attention when the state is led by a total idiot that has no concerns for the everyday Minnesotan. Then I focus more on the state level. I do long for Arne Carlson or Rudy Perpich to return to office! Anyway, thanks for the read today, and as always, I welcome your comments.

Cam Obert


March 29, 2010

Over the weekend, President Obama took another positive step in the governance of the United States of America. He made 15 recess appointments to key positions that have been unmanned heretofore. Hopefully, this is just the start of these necessary appointments. There are still more than 50 appointments being held up by the Republicans in the Senate. Many of the nominees have been waiting for over 7 months for an up or down vote in the Senate! Now here is some news that will outrage most any American. The stalled votes on most of the Obama appointment nominees, that have finally made it to a vote, have been passed with huge majorities some even unanimously! This is such an outrageous obstruction of governmental process that these obstructing Senators should be fired for failure to do the job they elected to do and are paid to do!

Recess appointments are not new. Bush II made 171 recess appointments in his two terms as POTUS. Bill Clinton made 140 recess appointments in his two terms as POTUS. I have to laugh at Senator Lamar Alexander’s(R-TN) faux outrage by these appointments. He sat idly by as Bush II and Clinton made them while he was in the Senate. Senator Jim DeMint(R-SC) is crying foul, and not because he is from the Gamecock state! He claims this was a sneaky end around to circumvent the process. What Alexander needs to understand and DeMint will never understand due to his standing as the dumbest person to ever serve in that body, is the President has to govern the country by himself now. After wasting way more time in the past year to get the Republicans involved in the governance of the country, he has finally recognized he has to go it alone. Senator Grampy McSane(R-AZ) has proudly proclaimed he is done legislating while Obama is in office. If I were a resident of Arizona, as his boss, I would fire him for lack of performance. Arizona did not send him to the Senate to do nothing and collect a pay check. If I were a resident of any of the states where the elected officials are involved in the process of obstruction to destruction, I’d work to get them fired! If they worked in the private sector, they would have been fired a long time ago.

As America is starting to wake up to the Republicans plan of inaction, it is starting to play right into the hands of the Democrats. Most rational persons believe the country needs to be governed, it needs strong leadership to guide the country to its goals. With the Republicans in the Senate doing nothing and the Republicans in the House cheerleading the racist homophobic minority forces on the extreme right, where does it lead the GOP? It leads them right to the gutter. When a party has to count on Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and the shrill screaming out of control maniac Sarah Palin to set their course, where else can it go?

The Republicans are making a huge mistake. They are counting on Americans to be empty-headed morons that will fall for their hate filled bile. Well, I think they are going to find out they aren’t! Palin’s approval numbers are lower now than they ever have been. Americans want action plans. If the wing-nuts on the right keep doing nothing but tearing everything down in sight, even the dumbest of their followers are going start asking what is their plan. What can we, as a wing-nut group, bring to the table of governance of the country? “Slash and burn” tactics have just about run their course. As America wakes up to their hate filled racist homophobic platform, they will turn away in droves. What will the mainstream conservatives do then? Senator Lindsey Graham(R-SC), seems to be open to start coming to his senses. He claims he is willing to work with Senator Chuck Schumer(D-NY) on some immigration legislation, but so far not one other Republican Senator has come to his side. At the same time, Graham was setting his own ass on fire for claiming the HCR bill is chock full of lies and that it’s nothing but a big Ponzi scheme. By saying that, he has loaded the Democrats quiver with yet more arrows to use against the Republicans. For some reason, the Republicans just can’t see how they are killing themselves, including Graham, who might be as smart a Republican as there is in the Senate! I’m might be biased because he is a classmate of mine from our days at the University of South Carolina.

That is the difference between the recess appointments of the Clinton and Bush administrations and now. Congress was doing their jobs, working, both parties, when those Presidents used the recess appointment tool. There was the time when Speaker Newt Gingrich shut down the government in 1995, and, of course, they got killed in the mid-terms in 1996. I guess the idiots in charge of the present GOP have short memories!

America wants our government to work and for the elected officials to do their jobs. It doesn’t matter what party they are in or what their ideology slant is. They must do what they were elected to do. I’m tired of paying for people to not do anything. If things keep going on the present track, this will be a surprisingly good election for the Democrats this fall. President Obama needs to keep governing and putting America and it’s citizens first. He is best when he does this. He can’t kowtow to the minority party any longer. This country is the leader of the free world and needs to be led. It can no longer be held hostage by a do-nothing minority in Congress. Keep it up President Obama, you have my full support! Thank you for reading this today and I look forward to your comments!
Cam Obert


March 26, 2010

Tidal Basin Cherry Blossoms!

Now that the marathon of Health Care Reform has finally ended, what’s next? It seems the outcry from Americans is jobs, jobs, jobs. Mostly as a result of the passage of last year’s Stimulus Package, the economy is starting to make a comeback. The GDP has risen dramatically in the last quarter, inventories are starting to build back up again, and new applications for unemployment benefits has been dropping fairly regularly. The overall jobless rate is down to 9.7% for two months in a row, with the real rate including those under-employed dropping to the low teens percentage. This collapse of the economy took eight years to create, and due to the greed and corruption and mismanagement by the previous administration, it went far deeper than anyone expected or predicted it would. The Stimulus Package certainly staved off a major depression.

Now the Obama administration has to address the economy head on again. His opponents now claim he is responsible for this economic mess. This, to me, is very perplexing. The Bush II administration jammed through two controversial tax cuts that were not funded or reconfigured to cover the operating costs of the federal government. The Bush II administration sent us into two wars without funding either one of them. The more expensive of the two, Iraq, was based on a lie. How’s that for honesty and competency in your White House? Next came the mega-billion dollar prescription medicine bill. No where was this package funded. So Bush II came into office with a budget surplus of 200 billion dollars and left with a deficit of 1.3 trillion dollars. Nice job! Oh, it took the Clinton administration working in a bi-partisan fashion with Congress, the full eight years to unwind all the debt and deficits that the big Reagan spending spree left for them. Remember Bush I lost in his re-election bid because of his claim of “no new taxes”. Well he had to raise taxes because Reagan had so thoroughly raped the federal government of revenues that Bush really had no choice. I can’t believe how many republicans idolize Reagan! He damn near sunk the country. It was only the brave moves of Bush I and Clinton’s determination to shrink the government and the budget that bailed Reagan out.

When you see how many years it took to right the fiscal ship, you have to wonder why the American public and the politicians have grown so impatient. It takes time to fix an economy and the last thing to recover is job creation. The Republicans continue to blame Obama for the economy and lack of new jobs with total ignorance of the facts about economic recovery. Being obstructionists in Congress only slows the process down even more. They keep yelling about it, yet they do nothing to fix it! I still say, if the Republicans don’t get on board with the governance of the country, in other words do the job they were elected to do and are being paid to do, they may have a rude awakening in November.

Senator Bob Corker(R-TN) and Senator Chris Dodd(D-CT) co-sponsored a bill last week to start fixing the corruption and greed in the financial industry. Now, apparently Corker has backed away because of some heat from the party leadership. The leadership is promoting doing nothing and penalizing any of their members that attempt to do their jobs. Don’t forget, McChinless barely won his seat back in the last election cycle. I think the people of Kentucky will want to replace him with someone that will work at the job.

Next on the agenda will probably be immigration reform. This will be a controversial issue because the right in America has such hard and misplaced feelings about the undocumented aliens working in our country. Another reminder that racism still runs deep in our society.

Foreign policy looks like it will be dealing with the growing, again, situation in the Middle East. The Israelis and Palestinians aren’t playing nice with each other again. Secretary Clinton fortunately will be doing the heavy lifting here. It’s really nice to have a strong vital Secretary of State again. After years of running foreign affairs from the White House, it’s nice to have strong team mates, Obama and Clinton, working together.

March Madness continues, my brackets have been destroyed, as I imagine most peoples’ have, but I will still root for the University of Northern Iowa. We have the finals of the Minnesota State High School Basketball Tournament this weekend, and that will end the winter sports season tourney time here. With Arnold’s tournament this weekend at Bay Hill, the heavy wieghts of the PGA will get there last competitive warm-up for the Masters in two weeks. Tiger has already been made the favorite in Augusta. If he doesn’t win it, I’m sure he’ll make a run at it. The man has more competitive fire and better focus than any athlete on the planet! I can’t wait.

Looks like we will finish the month of March by setting a weather record in the Twin Cities. This will be the first March on record with no snowfall! Hip-hip-hooray! Enjoy your weekend where ever you are and thank you very much for taking the time to read my commentaries.

Cam Obert


March 25, 2010

Glenn Beck warns!

My political prognostication from yesterday is already steaming full speed ahead to fruition! The stupidity and arrogance the Republicans have been displaying of late is now gaining momentum. Why? Because they obviously think obstruction, hate speech, threatened or carried out violence against the enemy, the President and the Democratic party, and in general nuisance making and process gumming are what America wants. They don’t get they have put themselves on the road to political destruction.

The Republican party base has been taken over or hijacked by the extremists on the right, the birthers, the tea-baggers, doom and gloomers, and the out of touch right-wing wacked out leadership. Fortunately for the Democrats, the Republican’s subservient political leadership, John Boner, Mitch McChinless, Eric Can’tor et al, have embraced and are now bowing down to the party leadership, Rush Limbaugh, etc. They may or may not realize the tea-baggers etc. out on the far right are only a small percentage of Republicans and an even smaller segment of Americans. But, at this point the subservient political wing of the party is intimidated by the Limbaugh led leadership. They won’t go against them, even though they realize they are in the wrong on most every issue because they are afraid the leadership will organize a primary challenge to them and their seat. The extreme right consists of mean cut-throat individuals that will seemingly stop at nothing to make a point.

Let’s take a look at the beginning of the downfall of the Republican party. Because they have become led by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, political discourse in the country has fallen to an all-time low. Polling in the last two days already show the swing happening. Obama and the Democrats favorable ratings have jumped up while the Republicans’ have fallen. This is just the beginning. It’s going to get worse for the GOP. It’s becoming their self-inflicted destiny. When the party leadership screams to “run the bastards out” in November, they daily are comparing progressive policies as the precursor to nazism and socialism, a particularly loud and very unenlightened leader posts rifle sites on the enemy’s districts, and several of them belittled and made fun of people with tragic situations. The dimwit suggest the right-wing “reload” for the upcoming fight. Dangerous words to use in a time when they have whipped up their fringe followers into threatening and lawless acts. The attitude of the leadership of “hands off” the wackos will kill this party. When you see persons in political office egging on the wackos at rallies that are carrying hate filled signs and yelling racist and homophobic slurs, America sees this and thinks these people are nuts! This bullshit they are engaged in is attractive to only the tea-bagger lunatic fringe on the right. Their tactics of bullying and using threats doesn’t work in mainstream America. The base of the Republican party has shrunk to extremists on the right. So after the rallies of black members of Congress being called “nigger” and gay members of Congress being called “faggot”, members of Congress being spat upon, where is the outrage from the Republicans? There is none. The usual response of “these are isolated instances by crazy people” doesn’t work anymore because it has become “regular instances” by many people around the country. Rather than trying to rein in the insanity their party is engaged in, they either say nothing or use veiled words of encouragement for them.

There are now members of Congress receiving death threats, homes and offices being vandalized, and members and staffs need beefed up security. Where are the Tea-baggers now? The extra security comes from our tax paid dollars! These idiots are now going so far to justify their actions by saying things were much worse on the Republicans when Bush II had the White House and Congressional majority. Funny, I don’t seem to remember anything nearly as extreme as the Republican party sanctioned racism and violence being exhibited by todays right-wingers. You would have to go back to LBJ’s final years in office dealing with the anti-Vietnam War protesters to find hate at the level it’s at today. There is a difference, however. The Vietnam War problems were ten plus years in the making. It had become a societal issue. The U.S. had lost over 50,000 lives in that conflict. Americans, after ten years, were pushed to the boiling point. The lawlessness was performed mostly by weird groups like the Weather Underground and the SSS. The vast majority of dissent came from regular Americans, from both parties and all walks of life. Today’s situation is different. It was a fast rising group based on an economic situation. Because most members of this movement are very conservative and fairly unenlightened, social issues are now very prominent on their agenda,i.e, racism and homophobia.

The party leadership will not back down nor apologize for what’s happening now. In fact, they incite this behavior! Don’t look for remorse from Rush and his ilk. It’s up to the subservient political wing to take responsibility for taking their party back. I don’t think it will come anytime soon as evidenced by John Boner’s pre-vote rant with yelling and screaming and cursing on the microphone in the well of the House of Representatives. Steve King and Michele Bachmann, Republican Congresspersons were on the balcony of the Capital whipping the racist homophobic idiot rally into a hate filled lather. With behavior like this, how will the Republican party think it can win back its old base and independents in the fall? They act as wild-eyed and nuts as their narrow following!

Until the Republicans realize the campaign this fall needs to be run on the issues before the country, jobs, foreign affairs, immigration reform, education, etc, they won’t be competitive. Health Care Reform is here to stay. Instead of fighting against it, work on helping to improve it in the next Congress. I can’t wait to see what happens this fall when some Republicans will run on repealing the bill. I’m sure any American receiving its immediate benefits will jump right on board to support those candidates! I hate to say it, but I’m right again! I think I have maybe missed my calling. Although my understanding of the political situation does help me considerably in my landscape work! Thank you again for reading my comments and, as always, I look forward to your comments!

Cam Obert


March 24, 2010

Party leader Limbaugh and friend!

That’s right, the Republicans, to steal a quote from someone, are driving a Toyota with a stuck wide-open accelerator and mal-functioning brakes toward a cliff to sail out of sight for normal common sense Americans! I am in shock and disbelief what I am watching and hearing from the right-wing these past couple of days. I think the party has a death wish! What is going on, in a nutshell, the party leadership, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Faux News Network, Bill Kristol, Ann Coulter(when not in jail for hate-speech),Britt Hume, Charles Krauthammer, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity(when not defending his involvement in corrupt operations of a non-profit), Michele Malkin, Jonah Goldberg, Laura Ingraham, Bill-O the Clown, and Lars Larson have been directing the subservient political wing of wackos John Boner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McChinless, Michele Bachmann, Jim DeMint,et al, to keep whipping up the base. There’s the death rattle for the Republicans. They keep whipping up their base, but their base is viewed by the rest of America, the vast majority of Americans, as a small out of touch wacko extremist group. The right-wing leadership keeps working the lunatic fringe with no gains.

As the right-wing leadership, along with their subservient political leadership division keeps going in this direction, they will wither and fall off the vine. The leader, Limbaugh before moving to Costa Rica, has screamed incoherently to “defeat the bastards” in November. Beck has proclaimed “nazism, fascism, and socialism have their roots in progressive movements”. The subservient political wing members have had their contributions to the party demise as well. Boner yelling like an out of control child in his pre-vote speech on the House floor. Bachmann and DeMint waving to and inciting the tea-bagger rally outside the Capital. This was yet another, tea-bagger rally with a plethora of racist and anti-gay signs, shouts of “nigger” directed at black members of Congress, “faggot” yelled at Congressman Barney Frank, and even spitting on a black Congressman. The Republican subservient political leadership keeps casting this off as a few extremists in the crowd. They make no attempts to rein this behavior in. Another nail in the collective coffin! It’s like they don’t even care that America is watching as they virtually endorse this behavior. Again, it only counts with the lunatic fringe.

The subservient political wing of the wacko right thinks they can run on a repeal the bill agenda. I can’t wait to hear the people screaming in these Congressional districts they are going to target, and Palin, in a typical no-class move by her using gun-sight targets on her website, when they say they are going to take away the new benefits of the bill that middle and lower class Americans will enjoying by November. I’m sure the parents of a child that just got thrown off the family’s policy because of a bout with cancer will support the repeal of the bill! C’mon, are these Republicans really this stupid?

Yesterday, Senator John McCain made a statement that in the private sector would have gotten him fired immediately. Like a spoiled and spurned child, he sobbed he was not going to cooperate with Congress anymore until this bill goes away. He was elected to and is paid to participate in the governance of the country. By declaring he is not going to do his job, the state of Arizona should fire him for not doing his job! I can’t believe he has stooped this low out of political fear coming from the Tea-bagger candidate, JD Hayworth, in his Senate Republican primary run in Arizona. Hayworth is a total empty suit that was drummed out of Congress in 2006 for poor job performance and being a huge receiver of money and favors from Jack Abramoff.

Round and round it goes. The Republican brand, under the very flawed leadership of Limbaugh and the rest, is sinking themselves. The subservient political wing of the party is afraid of the leadership and won’t break away from them in spite of the fact they are being led off the cliff. As the Democrats build their case against the party of racism, homophobia, war-mongering, obstructionism, and general negativity they always bring to the table, the little wacko band on the far right should start to go away. This will be good in the long run for the Republicans and for political discourse in America.

As the beat goes on with the self-destruction of the Republicans, I look forward to a pretty decent result in November. After all, isn’t that what this has all become about? Anyway, thanks for reading today,and thanks for my record readership these past two days and if you like what you read, whether for or against, please spread the word of .

Cam Obert


March 23, 2010

In the biggest news event of the new year in America, the Minnesota Twins stepped up to the proverbial plate and signed all-world catcher Joe Mauer to an eight year contract! The contract basically is $23 million per year, making Alex Rodriguez as the one major leaguer making more than Mauer. The Twins also acquiesced on the contract by adding a full “no-trade” clause as per Mauer’s desire. Like Cal Ripken and Kirby Puckett, Mauer will be able to play his entire career in front of his hometown fans. Oh, all three of these players are/were represented by the same agent, Ron Shapiro. Good for Shapiro! I think Joe Mauer could have played this year out and signed for significantly more money as a free agent in New York, Boston, or Los Angeles.

One of Joe Mauer’s concerns was whether the Twins will be making an effort to be competitive and make legitimate moves toward a World Series crown. I think he likes what is going on in Minnesota. The Twins have won the division championship five of the past eight years. They have built with youth and their own farm system. They made a few dud free agent signings the past few years, but it’s always “their guys” that get it done for them. This year will prove to be different. They made the big trade last fall of Carlos Gomez to the Brewers for shortstop J.J. Hardy. Hardy is a former NL All Star and is still young with a good glove, good range, and a cannon arm. He has a history of hitting for power as well. It helps that he and Joe Mauer are buddies from their high school days. The Twins then signed the other half of the keystone combo, Orlando Hudson. A very good second baseman, he has won four gold gloves, and good handler of the bat, and a very positive influence on the youngsters on the team. Remember, the Twins are still one of the youngest teams in major league baseball. Speaking of youth, the Twins also signed long time nemesis Jim Thome, age 40! Some will say he’s too old, but he still has a quick bat with power! Last year, though playing in only 74 games for the Dodgers in spacious Chavez Ravine, he smacked 23 homers! He still has it, and will be platooned as the DH with Jason Kubiel and will be the first pinch hitter off the bench.

Ron Gardinhire, arguably the best manger in baseball, the last four games in Florida has been putting the pieces together of the “A team”. The Twins won all four games with good pitching, hitting and by Twins tradition, no errors. They will be a force in the American League this year. The loss of Joe Nathan is big. He has close to the best stats in baseball the last five years as a closer. Tough to replace, but they are now thinking maybe Francisco Liriano for the role. He’s always over-powering for an inning or two then tails off. A perfect scenario for a successful closer!

This years Twins will sport one of baseballs best and most potent line-ups:
1) Denard Span- CF
2) Orlando Hudson 2B
3) Joe Mauer C
4) Justin Morneau- 1B
5) Michael Cuddyer- RF
6) Jason Kubiel/Jim Thome- DH
7) Delmon Young LF
8) J.J. Hardy SS
9) Nick Punto/Brendon Harris 3B

The Twins also have a very good and proven starting rotation; Carl Pavano, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker and either Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, or Francisco Liriano, if they go with another pitcher for the closer spot. They are also loaded with a talented, deep, and healthy relief corps.

I look for this team to be dominant in the league this year, certainly in the division, and I believe they will go deeper in the playoffs next fall. Twins fans better get prepared to brush off the snow next fall while watching the Twins in the new Target Field. I think the only thing the team loses is that incredible home field advantage they have enjoyed since 1982 in the Metrodome. But with this season already sold out, I’m sure they will get a big boost this year from their fans and their new home field. This is going to be an exciting year in Minnesota for our Twins. There may be only a couple teams in the majors this year with deeper rosters. This is a young but proven team. They are all good guys, no thugs or gangsters in the group. They all are involved in community affairs and they bring an air of pride to the whole upper midwest and southern Canada. Thank you so much for reading today’s installment and always remember; ” We’re gonna win Twins, we’re gonna score. We’re gonna win Twins watch that baseball soar! Crack out a home run, shout a hip-hooray! Cheer for the Minnesota Twins today!”

Cam Obert


March 22, 2010

Lillian-Part of our future to protect!

….now we wait for the Senate to work on part two. Once that’s done, should it pass, it goes to the President for signing to complete to process. I want to share some of my “random” thoughts about HCR from the past few days.

I’m wondering where the Republicans came up with this phrase, “the Democrats are ramming this bill through”, meaning they’re rushing it. Rushing it?! Congress started working on this bill twelve months ago. How much time do the Republicans need to stall and obstruct a bill? I’m guessing Boner and McChinless thought if they could stall, obstruct, and generally gum up the work of Congress for another three years, they could hope for a Republican getting elected to the Presidency, then throw the whole concept of HCR on the scrap heap.

A bill this monumental in the overall scope of life in America is bound to be controversial and it will test the personal conviction of many of the politicians that had to vote on the bill. Rep. Dennis Kucinich(D-OH), a very progressive member of the left-wing of the party, switched how he was going to vote on the bill. He was against this bill because it was not what he or the progressive wing wanted. They want universal health care, as do I. When faced with the fact he’s not going to get even a public option at this time, he thought at least starting the process, putting new laws on the books is a start. Rep. Bart Stupak(D-MI), switched his no into a yes when he was satisfied that abortions will not be tax payer paid. Politicians’ convictions used to mean something in Washington. I believe it was around the end of 1999 when the late Bob Novak, a noted conservative writer and pundit, called Paul Wellstone the best legislator in Washington. Why did Novak pick a Senator that stood for everything he was against? Because, as Novak noted, Wellstone was a man of closely held convictions. He voted his heart and conscience, regardless of the personal political fall-out that may follow!

It’s been interesting watching over the past weekend and this morning the republicans trying to explain the existence of the wacko right-wing with the bad behavior of the tea-baggers and then even on the floor of the House itself. The end of last week saw the tea-bagger rallies in Washington led by the likes of Michele Bachmann and Jim DeMint. in these rallies were the proliferation of hate filled signs aimed at the President, blacks, gays and any group of Americans other than conservative white men. The sad thing was the absence of apology or shame from the Republican leadership. I think I know why. The mainstream republicans have given in to the extreme right. Boner’s prevote speech last night was filled with so much hate and so much negative bile that it actually whipped the Republican crowd into a frenzy. Stupak was called a “baby killer” by someone from the Republican side of the House floor. I repeat, the House floor! That means it came from a Congressman or a staffer, not a member of the gallery. So here’s how well the conservative movement in America did for themselves this weekend; they carried signs threatening gun violence if the bill passes, they carried signs mocking political leaders for their color, gender, and sexual preference. They called out “niggers’ to a couple of the black Congressmen and called out to Congressman Barney Frank as a “faggot”. There were republican office holders involved in these rallies. Do they have no shame? They can no longer say it’s a few crazies, which has been their explanation to this point, because they keep showing up, more and more of them, and the Republican office holders keep rallying side by side with them. A totally classless bunch. let’s not forget about the behavior of the republican party leadership either, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn beck, and Michele Malkin. These people openly mocked and made fun of an 11-year-old boy whose mother died, prematurely from lack of health insurance, therefore no medical care. They made fun of the Parkinson’s patient that was yelled at and made fun of at a Tea-bagger rally in Ohio. Quite frankly, I don’t think the right-wing in this country has a moral low point. Almost every week they shock me with another new low. I don’t think they have a conscience and I believe the loudest of them are actually Godless. You can’t act the way they do and say the things they say and not be with a God. The ironic thing is, the republicans have tried to hijack Christianity as their own, with this behavior and contempt for their fellow-man? Ask yourself this question; If Jesus Christ came back today, as an American citizen, would he align with the Democrats or with the Republicans? This is really a no-brainer question, but it makes my point.

Once this bill passes the Senate and is signed into law, Americans will start enjoying some of the new benefits and protections the bill offers. All children will be covered for medical care, current insurance policy holders can no longer be dropped by their carrier, you will no longer be denied insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and insurance companies can no longer capriciously raise insurance premiums, especially like the 39% increase just proposed for insurance policy holders in California. The Republicans are going to run this fall on a platform which includes repealing the bill! I’m sure the citizens getting their new and fair medical insurance coverage and the rest of the benefits and protections of the bill will have something to say about this. I think the Republican party will be making a big mistake if they try to repeal this bill. Oh well, let them run it!

Now I must boast a little bit. I have taken heat from some of my friends on the far left for being too hard on the President. I wasn’t too hard on the President, but his failure as a leader. The national pundits joined me in December with this observation. These last two weeks, President Obama has led the way he should have since day one. The LBJ way. Had he done this last May, as I suggested then, this bill would have passed last summer with far less of the political rancour that has dogged this effort. The biggest factor in the growth and rise of right-wing activism was the delay in getting this HCR through on a timely basis. I only hope that the President has learned a lesson, he has no executive experience in his life, so he’s feeling his way through. Next, immigration reform and the end of “do not ask, do not tell” in the military.

President Obama is very bright and I’m sure he will carry out the rest of the nation’s agenda in a much more expedient fashion than this HCR disaster. I love his ideology and want him to forge ahead. But, I am a pragmatist, and expect things to be done in the most effective way. The President, as always has my support and all of my best wishes. Thank you very much for todays read.

Cam Obert


March 19, 2010

Harry Truman - HCR Initiator

Winter has returned to the northern plains today, this is good news for those living in the lowland areas or flood plains of the Red River of the North, the Minnesota River, and of course the mighty Mississippi. The very cold temperatures today will refreeze and slow the thaw some, hopefully with a better result flood-wise. After enjoying the past nice spring-like days in my yard, its back inside to avoid the high winds and snow flurries. I was able to take down a rather large tree in my backyard this week that casts shade over my pool in the mid-day hours. I got it all down and brushed out, but can’t remove the pile from the yard yet because the snow piles are still too deep and are blocking my gates to the front! Oh well, maybe the next thaw will take care of it!

I will hunker down instead in the house in front of the TV to watch the Minnesota Gophers first round game in the NCAA tournament. I will enjoy a lunch of warmed up corned beef and cabbage and cheer for the old maroon and gold. Soon after the game, I will head out to Saint Peter Minnesota to the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College to watch the semi-finals of the NCAA Division III Womens Frozen Four hockey tournament. Our friend Danielle Justice is in the nets for the Gusties, so must cheer her on!

Based on the number of “reads” and comments I’ve gotten the past few days, obviously people are paying attention to what’s happening in Washington. Looks like the vote to move the Health Care Reform Bill to the Senate for reconciliation will be Sunday afternoon. I think Americans are aware there is something going on, but due to the flooding of false information into and by the media from one side and the poor management and foot-dragging by the other side, nobody really knows what the hell this is all about.

The Democrats and the President screwed up royally by thinking the Republicans should be involved equally in the process, therefore a nice bi-partisan bill could be written into law. The President wasted over six months trying to get McChinless, Boner, and Can’tor to be reasonable partners. What President Obama couldn’t figure out is they despise him. They hate acknowledging he is even the President! The Republican track record in the past fourteen months is obvious. More filibusters in one year than the Senate had in the entire 20 years of the ’50’s and ’60’s. Now over 70 judicial nominations being held up, at one time it was over 100, several office appointments for top governmental offices are being held up, and they will not get involved in the job they were elected to do, govern the country. In the private sector, most of them would have been fired a long time ago for lack of production! But, that’s their constituents problem. If my Congressman or Senator was performing as poorly as these lazy representatives are, I would demand they be replaced with someone who has the desire to do the job, governing the country.

I do not like the make up of this bill. I believe it’s a sell-out to the insurance industry and it still cuts too many people out. But, as my allies tell me, it’s a start. On the plus side of the ledger in this bill are the instant coverage of all children in the U.S. that are currently not covered. By the year 2014, 95% of all Americans will be covered by health insurance. The insurance companies can no longer turn away customers with pre-existing conditions. Small business owners will no longer have the heavy burden of carrying employees on a benefits plan. These people will get their insurance from large pools at a much lower rate than their employers could offer. Is it perfect? No. But the fact that offering primary medical care from hospital emergency rooms will no longer happen, the patients will receive better care and the rest of the country’s people will pay lower insurance rates as a result of the hospitals not jacking their fees to outrageous levels to cover all the charity cases coming through the emergency room doors. Another benefit to this bill is the reduction of the deficit. The CBO, Congressional Budget Office, scored this a winner for the tax payers of the country. The first decade after it becomes law, the deficit will be reduced by some $ 140 billion, and the second decade will produce an incredible $1 trillion in slashing of the deficit. The Bush Prescription Benefit Bill, while having great intentions, was scored by the CBO to add
$300 some billion to the deficit, the first Bush Tax Cut of 2001, the CBO scored that as an addition to the deficit $700 some billion, and the second Bush Tax Cut was scored by the CBO to add $394 billion to the deficit! These were all additions to the deficit, but the Republicans wasted no time in voting for them. Now they have a bill before them that can be very beneficial to the health and well-being of the country, promote job growth and wage increases because the business budget breaking health care benefits that employers provide will no longer hold them back, and the deficit will begin to shrink as a result!

The downside to this bill is it is a gift to the insurance industry. Because, contrary to what the hysterical fools from the right will tell you, this is not a government-run program, but a legal directive to the medical care industry of how they must change. Where the bill is lacking is there is no agency oversight for costs or billing to the customers/patients. This was another sell-out to big insurance. The insurance industry will still have anti-trust protection, the only industry in America besides major league baseball to enjoy this carte blanche billing and profit-making set up. I would like to see cross-state selling competition, but that would have to mean the formation of another federal buracracy to over-see it. I believe firmly in caps on medical malpractice suits. Now before you republicans cheer for this one, unlike what the right-wing has been saying, this really does not add significantly to the problem. The biggest problem with health care costs is an aging public. The older we get, the more frequently we need medical attention. As we live longer, primarily due to advances in medicine, there is a price tag. To get a clear encapsulated view of what and what not this bill covers, google The Rachel Maddow Show from last night or the night before, she puts in a real simple pro and con type list with support from both sides of the argument. Sorry I couldn’t give you the exact day, but I’ve caught “March Madness” and it will continue right the final putt of the Masters.

Have a wonderful weekend and I hope all your picks for the first round games work for you, I’ve already missed 5 in the first round, but I picked two that many other people I’m sure didn’t! Thank you very much for reading my commentaries, and if you like them, please spread the word. I like lots of input, pro or con, it’s invigorating!

Cam Obert


March 18, 2010

Michele Malkin-Playmate of the Right

What America has been witnessing these past few weeks is only the tip of the political iceberg. Within one month, the nastiest mid-term election campaign is going to kick in. The republicants have already vowed to campaign on the repeal of health care reform. They think they have a new twist to add fuel to their fire, “congressional process”. The republicant, led by Mike Pence, believe this parliamentary procedure of “deem and pass” is unconstitutional therefore is invalid. I guess Pence forgot he was involved with three “deem and pass” votes during the Bush years. Oh, he voted “aye” all three times! The Democrats have only suggested this procedure, they haven’t said they are going to use it. Pelosi and Hoyer have said they want an up or down vote, obviously because they think they have the votes.

If the republicants are so “intuned” to process, where were they on the issue when they held more filibusters in the past year than the Senate had in the decades of the ’50’s and ’60’s? Not only have they done that, but they have held up over 100 judicial and office appointments. And now they want to talk process!

The one point that bringing the HCR to a resolution is that all the hypocrites in Congress and media are being called out on it. The notion that passage of this bill will destroy the democracy of America and turn it into a socialist state ruled by the progressives has made so many people into hypocrites because of the often changing tide of the polls. Persons seeking re-election this year are really going to have a tough time. Mostly the Democrats, but there will be incumbent republicants that will be tried on for their hypocritical manners, especially these past few months. It’s a true shame it has come to this, if you read my preceeding blog commentary, “Health Care Reform Fatigue”, I think I outlined the causes of the present-day problems quite accurately. My biggest hope is the White House learned a lesson from this bad experience and will move in a more positive fashion in the future.

The right-wing has a lot of cleaning up to do. Just in the last few days, a Parkinson’s patient was jeered, hastled, made fun of, belittled, and derided at a tea-bagger deal in Ohio! When I told the story to my sister, she was shocked, and asked why nobody got the bullies away from him. I responded with, they were all involved in it!
How about the 11-year-old boy whose mother died, primarily from a lack of insurance. He was attacked and mocked by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Michele Malkin. These are three of the leaders of the republicant party, wing-nuts on parade, tea-baggers, and any of these other beyond conservative groups and causes. The lady in Ohio, in Kucinich’s district that the President made a political story of. She was suffering for some time with cancer, beat it, but as a result her premiums were so high she had to her insurance in order to make the house payment. After all that, she is diagnosed with Leukemia. Now she has no insurance and had to start back through the emergency room. When I said the President made a political story about her, that’s not the point! The point is this happens all the time all over the country. Well ol’ Sean Hannity and his gang of dirt, found out this lady is being treated at the Cleveland Clinic and the clinic is treating it as a charity case. Hannity said the President didn’t tell the whole story, like he was covering up something to promote his cause. This is how stupid Hannity is, he believes it’s okay for the clinic to treat this as a charity case, probably how he thinks the other 30 million people without health insurance should be covered.

These stories that have cropped up this past week have pushed the right-wing opposition to start having their leaders do and say the most reckless and thoughtless things to get their base re-ignited. Here’s what it’s succeeded in doing, Malkin, Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck are in reality the coldest of cold. They are, in essence, like blood-thirsty Godless animals. They do not even act like members of the human race anymore! Oh well, desperate times call for desperate measures!

Hang on to your hats, the gloves are and have been off on the right side, the conservaturds, for a while, and I hope the left sacks up to start initiating and bringing the fight to the right. They’ve been playing defense too long, and now it’s time to get after them. I hope all the gutless members of Congress get “primaried”. Serves them right for not fighting for their convictions, instead fighting for their jobs. I’m thinking of going to Arkansas myself, to help out Bill Halter in his Democratic primary run against the gutless Blanche Lincoln! But this is what it’s going to be like until next November, so have fun with it, get involved, let your own convictions guide you, and please know and understand the issues. Thank you.

Cam Obert

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