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Good News You Likely Haven’t Heard From CNN Or The NYT

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 30, 2014

Here’s some good news you probably won’t hear from most nationally-focused US media:

– Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium (aka the guy who got all the 2012 Senate races right along with the Presidential race) has been saying that the Democrats have at least a 70% chance of keeping the Senate (today’s current snapshot gives them a 75% chance, with a longer-range Election Day forecast of 65%). How does he do it? By using poll data and not “secret sauce” (aka (And the only reason I know about this is because of the cartoon in this Daily Kos post.)

– Mitch McConnell, who has been in a very tough race with Democratic candidate Alison Grimes, just took a big blow when his campaign manager, Jesse Benton, resigned today. Seems that back in 2012, when Benton worked for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign, he was involved in getting Kent Sorenson, then an Iowa state Senator, to switch his endorsement from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul, a move which Sorenson, on pleading guilty to Federal bribery charges Wednesday, says the Paul campaign paid him $73,000 to make. (Benton, by the way, is married to Ron Paul’s granddaughter, Valori Pyeatt.)

A town in West Virginia, where King Coal normally rules without question, has developed a useful funding model for converting to solar power.

So what’s the good word in your parts this week?

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Germany Ramps Up Solar And Wind Use, Its Power Grid Gets Stronger

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 25, 2014

Dirty-energy lobbyists claim that adding solar and wind power to a nation’s electrical grid will somehow make it less stable and reliable.

Germany has just proved them wrong:

Check out the whole story and pass it on.

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DFL HQ Joins Aaron Rupar In Ripping Off Bluestem Prairie

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 21, 2014

This little thing from the DFL’s crack messaging staff appeared under my e-mail transom today:


Aug. 21, 2014


Three strikes, their out: Out of state groups continue to mislead, distort Congressman Collin Peterson’s record

Last night in a TV interview, Sen Torrey Westrom refused to condemn websites that have been called misleading by Minnesota newspapers, the third time that out of state groups have used misleading tactics to target Collin Peterson. “Misleading attacks and distortions aren’t the Minnesota way but Sen. Westrom refuses to stand up to his own party,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “The contrast couldn’t be more clear between Collin Peterson, who puts Minnesota’s farmers first regardless of the politics, and Sen Westrom, who has refused to stand up to his own party and condemn these desperate and misleading attacks.”



NRCC Used Fake News Website Criticizing Congressman Peterson. In 2014 the Twin Cities reported: “The new websites, even though they’re designed to look like local news sources, are actually advertisements – two of at least 20 targeting Democratic candidates for the U.S. House, and paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee.” [Twin Cities, 8/14/14]

  • Headline: GOP Creates Look-Alike News Sites Targeting Minnesota Democrats [Twin Cities, 8/14/14]
  • Headline: NRCC Launches Fake News Sites to Attack Democratic Candidates [National Journal
  • NRCC Used Fake Peterson for Congress Website to Solicit Donations. In 2014 the Star Tribune reported: “A Republican campaign group that set up fake 2014 election websites for Democrats, including Minnesota’s Collin Peterson, has tweaked the sites to make clear that donations sent through them will benefit the GOP. The National Republican Congressional Committee recently made the changes after Washington, D.C.-based watchdog groups raised concerns about the sites possibly violating Federal Election Commission rules.” [Star Tribune, 2/17/14]
  • Headline: GOP group tweaks its ‘Collin Peterson for Congress’ website [Star Tribune, 2/17/14]
  • Headline: Ethics Complaint Filed Against Head of NRCC for Fake Campaign Websites; Congressman Peterson one of NRCC’s Targets [Politics.MN, 3/12/14]
  • NRCC Used Minnesota Twins to Attack Congressman Peterson. In 2013 the City Pages reported: “In a new radio spot, the National Republican Congressional Committee uses audio from the Twins’ dramatic
    1991 Game 7 World Series win against Collin Peterson, the Democrat who has represented southern Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District since that same year.” [City Pages, 12/13/13]
  • Headline: Republican attack ad uses Minnesota Twins against Collin Peterson [City Pages, 12/13/13]
  • Headline: DFL blasts Republicans for politicizing Minnesota Twins [City Pages, 12/16/13]

Ellen M. Perrault

Communication Director

Minnesota DFL

First off, somebody needs to read up on the difference between “their” and “they’re”.

Second off, the Torrey Westrom interview aired August 18, not “last night” (August 20).

Third off, the reason I know this is because Bluestem Prairie broke that particular wrinkle of the story (Westrom’s refusal to disavow the fake site) on August 18, right here:

Not only that, but Bluestem Prairie was the first media in Minnesota to post about the fake website back in February 2014, in NRCC creates fake Collin Peterson site “to lure” voters, CNN special investigations unit reports.

Last week, Bluestem posted about yet another fake site from Westrom’s Beltway Republican supporters in MN07: DC-based national Republicans launch fake news website against Collin Peterson.

C’mon, Ms. Perrault. It won’t hurt you to credit your actual sources. You know full well Bluestem exists.

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Rick Perry, Jim Stuck, Rosemary Lehmberg

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 20, 2014

Recently indicted Rick Perry claims that the desire to keep a state watchdog agency off his back was not why he pressured Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her DUI incident.

If that’s the case, why then was he far more lenient towards another state official with a DUI incident, Jim Stick?

As Progress Texas reports:

In 2011, Republican and former State Representative Jim Stick was arrested for drunk driving. He has since been appointed as chief legal counsel for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, earning an annual salary of $162,000.
Then, there are officials who held identical offices as Rosemary Lehmberg. Since Perry has taken office, two other District Attorneys have been charged with drunk driving, but Rick Perry made no calls for their resignation.

• In 2009, Kaufman County District Attorney Rick Harrison was found guilty of drunk driving after driving the wrong way in traffic.
• In 2003, Swisher County D.A. Terry McEachern was found guilty of a DWI.

What’s the difference between these District Attorneys and the Travis County District Attorney? It could be that they are Republicans. More likely, it’s that these district attorneys were not overseeing investigations of the governor’s signature project – the Cancer Research Fund – which has since resulted in a felony indictment.

The thing speaks for itself.

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Solar Roadways Update: Bad News, Good News

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 14, 2014

Here’s the latest from Solar Roadways, as of Monday:

Hi Folks,

Julie suffered an acute gall bladder attack on Friday and had surgery on Saturday. She’s home from the hospital now, but her recovery is going to slow us down a bit. Thank you for your patience.

The perk fulfillment continues. We have over 4000 t-shirts, 6000 coffee mugs, 1700 tote bags, 15000 bumper stickers, etc., to process. We are also still shooting the $100 thank you videos most every night (until Julie’s surgery). We’ve filmed letters “A” and “B” of the group ($10 donation) videos and will be adding more each week. We’re working as fast as we can, but it is taking longer than anticipated. With over 48000 donors, we have our hands full. We’re not complaining: it’s a great problem to have!

We are also interviewing potential employees and just added Graphic Artist/ Wed Developer to our wish list. We are so grateful to you all for the opportunity to put our team together.

We’re trying our best to keep up with social media and responding to over 18,000 emails in our inbox. We are blessed with thousands of potential customers, potential employees etc. from all over the world. We just feel badly that it’s taking so long to get back to everyone. It’s important to us to respond to each message personally and we’ll get to each one as soon as we can.

The City of Sandpoint wants to become the first “Solar Roadways City” and we have five pilot projects lined up in Sandpoint for next year: we’re working with Amtrak to retrofit one of their train stations, the City of Sandpoint wants to retrofit their Welcome Center parking lot and some downtown sidewalks, the animal shelter wants to retrofit their parking lot, and the Sandpoint Airport wants to do 25 acres of tarmac!

There are many other potential customers that we are talking to, but not yet at liberty to discuss. We can say that many of them are really exciting and probably just what many of you have been wishing for! We’ll make those and many other exciting announcements as soon as we can – stay tuned!

These kinds of projects are perfect for us: they’re right in our own backyard and easy to monitor. If anything goes wrong, we’re only five minutes away. This will allow us the opportunity to get real world experience and see where any problems pop up. We’ll monitor these installations for one full year before offering our technology to the general public in 2016.

Thank you all again for allowing us the ability to move forward at this accelerated rate. We are so grateful!

Julie and Scott

Get well soon, Julie!

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The good old days

Posted by Charles II on August 13, 2014

Ukrainian paramilitaries fly Nazi Wolfsangel flag

By Robert Parry

The U.S.-backed Ukrainian government is knowingly sending neo-Nazi paramilitaries into eastern Ukrainian neighborhoods to attack ethnic Russians who are regarded by some of these storm troopers as “Untermenschen” or subhuman, according to Western press reports.

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The Matt Entenza Sleazemails: Money Can’t Buy Him Love, Only Garbage

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 4, 2014


As noted here last week, Matt Entenza is in the midst of a very expensive and ill-advised sleazemail campaign against state auditor Rebecca Otto.

Ms. Otto’s campaign manager and husband, Shawn Otto, has ably and easily turned back each of Entenza’s sleazy attacks, and I am more than happy to do my small bit to assist by broadcasting Mr. Otto’s email updates on the state of play in this primary that never should have been:

Another day, another misleading mailer from Matt Entenza-this one implying that Rebecca Otto should be working to end corporate tax breaks and other policy topics that have little or nothing to do with the job of the State Auditor.

(Since Entenza thinks ending “corporate giveaways” is a priority, it’s worth asking why didn’t he do that in his role as a “Senior Advisor on Energy and the Economy to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton”? When he was actually in a position to do something about it, he failed.)

These negative mailings are so over-the-top and misleading that they prompted frequent City Pages cartoonist Ken Avidor to create his own statement about them (pictured at right; used with permission). [PW notes: It's at the top of this post.]

The mailings don’t come cheap, either. According to campaign finance board filings, Matt Entenza has given his campaign $622,000 from his own pocket so far.

Matt Entenza’s gifts to his State Auditor campaign so far:

$255,000 before July 22
$227,000 on July 29
$ 15,000 on July 31
$125,000 on August 1
$622,000 as of August 1

Two-thirds of a million dollars to primary a sitting state auditor who everyone likes? What kind of stupid is that? That’s Matt Entenza stupid.

But we’re not done yet: Read the rest of this entry »

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The Matt Entenza Sleazemails: Shawn Otto Speaks, You Listen

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 31, 2014

If you live in Minnesota and are registered to vote, you’ve probably received one of the Matt Entenza sleazemails attacking current State Auditor Rebecca Otto. Entenza is so desperate to win some statewide post — any post will do, apparently — that he’s been reduced to primarying Otto.

His pointedly unendorsed campaign has all the marks of a typical Entenza production: the gobs of self-funding, the sleazy, expensive, and unsupportable attacks, the apparent obliviousness to how his attacks could well be turned back against him. (I highly recommend reading Sally Jo Sorensen’s series of articles on the subject (most of them are linked in the “Related Articles” box at the bottom of this post) — she owns this story as does no other working blogger or journalist in the state.)

Because Entenza won’t quit with the bogus sleazemailings, I feel compelled to give some blog space to Rebecca Otto’s campaign manager and husband, Shawn Otto, on the subject:

Rebecca Otto has never voted for Voter ID; she campaigned against it. I know. I was with her. In fact, I wrote one of the first pieces about it, which came out of an event she and I hosted.

On July 24, a three-judge panel unanimously rejected Matt Entenza’s charges about Rebecca Otto and Voter ID, as reported by the StarTribune.

The very next day, an Entenza mailer began arriving in homes, repeating the charges anyway, pulling out votes from over a decade ago that other good democrats like Jim Davnie, Paul Thissen and Michael Paymar had also voted for, and portraying them as if they somehow had something to do with Voter ID, and had somehow “denied access” to voters. They didn’t.

Minnesotans like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and to some, this could be dismissed as a simple case of bad taste and worse timing.

But then yesterday a second mailer from Matt Entenza began arriving in Minnesotans’ homes, this one also claiming that Rebecca Otto had voted for Voter ID and “denied access” to voters. She didn’t.

Unlike the first, this mailing cannot be ascribed to bad timing. It was well after the judges ruled against Entenza.

This mailer should cause Minnesota voters to be concerned-about Matt Entenza. Mr. Entenza is running for the top elected financial office in Minnesota. If he is willing to mislead voters even after a three-judge panel ruled against him, how can he be trusted to provide transparency and accountability over government finances?

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Matt Entenza has an established pattern of campaign finance violations and questionable ethics, going back more than a decade, of which this is just the latest, and they have a bearing on his qualifications to be the State Auditor:

Matt Entenza’s claims about Voter ID have nothing to do with the Office of the State Auditor, but they do say a lot about Matt Entenza.

-Shawn Otto

They certainly do.

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A Message From Markos On The Children Kept In Kennels

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 26, 2014

This came to me via email this morning, and I’m passing it on to you all:

…just think how desperate you have to be to send your children on a dangerous journey over 1500 miles by themselves.

That’s how desperate tens of thousands of Central American families are today. They have to choose between near-guaranteed death at home at the hand of criminal gangs or drug cartels, or some chance of survival in the United States.

This is not an immigration crisis—this is a refugee crisis. These kids aren’t looking for better economic opportunities or a better life, they are looking for life itself.

I’ve never written you to ask for your help in this way, but I am now. This crisis is undeniable and the lack of leadership from our elected officials is appalling.

Earlier this week, I chipped in $225 to the Texas Young Democrats’ relief efforts. They’re working to bring basic necessities like soap, underwear, and socks to the children who’ve fled to the United States and have since been detained by the Border Patrol.

I’m not asking you to chip in that much. But if you have just $5 to spare, please take a minute to look at the ways you can help these kids who are fleeing horrific violence only to end up being treated like prisoners here:

  • As I said, Texas Young Democrats are asking people to buy basic necessities through a “Wish List” they’ve organized on Amazon. Just add the items you’d like to donate to your shopping cart as you would any other Amazon order. Then, when you check out, you’ll have the option to send your items directly to the Texas Young Dems.
  • Catholic Charities is providing food, shelter, and medical attention to children refugees. You can see some pictures of their work here.
  • Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) offers legal services to children facing the labyrinth immigration legal system alone. You can contribute through PayPal or with your credit card.

Thank you and keep fighting,
Markos Moulitsas
Founder and Publisher, Daily Kos

You know what to do.

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Israel Quietly Admits Hamas Didn’t Kill The Three Israeli Teens Whose Deaths Were Israel’s Excuse To Torch Gaza

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 26, 2014

Words fail me:

Non-plagiarizing BuzzFeed writer Sheera Frenkel was among the first to suggest that it was unlikely that Hamas was behind the deaths of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach. Citing Palestinian sources and experts the field, Frenkel reported that kidnapping three Israeli teens would be a foolish move for Hamas. International experts told her it was likely the work of a local group, acting without concern for the repercussions: 

[Gershon Baskin] pointed out that Hamas has earlier this month signed an agreement to form a unity government with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, bridging, for the first time in seven years, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and Gaza.

“They will lose their reconciliation agreement with Abbas if they do take responsibility for [the kidnappings],” Baskin added.

Today, she was proven right:

Repeated inconsistencies in Israeli descriptions of the situation have sparked debate over whether Israel wanted to provoke Hamas into a confrontation. Israeli intelligence is also said to have known that the boys were dead shortly after they disappeared, but to have maintained public optimism about their safe return to beef up support from the Jewish diaspora.

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