Archive for April, 2010

DRILL BABY DRILL!…….SPILL BABY SPILL!…….

April 30, 2010

…….it’s time to really call out the idiots that promote this reckless destruction of our planet. Looking back at the campaign of 2008, I thought it was interesting that off-shore oil drilling and drilling for oil in the ANWAR area of Alaska, a very fragile pristine wildlife area, were show-stoppers for the right-wing candidates. They played the bigotry card trying to talk Americans into our own oil production to deny the business to the “hostile” countries of the Middle East and Venezuela. They were playing to the predecessors of todays Tea-Baggers. I believe their thinking was to fire up enough hatred toward oil-producing countries that they could bully the American government into relaxing regulations to start drilling in areas considered off base for oil exploration. At the time, the more enlightened populace was able to hold off these morons. But, in a stunning reversal and cave-in, President Obama a couple of months ago agreed to allow oil exploration off the coasts in areas previously untouched. Oh my, I’ll bet today he regrets that decision!

The whole idea of drilling for oil in pristine areas of land and in the water near the coasts is such a short-sighted knee-jerk reaction to the world’s energy demands. The other amazing thing that is evident is the fact that once again when private industry is left to govern themselves with little or no regulation, disaster strikes. Witness Three Mile Island, Exxon Valdez, the coal mining industry, the insurance industry, the banking industry, automobile safety standards, Wall Street, and on and on and on. Because most conservative candidates are paid for the titans of these industries, obviously they are not going to legislate regulations that will get a handle on all of these disasters that are created by greedy business people who are on the constant hunt for more wealth.

Isn’t it interesting Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has already been complaining about the response from the Obama administration regarding the oil spill? Why doesn’t he go after BP? It’s their oil drilling rig that blew up and sank. British Petroleum is directly responsible for the current pumping of 200,000 gallons of crude oil going into the Gulf of Mexico per day, not the federal government. BP is responsible for the closing off of the gushing leak. They are responsible for the fast growing oil slick in the Gulf, not the federal government. This situation is becoming the worst ecological disaster in the history of the country. I didn’t say natural disaster because this was caused by a greedy under-regulated private business. What the ultimate price tag will be is unknown. Oil spills reek such damage on the environment that it takes decades for the affected area to recover. Stop looking to the federal government to figure this one out.

This repair will be the financial responsibility of BP. I’m sure the costs are going to be well into the billions. That means we the consumers will end up paying for it at the pump and for home heating oil, etc. I hope the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida as well as the federal government bill BP for every penny these governments spend to get this mess taken care of. Unlike natural disasters, the government has the culprit and they must hold the culprit’s feet to the fire.

Why is it taking so long for anyone to stop the gushing oil leak? Why aren’t Obama, Napolitano, and Salazar screaming their lungs out about this. Their lack of deep water repair experience is no excuse! The choppy water surface is no excuse! Why was BP allowed to build this rig in the first place with no ability to handle a leak if it happens? Wow, this is really eye-opening! Does anybody think the oil industry will take care of these many errors they have made? Unless they are required to by the government, they will not. Not only are regulations needed, but consequences with teeth are needed for violators. The mining industry corruption is an example of loose regulations with no enforcement teeth. How many people have to die in coal mines before someone figures this out?

I believe this oil spill will be the worst ecological nightmare the country has faced. It will take decades for the ocean living plants, fish, and animals to recover, if they do. The pristine shorelines of beautiful grasses, inlets, and wildlife will be ruined. Hurricanes roar through the area fairly regularly, but nature overcomes that damage because it’s just the way it is. Putting an oily coat on the water, vegetation, and wildlife cannot take care of itself. Man will have to attempt to fix it. It never goes away on its own. They still find oil coated areas in the Exxon Valdez disaster area in Alaska, decades later!

Its time Washington throw the lobbyists out of the halls of Congress and start acting like responsible citizens which is what we should demand of them and nothing less. BP is the direct criminal of this disaster but, too many years of Washington being bought by lobbyists has caused the big picture problem. When is Washington, both parties, going to come to its senses? That is the real issue here, the man-made disasters are the by-product. Thanks for your read today.
Cam Obert

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GAMBLING, POT, AND PROSTITUTION-CRANK UP THE MONEY MACHINE!

April 29, 2010

As I have mentioned in the past, Minnesota, after 8 years of thievery by the Pawlenty administration, has a terrible revenue problem. A deadly combination of a downturn in the economy, thus lower tax revenues as businesses and private citizens are making less money and a lot of tax cuts for business and wealthy individuals. This Governor and his predecessor, Ventura, have cut most of the state budgets to the bone. The state simply needs more income.

How about implementing some aggressive user taxes? The only way a person is taxed on this is if they partake. We already have two “vice taxes”, tobacco and alcohol. If you smoke or use tobacco and if you’re into booze, the state makes money from you. Pretty simple, right? The problem is the state doesn’t make enough from these two sources. Enter three more “vices” to tax, gambling, pot, and prostitution.

If Minnesota wants to get into the big leagues it needs state sanctioned or taxed gambling. I can picture a huge area of the Midway, between Minneapolis and St. Paul, with many casinos and hotels. Casinos will bring in top name entertainers and feature world-class restaurants. With the harsh climate we live in, wouldn’t it be great to have a massive casino-entertainment center connected by skyways and malls? No more having to fly off to Vegas to cure the “itch” and less money going to the Tribal casinos that don’t generate revenue for the state. The Twin Cities is one of the great metropolitan areas in the country. I think a complex of this sort would only be an enhancement.

How about legalizing marijuana? We can already alter our minds by alcohol use. We can already commit slow suicide by smoking cigarettes, so why is pot left off the list? Many states have decriminalized pot usage to the point of minor civil penalties already and many have approved it’s use for medicinal purposes. Let’s just let it be sold over the counter to adults and tax the hell out of it. By making it a legal commodity, a positive side effect would be a decrease in drug related crime.

Hmmm, prostitution? Oh the stigma! People selling the use of their bodies for monetary gain. Wow! I’ve never heard of such nonsense. Actually, prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. It’s stayed around for years. It’s obviously stable. Why not tap into this source of revenue? It’s painfully simple, model after the Nevada model or most of Western Europe. There is always a demand for sex. That’s why pimps are dropping off their prostitutes on the street corners of Minneapolis and St. Paul regularly. The negative sides to our present system are crimes associated with prostitution, physical violence, drug abuse, spread of disease, and no tax revenues. The state also has to fund law enforcement to patrol this situation. So, not only are we not collecting a potentially huge source of tax revenue, we are paying extra to enforce the laws we have in place today.

For any of these revenue generating sources to become a reality, Minnesotans have got to get rid of their out-dated puritanical ideals and move on to the present and future. The whole country has a long history of being puritanical and uptight about such things as sex, gaming, and pot. If these options are all legalized and brought main stream, the stigma will disappear. All of these things are so prevalent in our society already but are deemed bad or sinful. Depending on who you are and what your background is, these are “bad” things. But, the beauty of it is, if you don’t like them, you don’t have to partake in them! Simple?

America needs to get over these “hang-ups” about things of this sort. Take a look at developed countries that have embraced sex, gambling, and pot usage. To a country, they all have much lower crime rates than the U.S. Particularly, lower violent crime rates. Oh, that’s right, most developed countries have very strict gun control laws also. Our society encourages deviant behavior because much of our society won’t confront the issues of sex, gambling, and pot. We seem to just keep sweeping them under the rug and hope they will go away on their own. They won’t! They are all here to stay regardless of how much money we waste trying to stop it. C’mon Minnesota!, let’s get on board with these concepts and capitalize on them.

I can’t wait to see the legislators tremble and run from this one. They have already shown how gutless and unimaginative they can be in reference to increasing the exposure of gambling. Our legislature needs to be populated by pragmatic, fiscally competent atheists. I believe this may be the only way to get major forward thinking and beneficial legislation passed. Anyway, that’s my take on this, I’ll leave the idealistic part to others. Thanks for today’s read and as always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Cam Obert

CALL ME “CAMAC THE MAGNIFICENT” AS MY CALLS LEAD THE WAY AGAIN!

April 28, 2010

Of course I’m only kidding but, quick, call the doctor, my arm needs to be reset after patting myself on the back! Once again, my political prognosticating is baring fruit. On a somewhat more serious note, why does a guy like me, who’s not always the brightest bulb on the tree, have a knack for managing political campaigns and political issues so much earlier than the so-called experts? Maybe I’ve missed my calling. Probably wishful thinking by me, but I do have a passion for politics that has been with me since birth. The whole Obert family has a history of staying on top of issues, studying the facts, and getting behind causes. Politics gets in your blood, at least it has with my family.

Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, Chairman of the DNC, announced the Democrats campaign theme for the upcoming mid-terms. He says the Democrats will promote themselves as the party that gets things done. Witness the rise in the GDP, witness the reversal of losing hundreds of thousands of jobs per month to the addition of hundreds of thousands jobs per month, witness the economy now at a growth rate of 8% after suffering through months of economic slide of 6%, witness Dow going back over the 11,000 level for the first time in almost two years, and many more progressive gains thanks to the forward thinking of the party and the President. All the while, the Republicans have hitched their cart to the tea-bagger party horse that ultimately will ride them into the ditch. The Republican party has nothing to show for itself in two years other than being the party of no. They have an abysmal record of record filibusters and record obstruction of judicial and political appointments. At every turn they have held up the process of governance. In the private sector, they would have all been fired months ago for lack of production.

The difference this year will be the Democrats campaigning on the platform of getting things done. Accomplishments that are good for America and good for Americans. The Republicans will be running on the platform of doing nothing except obstruction. When Americans are actually shown the FACTUAL difference, they will see how badly the Republicans and their leadership have misled them.

Now comes the my time to shine. If you would review my many blogs over the past few months on this topic, you will see Kaine is taking the whole DNC action plan right from me. You see, I take the view more from the management side of things when it comes to politicking. I sometimes get the real idealistic liberals a little angry with my thoughts, but I want results, not “head in the clouds” idealism. That idealism is invaluable, however, because that drives pragmatists like me to try to get the nuts and bolts to fit so the progressives get in the political position to make things happen for us. Gosh, I love moving progressive politics! The long-haired, sandal wearing, peasant dress wearing, wire rimmed glasses types are the fuel that drives me. I love these stereotyped libs, because of their convictions and their strong desire to make things better for their fellow human beings.

I feel bad for two members of my family with strong political interests, my brother Chris and my Uncle Tom. Chris lives in a more rural area in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is the place where the Attorney General nutcase was the first in the country to file suit against the federal government upon the passage of the health care reform bill. Virginia also passed a law this year allowing the carrying of loaded hand guns into churches, bars, and restaurants. As you can see, he faces an everyday uphill climb with his moronic fellow Virginians, and has the stories to support his travails. My Uncle Tom lives in the now very infamous state of Arizona. This is the last state in the Union to ratify Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday. Arizona also allows nut cases to attend church and go out drinking with the boys while packing heat. And now, they pass a new law basically legalizing profiling. The “show me your papers law” has not only sensible thinking Arizonans up in arms, but also the whole country and Mexico inflamed. This is going to end up costing Arizona billions of tourist, trade, and convention dollars. God, are these people dumb or what? My poor Uncle Tom faces the battles with these wing-nuts almost daily. He too, has some great stories regarding his life in Arizona.

Anyway, kudos to Tim Kaine for researching my blogs to formulate the position for the Democrats in 2010! As always, thank you very much for today’s read and please comment if you like. Also, I strongly recommend reading my brother’s current commentary his site; http://www.tomobert62.wordpress.com

Cam Obert

MINNESOTA’S BIZARRE TWO OPTION APPROACH TO CHOOSING CANDIDATES!

April 27, 2010

And that is exactly what it is, two options for a candidate to choose to get the nomination of their party for statewide office. There is the caucus/nominating convention method or there is the open primary method.

The first option, caucus/convention, seems to be favored by the party faithful. I’m really not sure why this is other than to keep “party insiders” and “party power brokers” intimately involved in the “king making” process. When I asked one of the DFL candidates why they chose to go the caucus/convention route, I was told it’s traditional and the process does a better job of vetting the candidates than the open primaries do. I do not favor this method of candidate choosing for a number of reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the efforts made by party workers to pull this off every election year. It’s a lot of work and dedication to the process and to their candidates. The main problem I see with this system is it’s closed. It’s elected delegates from caucuses around the state that make the decision of who is going to be the anointed candidate. The base of this system is made up of the some old party hacks that have been at it for many years. The system keeps them in place and therefore the party has great difficulty moving forward. The DFL party has a great losing record going for itself now. The last Democratic Governor, Rudy Perpich, and a damn good Governor at that, was denied endorsement by the party and went to the people and won anyway. That resulted in two plus terms of great visionary leadership in the Governor’s seat. One shudders to think what might have happened had Rudy bowed out after not getting the party nod. Arnie Carlson, another great Governor and leader of moderate causes bucked his party’s endorsement twice and went to the people and prevailed. Again, one can only wonder what might have been without Carlson’s great leadership as Governor. In 1998, both the party’s endorsed candidates, Skip Humphrey and Norm Coleman got crushed by an Independent party candidate, Jesse Ventura. Follow that up for the Democrats with crushing defeats of their weak party endorsed candidates in 2002 and 2006. So that has left the state with a legacy of 12 straight years of weak and worthless leadership out of Saint Paul. I believe the past twenty-eight years in the Governors office, of which eight were manned by their party’s endorsed candidate, Pawlenty, should be indicative of the need for a change. The party insiders is not where the solutions are going to come from.

The primary system is probably better because it allows more public input to the process. Every candidate has their own campaign staff and they work toward getting their candidate to the primary win. There is no need for the massive amount of people, time, and money needed for the other method. This has to be a very expensive process that doesn’t really put a dime toward the election itself. It’s almost like the private sector where in business some people in the company are revenue generators and some people in the company are expenses. The caucus/convention process is a huge expense!

Not every person has the time to devote to the caucus/convention system. But guess what, they have opinions and may very well be well-read on the issues of the day. In the c/c method, they have no voice. In the primary method they have the most important voice, a vote!

The DFL convention is past, and the intraparty rancor has begun. How dare the party insiders gush all over Susan Gaertner for pulling out of the race. “We showed her!” What’s even more ballsy of them is to call on Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza to end their campaigns. These two candidates are career success stories, adults, and to be treated by the party insiders in such a rude and condescending manner is atrocious! Primary races toughen a candidate to prepare them for the general. It also gives them the early opportunity to sell themselves to independents and Republicans who may consider crossing over. In the caucus/convention set up, the candidates spend all their time cajoling the delegates. How does the public in general get a feeling for the candidate in this setting?

The fact that Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza are personally well-off financially is their business, nobody elses. Mark Dayton has a well documented record of charity and philanthropy spends countless hours involved in charitable causes. His voting record in the U.S. Senate was the exact same as our hero, Paul Wellstone. People in Dayton’s position can be very caring and giving. Ted Kennedy, probably the most liberal of politicians of our generation was a fighter to the end for liberal causes. He was a multi-billionaire that financed his own campaigns. See any problems with that? Dayton did not accept a pay check for his work in the Senate, it was donated to charity instead. See any problems with that?

I have not chosen a candidate to support yet. My chosen guys, Steve Kelly and Paul Thissen went to the wayside already. Anderson-Kelliher, Dayton, and Entenza are all qualified to be an excellent Governor. My only wish is RT Rybak is not running in the primary. He brings so much to a campaign for thought and I’ll miss that. I see the current system is broken and things have to change.

This should be an easy win for the DFL this time out. After 12 straight years of poor leadership, misguided budgets, tax cuts that have damn near broken the state, and absenteeism in the office, looks like the Republicans have teed it up for an easy win for the Dems in the fall. The two candidates for the Republicans are essentially empty suits. Neither has a resume even close to any of the DFL candidates. In fact, one could almost believe Seiffert and Emmers were thrown in as “sacrificial lambs” by the party. Even the Republicans know they have a horrendous record to run on. That’s my take on this mess, thanks for today’s read.
Cam Obert

IS MY NAIVETE SHOWING?

April 26, 2010

The national political scene is starting to come to life. With many closely contested primaries coming to a vote within the next several weeks, the intraparty battles have been brutal and bloody in many circumstances. Neither party has been immune to this action. The Florida Republican Senatorial race has been interesting. The tea-baggers and white supremacists from around the country have been pouring in money and influence on behalf of their chosen candidate, Marco Rubio. His opponent is Governor Charlie Crist, a moderate Republican. These days the term “moderate Republican” is rare and almost a death sentence politically for any these candidates. Crist has been doing a good job as Governor, but became a criminal for embracing President Obama physically after an equally damning act of accepting stimulus money from the federal government to help slow down the state’s economic free-fall. Go figure! There is talk of Crist jumping to an independent candidacy in the near future. I hope he holds off long enough to see what comes of the investigation of Rubio’s felonious misuse of public money for personal services.

Arkansas has a good one going for the seat currently held by Democrat Blanche Lincoln. She is being opposed in the primary run by Lt. Governor Bill Halter. Lincoln is no longer wanted or liked by the national party. She’s too wishy-washy on key issues, trying to hold on to a good approval rating at home. Halter is the darling of the DNC because he is lined up with them on all the hot issues. This could be a good election, Halter’s been whuppin’ up on Lincoln in their face to face debates so far.

What concerns me is the potential reality the Republicans may get bigger gains in the fall than I think they will. The so-called political experts of talking head television and the op-ed pages seem to think it’s a lost cause for the Democrats. None, however, expect a turn-over of leadership in either the House or the Senate. I am so disturbed by this because the right-wing media dominance has been wonderful at spreading the lies and mistruths their party continues to spew in the face of a weak Democratic front. I have opined for the past six weeks or so how the Republicans are in the process of “teeing it up” for the Democrats in November. The Senate Republicans have made a political filibuster stand on most every piece of legislation that has come before them and they have held up a record number of judicial and government appointments for the simple reason they will not accept the fact that Obama is the POTUS! Don’t any of these Senators constituents see this? They are blocking the progress of government based on personal political grounds because they won’t even allow the business of the Senate get to the floor for debate. In the private sector, they would be fired for non-production. The House Republicans, with the backing of their chief, Rush Limbaugh and Faux News Network, and the ground support of the tea-baggers, white supremacists, skinheads, nazi sympathizers, birthers and the rest of the very small and insignificant minority these groups make up, continue to lie and fear-monger. John Boner and Eric Can’tor are gutless pussies that cower to the party leadership. Limbaugh and gang are using Boner et al as their own marionette puppets.

Am I mistaking that America is not wise to this? The Democrats have such a strong case, they only need to stop playing defense get on the offensive. It is a proven fact that Republican leadership in Washington leads to federal government growth and rises in taxes, except Bush II. The Republican leadership admits they were out of control until 2008. They spent our money like drunken sailors. Bush II never saw a spending bill he didn’t fall in love with. The “new” Republican claim they learned their lesson after two straight ass-whippings they took in 2006 and 2008. Did they learn a lesson? Why is it they got killed again in 2008 after the massacre of 2006. I guess they didn’t have enough time to learn. They have a history of growing government going back to the 1950’s. They love a big government. Government employees love Republican leadership because they get more pay increases and they get more staff to take they burden off of their backs.

The big outcry this year is the overgrown size of the federal government, of course it’s all Obama’s fault because he has been President for the past 15 months! The Democrats need to start working a campaign about transparency and calling out the Republicans on every lie they grow in the minds of the less enlightened among us. The rage blows out on me every time Boner or Can’tor address an issue. As they talk, I can identify every lie they tell. I’m not that smart, but if I can do it, why can’t others do it?

The Democrats need to start calling out all who spread the bullshit in order to feast on the fears of the less enlightened who fall for this phony nonsense. Obama is right and he should call out the Republican leadership, Rush and Faux News every time they work to perpetuate another Republican lie about the issues. I hope I’m not too naive about this. I believe an aggressive in your face campaign against the lying fear-mongering right-wing is the way to go. It’s time to stop being the punching bag and start doing the punching. I can’t handle the dominance of the media by this fascination with this insignificant, small, and not too bright minority trying to gain control by any means. It’s time for the media to stop giving the attention to the minority of trouble makers and start calling out the politicians that are being supported by these nut-cases. Thanks for today’s read and I look forward to reading your comments.
Cam Obert

MINNESOTA HATS OFF TO THEE….IN JAIL!

April 23, 2010

There was a little blurb in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune about yet another Gopher athlete in legal trouble. This is becoming such a regular bit of news here that it now only receives small back page notices. It’s like when I lived in the Washington DC area when the murder rate was off the charts and the Post would just do small posts in the back of the Metro section. It’s almost as if everybody becomes immune to it. Is that what is happening in Minnesota regarding Gopher sports?

The University of Minnesota has a recent history, since the mid-sixties possibly, of not being very supportive of its athletic programs. It is mind-blowing how the largest single college campus in the country, within a very vibrant and fast-moving urban setting and a charter member of one of the strongest conferences in the country, can not seem to put together strong athletics. By my observations, the “U” athletic department does not get support from the administration, the faculty, the alumni, or the student body. It’s as if the athletic director is constantly begging for help. Athletics, especially football, basketball, and hockey, generate millions of dollars per year in revenue. Athletics bring prestige to a university. The administration here wants the school to be better known for its academics. That is justifiable and admirable. I believe if a school is trying to attract leading teachers, scientists, and researchers, it would be easier with a successful athletic program. These people have after academic lives too! I believe they would also agree that a strong athletic department makes it easier to attract the best and brightest of high school graduates as well, witness Michigan, Stanford, Duke, etc. I graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1977. I just missed the “glory years” of the Frank McGuire coached Gamecock basketball teams and the inclusion in the ACC. But the school retooled while an independent, and later joined the prestigious and powerful SEC conference. Go to http://www.gamecocksports.com to see what kind of expenditures are needed for a first class athletic program. Because of the success of the athletic programs as a support and attraction, the school’s Freshmen Honors program now enrolls the top high school scholastic achievers in the South. They are pulling kids that in the past would have gone to Duke, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, William and Mary, Virginia, or North Carolina. Success begets success!

Let’s get back to the Minnesota programs. University President Bob Bruninks has shown a strong interest in athletics, even spearheaded to drive for the new TCF Bank Stadium on campus. I think he still has a struggle with uninterested administrators and faculty. It’s time for Joel Maturi, the school’s athletic director, to start cracking down on the three largest revenue generating sports, football, basketball, and hockey. Maturi hired Tim Brewster a few years ago on the strength of Brewster’s great reputation as a strong recruiter. Statistically, Brewster’s first couple of recruiting classes did rank high nationally. We are still waiting for any results on the field. The Gopher football team was abysmal last year. They backed into a low-rent bowl game as a result of a cupcake preseason schedule. They were ranked last or near last, last season in every offensive category. When he took over the program, the school’s offensive statistics for several years were amongst the top in the country! On the surface, these results should be cause enough for close inspection by the A.D. and President, but instead they rewarded Brewster with an extension! Go figure.

The basketball program has made remarkable gains under the leadership of coach Tubby Smith. Since being here, Tubby has turned a losing program into a winner. I believe he’s done it by taking less than blue-chip players and forming them into a solid team. Things were going well until he started to move the team to the next level. The “U” basketball program was starting to get the attention from some high school blue-chippers! Unfortunately, not the right ones!

The hockey program has been in a slide for three years now. Unfortunately for Coach Don Lucia, the Gopher hockey program has by far the most rabid fans of any sport on campus. That should spell panic for Lucia. His excuse for failure don’t work with me anymore, and they certainly don’t work for the Gopher faithful. Lucia hasn’t changed his style or methods to stay competitive in a much more competitive sport. His time here should be done.

The coaches of these sports need to start cracking down on discipline. That starts with recruiting. Tubby was doing fine with the players he was molding, but the move to the next level has caused him to recruit some thugs and felons. After watching Xavier, Butler, and Northern Iowa enjoy great success in the post season, Tubby should know he doesn’t need borderline students or worse for the program. Brewster really just needs to go! His recruiting has resulted in many of the players ending up in the slammer for various thug related activities. This is a result of recruiting kids of low character, borderline students, and lack of tough discipline. Something is wrong at this school when we keep reading about student-athletes having run-ins with the law. Lucia needs to go because last year his team showed a strong lack of interest, enthusiasm, and discipline.

These coaches need to understand it’s tough enough at the University of Minnesota to get support from the administration, the faculty, the students, and the alumni without all the legal distractions caused by the thugs they recruit to school here. I believe President Bruninks needs to clean house, starting with Maturi. It’s been evident since he started here, that running athletics at a large Big 10 school is beyond his reach. He’s used poor judgement on many occasions regarding coaches and team discipline. It’s definitely time for Brewster and Lucia to go. Hockey needs an infusion of enthusiasm and intelligent recruiting, Lucia never goes for size, he only gets speedy little guys, and Brewster has been a coaching sham since the beginning. He’s in way over his head, and the frustration filters down resulting in the constant turn over of coordinators.

Anyway, that’s my take on things at the “U” with their sports programs. If other teams in the state don’t straighten out, I’ll go after them as well! Sunnyside Elementary School, you better get that sports program turned around or I’m coming after you next! Haha! Thanks for today’s read, have a great weekend, and I’ll be back next week.

Cam Obert

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA-OJT FOR THE EXECUTIVE

April 22, 2010

I thought I’d take some time today to reflect on the maturation of the President since taking the oath. Generally, the men that have come into the Oval Office in recent history without prior executive experience have had trouble catching on. The most effective Presidents that can hit the ground running have usually come from being a Governor or an executive in the private sector. The rare exception to this might be President Lyndon Johnson, who came to the office by way have the U.S. Senate and the Texas State Legislature. LBJ did serve in the Senate for a long time before being tabbed as JFK’s running mate in 1960, and he became President with the death of President Kennedy. LBJ operated a huge communications company and large cattle operations in Texas as well. President Kennedy, with no prior executive experience, really struggled his first year as President. Of course, he was tested immediately by the USSR, Khrushchev checking him out to what he is made of! Once past these crises, JFK was starting to come into his own and potentially become a great President. He was a great leader already, he just needed to add the accomplishments of operating the country from the White House. He was “getting it” but, unfortunately, he was cut down while coming into his prime. Kennedy did have some major accomplishments as President, probably more than I can remember. To name a few he was closing the civil rights problems, he faced down Khrushchev and the Soviets, he began the concept of nuclear arms control, the first SALT treaty, and he led the U.S. to the lead in manned space exploration. He also made what was, in retrospect, a critical mistake by the insertion and escalation of fighting troops to Vietnam.

President Obama’s adventures as the President have been very similar to those of JFK. Both came out of the Senate and their state legislatures with no prior executive experience. They both had governmental experience as part of deliberative bodies only. President Obama walked into a financial disaster like no other since the Great Depression. President Bush had pretty bankrupted America with two unfunded wars, three unfunded tax cuts, and an unfunded prescription medical bill. He left in his wake a deficit of 1.5 trillion dollars and an economy on the verge of collapse. Bush sponsored TARP to bail out the banks just prior to leaving office. He put money into the financial sector with no controls or regulation. The greedy banking industry simply used it to put to their bottom lines and pay out huge bonuses to their executives.

President Obama pushed the reform focus to health care. A system badly in need of reform. His vision was exactly right, but his management of the process was an absolute failure. Between him running away from it for most of 2009, and the horrible leadership by Harry Reid in the Senate it came close to being Obama’s “Waterloo”, as Jim Demint said. The bill passed, but with a very heavy price. Due the fumble-fucking of the process by Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, the final bill is so watered down that now people only acknowledge it “as a start”! The political fall out will last a while. The delays made for the development of the wacko fringe groups, the “birthers”, the town hall disruptionists, and the tea-baggers. But, out of these ashes a new stronger President Obama has grown.

Obama made a great choice for his first SCOTUS Justice appointment in Sotomayor. He boldly went after the SCOTUS in his State of the Union speech for their “activist” and baseless corporations are individual people ruling, and he has finally figured out the “party of no” wants no part of him so he has stopped wasting so much time trying to be “bi-partisan”. His pushing through the Stimulus I package is hailed by most every credible economist in the world as an “economy savior”. The country is seeing results of the actions. The economy is gaining strength. The stock market has gained much of what it lost in the collapse, inventories are up, the GNP has grown significantly two quarters in a row, and for the first time in many months, job losses have been converted to job gains. The “bailouts” of GM and Chrysler are working well. GM repaid the whole loan five years ahead of schedule with interest and Chrysler expects to repay before the due date as well. President Obama can now take the great gains the economy has made to go after the financial markets and Wall Street, arguably the main causes for the collapse of the world’s economy in 2008. The President will win on this one because his excellent record of handling the economy will support him and deny the opposition, the Republicans and Wall Street itself. Now, the shallow morons that are the leaders of the Republican party, Rush, Fox News, etc. will claim the unemployment rate is still at 9.7%. I love listening to these idiots shooting themselves in the foot. Again, every credible economist says employment is always the last thing to recover from recessions.

It’s really fun and gratifying watching President Obama becoming a strong executive. I look for him to continue his growth curve and keep the pressure on the opposition to keep up or get off. I hope the person he chooses to take Justice Stevens seat on the SCOTUS is an inner-city legal aid for the poor, is wheel chair bound with a permanent disability, an activist for such causes as health care for the poor and disabled and AIDS, and is a lesbian of Somali heritage. BAM! Take that Fox News!

Have a great day and thanks for today’s read.
Cam Obert

THE REPUBLICANS ARE NOW ON THE RUN!

April 21, 2010

Picture of Insanity?

It was with a great feeling of satisfaction for me yesterday watching Senator Mitch McChinless(R-KY), Senate Minority Leader, twisting in the wind while sweating and lying his way out of the latest mess he’s placed his party in the middle of. His problem began when he let right-wing wacko advisor Frank Luntz load his lips for the response to the Wall Street reform bill proposal. McChinless memorized the response word for word then released it after the proposed legislation was announced. The problem, Luntz didn’t know what all was in the bill and the response he gave McChinless didn’t match up with the points of the bill! This coming from the Minority Leader of the Senate! McChinless did such a fine job of memorizing Luntz’ words, he forgot to even read the proposed bill. McChinless has really become a problem for the subservient Republicans in Congress.

Senator Bob Corker(R-TN) worked closely with Senator Mark Warner(D-VA) to put together the bill for consideration. A nice bi-partisan effort that seemed to make sense to many of the leaders from both sides. So after Corker went about extolling the virtues of this bill, McChinless announces the 41-0 vote of solidarity of the Senate Republicans. I could sense while watching Corker back-pedaling on his own proposed bill, the heat was on him. I did, feel, however, if given the right set of circumstances, Corker will part ways with McChinless on this one. Senator Richard Shelby(R-AL), also seems to be open to a bi-partisan effort to rein in the criminals of Wall Street.

As I have opined in the past, if the Republicans continue to oppose any Wall Street regulation it would be like they were committing political suicide. This really is a winner for the Democrats because if and when the Republican senate caucus gives in and supports this legislation, the Democrats will paint them as weak reluctant party hacks whose original intent was to stop or obstruct the passage of a bill. I have to believe this sophomoric nonsense of obstructing the work of the Senate is backfiring on the Republicans. There is a negative voter reaction coming once the Democrats turn up the volume on the subject of obstructionism. This Senate Minority has shattered all records for calling filibusters and they’ve held up hundreds of Presidential nominations, all in the name of partisan politics and their refusal to accept Barack Obama as our President.

I had to chuckle to myself while listening to Congressman Eric Cantor(R-VA) yesterday. He is crowing about how the Republicans are going to take the House in the fall. He says they are going to do it because Americans think our federal government is too big and our taxes are too high. What he is drawing from are the wacko fringe of the Tea-Bagger party. Here’s some interesting stats. Polling shows that 18% of Americans “identify with the tea-baggers”. So 18% percent of our less enlightened voters are opposed to the size of the government and taxes that are too high. These numbers will win you the House Eric! Another documented fact is the federal government always grows during Republican administrations. Go back through Eisenhower and check it out. On the tax question, Americans are paying out far less now than in the 1960’s, when adjusted for inflation.

The Democrats this summer and fall and going to have to start holding the Republican leadership, Rush, Fox News, et al, and the subservient office holders and seekers, accountable for their wild fear-mongering statements. When the Democrats lay out the facts, it will be crystal clear who knows how to efficiently operate the federal government.

As I understand it, the extreme right wants to throw out all the politicians, of which their Queen-in-waiting Michele Bachmann is one of them, they want to reduce the size of the government, and they don’t want to pay taxes anymore. So far, the only solution the Republican leadership has offered was from Sean, the fraudulent,soon to be imprisoned, Hannity when he says the answer is simple. Cut the size of government and do an across the board tax cut. This coming from one of the leaders, a high educated genius. I am willing to go their way for a while. Turn governmental operations to private sector leaders and run it like a business. Charge no taxes pay for no services. What ever citizens want or need, they must provide for themselves regardless of their socio-economic situation. I’m looking forward to keeping 100% of what I earn!

This United Corporations of America will be a great lesson in civics, history, global economy, and international relations, for the less-enlightened leaders of the newly formed UCA. I think it would be an experiment well-worth trying. How about you? Let me know. Thanks for your read today.

Cam Obert

MINNESOTA POLITICS-ARE ALL STATES THE SAME?

April 20, 2010

Fritz and Hubert

We are now roughly seven months from the mid-term elections. I have been very closely tuned in with the federal, Congressional and Senatorial races, around the country. I’m not really in involved in the Minnesota state races, much less local and municipal races. I used to be more involved, I actually ran for city council two times seriously and once as a joke. I realized I don’t like door-knocking and I have a real personal problem engaging in discussion with people who don’t have a clue what they are talking about.

I would think I would be much more energized to get involved in the Minnesota race for Governor. Recent history in our once great state has shown a lack of judgement by the voters by electing a self-serving ego-maniac and an off the charts right-wing idiot that have used the past twelve years to drive the state right into the ditch. I am so pissed off about these past twelve years, that I should be fired up enough to jump in. But, I haven’t. I guess my problem is not a single remaining candidate in the field of way too many candidates has “wowed” me. What inspires me are leaders with great intellect, leaders with fire, leaders with imagination, and leaders who are completely transparent and won’t play the “political” games. I guess, for this year anyway, I won’t find the next Paul Wellstone, Al Franken, Fritz Mondale, or Hubert Humphrey. Have we been spoiled in Minnesota for spawning these four great leaders from the progressive side? Maybe. Maybe my expectations are too high. Maybe I need to accept the fact that those four are/were exceptional and very rare. I have no choice now, I must settle for something maybe less. This is not a broad-side slam of the current group of Democratic candidates by any means, these are some very good people, and quite capable too. I also don’t expect any of these guys to bow down to me and sell me personally. I’m just a regular voting citizen of Minnesota that wants to return our state to the heights we enjoyed under the leadership of Arnie Carlson, Rudy Perpich, and Wendy Anderson.

There was a poll taken some time ago about which state was represented by the most braggers in the country. I believe I was in college at the time. The poll revealed that not only was Texas not the home of the biggest braggerts in the country but, Minnesota actually won that top spot. Coincidentally, Wendy Anderson was Governor at the time. I was at the University of South Carolina and bragging about Minnesota was easy for me in that state. In my coherent adult life I have resided in 4 states and one commonwealth. I lived in Maryland and Arizona, both states have rich histories of political corruption. I lived in South Carolina, which has a rich history of political corruption and cronyism. I lived in the Commonwealth of Virginia with its rich history of cronyism and then Minnesota, whose claim to fame is the clean and corruption free history of politics. Quite a contrast from my other residences!

Between the four years under Governor Jesse Ventura and the eight years under Governor Tim Pawlenty, the state of Minnesota has sunk to being like any other state. Minnesota is no longer the strong beacon of solid progressive government that really takes cares of its citizens and businesses. What Pawlenty has done is damn near bankrupt the state by one bone-headed deal after another. His wish to get national attention from the Republican party has blinded him from what’s important in the state. He has cut all agencies and programs to the financial bone, some with huge negative results, GAMC, for example, which the weak-kneed democrats gave in to, and at the same time he has either cut or not increased personal income tax and corporate taxes. Because he made such deep cuts in these areas, the burden of taxation has been piled on to governmental entities lower than state. He has cut LGA funding twice, thus forcing cities to raise property tax to try to cover local responsibilities and services. The cities are also partly responsible for funding public education. The local government can’t raise their taxes any more because of state regulated tax levies. He has created one hell of a mess on the local scenes. But, on the plus side for him, the latest poll of Republican voters nationwide shows him polling a strong 6% for President. That’s pretty good, he’s only trailing Palin by 1%! Palin’s biggest supporters are the tea-baggers and they poll to 52% that reject they don’t want Palin as President. Tim, work over the tea-baggers, maybe they’ll swing their support to you, assuming they can’t talk Bachmann into running! What a comedy of tragedy! What do the progressive Minnesotan’s have left to choose from out of candidates that have a realistic shot in November?

RT Rybak is arguably the leading candidate at this point. He is a great guy and a great mayor. He has been at the helm in Minneapolis while it has become one of America’s great cities, again. He has a history of being a “grassroots” kind of politician with some wonderful connections. Howard Dean has endorsed RT, and I love Howard Dean. He is the most politically savvy progressive in the country. That says a lot for RT. Minnesota Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher has been a great tactician as Speaker. I love her rural-agricultural and urban background. After discussing some issues with her, I came away being very impressed. Her thoughts on agriculture in Minnesota and her vision of where it needs to go are spot on. She also addressed my concerns regarding the disparity in quality of public education in Minnesota. As it turns out, she more or less agrees with me, just a matter of working out the details. State Representative Paul Thissen is a guy I fell in love with. He has a great sense of urgency and a lot of fire in his gut. This is a guy I want to go have a beer or five with and discuss the issues. He has an amazing level of enthusiasm and brains to tackle the issues. I think his years in the House with Helmut Head as Governor, have him fired up and ready for the gubernatorial tasks at hand. Finally, there is Mark Dayton. I am in line with Dayton on every issue I can remember. He is a progressive closer to the Humphrey mold than any of them. He is incredibly smart, he has a great family pedigree, he has a great resume of service to back him up, and he has state-wide executive experience as the one time state auditor. Here’s what Dayton doesn’t have; the ability to be a “politician”. He seems to be very nervous in groups and has difficulty articulating his points, even though I personally don’t have a problem with any of his points. Politically, opponents will go after him for the Senate office closure, bizarre behavior, and his history of depression. Opponents can rightly get after him about the office closure, but the mental health issue should be off the table. I attended a DFL function in Eagan on Sunday and was interested listening to all three of the candidates’ veiled remarks about Dayton’s ability to fund his own campaign. SO WHAT! That means Mark Dayton will not be beholden to any person, corporation, and special interest group. He’s his own man. So Democrats, and if it comes to it, Republicans, get over it. It’s a non-issue!

I was also offended by the set up questions for the candidates on Sunday. Three virtual softballs that addressed nothing! I did sense a little nipping at each other between RT and MAK, about, of all things, who runs a better “grassroots” campaign. How about issue questions and answers. I was also uncomfortable with the seemingly shallow or empty cheering. Believe me, there was no evidence of a Wellstone or Franken in the room!

The republican are offering up a pair of non-competitive suits. Seiffert and Emmons. To Emmons’ credit, at least he didn’t sign the signature republican promise to not raise taxes!

The last twelve years of incompetency really has made it so easy for any of the Democratic candidates to win in November. T-Paw has run the state out of money. The current deficits are now more of a result of tax cut than budget cuts. The revenue streams that fund state governmental operations have been cut to a trickle or a drip. The next Governor will have to raise taxes. There really isn’t much else to cut from the budget. To Pawlenty’s credit, that’s been done. I not only want it to be done, but i want the candidate who faces the Republican in the general to embrace and explain to the voters why. the Republicans are going to come after you for raising taxes, but the Democrat has to hold their position and enlighten the voters why it’s necessary. The Democrats need to be a strong united force. The dismal recent history of failure from the Governor’s office has made winning for the Democrats virtually automatic. Be strong, and sell the case. Thanks for today’s read, and I’m still uncommitted to any candidate. I need help with this, so please sell me.
Cam Obert

WHAT EXACTLY DOES THE RIGHT-WING WANT AND WHAT DO THEY STAND FOR?

April 19, 2010

The screeching coming from the right is becoming more antagonistic, more bombastic, more acrid, more threatening, and more immoral, to name a few. Their basic gripe began with what they call the growing of the Government and the rising taxes. But after some of the leadership finally acknowledged the fact that the federal government grew more under Bush II than at any other time in the history of the country, they turned to the tax issue. President Obama promised a tax cut for all Americans making under $250k per year and for all small businesses. He has come through on that promise. Mara Liasson had to instruct dunces Bill Kristol and Brit Hume to simply look at their last paycheck stub to see the government is withholding less! A very good friend of mine and business associate is looking forward to the $1,000 tax credit for each person he hires that is presently unemployed.

The “Grand Pubah” of the Republican party, the conservative movement, the “birthers”, the tea-baggers, and the rest of the “fringe wackos” on the right is Rush Limbaugh, the Oxycontin abused brain-addled moron of the radio waves. This movement “leader”, says things like, the Icelandic volcano is God’s way of getting back at Europe and their socialistic welfare states, he openly mocks people with Parkinson’s Disease, ala Michael J. Fox, he mocked black school children in Mississippi for the chant they did for President Obama, using an exaggerated black dialect, and the documented list of his anti-American pro-racist view goes on and on. You simply cannot make this stuff up. His penchant for lying and telling half-truths is well documented. When caught on these lies, he doesn’t even bother to recant or apologize for them, he knows he accomplished what he set out to do, scare the less enlightened to come to his side.

Probably number two on the right fringe “leadership” roster would be Sarah, I quit as Governor to out and make $12 million so far this year by lying and fear-mongering, Palin. She’s a peach. More than anyone else on the right, she’s uses inflammatory language and threats to whip the gun-toting morons that are her fans. She has not given a constructive position speech yet, probably because she would be in way over her head. Steve Schmidt, McCain lead advisor in ’08 could not believe how dumb and uninformed she is. So she’s hit the campaign trail spreading lies and exaggerations at every stop. The “lame stream” media is not allowed to interview her because she really is that dumb. It’s fun to watch her being “interviewed” on the Faux News Network by Sean, the fraudulent criminal, Hannity and Bill-O the Clown. I’m sure after these two intellectual giants put together their softball questions for her, she then needs to study at length to get the easy answers correct. I wonder how many takes they do at Faux to get an interview on the air with her?

Sean Hannity is one of the righty’s deputies. You know, he’s the one that continues to question President Obama’s religion and he’s the one with the intense hatred of Ivy League educated progressives. Sean never did go to college, you see. It shows loud and clear when every point he tries to make is the one, a thirty-second sound bite from someone else, or a bumper sticker he read on the car in front of him. I read his first book, and it was tough to get through. The sheer magnitude of his pretentiousness is over-whelming. He has wrapped himself up so tight in the American flag and the Christian Bible, that he probably believes his felonious defrauding and larceny from a charitable cause is justified because of his personal faith in God and America. It makes most anyone want to puke! I can’t wait for the court case, it will be fun watching him being sent off to Sing-Sing.

Bill Kristol is another water carrier for the right. He is so threatened by the progressive movement that he has to respond with a non-stop stream of lies and exaggerations to feel better about himself. So far, every prediction Kristol has made regarding the failures and fall of the Obama administration have been wrong. His newest issue for fear-mongering is that Iran will be sending nuclear bombs our way in the near future. He can’t qualify it with facts, but he knows. He says Obama is weak on national defense and the fight on terrorism. Well, the U.S. forces have captured or killed more than twice as many al Qaeda leaders in Obama’s year-plus in office than the big bad neocon war hawks of the Bush-Cheeney did in eight years. Under Obama, our airports, borders, and ports have been beefed up with more security than ever. Obama is a signer of the START II treaties to reduce the nuclear weaponry on the planet, therefore reducing the possibility of nuclear war or nuclear arms ending up in the wrong hands. You’re absolutely right Kristol, Obama is weak on national defense.

The rest of the Republican leadership, tea-bag leadership, conservative leadership, birther leadership, etc, is comprised almost exclusively of nonpolitical office holders. That list includes Brit, “Christianity is better than Buddhism” Hume, Roger Ales, Bill-O the Clown, O’Reilly, the always racist and entertaining Ann Coulter, Charles Krauthammer, Michele Malkin, Lars Larson, Laura, I’m a Catholic that despises Muslims, Ingraham, Jonah Goldberg and in Minnesota, Joe Soucheray and Kathrine Kerstin. None of the aforementioned has ever held political office to my knowledge, and yet they are the ones that control the direction of the Republican party. They do, however, have Michele Bachmann(R-MN) on their dysfunctional team. She is the only real leader of the wackos that is a Washington insider, though she always uses the terms Washington and Congress in the third person. She has not figured out that she is part, if not all, of the problems in Congress. She is an elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives and refers to our government as the “gangster government”! Has nobody informed her that she is a part of the operational federal government? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think next to Senator Jim DeMint(R-SC), Bachmann may be the dumbest human ever elected to office! She is the most out of touch with reality elected official we have. I noted last week that she has become a circus-like parody of herself and I feel bad for her because I believe she has issues that require medical and psychological attention.

It’s pretty bad for the Republicans when that’s the roster of their leadership. Now let’s take a quick peak at the subservient political wing of the Republican party. Senator Mitch McChinless(R-KY), is the Senate Minority leader. As the Minority leader he has a definite style, laziness. He concluded it’s best for him and his caucus allies to do nothing. So that’s what they do is nothing. In the private sector they wouldn’t last very long on the job, that’s for sure. It is so bad that I believe residents of the states that elected these obstructionists that hold recall elections to replace them. They’re doing NOTHING and getting paid for it by their bosses, the voters at home. When McChinless is called on to speak, he has become nothing more a voice piece for inside the party brain, Frank Luntz. Luntz has a history of advising conservative politicians to their demise, but McChinless does seem to enjoy being Luntz’ personal bitch. Congressman Eric Cantor, Boner’s personal bitch, is nothing but a liar. No other words can say it better. Fact-check every public statement he has made and verify what a liar he is. That leaves us with Congressman John, the perpetually tanned from Ohio, Boner as the House Minority Leader. This is a man who dreams of becoming the Speaker of the House some day. I think irrational yelling from the well of the House to whip up the loonies pretty much dooms his future as a leader. Compare him to Bob Michael(R-IL) when Michael was the Speaker! What has happened.

So far pretty much what we have gotten from the right is an array of things from throw the bums out to vote with bullets. They have sat on the side and bitched, threatened, assaulted politicians, interfered with governmental business, disrupted town hall meetings, shouted racial and homophobic epithets as well as carrying signs with the same, and disrupted military funerals as a way to protest homosexuality. Their connection being that the U.S. allows homosexuality to exist therefore God sends us to war?! This is the level sanity and lucidity these groups are bringing to the table. The subservient Republicans in office are either powerless to do anything about it or they welcome it. It’s egg all over their faces either way.

In summation, I think I’ve got this right, what the angry right-wing really wants is to disband the government, throw out all elected politicians, even their own because they know to this point they’ve used them like bars of soap anyway, and create the sovereign state of; THE UNITED CORPORATION OF AMERICA! This corporation will be run by the same Wall Street and Corporate heads help sink the world economy two years ago. The right-wings wishes for not paying taxes will be granted, we citizens will get to keep every penny we earn. If your poor, aged, or disabled, figure out how to make it on your own, since we will no longer be required to pay taxes, there will be no services rendered. Oh, there are churches and other places of worship that will help you, at least that’s what John Boner said.

This narrative is both factual and tongue in cheek. The bitching and complaining from the right that has grown into threat and action is really fracturing America. Political discourse as the Constitution set up to work, no longer is functional. I believe we are at a point where the right-wing is yelling “FIRE” in a crowded movie theatre. I believe if things continue as they are, the Republicans are in for a let down in November. As the Democrats start taking the reins of public opinion back and reveal to the country just how devious the right has become, they will prosper.

There is so much to cover, and I only have scratched the surface, but you must know that I’m opposed to fanaticism from either side. By mantra for as long as i have been a political junkie is;”read, research, study, and understand” the issues prior to following or opining on the issue. Thanks for you read today, and I look forward to reading your comments.
Cam Obert


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