That obnoxious thing

Yesterday, with six fleeting weeks to go in the campaign, I staged a little theatrical production of an imagined congressional candidate’s debate that I would love to be a part of. I’m frozen out of the debates because the rules for third party candidates requires them to poll 5 or 10% of the vote. Its possible that if an independent third party conducted such a poll I might very well register 5 or 10%. However, so far no properly sanctioned third party, like a newspaper, has bother with a poll.

So I wrote a little two part dialogue I imagined between the front runners. They’ve already called each other names. Oberstar has called Grams a liar and Grams has called Oberstar a “liberal elitest.” They both, especially Grams, have tried to out pro-life the other candidate and Grams tried to prove, apparently with faulty evidence, that Oberstar has not been visiting his District. I added some other things to the debate which I find objectionable like Jim’s porkbarrel and both Grams’s and Oberstar’s spending proclivities.

It was a loud snarling affair and my gagged face was supposed to be the punchline. One of my admirers, however, found the piece so unpleasant that he didn’t get to the punchline before turning it off. His better half who heard the caterwalling asked him what “that obnoxious thing” was.

I wish I had made my points with a little more finesse. Live and learn.

The Captain’s Hindsight

In reply to my post on  Vic sent me this Captain’s Quarter’s 20×20 hindsight post supporting Bush and decision to overthrow Saddam. Frankly, as a fellow who crossed his fingers for this war like Tom Friedman I resent the Captain’s ignoring the most salient factor. Bush blew it. He and his administration have been totally incompetent and taken a bad situation and made it much worse.

Only a hack can be expected to excuse Bush for making such a hash of this dangerous project which, contrary to what Captain Ed says, was always much more of an option than a necessity.


Remember the Alamo

Today’s story about how all 16 US intelligence agencies have concluded that the Bush Administration’s War on Terror has undermined American security shows what happens when you mix the American traditional “can do” spirit with an intermittent no-nothingism which sweeps the land. I’m reminded of an old joke:

There is a Brit a Frenchman a Texan and a Mexican sitting on a plane which is experiencing mechanical problems. When the pilot reports to his passengers that the plane will go down if it can’t get lose some weight the Brit gets up, salutes, and says “God save the Queen” and jumps off. A short time later when told that more weight must be removed the Frenchman stands, salutes and says “Vive la France” and jumps out.

When this still doesn’t solve the problem the pilot makes the announcement yet again. This time the Texan stands up salutes and says “Remember the Alamo.” He picks up the Mexican and throws him off the plane.

How dare Rod Grams campaign

According to today’s News Trib Story Jim Oberstar will debate Rod Grams three times but no more because Jim is offended:

“Oberstar said in a news release that his challenger ‘has incessantly lied about my record, spouting half-truths, fabricated facts and even outright lies. He is not campaigning in good faith. He is not negotiating in good faith. And under those circumstances, I see no need to continue dialogue at this time.'”

If Jim’s political forebearers were as prissy as Oberstar we’d never have had the Lincoln Douglass Debates. God Forbid that Jim would meet with Grams to point out his lies and half truths.

God forbid either Grams or Oberstar would meet with Welty to straighten him out.

The Republican “invisible hand”

If there is any economic assumption that undergirds today’s Republican Party it is that Adam Smith had it right when he described the “invisible hand” that make markets work most efficiently.

Light-weight Republican hacks like Grover Norquist have been championing a simple-minded and corrupted version of Smith’s philosophy. Unaware or indifferent to Smith’s very real belief that fairness and charity should be introduced into the invisible mechanics of the soulless marketplace Norquist has said that his goal is to make “government so small that you can strangle it in a bathtub.”

Tom Delay Grover Norquist and a whole passle of Republicans are guilty of their own more selfish violations of the invisible hand. Perhaps camophlaged hand is a better discription of things like the K Street Project where Republican lobbyists ply congressmen and their staffs for statutory law which will tilt the invisible hand in their favor or win them government contracts like the many shabby ones granted during the Second Iraq War.

Today’s example of the GOP’s visible hand has to do with President Bush’s billion dollar Reading readiness program which got directed to good ole boys friends of the Republican Party.

Not surprisingly when good-ole-boys get overpriced federal contracts they turn around and contribute a hunk of their “earnings” to the campaigns of the small government folks who got him their big payday. Its just plain old good business.

Or take the secretive, arch-conservative, New York multi-millionaires who have spent millions to organize petition drives in dozens of states to put caps on state taxation fueled not only with their money but with a heavy dose of deceit. Invisible hand indeed!

4AM – Drunks woke me up

Yes indeed,sometimes its a pain to live in a neighborhood swarming with college nightlife. At 1:30 AM I woke to the bellowing of a drunk young man screaming that “the Indians think they run this town.” It certainly doesn’t seem like a very collegiate thing to say even for a drunk. After ten minutes I got up and looked out my front window. Five guys were milling around as though they were waiting for a bus. Every so often an expletive broke the air. I decided that this wasn’t a 911 emergency so I wasted time trying to look up a night desk. The number I called just gave me a long menu so I hung up and dialed 911. As I began describing the group to the dispatcher two of them began uprooting the bus stop sign in front of my house and one of them, the Indian hater I think, heaved it into the street. A black blazer pulled up and they all ran over to drive off with it before anyone could stop them.

Guess who couldn’t get back to sleep?

Half an hour later I crawled out of bed and began composing a special Daily thought for my exclusion from Debate Minnesota. Its 4AM now and before I crawled back into bed I decided to check my blog and website stats. The blogs was the highest its ever been. The welty4congress site was double its previous best. Cool.

Sept 22 stats for

Send lincolndemocrat to a friend 

Tanit and Moloch

Regular readers know that the morning that my wife and I left for Denmark our cat, O’Shea, suffered renal failure and we had to put her down half an hour before driving to the airport.

Well, Claudia told me between tears on the way back that she and my son Robb would gang up on me and force me to get a new cat. Regular readers know that upon our return we got a “providential” email resulting in Tanit.

Shortly after that we got another email telling us about, Moloch, a male kitten, named for Carthage’s God of the sun. Moloch we were told had been confined to a cage for two months. I emailed back my friend, the Animal Allies volunteer, telling her that if she didn’t send my any more guilt inducing emails about damned cats I’d take Moloch too.

My son is in heaven. I picked them up this afternoon and my allergies haven’t kicked in yet. The boy, Moloch, is oblivious to Tanit, the Godess of the Moon who hisses everytime he blunders by.  I get a special kick out of Moloch because I’ve always liked Manx cats with their stubby tails. Moloch’s tail wags like a Republican’s finger.                  

Tanit                         Moloch

Well, this is hopeful

Yesterday I sent our a hurried press release about my new effort to promote my campaign by way of web video since I’ve not been invited to the dance, er debate. (Mel pointed out a typo or two )

I just got a google alert that the Duluth News Trib posted the story on its website. The true test will be if it makes it to their campaign bulletin board tomorrow in their Saturday newspaper. If it makes the AP that will be even better.


Welty4congress stats improve

Now that I’m back from my vacation I can work on tuning up my website and blog site visits by putting fresh material on for visitors. I’m especially heartened by the uptick the last couple days in the campaign site I hope people will start watching my new daily thoughts videos.

Note that the column at the end is always tiny because it represents the next days stats which are evidently recorded a little after midnight when the final day’s stats are compiled.

I’m hoping that people on the welty4congress site click the link I’ve put on it like this one for Lincolndemocrat: Send lincolndemocrat to a friend 


Not for homophobes hoot

I haven’t put a hoot in the blog for a month of sundays but this hoot deserves a special commendation. I haven’t gotten such a big belly laugh in ages as I did watching this excerpt from the Daily Show. Warning: if you are easily offended to watch conservative twits made to look like fools or if you are non plussed by gay humor don’t bother.

For me this was as good as anything I ever say in the heyday of Saturday Night live.

In all seriousness. If I’m elected to Congress I’ll do what I can to get rid of the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy in the US military.

Is the new left like the old new right?

I’m still catching up with all the newspapers I missed while overseas. One very interesting New York Times article that I’ve just read by Sam Tanenhaus, suggests that today’s blogging lefties are the equivelent of Bill Buckley and the conservatives that swept aside moderate Republicans while championing Goldwater and Reagan. I’m not sure what to make of Tanenhaus’s claim that today’s lefties are less extreme but they may indeed be a harbinger of things to come.

Someone new

With an all too short six weeks to catch the public’s attention the political climate is just perfect. A story a couple days ago in the New York Times reveals that only 25% of Americans approve of the current Republican controlled Congress.

This was a telling statistic:

“Congress, 39 percent of respondents said their own representative deserved re-election, compared with 48 percent who said it was time for someone new.”

the harder they fall

The last couple of days have had some bad news for the GOP.

Todays NPR carried a story about how rural voters are beginning to bleed blue after being staunchly behind the President for the past couple of elections.

Yesterday on PBS’s News Hour a story reported that as many as ten US Senate seats were up for grabs right now. Months ago Republicans were all but assured of keeping the Senate and only about 4 seats seemed to be serious contests. One example of a Republican shoo-in that became a shoe-in-the-mouth is George Allen of Virginia.

Meanwhile in Minnesota which until recently Republicans were begining to regard as conquered territory the once popular and telegenic Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty is in a neck and neck race with the agressive Minnesota Attorney General, Mike Hatch. The last poll even gave Hatch a slight and as yet meaningless 2 percent lead.

The bigger they are…….


Elastic Clause on torture

Apparently McCain, Graham and Warner have compromised with the President on his effort to ignore the General Article 3 of the Geneva Convention.

I’m torn between lauding the compromise and disappointment that McCain in particular gave the President too much.

I’ve been having a furious email debate with my old sparring partner Vic on this subject. In the lastest exchange today Vic asked me if I would oppose “judicious” torture of Osama bin Ladin if he was sitting on a nuclear bomb that was about to kill millions of people.

I replied as follows:

“Perhaps the Geneva Convention needs an elastic clause. If so its too bad that the US has given such a bad example of how we would make us of such flexibility.”

The “elastic clause” is the all purpose clause in the US Constitution which Congress has always gone to to get things accomplished which are not specifically approved of or forbidden by the rest of the Constitution.

It says:

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. “

“Both Candidates”

While I was in Denmark the Duluth News Tribune ran a story about the Eighth District Congressional Race in which their reporter wrote “both candidates.”

I’ve never heard the word both used to refer to three people and, of course, there are three candidate in this race. Mel and Chris sent the Trib a reminder but today’s latest brouhaha on whether Jim Oberstar misses too many Congressional Committee meetings or floor votes is a two man dog an pony show once again.

This campaign needs a lot more welty4congress to get past the BS.