Sunday, March 27, 2011

She doesn't care. Obama is awesome!

This one's just too easy. I'll simply copy the link and let you enjoy it, because it sums up the liberal mindset absolutely perfectly.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Star-Tribune hatchet job

If you'd like to know why conservatives don't trust the media, there's a tremendous example right in front of us this week, as the Star-Tribune slimed one of Minnesota's finest public figures with shoddy, inaccurate and incomplete reporting.

Steve Sviggum is the former Speaker of the House in the Minnesota Legislature, the longest-serving Republican to ever hold that post. He left the Legislature a couple years ago to serve as Commissioner of Labor and Industry, and for a brief time also served as the state's budget director.

More to the point, he is one of the most honest, upright and ethical people I have ever met. I have worked in the Minnesota House and Senate, the U.S. Senate and the Office of the Governor, and in all of those years I never met anyone I respected more than Steve Sviggum. Our relationship even pre-dates my political involvement, when he and I competed against each other in town team baseball, when I played for Red Wing and he played for Dundas. I have no problem saying that I simply don't know a better person than Steve.

He was the epitome of the citizen-legislator. During his years in the House, he and his brothers continued to farm, growing corn and soybeans outside of Kenyon. In recent years, he also took a part-time job at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute, teaching government.

This year there were several openings on the U's Board of Regents. It's an unpaid position, with the appointment made by the Legislature for a four-year term. A former math teacher with a long history of involvement in education, Sviggum applied for one of the positions, and won an appointment from the Legislature.

Of course, conservatives in the academic world are always treated with suspicion, and the U's good-old-boy network of liberals decided to go after Sviggum. They went to the Strib's education reporter, Jenna Ross, who mostly serves as a mouthpiece for the U's administration.

The lead on Ross' story this week would make you think there was a big scandal afoot: "Weeks after signing a contract for a half-time job with the University of Minnesota, Steve Sviggum failed to list his new gig on a disclosure form required of members of the U's Board of Regents." The story carried an accusing headline: "As new regent, Sviggum didn't disclose U job."

Except that Sviggum DID disclose his U job. In his November application, he wrote "I am an adjunct professor at the Humphrey Institute." During the interview process with the Regent selection committee, he discussed his teaching position (A $6,000-per-year, part-time post) with the committee, according to the committee's chair. Gee, even a Star-Tribune headline writer should be able to understand that.

Earlier this year, the Humphrey Institute offered Sviggum a new job. On February 4, he accepted a position as a "legislative fellow" at the school. It sounds like a nice job: An $80,000-per-year part-time position. But then you read the fine print, and you learn that Sviggum has to privately raise all but $12,000 of that $80,000 salary.

It's this fellow position that Ross' story focuses on. She writes: "On his financial disclosure form, released at a Tuesday meeting of that committee, Sviggum lists just one source of compensation: the sale of corn, soybeans and beef cattle as a part of the Sviggum Bros. Farm Partnership."

The implication, of course, is that Sviggum was trying to hide something. That he was deliberately withholding information about his fellow position and his U of M salary. Big scandal, right?

Until we learned this the next day: The financial disclose form that Sviggum submitted SPECIFICALLY SAID HE SHOULDN'T LIST ANY INCOME FROM THE UNIVERSITY! Seems like sort of an important point, doesn't it? And it seems like a responsible, professional reporter would take a look at the form before writing a big story accusing Sviggum of doing something wrong.

Of course, accuracy and professionalism at the Star-Tribune goes out the window whenever Republicans are involved. Now Sviggum has been slimed and had his reputation attacked by a careless, sloppy reporter who will not face any consequences for her incompetence.

If you can find a similar story about a Minnesota DFLer, I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Update to the story below

Just to give you an idea of just how stupid these Wisconsin police and firefighter union leaders are, they've now published a list of companies that refused to knuckle under to their threats and renounce Gov. Walker's budget plan.

Set aside for a moment the idea that boycotting Wisconsin businesses during a recession is somehow going to be good for Wisconsin workers. Let's look at the union's own self-interest:

One of the companies they are urging Wisconsinites to boycott is MillerCoors, the parent company of Miller Brewing and Coors Brewing. The company's "sin" is that their PAC apparently made a campaign contribution to Gov. Walker.

First of all, the idea that you can get Wisconsin folk to give up Miller beer is idiotic. It's like asking people in other states to give up breathing oxygen. Not going to happen, and our Badger-loving neighbors have the DWI statistics to prove it.

Secondly, the State of Wisconsin's pension fund holds $7.2 million in shares of MillerCoors. That's right, the geniuses that run the union have called for a boycott that would - if effective - LOWER the value of their own member's pension fund. How that is going to help their members is a mystery. And MillerCoors is just one of the companies on the list whose stock is held by the pension fund.

They also want to boycott the Wisconsin Dental Association. Could be a big year for cavities among the Cheeseheads, unless they start adding flouride to beer.

The entire boycott list is here. Personally, I think I'm going out to head over to WalMart, buy a six-pack of Miller Lite and maybe shop for something with a Briggs & Stratton engine in it. And I'll keep filling up at Kwik Trip as well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Corrupt Wisconsin Cops and Firemen

Taking a little time off from their "Protect and Serve" duties, a few Wisconsin police and firefighter unions have decided it's time to engage in some intimidation of the citizens.

A number of Wisconsin businesses recently received letters signed by, among others, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, the Dane County Deputy Sheriff's Association and the Madison Professional Police Officers Association. The letter tells the business owners that:

"The undersigned groups would like your company to publicly oppose Governor Walker's efforts to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. While we appreciate that you may need some time to consider this request, we ask for your response by March 17. In the event that you do not respond to this request by that date, we will assume that you stand with Governor Walker and against the teachers, nurses, police officers, fire fighters,and other dedicated public employees who serve our communities."

Then comes the threat:

"In the event that you cannot support this effort to save collective bargaining, please be advised that the undersigned will publicly and formally boycott the goods and services provided by your company."

The letter is also signed by two firefighter organizations and a couple of teacher's union locals. The implication, of course is "We might not respond very quickly to a robbery or fire on your property if you don't agree with our political stands."

It's a peculiar bit of logic: Threatening an economic boycott of the very taxpayers who pay the union member's salaries.

Fortunately the good folks at M&I Bank – one of Wisconsin’s biggest bank chains – had the fortitude to tell the unions to shove it.

“M&I has not taken, and will not take, a position either for or against the budget repair bill….M&I has over 6,000 employees in Wisconsin, and, in the great tradition of political freedom in this country, those employees have the right to contribute to the candidate of their choice.”

Freedom? What a concept! Perhaps these union thugs should learn something about it.

The letter also says that if you would like to discuss the matter, you should call Jim Palmer, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. Jimbo's number is 608-273-3840. I'm sure he'd appreciate a call from you, explaining what you think of his tactics. If you'd rather email him, you can send it to

Friday, March 11, 2011

Not everyone in Minnesota is a hockey fan

Spent the day at the Minnesota State High School Hockey tournament, and picked up a great story from a long-time friend.

Because I spend so much time involved in hockey - and because Minnesota is, after all the "State of Hockey" - I tend to just assume that everyone in Minnesota pays attention to hockey. Not so.

My friend works in a part-time capacity for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a couple weeks ago he got an expense check from the Leafs. He took it to his local TCF branch to cash it, but when the teller looked at it and saw "Toronto Maple Leafs" at the top she said she wasn't sure she could cash it because it came from outside the country.

Her supervisor was summoned, and he pointed out that the check was drawn on a New York bank, and gave her the okay to cash it. She did so, and then looked at the check again where it said "Toronto Maple Leafs," and asked my friend, "So, do you sell maple syrup?"

He had to explain to her that the Toronto Maple Leafs were a hockey team, and not a syrup manufacturer. We'll just mark her down as a basketball fan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Three cheers...

....For the courageous members of the Wisconsin State Senate, who stood up to the mob and did what they were elected to do. This battle marks a real turning point for putting the government genie back in the bottle.