Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don't rain on this corn parade!

I'm an ethanol supporter, this we know. I think it stands as an alternative to oil importation and our dependence on foreign energy.

DISCLAIMER: I understand the government subsidizes ethanol, and as a conservative, I should despise that concept. But if we're talking subsidies, you right-nuts out there, perhaps we should equally despise fossil fuels?:
•The federal government provided substantially larger subsidies to fossil fuels than to renewables. Subsidies to fossil fuels—a mature, developed industry that has enjoyed government support for many years—totaled approximately $72 billion over the study period, representing a direct cost to taxpayers. -Source: Environmental Law Institute
No. I'm not for that. Just shutting up the critics for the time being...

Arguments aside, I want to call attention to Senators John Thune and Amy Klobuchar, whose recent editorial in the Forum is calling attention to their efforts in Washington, D.C. on behalf of this renewable fuel.
As a Democrat and Republican, both of us are strong advocates for American-made biofuels. But we also recognize that times have changed. Ethanol is no longer a new industry, and our country is facing serious fiscal challenges. Given the shifting tides in Congress, we felt it was important to get ahead of the curve so that ethanol could determine its own future.

Despite divisions in Congress, we worked with Sen. Diane Feinstein of California to map out a compromise that balances the need for deficit reduction with the need to continue promoting domestic renewable fuels as an essential pathway to energy independence.

The outcome of our efforts is a bipartisan agreement reached on July 7 that is supported by ethanol industry groups, as well as the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union.

In summary, this is what our compromise proposes:

It eliminates the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit at the end of this month instead of the end of 2011. This change would result in savings of just over $2 billion.

Under the bipartisan agreement, $1.3 billion from the remaining credit will be dedicated to reducing the federal budget deficit.

And unlike many legislative proposals that would have eliminated any support for biofuels, the remaining $668 million of the 2011 VEETC savings will go to targeted incentives for small ethanol producers, infrastructure like electric charging stations and blender pumps that are needed to bring greater competition to the fuel market, and cellulosic incentives. Our agreement gives consumers a real choice at the pump and is good for all families struggling with high fuel prices.
I'm for this- eliminating VEETC to save $2 billion. Not rocket science, eh?

Bipartisan work to support agriculture, development, and energy independence while also making CUTS - snip snip snip. And paying down the deficit. And giving incentives to small producers, which eventually benefits CONSUMERS.

I can hear the scissors rockin'.

That said, get your own ethaknowledge.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Aaron Rodgers: Ability on his feet

I find this diatribe quite telling, to single Aaron Rodgers out for playmaking on his feet. This elevates him above Manning and Brady, one author believes:
What Brady and Manning have on Rodgers is they’ve performed great and won big over long careers. Rodgers still faces the test of time.

But Rodgers has something neither Brady nor Manning ever have had, and that’s the ability to make plays with his feet. In the last two seasons, Rodgers has rushed for 672 yards, which is second in the league over that time, behind only Michael Vick (771 yards in seven fewer games). At ages and 26 and 27, Manning rushed for only 174 yards and Brady only 91.

Running can be a double-edged sword, because it also leaves a quarterback vulnerable to big hits, and the greatest threat to the Packers the next couple of seasons is the two concussions Rodgers suffered last year. Brady and Manning, while lacking playmaking ability outside the pocket, are masters at sliding in the pocket to avoid rushers and quickly getting the ball out when they can’t avoid, as their sacks numbers show. Manning has been sacked an average of only 17.8 times a season in his 13 years as an NFL starter and never has missed a game. Brady has averaged 27.1 sacks in his nine seasons as a starter.
If you actually watch Aaron Rodgers on the run, it's timed- it's almost premeditated. He finds a hole on his way to the endzone and somehow floats into it. Rarely do you see him rushed. Rarely is it anything more than a few feet in the RedZone, ball in a one-handed palm grasp, and held over the goal line for 6 points.

It will be this effort, not the frantic scrambles of his predecessor, that I think the coaches will include in their playwriting. Sure, the ill-fate of a Michael Vick rushing high and tackled to season-ending injury is a possibility.

But with the smarts like Manning and the cool like Brady, I think Rodgers will best them all.

Remembering Bob

As we remember Bob Stenehjem today, what comes to mind is not only the loss of a father, a brother, a husband, and a friend, but of a community leader.

Though I only knew Bob a short time, it was time well spent. Whenever I saw him, he was jovial and joking, serious but always willing to break character for a laugh. Bob's institutional knowledge of the state of North Dakota and politics will be sorely missed.

We know he is resting comfortably with our Maker.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

March was a good month

for blogging...that is. The rest of this late spring and early summer has been consumed by flood fighting.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all who are fighting to save their homes and livelihoods.

Here's a clip from NBC's Today Show to bring all those outside North Dakota up to speed on what recently has happened to the community of Minot.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Monday, May 2, 2011

Let Freedom Reign!

Just to remark on the occasion - Osama Bin Laden is dead. American troops shot and killed him, and took custody of his body.

I am so proud of our men and women in uniform, and grateful for their perseverance, dedication to the cause, and for never wavering on the promise to deliver the man behind our tragic September 11th attacks, and countless others around the world - to deliver the promise of freedom over terrorism.

A toast to General Petraeus and the American Military - may God bless you.

I only wish I could have seen President Bush's face upon hearing the news.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Presidential announcementszzzzzz

You snooze, you... snooze. Presidential candidates are announcing, and I suppose now's the time. If you're early, you get out there, start raising the moolah and collecting the name ID. But what is with the two and a half minute "announcements" these Presidential candidates are doing? Talk about snoozers.

I like Mitt Romney (though I haven't thrown my hat in for anyone but NEWT), but what a sleeper. Come on, Mitt. You're better than that! What with all the immediacy of reading the news in the morning, checking email, etc., I have tried to watch this announcement ad now a total of 9 times. It's like trying to get through to a voter the week before Election Day~ impossible!

I can't get into it. It's slow, filled with empty music - oh wait, that's just the drone of the whir of the camera crew. There's no music. There's no video. Even Obama put in stupid interviews with "everyday Obamans," I mean everyday Americans.

Back up the truck. Obama's not even IN his video. Is that the choice we as voters are faced with? A video with the candidate's talking head or a video without the candidate?

I'm looking for PIZZAZZ. I'm not talking about flashy, cheesy-neon-I'm-a-hooker-in-Vegas type showboating- I'm talking about eye catching and interesting. Not the run 'o the mill shots of communities (like the conservative, small town, church-going, rural America that doesn't really support you, Barack...)

Show me you are a straight talker. Show me action, decision making. Do'nt show me you can talk about the problem. That's why Obama's in trouble - he's too busy listening to his own voice talking to make any damn progress.

Make my smart phone worthy of your 2 minutes. Hell, make it 30 seconds. Make it "We're going to fix this mess and do it without apologizing for hurting people's feelings." BAM. Words on a one-color background, and a shot of the candidate. Now THAT, I would buy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Help, a review

Have you read The Help? As it was nothing I expected from the title, this book is captivating, colorful and contagious.

This is a book that literally paints it black and white. The juxtaposition of mothering middle-aged maids and 20-something white ladies of fine society in Jackson, MS during the Civil Rights movement delivers nothing short of quippy one-liners from the maids, bucking the high-society snoots with Marriage Degrees - humor and truth wrapped in a transparent bow.

The voice of Skeeter can be seen as a narrative encompassing the entire book. Her conscience however, I believe, is that of the author in a post-segregation modern world. Making the only white character to appear with sympathy for the black maids not only a female, but the only character without a wife and children among her peers makes me wonder if she is in a way, apologizing for the behavior against black people in the '60s. And, it poses a key question- simply how real could a character like Skeeter have been in racist, segregated Jackson in the early '60s?

Her plight is quite selfish - write a book to get the hell out of Jackson. But it is the characters of Aibileen and Minny whose dimension cannot be caged. Their voices so loud you can hear them well after the book closes, each present a view of the world that slowly changes as the story progresses. Aibileen, discovering hope anew and believe it or not, control over her future after a decision made outside her control. Minny, acting out the results of a new found freedom, finally taking pride in the story of her own life. Minny's is one we witness, while Aibileen's is one we are told.

The kicker comes in the end. When you know the final 10 pages will bring an end to this bold tale, told so vividly you believe in hiding its secret from others, it delivers quite more than a grandeur statement of "what the world will bring" for each character beyond the pages the author has given us.

As Aibileen is forced from her job as Mae Mobley's caretaker, I could literally feel Mae Mobley's heart breaking. Her emotion around losing the closest thing she has to a nurturing mother figure is too much for a reader who has ever felt the scare of their mother walking in the other direction. Be it the first day of kindergarten or being dropped off at college- or perhaps watching a mother put her suitcase in a car and drive away - it is a universal fear.

Kathryn Stockett captures in the pages of The Help, a simple truth that though entirely apparent, I did not discover until the final pages. As women, we are molded by our mothers in inexplicable ways, some we never admit to ourselves. From comments and glances - intended or unintended - and further perceived by our young egos as negative reviews, to the gestures of unconditional love - large or small - the relationship between mother and daughter cannot be confined to the limits of "black and white."

Motherhood transcends race. Daughterhood is blinded by love and acceptance until tainted by a larger, uncontrolled outside world. And unfortunately, tainted daughters also become mothers. The Help, uniquely and cleverly unveils these truths. Bravo to Kathryn Stockett.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Arizona Gun Power

Guns on Arizona campuses have been OK'd by their legislature. I say BRAVO.
What I don't understand is this argument:
State Rep. Bob Robson said guns on campuses are a bad idea because students and others experience such emotional highs and lows due to grades, exams and other circumstances.

"To make it that you could walk up to the door of an education institution (with a gun) makes no sense to me," he said.
This isn't advocating that kids take guns to school. It's merely saying, if you've got one, you're not going to be penalized.

Arizona does not have a mandatory waiting period before obtaining a firearm,I understand that. It also doesn't have an owner license requirement. You DO have to be 21 though. So you can't stop a kid from getting a gun - from an older sibling, a family member, or buying a gun online. What are we to do - live in fear that the cheerleader next to you in Biology 101 might be packing?

For some who have seen school shootings up close- be it the great tragedies at Columbine or Virginia Tech, or the smaller incidents that fade away from yesterday's news - I believe this kind of law provides some relief.
But supporters said the bill would help people defend themselves from gun violence by someone who won't heed a campus's firearms ban.

"I find it hard to believe that on universities it just becomes a bubble — that somehow you're drastically protected when you enter the campus," Democratic Rep. David Gowan said.
Bingo. To imagine that a student would have been carrying a firearm and been able to stop his peer from murdering classmates, and that is prevented by the idea that classrooms are bubbles of safety, is alarming.

We cannot be bullied by students who are emotionally unstable over grades and tests to the point of drastic violence. We cannot allow innocent students to die, when there is clearly something that can be done to help prevent it.

Way to go AZ!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Herman Cain's emailing me

WHY?! Who the heck put me on never-been-heard-of Herman Cain's Presidential Exploratory committee email list? I want my money back.

Better yet, I want to sue the bastard that took my email from an authorized candidate and used it without asking me.

No, "That's just silly, LMS," they'll say. "Everyone does this. It's no surprise. And you can unsubscribe." So it's on, me now. I suppose it's always on us - the bloggers, the political activists-even more simply, the citizens and voters - to wade through the BS of politicians' emails and decide for ourselves whom we shall support. Even when we don't sign up to get their propaganda.

Who's BS is better, you ask? Sorry folks, I'm just not ready to wade into the shallow bogs of Presidential CRAP at this time.

Hey now...look-ee-there, Cain's got himself a 21% name-rec rating? I suppose all that traveling to TEA party events and working with AFP has helped the guy get some name ID.

Dramatic pause...pretend scanning of the email content...Nope. Still heading toward the unsubscribe door as we speak.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Celebrity Books of Politics

I was literally thinking about this Politico story last night, when watching - yes I admit it - Dancing with the Stars while I tinkered around my apartment. Why? Because Bristol Palin was on DWTS for no good reason (she's the daughter of a political figure who is now a Tea Party activist, who had a baby out of wedlock and used her name to publicize it), and now has a book deal.

Some silly title, no doubt about "Life After Dancing" or "Not Afraid of Life," but she's what, 19? Is she even 19 yet? Look, I'm not hatin' on Palin Jr., here, (I do think its great that she kept the baby and is being a mom 1st and foremost) but it bets the question, why can't I get a book deal?

I'm the daughter of someone who's been in politics, albeit behind the scenes. I am on campaigns every "year.5" which is now all the freakin' time. I have an affinity for the written word. So where the hell is my book deal?

I admit, this question is just one in a long ass list of "Where is my record deal? Even Lindsey Lohan got one, yikes!" and "Where is my acting contract and movie pitch? If Carrie Underwood can, I sure as hell can."

It just baffles me how ONE entry into the public arena, and suddenly you're fit to be a quadruple-threat. I'm sorry, but these people are NOT J.Lo. And as hot as Scott Brown may have looked in that magazine spread and he can drive my pick up anytime, he's not old enough for the "memoirs" yet. NONE OF THESE PEOPLE ARE.

But why bitch and moan? They aren't selling very many of these books. It's a fad trend that will continue as long as there are people to buy books, kindles and nooks. And the books that last on the NYT's Best Seller list are those with the real stories inside - the classics, the heart-wrenching true stories of un-famous authors and real English major writers, the olde English romances of Bronte and Dickens. So if and when I write a book someday, I'll either have adequate wisdom to share, or a killer story. It won't matter if my face has ever graced People Magazine.

I suppose it really is as simple as this:
“If you have an interesting story to tell, tell it, said McCain’s collaborator and speechwriter Mark Salter. “If you don’t, you probably won’t sell many books — unless you win the presidency.”

P.S. Does the Biebs really have a book? After the Glee episode, I may have to read it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Soda Crackers by Raymond Carver

Soda Crackers

You soda crackers! I remember
when I arrived here in the rain,
whipped out and alone.
How we shared the aloneness
and quiet of this house.
And the doubt that held me
from fingers to toes
as I took you out
of your cellophane wrapping
and ate you, meditatively,
at the kitchen table
that first night with cheese,
and mushroom soup. Now,
a month later to the day,
an important part of us
is still here. I'm fine.
And you—I'm proud of you, too.
You're even getting remarked
on in print! Every soda cracker
should be so lucky.
We've done all right for
ourselves. Listen to me.
I never thought
I could go on like this
about soda crackers.
But I tell you
the clear sunshiny
days are here, at last.

Good Poems for Hard Times

I suppose I need to be more political in my postings...but what is there to say that hasn't been said? We're doing well in ND, despite the impending doom of flood. WI is a train wreck for now, and all thoughts on Walker lead me to hold my tongue or swallow my pride (more on that another day).

There are days I think Twitter is stupid. Useful, the next. For news and things. I often wonder- that's often pronounced withOUT the "t"- how people find these interesting tidbits to share. I spent the day working and didn't have time for webbrowsing... maybe I'll post something revolutionary and world changing tomorrow.

But on this Monday night of 1,000 successes during a productive day, great training run, and all around feeling of gratitude, I cannot sleep.

And so I share with my tiny world of readership, a book I so love: Good Poems for Hard Times, selected and intro'd by Garrison Keillor.

The best new discovery? Soda crackers. Raymond Carver is enriching my life with his short diatribe on soda crackers. I cannot read the first line without laughing.

Look it up. Will post text tomorrow

Thursday, March 3, 2011

And Another one Bites the Dust

Mitch Daniels poo-poohs a run in 2012.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) said Wednesday he will not run for president in 2012, according to the Kentucky-Indiana Courier Journal.

He said he is not interested in the position and noted he has neither fundraised nor spent much time outside of Indiana as evidence of his choice.

The Christian Science Monitor reported in February that he said he was open to a run at that time, and the Courier-Journal noted on Aug. 15 that he had said the same earlier this month.
I can't blame these guys.

Beating Obama, in my eyes, is still a difficult task and one I think we can kiss goodbye (although I am BEGGING to be proven wrong.)

And I have to agree, the corn-fed white boys in the midwest may not be the best chance against him anyway... just sayin#

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thune is out

Senator John Thune, our handsome neighbor to the South, does not intend to throw his name in for President:
According to a post on his Facebook page, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., isn't jumping into the presidential race.

"So at this time, I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America's future here in the trenches of the United States Senate," Thune said in the statement.

The South Dakota senator had been mentioned as a possible candidate to seek the 2012 Republican nomination but Tuesday, Thune said his place is in the Senate.

"There is a battle to be waged over what kind of country we are going to leave our children and grandchildren and that battle is happening now in Washington, not two years from now," Thune continued.

Thune's responsibilities as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee have kept him busy and he and was recently named to the powerful Senate Finance and Budget committees.

The decision isn't completely unexpected. Thune had done very little to lay the groundwork for a presidential campaign, ignoring Iowa and New Hampshire where the first presidential caucuses and primary election take place less than a year from now.Fox News Correspondent Carl Cameron contributed to this report.

Read more: http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/02/22/senator-john-thune-doesnt-plan-run-president#ixzz1Ei16ZuiI
Sad for the supporters.

Good for... Romney?

Who else? Loving your thoughts, posters~

And can someone please tell me what is up with posting this to Facebook first?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Madison is NUTS

Three solid days of school closings in Madison, WI and teacher protests from there to Milwaukee, and the real losers aren't just the teachers.

While they may be serious LOSERS, spitting and shoving like immature brats on a playground at the Wisconsin Capitol, it's the students who are missing out - who are actually losing in this equation.

Cuts are necessary. Ask Chris Christie. Ask anyone who is serious about reining in spending. Ask Scott Walker who's taken a good look at the budget and understands where Wisconsin NEEDS to go and that reform is necessary.
Walker, who took office last month, called the boycott a "stunt." He vowed not to concede.

"It's more about theatrics than anything else," Walker said.
Good for him.

Teachers, why the heck do you do the job you do? Is it for the paycheck? because if it is, you're in the WRONG biz.

If it's for the exprssion on a child's face when they actually understand fractions, or pass a test, or get into their #1 choice college, then you should know better than to act this way.

If everyone who was upset about their work situation protested and went on strike, we'd be a country of chaos. But hard working, common sense people understand it's just not realistic.

No votes have even been taken on this - and "your" Democrat representatives HAVE LEFT THE BUILDING!! What does that say about your strength of character, and theirs?
Neil Graupner, a 19-year-old technical college student from Madison, said he was planning to stay until the matter is settled.

"The fact that the Democrats have walked out, it shows their listening to us," he said late Thursday as he prepared to spend the night at the Capitol.
No it doesn't, Neil. It says they're too chicken shit to look at this head-on.

Stand up and do the right thing, teachers. Get back to class and teach the youth of America. They don't deserve this, and Wisconsin is better than that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Rodg v. B Pevre, I mean Favre

There is a notion floating out in the blogosphere that Favre is STILL better than Rodgers, that they have a crappy relationship, that Aaron Rodgers is bitter, and that it somehow is still a problem.

Let's clear this up right now.

Of COURSE Brett Favre is on the books as a better QB. He played 8 times as freakin' long as Rodgers has. He has the longest running streak of games started. And others...

But Favre, too, has 1 Superbowl win. Just 1. Doesn't count how many times you GET there.

So let's just say this. I don't KNOW Aaron Rodgers personally, but that man has some media training! He knows when not to fill the silence because the media wants him to. He knows how to keep a cool head. He generally is a smart guy, and it all comes across in his performance with the press. Oh, and on the field - but that goes without saying.

The thing is, I believe Aaron Rodgers doesn't need Favre. He watched him for 3 years on the sidelines, in practice and in the locker room. He learned what he needed to. He's emulated what he needed to - the GOOD parts of Favre. Rodgers can scramble with the best of 'em. He can get away from his attacker. He's breaking the fingers of his receivers day in and day out wiht the velocity he puts on the ball. And he doesn't throw the stupid pass that leads to the 4th quarter interception to lose the game. He may even hold on to the ball too darn long! But joking aside - Most of all, he hasn't let it lead him astray in a stupid way - toward drugs or sex or rock'n'roll...

Well, maybe a little music. Rodgers has his own music label and he's working to find that next up and comin' band who's got "IT." But that's just the spirit of an entrepreneur, not the desperate attempts of a lonely, washed-up QB who feels the need to show off his cock.

Harsh, perhaps. But let's MOVE ON. If the press and the idiot bloggers would quit TYING the two together, we'd all stop caring. The fans sure have!

Let the man be a star. Let him revel in the glory of an MVP and a Superbowl win in his 3rd year. Let him show people that what happens between him and Brett Favre should be just that. Let Rodgers prove he's the bigger man. And if someday they speak, I'm sure it will be respectful and professional. Isn't that all that matters?

Rodgers will most always likely follow Favre on the books. But I believe he'll far surpass him in life. And by that, I mean with his own personal viewing of the person he has become to his community, his family, and his Maker.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine's Day note to Hallmark

Dear Hallmark~
To Hallmark and other greeting card companies, I’d like to make what I believe to be a simple, common-sensical request, but now appears ridiculous and needy.

Would you PLEASE design a decent Valentine’s Day card for a grown woman (think above 13 years of age) to give to her father?

This is not in any way creepy or incestual, but merely a decent thing to provide to your customers. As a 26 year old, for the past 3-4 years, I have been literally unable to find an appropriate Valentine’s Day card to give to my father. Why, you ask? Because you design them either:
a) With Peanut’s characters
b) As if a cartoon weasel would actually sit on her father’s lap
c) Or not at all.
I looked in 5 dfferent stores – Walmart, K-Mart, Target, CVS, and Wal-Mart in another city! Still, to no avail. I can NOT give my father a Twilight-themed V-Day card. He has no idea what Vampires or Werewolves are, nor why I sent "Team Edward" Valentines to all of my college girlfriends...but that's a story for another post.

It’s simple. My father was the first man I ever gave my heart to. And he’s a great dad. For all the mom cards and wife cards and husband cards (and I did find great choices for my mother and sister), you’d think Dad’s could get shown a little love from the Hallmark clan.

I’d appreciate your prompt attention to this matter for next Valentine’s day, exactly 364 days away. Plenty of time for crafting sentimental goodness for a “Father’s Valentine’s Day Card.”

In the spirit of Valentine's day = chocolate,


Congrats to my Pack. I should have posted this a week ago, but I'm still on HIGH from the Win. Much deserved.

And a little note on our friend, Aaron Rodgers:
But Rodgers made it clear in Tuesday's jam-packed Super Bowl XLV Media Day he only wants to be a leader of God's pack when it comes to influencing others to see his faith in Jesus Christ.

"We all have a platform, we all have a message in our lives," Rodgers told Baptist Press and a worldwide media turnout, which ringed his individual interview area. "I just try to follow Jesus' example, leading by example."

During his six years with the Packers, his career has seen enough twists and turns, dead ends and detours to test anyone's faith. An expected top 10 draft choice, he lasted until the end of the first round for reasons he never understood. He stood on the sidelines for three seasons while Packers quarterback Brett Favre went through his yearly will-he-or-won't-he retirement routine as Packers QB.

Finally given a chance to start three years ago, he has matured into one of the top quarterbacks in the league, but not forgetting his past, present and future in Christ.

"God always has a plan for us, a path. Sometimes we wish we knew it sooner," Rodgers said with a bit of a laugh, "but He always shows up His way."

He credits his parents, Ed and Darla Rodgers, who still live in Northern California where he was raised, for showing him a loving and Christ-centered household. He also remains close to his two longtime accountability partners, Pastors Andrew Burchett of the Neighborhood Church in Chico, Calif., and Young Life Christian youth group leader Matt Hock.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I've been on hiatus from blogging. But you know what?

I'm back!

And my first post is merely to say: GO PACK GO!

and 11 reasons why we'll win the SUPERBOWL!!