Whats all this advertising the other campaigns stance?

I find the Kennedy-Klobuchar race interesting. Mark Kennedy has some hard hitting ads, but then again, I think they could be counter productive, in that he is showing what Amy Klobuchar is for.

The last ad, where he sits with a little old lady is interesting. He said Amy is for taxing social security, benefits for illegal immigrants, rationing healthcare etc as it they are negatives. Perhaps for some of his constituents they are, but then again, perhaps not.

Taxing social security is double taxation, yet is mandated by current legislation for those over a certain income level. While I don’t think its right on the premise of double taxation, its an easy revenue source, the overhead to do it, is pretty low, and it could probably be made more progressive without too much negativity due to the small number of people affected. I’m not sure if its a good or bad idea… but it certainly is a political one.

Rationing healthcare occurs daily, and I think it is the way of the future. People don’t like to hear it, but anyone on medicare, or any physician can definitely see that they are getting sub par care as soon as the govt is involved. Once you take the economic incentive out of the picture for excellence, entropy ensues, and quality declines. Otoh, the other situation is for people to pay for services as they are able, and this is going to mean a lot of folks would end up with sub par care even worse than under medicare, although excellence would still be available for those with deep pockets. This is not a black and white scenario, and one has to ask what is the extension of human life worth. If its a family member, its worth a lot, if its an additional 20% sales, income tax, and property tax, it seems pretty worthless.

Its a most interesting campaign either way….. I will vote for Mark, because I think he will be effective as contrated with Amy, and not because of his positions, as I tend to disagree with them.

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Brilliant Security

Hmmm, looks like govt on all levels is messing up. First some people went off on the posting of security risks of Air Force One on the internet. Now, if this was a real threat, then I’d be in 100% agreement, it has to go. Otoh, what was posted, at least to anyone with even a little aviation experience was common knowledge. Please note, their was a lot more… but just in case their is some nutcase around, I’m not going to link to the rest of it.

Next was the posting of private information in FL. Talk about an invitation to identity theft. Eg, they post social security numbers, mortgage info, the whole deal. I imagine some sucker could rob people right out from under their noses with all this info. Yet, here is the response from the exec in charge.

Given that public records have been readily available, Baldwin called concerns about posting them online “a tempest in a teapot,” saying “most people’s documents don’t have [sensitive] stuff in them. There are relatively few documents that have that kind of information.”

But of course, the dudes over at digg couldn’t let her get away with that so Need_a_new_Identiy_Download_one_today was dug. And sooner or later, I knew someone would have to post her info. Yep they did, I’ve removed the links, but wow, talk about a great deal for an identity theft. Thats a lot of info.

Sue Baldwin’s (that official) Notary Certificate —

Look, she sold her condo… —

… And bought a house! —

… Don’t forget her Soc. Sec. Number! —

And she has a swimming pool, cool! —

She even paid off her mortgage —

This is not cool!

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Feel Good Legislation eg the Patriot Act passed the senate

What a deal… selling out again.

And of course, they just had to add this some foolish over the counter drug sales provision within the patriot act. Gee, is someone really going to make Semtex from Nyquil. Was our congress paying attention in highschool, or were they too busy screwing around and missed chem class. Sure, I know the whole deal is about the so called meth war, but man, get a life, this is national security, and not about some stoner somewhere. Idiots!

On the other hand, I do happen to like section 309.

    • `(2) directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity in return for–
      • `(A) being influenced in the performance of any official act affecting any secure or restricted area or seaport; and
      • `(B) knowing that such influence will be used to commit, or plan to commit, international or domestic terrorism,
    shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.

On the other hand, if they would have omitted the word and highlight in red, it would have put a lot of politicians in jail over the aforementioned sales of ports. Unfortunately and makes the burden of proof pretty high.

I thought this one was another sell out. Chapter 111A, section 2293

In General- It is a bar to prosecution under this chapter if–

    • `(1) the conduct in question occurred within the United States in relation to a labor dispute, and such conduct is prohibited as a felony under the law of the State in which it was committed;

In other words, terrorist are free to do as they please, as long as they join the union. I don’t think our friends at the union are going to be any too pleased with terrorists infiltrating their organization in order to avoid prosecution. Yikes, who writes this stuff anyhow.

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KERPS

Key Employee Retension Plan

In other words, how execs walk away with huge bonuses after running their corporation into the ground.

This is a key issue example of unintended consequences. To some extent, its a personal reward for a CEO to file bankruptcy. However, last month it changed. Originally the idea was to keep on key people by compensating them excessively to prevent the top management from jumping ship, and thus making the probability of company survival higher. However, to me, it never made sense. Why on earth would you want the same inept management that ran a company into the ground, trying to turn it around. If anything, the idea would be to ditch them. Then again, that should be a board of directors issue, however they often times lack the guts to do so.

At least after Oct 17th, some additional criteria is required. First, the exec in order to recieve a huge bonus has to show evidence of similiar compensation in a new position. Since a captain going down with his ship may not be all that great in the first place, the probability of getting a great offer is pretty low. Secondly, the judge has to accept it, and their guidelines are a lot stiffer now. As a result, a lot of corporations declared bankruptcy before Oct 17th. Some, perhaps had the companies best interests at heart. I would gather that most were more concerned about their personal bonuses though.

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No Freedom of Speech for Political Blogs

Guess this is why I am a republican, although some forward thinking democrats are behind free speech as well.

The concern that paid campaign bloggers would run a free for all is a little extreme. They will get found out. A guy I know, a staunch democrat, who actually does get paid to blog does not parrot the party line. Its pretty easy to see that his blogs were not an extension of a special interest group or the democratic party. I think most web folks will get to the bottom of any screwball bloggers in short order. (or maybe I should clarify, most cynical web folks will) and maybe thats the concern. I’m not sure, anyhow, it seems the libs are very very scared.

So the question is where do we go from here. Maybe someone needs to setup a blog service in another country where free speech is held above all. There was a guy that bought an island in international waters that provides free speech web hosting. Unfortunately I can’t seem to remember where it was. Its unfortunate when one has to go off shore in order to practice the rights of the first admendment.

Paid for by _____who knows___, Approved by ___who knows____

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US Oil Consumption and Anwar

20.5 million barrels/day of oil is used in the US, or 7.4 billion barrels/year

Drilling in Anwar may provide 10 billion barrels of oil, maybe more, possibly less.

Peak production form Anwar will occur in 2025, with a peak output of 876,000 barrels per day. Thus, we have roughly 3 years of oil, assuming consumption can be held at 2004 limits, 20 years from now.

Its also assumed that oil will be at $27/barrel in 2025 and that the small dent created by Anwar may cause a global price shift of under $0.50/barrel. Hmmm, our internal supplies drop multifold in years before that, and its going to be 50% less than it is now, and our consumption will remain at the same as it was in 2004.

Does anyone see how misguided and what a porker Anwar drilling is, and thats outside of any environmental issues.

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A good deal for state govt, a bad deal for the average Joe, and a terrible one for those on fixed incomes.

The state is going to rake it in big time this year with the taxes on home heating fuel. As the taxes are based on a percentage, rather than a flat rate per unit used, the revenue generated by a 70-110% increase in home heating fuel is going to be the same for the state of MN.

This is just plain wrong, the govt is adding insult to injury. Yet another case of the govt loosing its wheels. I’m going to make darn sure to send some extra contributions to our local home heating assitance org and the Salvation Army’s utilities program.

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Who is this Kelly Doran guy anyhow

Wow, talk about a ton of ads, and early on too. I went and checked out the guys website…. based upon the ads, I had no idea he was a democrat. If I did, chances are I might not have looked him up. Yes, I’m a closed minded republican. However, my longtime party has not been exactly stellar as of late, so I spent some time on his website. Interesting, the guy does have some good ideas. It would be nice to actually see them happen, but with all good things in politics, they usually end up getting so watered down, and corrupted in implemenation, its rare that anything good ever comes from them.

Some of the cool things he emphasized were a focus on education, and a focus on business involvement.

He mentioned that he paid for his education himself through working, but also mentioned that tuition was a paltry $1500 back then. Now, its over $9000, and very few students can afford to live, go to school full time, and pay that insane tuition. Sure, costs have risen, but more likely, with an increase in size, so has overhead, and probably exponentially, thus making the tuition insane. If anything, with the increased productivity brought on by technology, overhead costs should have dropped, and tuition should be more inline with inflation, rather than an exponential multiplier. Instead, students end up getting gouged, as the state funds education at a lower amount than back then, and the overhead is much much higher. The big question, is whose hand stole the money out of education (and no one wants to fess up to that) My gut feel suggests that the huge increases in criminal justice and the court systems played a huge role, but one would need to dig through the state budgets over the years in order to identify who the thief was to be certain. If truely Kelly Doran would redistribute funding away from frivilous activities (please note, I’m not saying police are frivolous, the courts, and jail systems are the big waste imho), and towards education, he would really be onto something big. Unfortunately, I doubt that any politcian would do such a thing. Students are not big money contributors, and have little political power. The court system is made up of lawyers and politicans, who know how to run the system for their own gain. It would be a rare politician to take such a stand of opposition.

One of the other things Kelly brought up was a lack of business involvement, and contrasted MN to some other more progressive states. Its interesting how the anti-tax climate of Colorado can have such huge success and growth. My republican stance would say its the anti-tax position, but realistically, I think its what Kelly alluded to. Business involvement, and the push to make things happen. Its a simliar situation to primary ed. If parents are involved, the school will do well, irrespective of funding or physical location. If the parents are not involved, it will require huge somes of cash, just to do a marginal job.

One other cool thing was Kelly’s stance on bankruptcy, and pensions. It is a raw deal for sure, that NWA will kill off their employees pensions, and thus subjecting some folks to personal bankruptcy, where in they will have no chance, while leaving the NWA mismanagement team swimming to the hills with the huge bonuses do to KERPs. At least KERP’s is now dramatically different, as well as the time frames for corp bankruptcy. Its too bad NWA didn’t screw the filing date up like they did running the company and thus be subject to the current regs. Otoh, when they liquidate the airline leaving everyone high and dry, they would be under different regs, of which I have yet to research. I do like what Kelly stated on his site. I support creating an independent system with independent oversight to manage pensions–a system that is properly funded, free from abuse of corporate insiders and insulated from corporate bankruptcies. I think that would be pretty slick, but unfortunately the stock market and investment bankers would scream bloody murder with such a stance, so its unlikely it would ever happen. Then again, if GM and Ford ditch their pension plans, and PBGC takes a major header. The millions of folks affected just might force the issue.

Kelly does take a stand on the ethanol subsidies, and I think its a misguided one. For sure, the commitment should have been upheld by out current governor, but it was a bad deal to start with imho. Ethanol introduces a whole other realm of unintended consequences, many of which we will not see for a few years. Thats the problem when you comingle science, politics, and economics. In other words a major fubar of compromise such that everyone looses, and I think our children will be the biggest losers. What a legacy we leave.

Lastly, he is anti taxpayer funding of the stadium. Cool!!! It is interesting to note that public opinion swayed big time after the vikings deal.. but from a economics standpoint, it should have still been the same slam dunk which was proposed. My gut feel suggests, it never was to start with. If an entity wants a stadium, let them build it, and cut them a deal on taxes if you want it more than the other guy, but don’t build it for them.

It will be interesting to see how things play out. While the guy is a democrat, which usually equates to spending money without accountability or results, he does have a business background. In addition, he is a self made man, and I find that an odd contrast to the strict class barriers that democrats try to build even higher to prevent anyone else from succeeding. Then again, people change as their class status changes, wealth changes, and even age. Still it is a paradox.

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