The First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh choices must have said “No, Thanks.”

The producers of “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Trading Spaces” must have been getting nervous, and desperate as they worked their way down their list of potential talent for their upcoming new show on TruTV.

Then Jesse “The Hind” Ventura opted in. 

The former governor will host a new program for TruTV (formerly Court TV) in which he’ll travel the country, exploring modern-day conspiracies and getting input from believers and skeptics.

“I’ve been a mayor; I’ve been a governor. Now I get to be a detective and seek the truth,” Ventura said in a press statement.

“Until you hunted man, you haven’t hunted yet.”

“Huh?” Replied the show’s producers.

No word yet as to which Jesse Ventura will show up for filming; the bald but clean-cut former Guv or Kinky Friedman-sidekick with braided chin hair.

Another show not to watch. 

The Butts Justify The Means

Minnesota’s smoking ban turns 1 today.

In the year since Minnesota banned smoking in public establishments, the results have been both predictable — revenues from pull tabs and other charitable games have taken a hit — and unexpected — using a loophole in state law, a group of people dressed in Renaissance costumes staged smoke-filled “theater nights” at several bars around the state.

But attitudes haven’t changed. Last winter, ClearWay Minnesota conducted a poll that found 76 percent of Minnesotans supported the Freedom to Breathe Act, which went into effect Oct. 1, 2007. A poll released last week found the figure virtually unchanged at 77 percent.

“I think the public has adjusted amazingly well. The law is just a part of Minnesota now,” ClearWay Minnesota spokeswoman Kerri Gordon said.

While the ban’s proponents have measured a whole slew of smoking-related statistics (the amount of nicotine and cigarette related chemicals in bar employees is way down), they seem to strenuously avoid the big ones.

How many bars and restaurants has the ban euthanized?

How many jobs have been lost?

Indeed, have more lives been lost to the stress of job losses and people driving farther to get to bars than from the (largely unproven) casualties of second-hand smoke?

Is Capitalism Dead?

No, not even close.

But it’s pretty beat up this week. And it’s not even it’s own fault.

Capitalists are advised to gird their loins, keep a stiff upper lip, turn the other cheek and brace for impact over the near term.

Especially in the Twin Cities.

Over the next couple of weeks the downtrodden, the liberal media, and any other self-appointed disenfranchised victims with a pen or a microphone are going to come out of the woodwork and point their ignorant editorial finger at the “capitalist fatcats” who are ruining our country. All the while failing to realize whose name is on their meager paychecks or whose enterprise and the philanthropy it made possible, funded the grant or the foundation that put them on the air or puts their drivel on paper.

They’ll blame unfettered capitalism for all our nation’s troubles (giving Global Warming a break for the time being) and cite the real estate meltdown and it’s newly minted (pun intended) cure.

And the alleged scheme by John Petters isn’t helping either. The timing could not have been worse for free-market proponents.

Oh, and they’ll somehow blame George Bush even more.

They’ll forget how the Kennedy’s made their money (which was has since been outlawed by securities regulators among other authorities), and the Carnegie’s, the Gates’, the Rockefeller’s and the rest of the benefactor families that turned capitalism and the American Dream that is it’s upside into the largest charitable foundations in America. Their foundations fund the arts and education; they fight poverty and disease wherever it is found in the world. No doubt it is done more efficiently than any government agency ever could.

Nonetheless, stand by for the knee-jerking.

Across That Big Ol’ Aisle

Regional pundits that remember the seventies constantly bemoan the lack of “bipartisanship” in Minnesota politics.

Of course, the only “bipartisanship” they seem to get around to is the kind were Republicans act like and coalesce around DFL positions.

Never, ever stories like this:

Longtime DFL legislator Doug Johnson said he was ingrained with the political philosophy of Minnesota legendary Senator and Vice President Hubert Humphrey — “The worst Democrat is better than the best Republican.”

But on Nov. 4, the former chairman of the powerful state Senate Tax Commission, will split his vote for the first time ever. His ballot will be marked in a familiar Democratic way for Barack Obama for president, Jim Oberstar for 8th District congressman, Tom Bakk for state senator and David Dill for state representative. But in the U.S. Senate race, Johnson will cast his vote for incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.

So when the Override Six betrayed Republican Party principles and stabbed Governor Pawlenty in the back, Lori Sturdevant demanded that the GOP keep a wide, Wide, Wide open mind toward their self-interested treachery, and chided the GOP for trying to squash the traitors.

Wonder how Johnson’s move is going to play in the DFL – and with the likes of Sturdevant?

UPDATE:  Welcome Hot Air readers!

I Have An Imperious Gaffe, Too

One of the – words temporarily fail – most cloying moments of the debate on Friday was Obama’s “I have a bracelet, too” moment. Not that there wasn’t a legitimate point – not all parents of troops killed in Iraq support the President or the war effort.

Although, as it happens, the parents Obama referred to weren’t two of them:

Shockingly, however, Madison resident Brian Jopek, the father of Ryan Jopek, the young soldier who tragically lost his life to a roadside bomb in 2006, recently said on a Wisconsin Public Radio show that his family had asked Barack Obama to stop wearing the bracelet with his son’s name on it. Yet Obama continues to do so despite the wishes of the family…Jopek began by saying that his ex-wife was taken aback, even upset, that Obama has made the death of her son a campaign issue. Jopek says his wife gave Obama the bracelet because “she just wanted Mr. Obama to know Ryan’s name.” Jopek went on to say that “she wasn’t looking to turn it into a big media event” and “just wanted it to be something between Barack Obama and herself.” Apparently, they were all shocked it became such a big deal.

But, he also said that his ex-wife has refused further interviews on the matter and that she wanted Obama to stop wearing the reminder of her son’s sacrifice that he keeps turning into a campaign soundbyte.

Jopek’s mother has said that she wants Obama to stop using her son as a prop, and that she otherwise supports Obama.

Wouldn’t want to let a little human decency get in the way of his ambition, would we?

Well, I Could Call Out When The Going Gets Tough

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism from 11AM-5PM:

  • Volume I “The First Team” –Brian, Chad and John kick off from 11-1.
  • Volume II “The Headliner”Ed is back! We do our thing from 1-3. I’m going out on a limb and saying we’ll get into some debate talk. Hope you can join us!
  • III, “The Final Word”King and Michael will be dishing the Minnesota smack from 3-5. I’m going to take a flyer and bet that they’ll be talking about Michael’s candid camera episode.

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of sanity. On the air at AM1280 in the Metro, or streaming at AM1280’s Website, or via podcast at Townhall.

And don’t forget the David Strom Show, with David Strom and Margaret Martin, from 9-11!

(Title courtesy Joy Division)

The First Debate

I took in tonight’s debate that almost never was with Minnesota Public Radio, at their UBS studio with about 100 other people.

There were probably eight or ten identified Republicans in the place. I’ll give some kudos to MPR; we were probably represented in greater proportion that we are among MPR’s mailing list, if not among its audience. I was joined by Derek, Lassie and Diamond Dog from Freedom Dogs, among a few others.

I took 32 pages of notes (to be fair, they were 3×5 inch sheets of paper) – but really, Bob Collins at MPR’s News Cut had a pretty complete liveblog. So did Ed, naturally. So I won’t regurgitate all my notes.

But I will give some of my observations.

It Started Bad for Mac: He looked and sounded nervous for the first question, in the first five minutes or so. I got really nervous for a bit there. He looked like it took a moment to get his bearings.

Once We Got Past The Jitters, There Was A Pattern: Obama talked in terms of talking points and lots of fairly vague generalities. McCain – once he found his sea legs – mopped the floor with Obama on specifics, experience and gravitas.

Obama Was Fixated On Taxes: The second question asked the candidates what they’d cut from their plans, given the economic crisis. Obama would not answer the question. On top of that, he kept mixing up tax hikes for cuts.

Mac’s Message: “Let’s Get The Band Together Again”: Mac continued [what I maintain is] his strategy of bypassing the “elites” and the media, and going directly to the old Reagan Coalition. I don’t think much of the audience, Obama supporters that they were, got it.

McCain Ruled The Second Half: Once the debate switched to pure foreign policy, Obama seemed to rely on platitudes, while Mac was able, more and more, to not only draw on his decades of experience, but to relax and, finally, appear in command of the situation. For the last half of the debate, Obama seemed like he was on the defensive, and on issue after issue Mac kept him on the ropes; the guy’s been where history’s been made for the past quarter century; I’m not sure how Obama could be anything but overmatched.
After the debate, Jeff Horwich of In The Loop held a forum, focusing mostly on undecided voters. This was interesting, in a sense; so few of the people I hang out with are actually undecided, being either committed conservatives or committed liberals.

But there were plenty of Obama supporters – easily over half of the crowd. And the refrain that it seemed like all of them came up with to describe the debate; “McCain was condescending”. I got a little laugh out of that – me, the “bitter, gun-clinging Jesus freek”, or whatever it was that Obama called me and people like me; me, the supporter of the “broad who should be home raising her kids”, of the “old guy” as so many lefties refer to McCain; lefties, who are so supremely condescending to all of us gun-toting, WalMart shopping, often suburb-dwelling Middle Americans, get hurt when Mac takes The One to school on the issues? I was tempted to get up and yell “sack up and grow a pair, you hamsters”. Decorum ruled, however.

Kudos to MPR, at any rate; I think they’re making a serious effort to ensure some sort of ideological diversity in these events. I had a great time (the free Finnegan’s Irish Amber didn’t hurt, either).

UPDATE: Paul Mirengoff stated it well:

McCain was the teacher; Obama was the promising but somewhat disappointing student — the one who knows lots of facts but ultimately doesn’t quite get the big picture

In reaching this verdict, I don’t want to give the impression did Obama did badly. To the contrary, I think he debated quite well for the most past. Certainly, his performance should end the mantra of certain critics that Obama can’t handle himself without a tele-prompter. The problem for Obama was not his performance; his problem was that once McCain got past his dreadful first “round” of the debate, he excelled. McCain was more knowledgeable, more to the point, keener on the attack, and (above all) deeper than Obama.

The reality is that, when he’s in form, McCain is deeper than just about anyone. Recall his debates with Mitt Romney (and a cast of thousands). Romney was articulate (probably more so than Obama) and knowledgeable. But McCain had an octave that Romney just couldn’t reach (though Giuliani did at times). McCain hit those notes frequently tonight; Obama couldn’t reach them any more than Romney could.

Paul’s right – Obama did debate capably (as I noted to the MPR audience when called upon to give a strong suit to Obama’s performance). But McCain exuded authority. I guess when your guy doesn’t exude it, one might think it “condescending”.

Obama looked like a plausible president. So, voters who are too disgusted to vote for a Republican probably got enough reassurance from Obama tonight to take the plunge. But to the extent voters are still comparing the two candidates, rather than voting up or down on Obama, I think it was a good night for McCain.

We noted that with Horwich’s interviews with the “undecideds” in the room. There was one – let’s just say an “obvious” democrat – who said she was a Hillary supporter, who was never going to vote for a Republican at any rate, who thought Obama did just fantastic. But another – a genuine undecided – admitted to have been given signficant pause by Obama’s performance and, especially, Mac’s.

Since The Subject Is Debates…

…I should point out that next Thursday is the Vice Presidential debate.

Have you signed up for the party yet?

AM1280 The Patriot is hosting a debate viewing party at Trocadero in Minneapolis (it’s right by the Monte Carlo, on Third Avenue at First Street North) tomorrow.

We’ll have a free appetizers and a cash bar for your gastronomical pleasure (and let me tell you – nobody does appetizers like Trocadero!). The debate goes from 8pm CST to 9:30pm CST and doors will open at 7:30pm-ish.

The is free – but please RSVP at the handy AM1280 RSVP Page so we can plan accordingly.

Sign on up and join us next Thursday.

Not to mention the Presidential debate, on October 15, too. Same time, same station, same wonderful nightclub.

We’ll see you there!

The “Positive” Campaign

Volunteers and staffers for Ashwin Madia – DFL candidate for the Third Congressional District – are busted stealing Erik Paulsen signs.

By Michael Brodkorb.  Personally.

He has the scoop

Last evening I meet a friend who works for Erik Paulsen’s campaign at the Perkins’ in Maple Grove.  I had pulled into the parking lot for Perkins and I was talking with my friend, when we noticed someone walk across the street and take two Paulsen for Congress lawn signs out of the ground from the property across the street from the Perkins.  I was stunned – this woman was stealing Paulsen for Congress lawn signs in front of a staffer for the campaign and a part-time research consultant to the campaign.

…When confronted, the woman first claimed she was just “a private citizen…” But after I noticed the car she was driving had a Ashwin Madia for Congress bumper sticker, she admitted that she “also happened to be a Madia volunteer.”

According to multiple sources who have seen the video, the car driven by the Madia volunteer who took the Paulsen for Congress lawn signs has been identified as being owned by Madia’s communications director Dan Pollock. This is the same Dan Pollock who claimed this week that Madia is running a “very positive, issue-oriented campaign”:

“‘[Team Madia is ] running a very positive, issue-oriented campaign,’ Pollock said.” Source: Sun Newspapers, September 23, 2008

Having your communications director’s car used as a get-a-way vehicle doesn’t help build the case that you’re “…running a very positive, issue-oriented campaign.”

Or an especially honest one.

If you have to steal your opponents’ signs, what does that say about your campaign? 

Mr. Madia?

The Audacity Of Petulance

This is likely going to be a close presidential election.  I think – fervently believe, in fact – that Mac can pull this out.  Since the convention, I’ve actually felt that this was a plausible belief, in fact.

But it’s distinctly possible we’re going to have four years of Messianic Democrat leadership, and possible hegemony, at the federal level in this country.

Now, to some extent it’s a win-win for me; Democrat governments are a “target rich environment” for talk radio (until the “Fairness” Doctrine sends black-clad stormtroopers rappelling down from helicopters to the Patriot studio), so while the economy and our national security will be in the crapper, there’ll be plenty to talk about.

But while Barack Obama has the strong potential to be, on Inauguration Day, the worst President of my lifetime, I’ll tell you what I – and any conservative I’ve ever known – won’t do; whine and whimper like a little baby about the unfairness of the system that saddled them with an opponent as a leader.  Y’know – exactly what too many lefties have been doing for the past eight years.

Chad the Elder pillories the notion, listing all the bumper stickers you likely won’t see on Republicans’ cars:

– Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For McCain

– Somewhere In Illinois Hawaii Kansas(?) A Village Is Missing Its Idiot

– Impeach Obama

I’ve also made an agreement to secure a number of bumper stickers currently in use that could be equally applicable:

– He’s Not My President

– If You’re Not Outraged You’re Not Paying Attention

– Proud Of My Country–Ashamed Of My Government

And a couple of the clever “make you think” variety:

– Buck Ofama

– 1-20-13 (with a stark black background of course)

Of course, Chad is just scratching the surface.  I’ll [not] be stocking up on a few more:

  • Anointed, Not Elected
  • If You Can Read This, You’re Not Subject To Obama’s Education Plan
  • Impeach Biden First
  • Pro-Constitution, Anti-Obama
  • Fight Terrorism: Arrest Ayers

On the other hand, if Obama wins, look for four years of not one single complaint about the Electoral College or electronic voting machines…

Watching Totalitarianism Encroach

We conservatives joke about Obama, calling him “the One” or “the Messiah” because of some of the excesses, to be fair, of some/many of his followers (and his wife). 

The metaphor works.  But there’s a better one.


Oh, you could fill in others; Chavez, Castro, Mussolini, Franco, what have you.

Why?  Because The One has tipped his hand.  He is going to sic the government on those who dissent against him.

From David Bernstein at Volokh, with emphasis added by me:

the Obama campaign has sicced its lawyers on t.v. stations that might air a well-sourced NRA advertisement that correctly points out Obama’s longstanding anti-gun record.

 The ad, of course, is correct in every respect.  It’s not only protected political speech, it is true.  Obama was for gun control, before (he claimed) he was against it.

The proper response to such attempts to infringe on the First Amendment is to make sure that the video in question receives the widest circulation possible, to deter the Obama campaign, and other campaigns for that matter, from engaging in such tactics in the future. So here it is. Share it with a friend, with a note that Obama is threatening legal action against stations that run it, in violation of the First Amendment.

Here you go:

Go ahead, Barry.  Have your goons send me a Cease and Desist.  I dare you.

Sebastian from Snowflakes In Hell on the gist of Obama’s assault:

So basically, stop running NRA’s ads, or your broadcast license could be in jeopardy.  They detail the WaPo’s repetition as proof.  This is Chicago politics at its finest folks.  If you can’t win fair, win dirty.  This is not how a free society is supposed to function.  This is not the kind of man I want leading my country.

This is a direct attack on the First Amendment.  This is positive proof that an Obama Administration would use the “Fairness” Doctrine – which they fully intend to re-instate – to squash dissent.  Y’know – all that stuff Bush was supposedly going to to, but in eight years never got around to. 

Obama’s started, and he’s not even president yet.

About Last Night

I actually made it to Keegan’s for maybe the second time all summer last night.  The occasion was Katie McCollow’s 12th 29th birthday party.

The usual suspects were there – Night Writer and the whole imminently-expanding clan, AAA, Joe “Learned Foot” Tucci, Chief, Guy, Lassie (and a potential new dog) from Freedom Dogs, Neal from Loyal Opposition,  (who got to talk all sorts of NYPD trivia with fellow former NY cop Dan Conry), and a bunch of others I know I’m forgetting…

…which doesn’t even address the horde that the McCollows brought.  Mike, of course – and if you’d told me twenty years ago that I’d be standing on a patio having a conversation about Polish basketball, I’d have had you committed), big sister Mary Louise, and one of the little sisters whose middle name eludes me, but with the Hubble family you can at least guess there’s a “Mary” in there somewhere.  Of course, their brother Joe was a neighbor of mine in college, and Mary Louise’s husband coached the Jamestown College hoops team when I was in school.  It’s truly a small world, Poland included.

Anyway – it was a great time. My only regret was having to leave after an hour.

While Bike Commuting Is Fun…

…I can see where things could improve even more:

Sam Whittingham is the fastest cyclist on the planet, having pedaled his sleek recumbent bicycle to a stunning 82.3 mph to claim the world record for a human-powered vehicle.

The bike-builder from British Columbia bested his previous record of 81.02 mph during a picture-perfect run through the desert during the World Human Powered Speed Challenge outside Battle Mountain, Nevada.

“On the one hand, it’s terrifying, but also completely exhilarating, Whittingham, who’s won the competition every year since its inception six years ago, told the Vancouver Sun after taking home the $26,748 deciMach Prize for Human-Powered Speed. “It’s like going down the steepest hill you can find on your bike, but you get to do that all the time.”

That bike plus Ramsey Hill = world of fun/hurt/whatever.

Didn’t See That Coming

When I left Katie McCollow’s birthday party at Keegans last night, the Twins were four runs down.

“Call in the fire and pee on the dogs”, I thought, for this season.

Oh, me of little faith:

The Twins had clumsy moments and painful moments.

They had moments that brought their fans hair-pulling frustration and spine-tingling excitement.

They lost Kevin Slowey to a wrist injury. They fell behind by five runs.

But by late Thursday night, the Twins were jumping and dancing in the infield, celebrating a 7-6, 10-inning victory over the White Sox that gave them sole possession of first place for the first time since Aug. 23

So I might start following baseball.

The Debate

I’m hoping to be at a debate event tonight; I’ll do a “delayed liveblog” when I get home from it.

Assuming it happens, of course:

The first presidential debate between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama remained in doubt Friday, the very day it was to be held, embroiled in the same partisan divisions that were holding up a Wall Street bailout plan.

Obama said he intended to travel to the University of Mississippi in Oxford, where the debate had long been scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. EDT. McCain, who had proposed delaying the contest so the two presidential hopefuls could help negotiate an economic rescue plan, wouldn’t commit.

Mac, of course, made the right call for the right reasons – to do the job his constituents elected him to do in a time of crisis.   Of course, even as Obama shows his superfluity, the press continues to cover for him.

I have a hunch it’ll go on; there’s too many undecideds out there and, frankly, if I’m Mac’s staff I’m thinking Obama is a big, slow target in a debate.

I think Mac’s point is made; his priorities in the right place.  I’m gonna cross my fingers.

On The Bailout

President Bush, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke haven’t been able to push through bailout legislation without pushback from Republicans and Democrats alike.

This is good. For a while.

Time is still of the essence.

The market today agrees so far, rising on expectations that the bailout will happen, and not fretting over the fact that cooler minds are prevailing; giving pause.

Free market purists are calling for a no bailout approach but this situation has devolved to the extent that inaction is no longer an option.

The cause and the action needed to rectify the effect need to be treated separately. The patient needs to be stabilized before we call in forensics. In time, the facts will show the blame will fall across multiple administrations and both parties in congress. True to form in any bubble, irrational exuberance will have been exhibited by all parties involved. Once the market lost its luster, real estate became the highest and best use for capital. For individuals and corporations alike.

Too much money chasing any particular ascendant asset class results in the potential for a bubble to form. Coupled with a congressional mandate to push all citizens, even those that truly don’t qualify, into home ownership, you have the potential for a disaster.

Another perfect storm.

In the wake, the bailout needs to be right more than it needs to be fast. Past examples are rare, but there is a chance, if structured properly, that the American taxpayer could recoup much or all of the bailout dollars. A knee-jerk reaction focused on quick action over prudent action will all but prevent this.

If we are buying the assets, we need to be in a position to benefit from their appreciation in value and/or proceeds of their sale. Congressional oversight and control of executive compensation must also be mandatory provisions.

As for the finger pointing? Blaming this disaster solely on Wall Street is inaccurate and unproductive. This was a systemic failure. A failure of regulation. A failure of ethics. A failure of speculation. We are not bailing out Wall Street, we are bailing out our entire national financial system.

Mrs. Roosh and I will be travelling to New York tonight through Sunday to see what we can do. We will keep you posted on our progress. Okay, it’s more of a vacation, planned since February. I promise if Hank, Ben, or G.W. call on me, I will drop what I’m doing. In the John McCain idiom, we will roll up our sleeves and work tirelessly to restore confidence in our financial systems.

…and we’ll take some pictures.


Bailout: Lawmakers say they’ve reached deal

The Paulson Plan Will Make Money For Taxpayers


While You Breathlessly Await…

…more sterling blog output, I have to link you to this, over at MPR’s “Loophole”.

Jeff Horwich – himself rather peripatetically musical – notes:

The Smarts turned me on to the “Shreds” ouvre at a rehearsal last night, and they crack me up.

Video of famous guitar solos, stripped of audio, which is replaced with a truly crappy performance.

The Creed bit had me laughing so hard I hurt my sides.  Which didn’t prepare me for the one with Slash; I almost had a stroke.

As Jeff notes, it may be funny only to musicians. 

As for me?  I might just grab some video and start a few of my own…

The Matrix: In your back seat.

Sure enough. As predicted, black boxes in cars will be required in all motor vehicles by 2012.

The device can be used by the manufacturer to determine if the car was abused in the case of warranty issues (fair enough) but can also be used by attorneys or law enforcement to gather data that “can and will be used against you in a court of law” (no thanks).

A Florida man named Scott Weires (who is an attorney incidentally – JR) has canceled the order for his long-awaited Nissan GT-R. Why? It’s not that he was disappointed in the car’s performance credentials, far from it. The problem is that the GT-R is equipped with a ‘black box’, similar in theory to the kind found on airplanes to help determine what went wrong in case of an accident or breakdown. By the end of 2012, car buyers won’t have a choice as to whether their new car is equipped with a ‘black box,’ or Electronic Data Recorder — they will be federally mandated to carry one.

Florida man cancels Nissan GT-R order due to ‘black box’ 

That’s at least one consumer voting with his checkbook. No word yet on whether the devices will be defeatable.

We Interrupt…

…the media’s dissection of the minutes of then-mayor Palin’s remarks about praying for an Alaska Huskies victory made during a 2003 meeting of the Wasilla City Council to bring you some actual signs that a vice presidential candidate is unqualified to serve:

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed,” Biden told Katie Couric.

Herbert Hoover, actually, was the president in 1929.  The crash happened largely because of pseudo-socialist meddling in the economy.  Plenty of people got rich under FDR’s administration.

Oh, yeah – and while FDR was the first President to appear on television, it was ten years later.

A dumb flub?  Yes (and one among many, many, many such for Biden).  And one that, had it come from McCain or Palin, would have made the front page of the NYTimes.