Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Who and what NOT to vote for
( AKA the names to cross off your ballot )

President - John McCain: Four more years - really? Seriously? Honestly, can we really afford four more years?!? And do we really want a deer caught in the headlights to take over when he keels over? This is real life people, not some fantasy island where it would be entertaining if he were to win - there would be REAL consequences. One tiny example: he might, oh, end the world as we know it by bombing Iran!

U.S. Senate - Norm Coleman: A snake-like career politician. Or should I say chameleon-like? Once a "progressive" DFLer, then a staunch conservative Bush clone, now morphing his image into the likeness of a "moderate." Does he think Minnesotans are idiots?!?

U.S. Congress - 3rd District - Erik Paulsen: Come on. Ashwin Madia and David Dillon are far better candidates than Erik!

U.S. Congress - 5th District - Barb Davis White: Her energy and tax policies are worse than Bush. At least Bill McGaughey supports single-payer Universal Healthcare. And I have seen more Dean Barkley signs throughout the 5CD than hers! ( not that I have even seen any of Bill's )

U.S. Congress - 6th District - Michelle Bachmann - I thought this jester would be re-elected easily in this district. Her latest gaffe was one Bachmannism too many! Adios Michelle! She has enough fans to publish a book like that un-funny Anne Coulter character.

MN House 61B - Jeff Hayden: Does anyone even know who this guy is? He's not "scary" as some of the above clearly are. But his contempt for the electoral process is quite unsettling. Just because he has the endorsement up and down the DFL doesn't mean he is a shoe-in. Where is his political courage? Where is his long-term activism and name recognition? A Republican has no chance of winning in south Minneapolis, but Farheen Hakeem has shown she will engage her neighbors. This is what Vote Smart has said about Jeff Hayden:

Jeff Hayden repeatedly refused to provide any responses to citizens on the issues through the 2008 Political Courage Test when asked to do so by national leaders of the political parties, prominent members of the media, Project Vote Smart President Richard Kimball, and Project Vote Smart staff

This open seat previously held by Neva Walker is clearly not important to Mr. Hayden. The fact that Mr. Hayden has NOT received the endorsement of Neva says more about his campaign - that and no one in his district seems to know who he is. They do notice the signs - but know Farheen Hakeem because she actually has an active campaign.

One ironic liability for Mr. Hayden is his endorsement by the Northwest Sierra Club. This is the same Sierra Club that endorses Clorox products, and yet did not oppose the Mid-Town Burner to be built in Phillips - at all. Clearly, Mr. Hayden did not abstain from parading around this endorsement. Unfortunately, the Sierra Club does not worry about environmental justice, as they are another facet of the green-washing movement begging Americans to purchase "green" SUVs.

MN Senate District 61 in 2010 - Hussein Samatar: Come on DFLers, you know this is pretty sad when you endorse someone more than 2 years before an election! No one even knows that Linda Berglin intends to step down and you have the gall to hand pick like this?!? I understand it is part of your SOP but dang. Maybe I will write him in for Soil and Water or Hennepin County Judge - that way I can say I voted for him before I campaign against him in 2010.

Anyone who intends to run for Minnesota Senate in 61 should run as a Green. At least you would have a shot at winning, the DFL endorsement is always fixed before anyone even knows there's an open seat.

Mayor - New Prague - Craig S. Sindelar: This former mayor ran a paper campaign last election cycle, and lost to Bink Bender by less than 100 votes. Bink actually campaigned and had lawn signs. Sindelar did not. So what has this real estate agent and owner of half the homes in New Prague decided to do this year? Post his own lawn signs on his rental property! The town is littered with his signs. He isn't door-knocking, but assumes he can win with his lawn sign campaign!

Sindelar is a small-town advocate. That is, he believes it should stay small so he can control it. The anti-Wal Mart, anti-Coborn's, and anti-roundabout voters will support him. Anyone that knows him personally, outside the business community, will realize he is an angry and out of touch ego-centric man. New Prague deserves better than this sad man. Nothing personal, Craig, but you should stick to your shady business enterprise and stay out of politics! ( Does anyone know who Laura Brod is supporting? You can respond anonymously - she can always deny it later! )

Voting No - Why not vote yes? And I am talking about every amendment, referendum, and change on the ballot for Minneapolis and Minnesota. Yes for schools and the future of our students. Yes for Minnesotan environment and unique culture. Yes for school board accountability with fewer at-large seats. Is three-eighths of one percent increase in the sales tax really worth squabbling about when it leaves a long-term legacy? Minnesotans deserve more than what we get for our Federal taxes - let's keep more of our money working for us here! Vote Yes in November!

Of course, if the Minneapolis school referendum fails, Co-chairs Keith Ellison, R T Rybak, and Hussein Samatar will be the ones to blame. I personally have never seem them campaign for this, so perhaps they are just making it look better. I have seen many school board members attend neighborhood and political meetings to rally support. Nonetheless, I support more money for schools. Though I believe charter schools in Minneapolis should gain some of the referendum money.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dave Ramsey's Thoughts on the Elections

Dave, which bozo should I vote for in this election? Who’s going to fix the economy? Who’s going to give me the most money?

Well, I’m here to remind you that you’re going to fix the economy because your personal economy is up to you. It's not Washington's job to fix what's going on with you. If you are waiting on Washington to change something, you've got a long wait!

You’re going to give yourself money as a result of your hard work and persistence. Waiting for money to be taken from others and given to you is a spirit of envy, and it's wrong.

I’m not here to tell you who to vote for. But I am here to tell you that the government doesn’t have the capacity to fix your problems. Washington is full of bozos, and I am doing my part to send a lot of them home!

This economic mess is a reality, but we can each only control one thing—our reactions. Does this stuff define you? Only if you let it. The weird thing about the economy is that YOU are the economy! I learned this the hard way. I got my real estate license when I was 18 years old. By the time I was 21, interest rates had risen to 17% fixed-rate … and I still sold houses. How? Because I worked hard.

As bad as USA Today meant a recent article to be about what we think of the suffering economy and upcoming election, I think it’s rather encouraging that no one thinks that President Bush or Barack Obama or John McCain can fix the economy!

This may be the beginning of the biggest level of prosperity this nation has ever known if we don’t look to a candidate to fix our lives. How about we say, "I’m going to vote for the candidate who’s going to fix the nation. I’m going to fix my life, so leave me alone and let me do my own thing."

Don't react based on fear or panic. Don’t look to Washington to fix your problems. Why would you do that? At what point did Bill Clinton fix any of your problems? At what point did he cause you to prosper? At what point did George Bush end your career or cause you to prosper? When did Ronald Reagan fix your problems? Guess what? I liked Reagan the most, and while he was in office, I hit rock bottom and filed bankruptcy—but it wasn’t Reagan’s fault. It was mine.

So when you go to the polls in a few days to cast your vote, don’t get caught up in following a political party or candidate without knowing the issues they support. Do your research so you can make educated decisions.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Forget third parties in 2008 debates

It appears that third party candidates have blown their only chance at mainstream media coverage. It's unlikely they will have any shot this election year, apart from MPR. Perhaps one of them could go to Ohio and convince Joe the Plumber to endorse them?

America needs to hear alternative visions. Greens know that energy independence is an illusion - let's end our addiction! Greens know health-care is a right - let's stop corporate HMO rationing! And the majority of independents believe that our national debt will hinder the livelihoods of future generations - let's stop overspending!

At some point this may change. The media may decide dichotomy is too boring, and add more perspectives and political movements. Otherwise it appears the two "major" parties will lead our nation to downfall, as is currently underway.

Monday, October 06, 2008

History made Sept. 30 as National Debt hits $10 Trillion

History was made on Tuesday Sept. 30, 2008, the last day of Fiscal Year 2008 for U.S. Government accounting purposes, as the National Debt crept up over $10 Trillion for the first time ever. There was no fanfare, no balloons, no real mention of it in the newspapers. This was an important milestone in American history and it went by as an average day.

On Sept. 30th, the total debt amounted to $10,024,724,896,912.49

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Letter to My Congresswoman

Written on Oct. 2, 2008 at 10:14 p.m.

Dear Congresswoman McCollum:

I find it amazing that you have already voted to increase our National Debt by $700 Billion, and the fact that you are even considering supporting an even bigger bill of $810 Billion is completely unthinkable.

It's bad enough that we pay nearly $500 Billion each year on the interest on our National Debt but you want to raise that to $600 Billion. How much Federal Spending is enough? I highly encourage you to vote NO on the Wall Street bailout package. It's time we have some financial responsibility back in Washington and New York. Main Street American's right here in St. Paul, your home district, cannot afford this.

In addition, I would like to know your reasoning behind the vote, and what you plan on doing to eliminate our national debt. Please put it in writing to me at:



Jeffrey S. Williams

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Gingrich: We Need Action Now

Replace Secretary Paulson and Suspend Mark to Market
by Newt Gingrich (more by this author)
Posted 10/01/2008 ET

Following Monday's failure of the Paulson plan in the House, it is imperative that our leaders not hesitate to bring stability to our financial markets.

We need action now.

The Paulson Plan - is dead. The time has come for Congress to turn its attention to a plan that does the right things the right way instead of trying to fix the wrong way of this monstrosity of a Wall Street bailout bill.

As I said to Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Monday night, and spoke about at the National Press Club on Tuesday, there are two steps that could be taken that would send a needed signal to the world financial markets that America has leaders who recognize the gravity of the crisis and are capable of putting aside narrow partisan self-interest for the good of the country.

Step One: Replace Secretary Paulson
A plan that relies on the former chairman of Goldman Sachs presiding over disbursing hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street is a terrible concept and inevitably will lead to crony capitalism and the appearance of - if not the actual existence of - corruption.

The American people understand this and they don't trust the Paulson plan. Congress should never have been faced with this as its only option to solve the financial crisis. Congress never should have been confronted with this bill. And one man, above all others, is responsible.

That man is Henry Paulson, who may have been a great deal maker for Goldman Sachs, but has been an utter failure during this economic crisis.

It's time - passed time, in fact - for President Bush to fire Secretary Paulson.

President Bush should replace Paulson immediately with someone more capable of forging a deal that the American people can trust. Secretary Paulson's Deputy at Treasury is Robert Kimmitt. He does not have the Wall Street background that made Secretary Paulson so difficult to trust as a negotiating partner and should be much more open to alternatives because he has less invested in the "Paulson" plan.

Kimmitt need not go through the actual confirmation process to immediately take over negotiating with Congress. The sooner Paulson is replaced as the chief negotiator for the administration, the sooner we will have a deal the American people can support.

Step Two: Suspend the Mark-to-Market Accounting Rule
The second thing our leaders should do immediately is simple and uncontroversial: Suspend the "mark-to-market" accounting rule that is exacerbating this crisis.

Under this artificial rule, the value of assets of banks moves up and down with economic conditions, regardless of their underlying worth. So in a time of economic crisis - such as the current subprime mortgage crisis - the value of bank assets gets caught in a downward spiral, causing investor panic and a drying up of credit.

In 2004, the European Central Bank issued this now eerily prescient opinion of the mark-to-market rule:

"With a real estate crisis or a stock market crash... [a bank] under [mark-to-market] accounting might aggravate the effects of the shock. Banks may be encouraged to react by panic selling and tightening lending standards, thus contributing to a further deepening of the crisis."

A Smart First Step
I've spent the past few days talking with businesspeople across the country - from Oklahoma, Georgia, Nevada and California - and they agree: this artificial accounting rule is needlessly making the financial crisis worse.

On Monday I appeared on Fox News' On the Record with Greta van Susteren and called for mark-to-market to be suspended.

I also wrote this op-ed yesterday for urging the same course of action.

I gave a speech at the National Press Club in which I discussed in depth the need to end this problem now. You can read the text and view it here.

Then, later that afternoon, the Securities and Exchange Commission took a smart first step by issuing a "clarification" giving companies more leeway in estimating the value of mortgage related investments. You can read more here. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox deserves credit for recognizing how this accounting requirement is needlessly exacerbating our current financial difficulties.

The Bush Administration's Expensive Legacy
Taking these two steps - replacing Secretary Paulson and suspending the mark-to-market rule - are absolutely necessary right now to give Congress the breathing room to develop a plan to replace the Paulson Plan and to re-establish trust with the American people.

The Bush Administration has now provided three case studies that have badly damaged the cause of conservatism.

First there was former FEMA head Michael Brown during Hurricane Katrina, whose incompetence convinced Americans that Republicans can't be trusted with governing.

Then there was Ambassador Jerry Bremer in Baghdad, whose decisions as the head of the American occupation of Iraq convinced Americans that Republicans can't be trusted to manage foreign policy.

And now we have Secretary Paulson at the Treasury, whose intransigence during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression has convinced Americans that Republicans can't be trusted with their money.

It's a tragic and very expensive legacy. No conservative and no Republican should doubt how much it has hurt our cause and our party.

Rebuilding Public Trust with a Work Out, Not a Bailout
As I told Greta Van Susteren Monday night on Fox News, the fundamental flaw in the Paulson Plan was that it was seen by the American people as a deal designed by and for Wall Street.

Congress needs to go back to the drawing board and develop, not just a financial markets rescue bill (which should be a work out, not a bailout) but also an economic growth bill.

This economic growth package should do two fundamental things:

First of all, it needs to provide relief for our financial markets that is based on lending troubled institutions the capital to restore our credit markets, rather than buying their bad assets. The taxpayers should be asked to extend these institutions a line of credit until they can get back on their feet, rather than blindly acquire these institutions' toxic paper. This is the essential difference between a workout and a bailout.

Second, the plan should stop the flow of $700 billion each year out of our economy and into the coffers of foreign dictators by achieving energy independence. Not only would our national security be improved, but this much new energy income would cause our economy to boom and government revenues to grow.

A Final Warning: Don't Allow the House Democrats to Move the Plan Left
A lot of people are scratching their heads over what would cause House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to deliver such a bitterly partisan speech minutes before the House voted down the Paulson Plan - a plan she purported to support.

I think it's likely that Speaker Pelosi deliberately delivered her highly partisan speech at the last minute to get precisely the result that she got - the defeat of the Paulson Plan. The danger now is that she and the liberal Democrats in the House will spend the next couple days re-loading the bill with all the leftwing pork projects that Senator McCain and the House Republicans were able to remove from it.

This danger makes it imperative that Republicans unify behind Minority Leader John Boehner in resisting moving any rescue plan to the left. The stakes are too high for the American people to allow liberal Democrats to use the current crisis to line the coffers of their special interest allies.