Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wobegon wrongs

"Only in the state of Lake Wobegon could people like Franken and Keillor be spawned." 

Oh my! It seems the "me too" movement has now spread into the sleepy little town of Lake Wobegon. And the long time founder and mayor of that little burg, seems to have been caught with his hand in the cookie jar (or some place like that). The Anoka Minnesota liberal who has made a living out of bashing conservatives with unfunny "humor", now has found himself in a place which is anything but funny. And his career, just like Matt Lauer's,  is toast.

Garrison is a friend of fellow groper Al Franken. In fact (and this is rich irony), yesterday Garrison had just penned an op/ed defending his buddy Al. Here is the view of many on the Right - whether it was when Al Franken was running the mess called Air America, or Garrison Keillor doing some of his folksy stand up (comedy?), many times they would take snarky shots at those on the Right. How did anyone expect the Right to react when these two bozos got caught doing naughty stuff?

A social media friend called me on the carpet yesterday. She asked me if I forgot "my President" also has a checkered past with women. Nope - not a bit. I have not forgotten. During the campaign when I was on Team Cruz, I would shudder at some of the things I heard. Then when Donald Trump became the endorsed candidate and I joined Team Trump, I had to make a decision. I have accepted Donald Trump as a "mixed bag". I support him for trying to fix the broken things which need fixing in our economy. And to drain that bloody swamp. Still however, I cringe at some of the things he says or tweets.

In any event, the beat goes on. I told my wife the person I am the most interested in right now is John Conyers. He has said more than once that if he gets the "heave ho" out of Congress (and it is looking like he might), he is taking a bunch of other Democrats with him. 

But what about Al? Any news? Well, of course. A fifth woman has come out and joined the "me too" brigade. It bugs the crap out of me this phony blowhard is still in the Senate, on the committee questioning a good man like Judge Stras. According to the unfunny comedian Franken, Judge Stras is not qualified. If his confirmation was not so critical, this would almost be funny. The unqualified, fraudulently elected liberal in the Senate, telling a most qualified Constitutional jurist, that he is unqualified. Only in the state of Lake Wobegon could people like Franken and Keillor be spawned. 

Stay tuned folks. This is getting interesting. This morning in the paper, some Anoka resident was quoted as saying, "Boy, it is hard to even flirt with women anymore." No sir - it is not. If a woman does not want to be flirted with, there are many ways, spoken or otherwise, she will tell you. If it stops there, no harm, no foul. However, if you persist after a woman says (in some form) back off, then you are harassing her. Logic 101 - been like that forever.

One final word before I sign off. This is directed to the mother of all sexual predators in government. Yes "Slick Willie", I am talking about you. Right now, you should be scared, very, very scared. The curtain has come down, and there is no more wizard in there protecting your past. Good luck going forward Bill - you will need it.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Matt Lauer and our 22% solution

"So that is our choice in Minnesota. Since Al does not have the stones nor the honor to resign, is it better for us to keep him or have him recalled? Interesting question with all things considered. Meanwhile, we will sit back and wait to see who the next Matt Lauer type person is to be canned." 

Big, big news overnight. Totally unexpected by most. The beloved Matt Lauer (that is, beloved by those who watch the mostly unwatchable NBC), was fired on the spot. What? Why? Seems that Matt had some "inappropriate" contact with someone (him or her). Wait a minute! Hold on! What about due diligence? What about due process? What about forgiveness? A second chance? ANYTHING????

Here are the facts. Most people who work in the private industry, who are without a contract, are "at will" employees. An "at will" employee can be let go at any time for any reason. If that reason is an "inappropriate" contact, at most places I worked, that would be taps. Even if someone has a contract, most employment contracts have a clause regarding personal conduct. Violate that clause, and the next sound you hear is the door hitting you on the rear as you exit the building. 

So what, some might ask. Well, here is the "so what". Let's for a minute compare the exit strategy of Matt Lauer with our junior senator. On he news yesterday, was a new poll out regarding Al Franken. Al, the man who cannot control his hands. In that poll, only 22% of Minnesotans believe Al is fit to stay in office. Let me put this a different way. Just like executive management at NBC let Lauer go in a New York minute, we are the executive managers for Al Franken. Eight out of ten of us in this poll have told Al it is time to go. Al's response? Giving us the finger (so to speak).

By the way, the other Democrat who seems to be on the hot seat right now is the ancient John Conyers (D-MI). Yesterday it was reported that Conyers said if he was thrown out of office (at the young age of 88), he was going to "expose the dirt on other Democrats - and there is a thousand of them". Whoa! Johnny boy - you will flip to make things right for a change? Now that - is newsworthy!

Back to our own cuddly Al. Rush said yesterday it might almost be better to have Al remain. Politically, he will have the testosterone of a eunuch. With no moral authority what so ever, he will be the laughing stock of the Senate chamber. For once in his life, Franken could actually be funny.

So that is our choice in Minnesota. Since Al does not have the stones nor the honor to resign, is it better for us to keep him or have him recalled? Interesting question with all things considered. Meanwhile, we will sit back and wait to see who the next Matt Lauer type person is to be canned. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

War, just for the hell of it...

"Now that our law makers are finally back in town, I want our President to ask them for a declaration of war against North Korea. Even if we do nothing at first, that will fill many diapers north of the DMZ. Once Trump has that Ace in his hand, the Norks will think very carefully on their next move. Why? Their next move could be their last." 

Fact # 1 - When the Korean conflict ended in 1953, it ended with an armistice. Technically the two Korea's are still in a state of war.
Fact # 2 - The North Koreans have violated numerous agreements with the United States concerning not starting a nuclear program. Other than some meaningless sanctions, North Korea developed its nuclear program in a unimpeded fashion.
Fact # 3 - Today for the second or third time, North Korea launched a ballistic rocket with landed off the coast of Japan. Any one of these could have been considered to be an act of war by the North Koreans. If war comes, the United States is treaty bound to side with Japan.
Fact # 4 - Because the North Koreans have threatened to nuke Hawaii, Hawaii has started nuclear drills - for the first time since the Cold War. This is unfathomable.
Fact # 5 - South Korean intelligence officials now believe the North Koreans are a year or less away from completing their nuclear program. They have threatened (many times) to use these nuke against the mainland of the United States.

Looking at the stated facts above, we have every right to go into North Korea and kick some butt. We have the weaponry to do it, nuclear or otherwise. I know, I know. Seoul will take a beating. I wish it was not that way. But ever since the end of World War II, this is the best case we have had to go to war. And why not? We have gone to war just for the hell of it just recently.

What are you talking about Bird? Afghanistan or Iraq? There were reasons, some very good, for being at war in both countries. No, I am not talking about Afghanistan nor Iraq. I am talking about Libya. Why we went to war with this forlorn country remains a mystery to many - including me.

Why do I say that? Unlike Saddam or Assad, Qaddafi could see the writing on the wall. He decided to play nice with us. He got rid of his WMD, with proof of doing so. He was still a dictator, but that entire area is replete with dictators. Then we decided, to for some reason, to invade Libya. Was it their gold, their oil? Ask Obama or Hillary.

We ruined that country and killed the only man who could hold it together. Then came the mess. Next came Benghazi and more of the wild, wild west. Today, Libya is a quagmire of biblical proportions. Why? Because Obama and Clinton (her) decided to go to war "just for the hell of it".

Now, I am not a war hawk. In fact, I hate war. It is the scourge of mankind. That being said, war in the Koreans might be necessary, and very soon. This, unlike Libya, would not be "war just for the hell of it." This would be war to save millions of Americans from the chance of being vaporized by a Korean nuke. Why? The chance of the Norks doing something bad to our country is as plain as that goofy look on the fat kid's face. We need to take out his war machine, and NOW!

Think I am grandstanding? I don't know - lets ask Abe from Japan. Or ask the good folks in Guam. In Hawaii. In Alaska. Thanks to the Clinton Administration, we have allowed this puppet regime to become anything but. We need to take them as serious as a heart attack. We need to take them out. 

Now that our law makers are finally back in town, I want our President to ask them for a declaration of war against North Korea. Even if we do nothing at first, that will fill many diapers north of the DMZ. Once Trump has that Ace in his hand, the Norks will think very carefully before their next move. Why? Their next move could be their last. 

Showdown at the CFPB

"Lizzy Warren will no doubt pitch a fit about this entire matter. That agency is her pet rock after all. Wah, wah, wah. More grist for the mill as they say. Stay tuned - this could get interesting." 

Al Franken - get out of the way! We now have new fish to fry. And believe it or not, this issue goes back to Barney Frank and Chris Todd. The two architects of the most intrusive, business killing bill in the history of mankind. That would be the Dodd-Frank Bill. Then under the auspices of that bill, President Obama, with the help of Dizzy Lizzy Warren, set up with a faux agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Don't let the name fool you - this has nothing to do with consumers - or protection. It does however, have everything to do with Democratic power.

Mick Mulvaney, the Director of OMB, has had this faux agency in his sights since he was in Congress. He knows the real truth behind this agency. So does President Trump. So the President did something long overdue - he put his own man in charge of this mess. One minor problem. This post is currently occupied by one of the statists who keep the swamp slimy. So yesterday, both Mulvaney and Leandra English (the acting director appointed by the former acting director) showed up for work. So far Mulvaney is winning the battle - but he cheated to do so. He brought in Dunkin' Donuts for the crew. 

Well, the long time Democrat statist who thinks the position is hers was furious! How dare they! "I will sue!" she said. Go ahead said the Administration. When legal experts were asked who was in the right on this one, the answer mostly always came back the President. And now that the President has his numbers guy in this position, the wheels are going to start coming off this terrible trolley.

Someone was on the news last night explaining how useless this organization is. He cited one bank who had to quite making consumer loans due to the excessive regulations this agency has promulgated. This financial expert said consumer loans are what make this country run. Without consumer loans, consumers are hurt, NOT PROTECTED.

Lizzy Warren will no doubt pitch a fit about this entire matter. That agency is her pet rock after all. Wah, wah, wah. More grist for the mill as they say. Stay tuned - this could get interesting. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

The completed journey of Joe Adams

"For Joe, at this stage of his life, the future has never looked brighter. No more mysteries to unravel – just discoveries of what has been found." 

When Joe was a young boy growing up, he sensed that something was missing in his life. He was born to a single mother who lived in Texas. Not long after Joe was born, his mother had met a man who was to become her husband. They married, had some kids, and life went on. That is, until Joe's step father was no longer in the picture. After that short marriage, Joe's mother never married again. Joe, the eldest of two sons in the family, became somewhat of the patriarch at a very early age.

As Joe grew up, his awareness of his upbringing became clearer. He knew that he came from a different father than his siblings did. He had asked his mother about who his father was, and she had only some clues to the puzzle. She remembered he was in the Air Force and a fireman. That is where she met him - near an Air Force Base in Houston. When she found out she was pregnant with Joe, it was time for Joe's father to rotate to another duty station. Joe's mother was left to give birth and raise Joe as a single mother. That is, until she met Joe's step-father.

After Joe grew older, he went away to college. His thirst to find out who his real father is (or was) grew stronger every year. He had a copy of this birth certificate, and was hopeful he could find clues somewhere in that single piece of paper. All he could find was a couple of oddities, besides the fact there was nothing filled in on the birth certificate under “Father”.

First, his name. It was odd to have a first name of simply "Joe". "Joe" is most always a nickname for Joseph. Then then his middle name - Adams. "Adam" is not an unusual middle name, but "Adams"? That was very unusual.

Joe had figured out the mystery to his middle name "Adams" with the help of his mother. She told Joe it was on his birth certificate that way as "Adams" was the name of his biological father. That helped a bit, but the clues he had so far, were scarce. Then what really got him thrown off the trail was when his mother’s sister told him his father’s name was Covington. That made a confusing situation ever more confusing for Joe. He was searching for an Air Force vet with a somewhat common last name like Adams, or Covington. This made searching for his father something like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Joe finished college and went on to law school. He got married, and started a family of his own. However, that one question kept gnawing at him. Who am I? Who is my real father? Is he still alive? What is my family history? Good? Bad? Health Issues? Or what?

Many years later as Joe's family continued to grow up, something happened which proved to be a key to this mystery. It was going to unlock at least one of the doors. Technology had advanced to the point where a simple saliva test could show one's DNA. It could show a person's heritage and maybe even some relatives with similar DNA.

Joe decided he had nothing to lose by trying the test, so he sent away for it. He followed the directions, boxed it up, and mailed it back. No response. All the excitement Joe had about this test, withered away when five weeks later, he finally received back a note from the DNA company. Joe's test had failed. The company would however, send him another kit, and he could do it again for no additional charge. 

This time Joe was nowhere near as excited as the first time. He had put the kit on a shelf, and that is where it stayed. Finally, after about five months, he took the test again. Joe sent the kit in, and within the next four weeks, he received an email response. A hit! The test identified someone else with Joe's same DNA patterns! It was someone Joe was related to! This just might be a key, or hopefully the key, to finding out who Joe's real father is.

A bit of irony here first. The other person who took the test was a grandson of Joe's real father. He just recently completed the kit (less than two months before Joe sent in his first test kit) so this was truly a blessing from God. If for some reason he had not done this, Joe's DNA sample would have come back with his heritage, but no relatives on his father’s side – only his mother’s. Because his father's grandson had taken the test, a very important part to this puzzle was now in place.

Joe got the contact information for this person whose DNA matched his. Is this one of the relatives he has been searching for? Someone who could help Joe located his real father? Joe sent this person of this new opportunity an email via, but there was no response. And then came the real twist.

Joe learned by looking at this new contact’s family tree on, he did find out the new contact’s great-grandfather’s name was “Adams”. Not only Adams, but Joe Adams!  Then the pieces started to fit together. Hope now surged in Joe like never before.

Within four hours, with the help of Google and Facebook, Joe was able to confirm that Joe Adams might not only be his grandfather’s name, but also his father’s name. If this was true, Joe would be the third of three generations of Joe Adams.

This new contact Joe found had a grandfather who now appeared to be Joe’s father. Yes, the new contact’s grandfather is a retired Air Force vet and fire chief. And yes, he is still alive at 87. The gnawing feeling, which Joe had for most of his life, now started to go away. He was now sure he found his other family! This “new contact” was really Joe’s nephew! And his nephew’s grandfather, was also Joe’s father!

Joe then found out he had other siblings from his biological father (seven to be exact). And nieces and nephews galore. But now came the phone call which he had been waiting for most of his life. After decades of searching and wondering, he was finally going to be able to contact his father. 

The contact was as good as Joe could have ever imagined! Joe's father had found a son, and Joe had at long last found his father. This "Hail Mary" pass of taking the DNA test coupled with some deep and serious prayer on the previous Father’s Day, led to the last turn in the road.

Up to now, this last turn was the final part on an incomplete journey. As it turns out, the last turn was going to be the best one. Joe was going down to Texas to meet not only his father, but many other members of this new family he had never seen nor known.

As the time for the trip approached, Joe decided to contact an old friend who now worked at Fox News. That friend is Pete Hegseth. To Joe this made sense. Pete's family is local to Minnesota, he is a vet, and he was connected with Fox News. Joe asked Pete if Fox News would be interested in this story. A story about an Air Force veteran, a son he had never met, meeting for the first time in Texas. 

Fox News agreed this story was too good to pass up. They agreed to cover it. The Fox crew went to Houston early that weekend, and had it set up for a network feed. Meanwhile, Joe was on a plane headed to Texas with butterflies the size of eagles in his stomach. The excitement, the nervousness, the apprehension, all were rolled into one emotion.

When Joe arrived, and walked up to meet his father, they hugged like a father and son would do. Was there a dry eye? Not at my house when I watched the reunion on TV. It was without a doubt, one of the greatest quests, the longest journeys that I had ever heard of. And now the journey was complete for Joe Adams. Or should I say, Joe Adams Field.

On a side note, due to other scheduling, Pete Hegseth was not able to be there that weekend. However, he did interview Joe and his father the following Monday. Besides being broadcast, it also went on YouTube. As of last August, the video had 1.2 million views. For a great many people, this was a story worth watching.

This was an amazing journey for my friend Joe. When he and I discussed it over lunch, the emotions of the journey could still be seen in Joe eyes, heard in his voice.

But now Joe has another journey, which is going to be just as wonderful. This is the journey of Joe and his father getting to know each other, enjoying each other’s company. They will be spending time with each other, doing all sorts of things that fathers, and sons do together. 

There is an additional bonus to Joe finding his father. That is Joe finding his other family - the family he had never met. It has rekindled a desire for Joe to reunite with his own broken family on this mother’s side.

Finally, how did Joe’s newly found family treat him when he arrived for that first meeting in Texas? Like Joe had always been part of them. He was family. Once unknown, and now known.

What does the future for Joe hold? No more mysteries - just prayers answered. This insatiable desire to find his real father has allowed Joe not only to find his father, but also a family he never knew existed. A new family offering friendship, relationships and love. Joe’s tomorrows will be bright with promise. For Joe, at this stage of his life, the future has never looked brighter. No more mysteries to unravel – just discoveries of what has been found.  

Moral Authority

"Most of us have heard this at some time in our growing up. Being honorable is doing the right thing even when nobody is watching. Maybe our problem as a country is we have forgotten the true meaning of being honorable. Or moral authority." 

Moral authority. Now that is a phrase we do not hear much of anymore. And why is that? Maybe because it just does not mean anything anymore. After all, it has become obvious that we do not live in Camelot. We live in the United States of America. A land made up of flawed people. Or are we?

I tell this story from time to time. Many years ago I served on a church council. One dark day, it was disclosed one of our married staff members really stepped off the curb. Her husband was also on staff (a pastor). She came out of the closet and told him she was a lesbian. We found out she had lesbian porn on her church computer. And she stole money from the church, as well as some of the confirmation kids who were entrusted to her.

I along with most of the council, voted to have her immediately terminated and maybe prosecuted for the theft. Some in the church went along with that decision, others did not. One lady who did not go along with that decision cornered me one day. "Don't you have any grace in your heart? Can't you forgive?" I looked at her and responded, "Yes, I forgive her. Totally. However, if a bank president embezzles money from his bank, he can be forgiven. But because he violated the trust of the people he served, he can never be a bank president again."

One of my pastor friends has been a bit taken aback that I have been so hard on Senator Franken. Why can't I show him grace? Am I without sin? No, when it comes to my sin clock, I am afraid it spins like a fan. Can I show Senator Franken grace? Sure. But just like the bank president who violated the public trust, who lost his moral authority, Al Franken should not be a Senator anymore.

One of my former bosses once told me, there is always a line. Know where the line is, and stay away from it. What he meant was this - not only don't cross that line, but don't go anywhere near it. People who serve in government (up to and including the POTUS), the entertainment industry, education, business, or whatever - should know where their line is. When the line is crossed, moral authority is sacrificed. When moral authority is gone, so is effectiveness and stature. In other words, it is time to go.

Most of us have heard this at some time in our growing up. Being honorable is doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching. Maybe our problem as a country is we have forgotten what the true meaning is of being honorable. Or moral authority. 

This entire "me too" movement should be a wake up call for all of us. Not just with how we treat women, how we treat each other. How we handle the trust which has been given to us by others. This is a good time for some additional introspection. I know it is for me.    

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Merry Christmas from Congress!

"We are all in store for a lump of coal next month. Once you cash it in, don't spend it all in one place."    

Ho, ho, ho! Are you ready folks? The jolly old fat man in the red suit will be here within a month, and does he ever have some surprises for you! Wait a minute Bird! You got that all wrong! Santa is suppose to bring presents, and not surprises! Yup - I know. This year it is going to be surprises.

Tomorrow is the 27th of November. Congress is back to (dare I use this word?) - work. And because they have been fiddle farting around all year, they will be "cramming for their finals". Their chances of getting everything done? About the same as the Gophers shutting out the Badgers yesterday in football. In other words, slim and none, and slim died.

This morning in the paper the now infamous tax plan was discussed. On how excited many of the people polled were about it. Using "Washington Speak", the tax plan it seems, has gone from historic to a "nothing burger". In fact, yesterday on one of the business shows, it was referred to as "a shell of what a good tax plan should have been." 

Why so many glum faces? President Trump said the tax plan was going to be a "Christmas present" for the American people. Here is why - when it first started to leak out that some middle class folks were going to get a tax increase (mostly in the high SALT states) instead of a cut, they were told (in so many words), to "take one for the Gipper". In other words, suffer in silence. The plan is for the greater good. That went over like stomach gas in church. I know that is how it was in this household.

Healthcare? Bye-bye healthcare fix. We are all stuck with ObamaCare for this year and if the truth be told, probably for years to come. It has drifted down in the Presidential/Congressional in-baskets from the top to somewhere on the floor. Why? I came under the "way too hard" category.

The budget? You mean the GFY 18 budget which right now is no more than the GFY 17 budget dressed up as a CR? That has less than a month of life left before we all turn into pumpkins. Since the debt ceiling is tied into the new budget, failure to pass a new budget will result in the government shutting down by New Year's Day. That is - unless we do what our law makers vowed to never do again - extend the CR.

Meanwhile back at the farm, we are still overly concerned with Russia, Russia, and Russia all over again. If that is not enough, we are going to go back in everyone's past to see if they ever said anything suggestive to someone of the opposite (or not) sex. Plus there is a long overdue "lynching party" going after the scurrilous Lois Lerner for what she did to weaponize the IRS. That is the agenda Congress is really on.

Here is our Christmas from Congress. Is it going to be Merry? Probably not. Will there be surprises? Probably yes. Will they be good surprises? Figure the odds. We are all in store for a lump of coal next month. Once you cash it in, don't spend it all in one place.    

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The miracle of Graphene

"Graphene is the new kid it town. It could be the gift which keeps on giving - for generations to come." 

I was going to do a bang up update on the world of nanotechnology this weekend. So I got knee deep in some tech blogs to find something on the latest and greatest in nano which really had the "Wow!" factor. And I came up empty. Sort of. The science of nanotechnology continues to go fine. Progress is made most every day. To date, the world of the the small and the very small is something our brainiacs have figured out nicely. But they found out we needed better material to make this small stuff with.

Enter a substance known as Graphene. Not heard of it? Not many (including myself) have. However, we will, more and more. This stuff is nothing short of amazing. In fact, it is so amazing, one would have thought it came off a crashed UFO (or something). 

The theory of using a single carbon element, manufactured in a way to give it tremendous strength, has been around for a while. However, it was not until 2004 at the University of Manchester, that a couple of scientists figured out how to make something very special out of graphite. Thus was born Graphene.

Some scientists believe Graphene is going to be a total game changer - especially in the upcoming Internet of Everything (a futuristic idea where everything we own, including our clothes, will be connected to the internet). According to one scientist, as we discover more uses for Graphene, it might be a bigger game changer than plastic was. 

Graphene is the strongest material ever tested - stronger than steel. Yet it is almost lighter than air. Its properties make it ideal in the manufacture of electronics, as well as making very stout clothing. Actually, this is not really tell the whole story. 

The DOD is working with Graphene in making better and lighter bullet proof gear for our troops. Plus, look for police forces to also have better and lighter protective vests in the near future. Tests have shown that Graphene can stop a bullet where a Kevlar steel vest would not.

Keep an eye on this one folks. Some merchants are already selling outerwear made with Graphene because of the durability. A bit pricey however. Where is the future? It is unfolding right under our noses. There is a whole lot of science which is going on right now. Some of it is under the radar, some is not.

Graphene is the new kid it town. It could be the gift which keeps on giving - for generations to come. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Our new red headed step child

"So welcome back Al. With the raft of problems the DFL is going to have in next year's election, you just made that burden even heavier."

There is an old saying, and I really don't know where it came from. So and so or something which is unwanted, or over-stayed, was referred to as a "red headed step child". Be that as it may that I don't know the derivation, I sure the heck know what it means today. In fact, "turd in a punch bowl" could also be accurate. Yes friends, now that Turkey Day is over, I am talking about our own turkey - Al Franken.

Al has been a pretender to the throne ever since he was first elected (fraudulently). He is a product of Hollywood and the New York glam side. He would do anything for a joke, including dressing up in a diaper. Come to think of it, wearing a diaper might have been appropriate for his churlish and often sophomoric behavior on stage. Many of his jokes were mean spirited towards those who disagreed with him, and often times became gutter humor. But because he was a celebrity (of sorts), many clueless minions in this state elected him by the the most narrow and contested margin.

In the paper today, it was reported that the ego of this man will not allow him to do the right and honorable thing and resign. Go quietly into the night, as others who have betrayed the public trust have done. Even though a sizable portion of the state's population think we have seen this movie enough. So Al is going to stick around. Like a stubborn winter virus which never seems to go away.

From the Red Team's perspective, having a wounded Al Franken stay in office might not be a bad thing. Now that Al has lost all moral authority, he will just be a shell of a Senator during any type of committee or hearing he is a part of. With Amy's re-election bid coming up next year, having Al tied to her foot like a millstone cannot be good for the Blue Team.

When Paul Wellstone held that seat, even though I disagreed with most of his ideas, it still liked the man for his honesty. Plus, he really was a nice person. I have met the late Senator Wellstone - I have never met Al. I liked Paul Wellstone. From what I hear from those who have met or worked with him, there is not much likable about Al. 

So welcome back Al. With the raft of problems the DFL is going to have in next year's election, you just made that burden even heavier. But who cares, right? Power if everything, and as we know power never corrupts. Right? Absolutely. 


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanks for giving on Thanksgiving!

"Regardless if you live in the faith or not, what happens each day, every day at UGM is like watching Matthew 25:40 in action."

Last year, right before Thanksgiving, my wife and I traveled down to visit Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul. This is one the local charities (and one of our favorites) we have been partnering with for a few years now. Union Gospel Mission (known to many as UGM), is a full service charity serving those in our community who are truly in need. The purpose of our visit was to drop off some money to help with Thanksgiving and Christmas, and also to donate a large microwave to be used in the men's dormitory kitchen.

We struggled to find a place to park. That was the day folks in need could come in and receive a turkey and a bag of groceries to have on Thanksgiving. That is - if they had a home. Many of the folks who came in that day were just hanging on by their fingernails. Yes, they may have had a home, but had very little money to buy a Thanksgiving dinner. So, through the help of hundreds of volunteers and a boat load of donations, the day of Thanksgiving became a day of "thanks for giving" for thousands of needy families.

While we were in the shelter watching people receive their Thanksgiving meal, I looked at some of the faces. The eyes on many of these folks spoke volumes. Many were very humble as well as thankful when they received their food. There were no "high fives" celebrations or loud talking. Many stood in line silently until they received their food. Then you could hear a soft "thank you" or "God bless". It was a profound experience to watch for so many reasons. People helping people. Strangers helping strangers. And yet is was like family helping family.  

UGM also caters to those who need a hot meal served, as they have no way to do it themselves. And UGM serves an extraordinary number of people every day of every year. 

For those who have not had the opportunity to visit and chat with a homeless person, UGM can provide you with a most interesting and unforgettable experience. Why? The people that UGM serves, are us. Plain and simple, us. Nobody plans on being homeless. For most, it was never on their radar. Becoming homeless is just one of those speed bumps in the road some folks hit.

We did not get the chance to visit UGM before Thanksgiving this year. I wish we had, but family circumstances prevented it. Hopefully, we will again next year. Meanwhile the volunteers who really make this place go, will be there in large numbers. Greeting and serving, and trying to make this day special.

Many hours are put in and much money is required to make Thanksgiving happen at UGM. Regardless if you live in the faith or not, what happens each day, every day at UGM is like watching Matthew 25:40 in action. Once again I would like to say - Thank you, Union Gospel Mission! Thank you for giving on Thanksgiving!   

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Our "On Demand" world

"Someone on the radio said things are changing so fast right now, that in five years we will hardly recognize our landscape. Quicker, faster, better will be the name of the game. As the old saying goes, "May we live in interesting times". Yes, I believe we will be."  

The other day when my wife and I were coming back from the western burbs, some young man in a pickup truck almost caused an accident by trying to get one car length ahead of everyone else to exit from the highway. Now, he could have easily have made the ramp without performing this "Evil Knievel" type of stunt. But the man was in a hurry. He wanted off that highway NOW! Why? He is part of our growing On Demand culture.

Some blame Jeff Bezos for addicting us to a faster pace of satisfaction through buying something at Amazon. Sorry - Mr. Bezos did not invent On Demand. He only recognized it for what it is - and then used it to make scads of money. And besides making scads of money, Bezos also changed our culture.

I don't know Jeff Bezos. I don't know if he is nice or a jerk, a conservative or a progressive. But I like him. Why? When I was a lad in school, we learned about the  American Captains of Industry. Men who really changed America. Men like Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison. But that was history. For most of my adult life, Captains of Industry have been in short supply. That is until now.

So what is up with this entire On Demand phenomenon?  Why was it created? It was created because of us. Our life styles. Time is seldom our friend, and we try to fit 26 hours of stuff into a 24 hour day. And since we cannot slow time down, On Demand allows us to shorten time for each event we do, thereby allowing us to fit more into our schedule. 

Now that Amazon has turned the retail world upside down, is Bezos going to buy an island someplace and just count his gold? Nope. He is not satisfied with cutting days off delivery time for packages. Now he is trying to get delivery time down to hours - very, very few hours. 

If you don't truly understand On Demand as yet, it would be good to read up on it. On Demand is going to change everything we do. Shopping at Amazon is just the tip of the iceberg. Everything is going to change, and quickly. Transportation, entertainment, work, food, the list goes on and on.

Visionaries like Bezos, Musk, Gates and team Google will shape our world right under our feet. With the singularity predicted to come within the next twenty years, our new Captains of Industry are going to use the skills they have gained from the On Demand transformation to also guide that change. More on the singularity in a future article.

How is On Demand shaping us in 2017? Here is a very minute example. I was talking to a friend the other day about fast foods. Who has the best food. I told him I really like Culver's as it was very fresh (everything is made fresh upon order). He told me he did not care for Culver's. Yes, the food was okay, but sometimes he had to wait for 3 or 4 minutes to get his order. Welcome to our On Demand culture.

Someone recently predicted things are changing so fast right now, in five years we will hardly recognize our landscape. Quicker, faster, better will be the name of the game. As the old saying goes, "May we live in interesting times". Yes, I believe we will be.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Meanwhile, back in ObamaCare...

"And ObamaCare? There is always next year. Maybe we can just kick the can down the street. Like we never have done that before."

First the good news. We are approaching the most festive time of the year. Thanksgiving, followed by the run up to Christmas, then Christmas Eve, Christmas itself, and finally the New Years celebration. It is going to be a blast! Now the bad news. Under the radar hide two ugly items. The first is the current CR (Continuing Resolution). It expires on December 8th. The second is ObamaCare. That wart keeps getting bigger and uglier all the time.

I pulled up a recent CNN Money article which showed the projected increased on each of the three types of ObamaCare plans. In October, President Trump eliminated the illegal cost sharing subsidies for ObamaCare. That really threw a monkey wrench into the 2018 premium increases. However, before Trump finished signing the order, he told Congress this was theirs to fix. And because Congress cannot walk and chew gum at the same time, this issue now lies on the floor of Congress, just like a cow pie.

Back to the ObamaCare plans. According to this October 2017 CNN Money article, Bronze Plans will increase by an average of 18%; Silver Plans will increase by an average of 34%, and; Gold Plans will increase an average of 16%. For some reason Iowa is really going to get hosed, as their Silver Plans are going up as much as 60%.

So where does that leave us right now? If you are in Congress, it leaves you on vacation. Yes, it is the long awaited Thanksgiving break. The fix on ObamaCare? Well, the Senate  tax bill will eliminate the ObamaCare mandate. According to one expert I heard over the weekend, that part of the tax bill (once reconciled) has somewhere between a slim to none chance of surviving. In other words, the mandate is probably safe.

But think of this. Congress will continue to tinker with this tax bill, which will give some a parsimonious decrease in taxes, others a tax increase, and for the very few, a sizable decrease in taxes. ObamaCare increases however, are going to devour many of those gains (for those who get gains).

When you wonder why Congress now has historically low ratings, one has to look no further than our healthcare. When Nancy Pelosi helped get this POS passed in the dark of night, she really did break Humpty Dumpty. It would have taken Houdini type skills to put our healthcare back together again. Instead, we have the Keystone Cops in both chambers messing with the Humpty's eggshells. Bottom line - I fear we are either stuck with this failing ObamaCare, or a fix which is just as bad.

So cheer up folks! Thanksgiving is Thursday. Then everyone will start slowing checking out for the impending Christmas season. The CR? Oh, we will just extend it again. That is our pattern. And ObamaCare? There is always next year. Maybe we can just kick the can down the street. Like we never have done that before.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dayton sets the table (again)

"Thank you our soon to be former Governor Dayton. Now go to South Dakota with all your money and sit back and watch. The 'Red Team' will soon show you how to run this state."

If Minnesota Republicans do not make either a clean sweep, or at least close to it, of every Constitutional office up for grabs in 2018, I am going to throw in the towel. I kid you not, the Republicans have some EXCELLENT candidates running so far (more to come with the SOS and Auditor position), and Marx Dayton has done the Red Team a huge favor. He has set the table.

The line item veto boner he pulled at the end of the last session really took the cake. Trying to be too cute by half, Marx thought by cutting off the money to run the legislature, he could force them back to the table to renegotiate the parsimonious gains which were made last during the session. In Marx words, "They held a gun to my head. I had to sign the bills they put in front of me." Wah, wah, wah. Cry me a river Marx. This is the PEOPLE'S money we are talking about here - not yours. 

This is almost enough to make me come out of retirement and volunteer to handle the "renegotiation" with Marx. I would use my old line, "My best offer was on the table and you rejected it. The next offer will not be nearly as good, and the one after that, even worse." I would not settle for parsimonious gains, I would only settle for a true reduction in the size and scope of state government. PLUS, to keep our seniors in state, the long overdue Social Security issue would be fixed. Not partially fixed - totally fixed.

I really can't wait until the February session starts. It could be one for the ages. The Speaker already has made overtures if funding is not restored for the legislature, he will not authorize payments for the brand new (and very shiny) Senate office building. What? What if it is foreclosed on? Good! We will hang that around Marx and the DFL necks.

We have not had a true conservative Governor since dirt was invented. Sorry T Paw, we love you, but you don't count on this one. We have not had a conservative Attorney General (who will truly follow the law) since before I started to shave. It has been a long time since we have had a State Auditor who knows how to audit. And we need a Secretary of State who will take voter fraud serious, rather than trying to encourage it.

In 2018, the table has never been set better. And truthfully, it is Marx Dayton who is the one who did the setting. He even admitted that for this state to elect a Democrat Governor next time around would be a long shot. I think deep in that foggy brain, Dayton knows the score. He scorched the Earth during the last session, and there will a price to pay.

Thank you our soon to be former Governor Dayton. Now go to South Dakota with all your money and sit back and watch. Our "Red Team" will soon show you how to run this state. Oh - one more thing. We will show you how to really - Make Minnesota Great Again! 


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Tax bill - caught between the devil and the deep blue sea

"Between the devil and the deep blue sea. No words could describe this issue better. And whose ox is going to get gored from this bill? Stay tuned - could be more that you think." 

Now that the House has passed the tax bill (with 13 Republican dissenters and ZERO Democrat votes), and the Senate has its bill out of committee, it is "game on" right after the Thanksgiving Day break. The paper this morning gave a very good breakdown of both bills. Some similarities, yet some stark differences. The question which popped into my mind was quite simple - don't the Republicans in both chambers ever talk? These two bills should look like kissing cousins, if not identical twins.

With Senator Johnson of Wisconsin being a "no" vote when the entire Senate votes on its bill, he did have a valid point. How does he explain to a Wisconsin voter whose taxes went up from this bill how this could be a tax cut (as promised). Somehow telling a person who is going to pay $500 or more due to this new law that the bill was for "the greater good" is not going to cut it. But the thing which really sticks in Johnson's craw is the unfairness of treatment between big corporations and small businesses.

Here is the conundrum that Republicans face going into 2018. Should other Republican Senators join Johnson and jump ship where the bill does not pass the Senate, OR, should both sides dig in their heels so it does not get out of conference committee, the red team will be DOA after the 2018 mid-terms. However, if it passes with the ObamaCare mandate thrown out, if some people end up paying more taxes, or it the tax code becomes more complicated instead of less, stand by for broadsides from the huddled masses. Things could get ugly very quick.

The one thing which has come out so far which I think is laughable is the national debt issue. "This will add $1.5T to the debt in ten years!" Really? How will they know. The mishmash of crap which makes up our growing debt is so convoluted, that this fact might not be knowable. And besides all of which, we recently had a "die off" a species of very rare bird. That would be the Deficit Hawk. Once plentiful, they are now all but non-existent. In short, nobody give a fig about the debt anymore.

This will interesting to watch the next few weeks. Republicans from both the House and Senate will need to be tightrope artists - especially when at home trying to explain this bill. Watching the Paul Ryan town hall meeting was a bit painful. Many attending were not buying what Ryan was selling. Maybe more or this to come.

Between the devil and the deep blue sea? No words could describe this issue better. And whose ox is going to get gored from this bill? Stay tuned - could be more that you think. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

A moral or amoral man (men)?

"Here is the bottom line. Amoral men cannot be the moral arbiters to the nation. I am sorry to say this, but that includes President Trump. We need men who can keep their minds focused and their hands to themselves." 

One would think in a country this size, we would not have trouble finding moral men to lead us in our government. To entertain us. To be our managers in the workplace. I swear, the list of men who have let us down is growing by leaps and bounds. Why? And why is it the men who we thought would be moral (that should be a "Duh") has eclipsed into a list of amoral scoundrels.

Now if the truth be known, I have put my hands on other women in my married life. If you call giving someone a hug putting my hands on them. Once in a great while, if I know someone very, very well, I might even give them a peck on the cheek. But that is a far cry from Al Franken trying to stick his tongue halfway down the throat of some women he was on a USO tour with. I wonder what Franni (Al's wife) thought of that? 

I am sorry. I don't mean to be disrespectful of the departed. But this disrespect of women has been going on since Mary Jo Kopechne. A beautiful young woman in her prime of life somehow drowns while with Teddy Kennedy. And what was Teddy's consequences? Nada. And his brother Jack messing around with Marilyn Monroe - while President. Did I mention that both Jack and Teddy were married when they were fooling around? Or flash forward to the 1980's and 1990's when Bill Clinton had more women that carters has pills. Did I mention Slick Willie was married at the time? And Carlos Danger. The list goes on and on.

When I was just starting in business, the office I worked in was remote from the main factory. A couple times a week, a very attractive executive secretary would walk some papers over to our office. She was so good looking that all male eyes immediately gazed upon her when she walked in the door. Except for one man who had been a Pentecostal missionary prior to working for the company I was at.

One day I asked him why he never looked at that beautiful woman when she came into our office. "I don't want to stumble" he said. "Why open myself up for temptation by having impure thoughts about her?" Very similar to the way Mike Pence thinks. I would hazard a guess than neither the man who sat next to me nor Mike Pence ever grabbed some woman and tried to either grope her or stick a tongue down her throat. 

Here is the bottom line. Amoral men cannot be the moral arbiters to the nation. I am sorry to say this, but that includes President Trump. We need men who can keep their minds focused and their hands to themselves. 

The reckoning will continue on. The mighty will fall. Maybe even a former President. Once it is over, I hope we all have learned a lesson. The temptation of philandering mischief outside of marriage will always be there. It has been there since time began. But moral men can rise above that temptation. And moral men are the ones who can set the moral compass for the nation.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Deep, deep in the land of "What if?"

"So thank you very much Minnesota. We elected idiots to fill our state Constitutional offices which allowed the fraudulent election of an unqualified person to be one of our two Senators." 

Oh boy! It had to come out. With the "reckoning" in full swing, I knew a Democrat would be led out to slaughter. My bet has always been on Clinton. Juanita Broaddrick is still around and looking for her justice. As is Paula Jones, and the list goes on. But our own CFA? (As as aside, many refer to our Junior Senator as CFA for a reason. It stands for "Crazy (bleep) Al". I think the (bleep) can now be filled in with "fondling".

I would like to go back in time for just a bit if you don't mind. Say to 2008, when the most watched election in the nation was happening. This one was actually more important than the Presidential election. The one where our own CFA beat out Norm Coleman by 312 votes. Now let's just say for a minute, "the picture" surfaced before the election. It sure could of. Much of the country, including Minnesota, had just about had it with Clinton's sexual escapades prior to the G. W. Bush years.

We all know that if we factored out all the voter fraud, as well as the DFL "fix", should "the picture" surfaced before the election, Norm might have won by a comfortable margin. How comfortable? Comfortable enough to overcome all the voter fraud and the DFL "fix".

And if CFA never made it to the Senate? GOOD BYE OBAMACARE! It would have been a bad idea, a nightmare, which never would have happened. "The 60th vote" would have been defeated, and sent back to Hollywood where he could cavort with Harvey and the rest of the oversexed movie mongols.

I remember one time before CFA became a politician, he was brutal on President Bush (43). He was asked why he was so hard on the POTUS at that time. His answer (paraphrased) -  "It is so easy. The material is never ending." Well Al - back at ya buddy! From now until you are out of the public spotlight, the Right side of the street (and the argument), has your number! Besides your diaper picture, we are going to hang "the picture" around your neck.

I have a copy of this picture, but chose not to use it. It did not want to go to Blogger nor FB jail for an inappropriate pic on my site. So I chose the diaper pic instead. However, it you want to see the fondle pic, it is not hard to find. 

Al Franken was a flawed politician who in 2008 used the help of a slanted SOS office to mask enough voter fraud to get himself, the "60th vote" elected. My guess? The DFL knew this picture existed, and put it in a box and buried it way out in the wilderness in central North Dakota in January. And it worked. Franken is now in the United States Senate (let that sink in for just a minute), and we have the most hosed up healthcare via ObamaCare than anyone could ever imagine.

One final point about the unintended consequences of electing this buffoon to the Senate. The young lady who does my neuropathy treatment is a single mother. She is young and has a daughter. Not a political person, today she unloaded on me about her struggles with MNSure. And I did not even start that conversation! 

Here is the final kicker. She also told me she has a family friend who moved up on the North Shore to start a small business. Husband, wife and one child. Because of ObamaCare, their health insurance is almost $2,000/month. That is a HUGE expense for a small business trying to make it work.

So thank you very much Minnesota. We elected idiots to fill our state Constitutional offices which allowed the fraudulent election of an unqualified person to be one of our two Senators. And that unqualified person will forever be known as not only "CFA", but also "the 60th vote" to the system which wrecked our healthcare insurance.


Danger! Thin ice!

"Now get it right this next time. Remember - like any other job, you guys can all be replaced. In other words, you are on thin ice right now." 

Living in Minnesota for most all of my life, I, like many others, have become accustomed to seeing signs by lakes and ponds this time of year - "Danger! Thin ice!" Of course what that means is even though the ice might look safe, if often times is not. You could break through, go down into the icy water, and then you would have big problems.

Of course my article today has nothing to do with the ice conditions in Minnesota. It has everything to do with the upcoming vote on the Republican (House) tax bill. And then after the Thanksgiving break, the Republican (Senate) tax bill. Okay - I can't keep this in any longer. HOW IN THE WORLD COULD YOU GUYS HAVE MUCKED THIS UP SO BADLY?!?!?

Seriously, this was supposed to have been easy peasy. Falling of a log easy. Nope. Had to make it controversial and complicated. The only thing in either the House or Senate bill which made sense was the reduction in our corporate tax rate. After that, it was all downhill.

Ron Johnson (R-WI) is the first Senator to jump ship. His story is the same as many Republicans in the House who hate this bill. "I really would like to get to a yes. But this bill does not really cut taxes". Bingo. How to you go home and sell a lime when it is really a lemon. 

How could we have made this easy? By doing what was promised on the campaign trail. "There is no need for thousands of pages in a cumbersome IRS tax code. Taxes should be easy and fair. One page. Everyone would get some kind of tax cut." Wow! That sounded almost like Reaganomics! But no. Getting a tax cut which would entail paying in more taxes sounds more like, well, Obamaomics.

My advice? Since 2018 will be the first year affected by this plan, scrap what is now on the table. Go back to square one and start again. Have a plan ready for the President to sign by July 1st, and this time give it some teeth. EVERYONE (just like in the 1981 tax plan) gets some kind of tax cut. Shrink the size of government by putting this beast on a bit of a diet. Make this a truly historic bill.

In any event, that is my take. After mucking up the ObamaCare fix and now tax reform, this crowd in Washington really does look like the gang who can't shoot straight. BTW - not just my opinion on that matter. Now get it right this next time. Remember - like any other job, you guys can all be replaced. In other words, you are on thin ice right now.