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Stranger Than Fiction: Palin and Couric
Written by Chet   

(I like how McSame cuts off Couric in an effort to feed the "right answer" -- the talking point -- to Palin.)


The video clip also shows John McSame's contempt for Americans like you and me -- the pizza place customer -- who have some perfectly reasonable questions about John McSame and Sarah Palin.  As you watch McSame in this video, you can see how uncomfortable McSame is with having to sit next to a woman who clearly wasn't his first choice, and have to defend her fundamental disagreements with him on policy.

There was a smart girl in high school who sat next to me in social studies/government class who tried to cheat off my exam answers.  That was bad, but it's a whole new universe of bad that John McSame -- who needs to keep Joe Lieberman around to explain to him the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni -- is feeding Middle East policy "answers" to Palin.

Heaven help us all.

Where Do I Vote In Bismarck and Mandan, North Dakota?
Written by Chad   

We're going to have a lot of new voters this year.  Even people who have voted before frequently ask where they vote this year.  Like most people, I don't even know what precinct number I live in.  I have to pull out a map.  I thought I'd put together a page with some basic voting information on it for you folks in Bismarck and Mandan. I'll start with this, and then move in to some more details:

Search All North Dakota Polling Places

To locate your polling place enter your house number and your 5 digit zip code, then press the Search button. This will take you to the Secretary of State's website, where you will have to click "Search" again.

Enter Search Criteria


Now, for some more details...


Absentee voting has started in Bismarck, North Dakota, and people are wondering "If I want to vote early, where do I get my ballot?" Well, until election day, there are a few different ways you can vote:

(1) You can go to the City-County Building (the old Q&R Clinic building) at 221 N. 5th Street, Bismarck. Go through the doors, turn right, take a quick left and you'll be in the right place. The counter where you fill out your application form and pick up your ballot will be on your right. Voting booths to your left (usually).  Vote today.

(2) Starting on October 22nd, Burleigh County (and some other counties) will have what's called an "early voting precinct."  Here's what that is, according to the Secretary of State's website...

Some counties, during the 15 days prior to an election, open an early voting precinct so that voters of the county can stop by and vote whenever they happen to be near the voting location. During the hours of operation, election workers are present in the same manner as they would at to polls on Election Day. The big difference from voting early or absentee voting is in the fact that the voter will actually deposit their ballot into the tabulator, which will read the votes on the ballot. If the machine discovers an error that would prevent the vote for an office to be counted, the voter is notified and given a second chance to vote their ballot so that all votes can be counted. Second chance voting was one of the major tenants of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which was signed by President Bush in 2002.


That seems convenient. The difference between voting in the "early voting precinct" on or after Oct 22nd and voting by absentee ballot right now is that at the early voting precinct, your ballot will actually be run through the vote counting machine.  If it has any errors on it (over-votes, etc.), you'll probably be given a chance to fix those.  If you vote before the early voting precinct opens, you won't get a chance to fix any mistakes.  


(3) You can get an absentee ballot application form, fill it out, mail it to the address on the form, wait a few days and then vote in your kitchen, at home.  You can get an absentee ballot application by clicking right here.  Though this ballot application form has "Burleigh" inserted as the county of default (and as the mailing address on the bottom), you can plug in your own county if you aren't in Burleigh.  Mail it to your county election official and they should send you a ballot.  For a complete list of county election officials in North Dakota (as of Apr. 30, 2008), click here.  The list has phone numbers and e-mail addresses for all of them, so you should be able to contact them and ask where you need to go to vote.  (All of them should be working late on election day, so you should be able to call and reach them on election day, even if it's after 5:00 p.m., local time.)


Keep in mind that there is no voter registration in North Dakota.  You'll likely need to show some form of identification to the election workers.  All you have to do is bring proper identification when you go to vote or to get your ballot.  Here's a list of the forms of identification that will work:

■ Valid Drivers License
■ Valid State Identification Card
■ Valid Federally Issued Identification Card:  (1) Passport (2) Agency Identification Card
■ Valid Tribal Government Issued Identification Card
■ Valid Student Identification Card
■ Valid United States Military Identification Card
■ Utility bill dated 30 days prior to election day with name and residential address
■ Change of address verification letter from the US Postal Service

If you do not have one of the forms of identification listed above, you still have the right to vote if

■ An election poll worker is able to vouch for your identity and residence.
■ You complete a Voter’s Affidavit on which you certify, under oath, your identity and that you are a resident within this precinct.



If you just want to vote the old fashed way on election day, here's a list of our local precinct voting locations in Bismarck:


If you don't know your district and precinct, you'll need a map that'll show you where you vote.  You can get to the Bismarck map by clicking here.   The rest of Burleigh County is on this map (click here).  I'm not sure whether the list above contains all of the voting places in these districts.  If you live in the parts of District 14 or 8 that are not in Burleigh County, you'll need to get your voting info elsewhere.  (Maybe I'll do another post about that.)


Morton County (Mandan) voting places are on this map (click here) [Link fixed] There's a map key that'll tell you where each of the colored areas voting place is.  You have to zoom in on the key to read it.  If you have any questions about where to vote, call the Democratic-NPL headquarters and tell them you don't know where to vote.  Give them your address and they'll likely call you back and tell you where you vote.  The number there is 701-255-0460.

I think the NDGrassroots4Obama office is looking for volunteer drivers to help get people to the polls on election day or to early voting locations.  Stop in at their office to volunteer.  (3333 E Broadway, Suite 1206, Bismarck).  I'll update this page as I learn more about that effort. 


Once you've got your ballot sitting in front of you here in Bismarck, here's a list of progressive candidates and ways you might consider voting if you're tired of the way our government has been mucked up:

President/Vice PresidentBarack Obama and Joe Biden (Better than 4 more years of Bush policies.)

CongressEarl Pomeroy (Better than any period of time with Duane Sand)

Governor/Lt. GovernorTim Mathern/Merle Boucher (They won't hide behind the big, fancy desk in the Governor's office.)

State AuditorDaryl Splichal (He's actually an auditor.)

PSCCheryl Bergian (As best I can tell, she's running unopposed.  [If she has an opponent, I haven't seen hide nor hair of him.])

Insurance CommissionerJasper Schneider (He's had more than one original thought during his lifetime.  And he's passionate about working for the people of North Dakota in the Insurance Commissioner's office.)

State Treasurer: Mitch Vance (He'll give you transparency, and won't misuse the office of the Treasurer.  His opponent will continue to use the Treasurer's office checkbook to pay her club membership dues.)

Superintendent of Public InstructionWayne Sanstead (Experience counts.)

Measure #1: Oil Trust Fund.  Vote "NO".  (The dollar could tank in the next few months or year thanks to John McSame's deregulation and thanks to all the Republicans who are making the bail-out vote a big, political mess.  We won't know what impact that is going to have on our economy for a while now.  Regardless of what anybody tells you, this will have an impact on North Dakota's economy.  Now is not the time to unintelligently sock money away in a "lock box" and make it inaccessible if the dollar takes a dive.  Now is the time to address the gross negligence of John Hoeven and our GOP-controlled legislature and their failure to fix the milking machine.)

Measure #2:  Tax Breaks for the Wealthy and Corporations at a Time When Our Economy Could Tank.  Vote "NO".  (See comments on Measure #1, above.  And the fact that it eliminates a state tax liability entirely for a few, select income categories is really offensive.  Why should they not have to pay while the rest of us do?)

Measure #3:  Spending Tobacco Settlement Money On What It Was Meant To Be Spent On.  Vote "YES".  (The State of North Dakota recovered money in the tobacco settlement.  That money was supposed to be spent on certain things, but Republicans have redirected it to their pet projects.  This measure would direct that money back to where it was meant to go.)

Measure #4:  Cleaning Up The Mess At WSI.  Vote "YES.  (Our state's GOP leaders have allowed management of North Dakota's Workforce Safety and Insurance to be taken over by a bunch of corrupt, self-interested, greedy, uncaring, dishonest and/or secretive bullies (some of whom have been forced out, thank you very little.).  This measure will do several things, including neutralizing some of the remaining thugs.  The measure is not the "end all, be all" but it will send a message to our leaders and hopefully get them thinking about other meaningful reforms.)

Legislative Races in and around Bismarck/Mandan:

District 8 (Bismarck):  Wes Weible (Senate), Audrey Boe Olsen and Ken Baker (House)

District 14 (Lincoln, Steele, Driscoll, Wing):  Jim Long (Senate),  Karen Volk and Bob Stringer (House)

District 30 (Bismarck):  Chris Ebertz (Senate), Carol Christianson and Casey Skovran (House)

District 32 (Bismarck):  Tom Asbridge (Senate), Cheryl Long Feather and Jim Unkenholz (House)

District 34 (Mandan):  Arnold Zins (Senate), Brent Veil and Rob Tausend (House)

Feel free to print this out, give copies to your friends, put a copy on your fridge and take a copy to the polling place with you.

Your weekly dose of Joe Biden 09-28-2008
Written by Adam   

On the McSame/Palin tax increase


McSame/Palin respone?



Sunday Diversion: Lyle Lovett
Written by Chet   

North Dakota

By request...

A Better Use of $85 Billion
Written by Chet   

I got this from a friend today...

I’m against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG & others.

Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend. To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+. Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..
So divide 200 million adults 18+  into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.

A husband and wife has $595,000.00. What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.

Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads

Put away money for college – it’ll be there

Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

Buy a new car – create jobs

Invest in the market – capital drives growth

Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves

Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( “vote buy” ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG – liquidate it.
Sell off its parts.
Let American General go back to being American General.

Sell off the real estate. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t.

Sure it’s a crazy idea that can “never work.”

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion

We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC .

And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

Kindest personal regards,


T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

PS:  Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it’s either good for a laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!

What do you think?

Saturday Evening Diversion: Alvin and the Chipmunks
Written by Chet   

Witch Doctor

... you know why.

Saturday Diverion: KT Tunstall
Written by Chet   

Heal Over

... just because.

Post Debate analysis-9-26-08
Written by Adam   

So here are my thoughts on what we saw this evening.  The most striking thing to me was to watch when Obama called him out time after time on all the major issues that were discussed, that McAngry could not muster the balls to even look at Obama.  Not only did that make him look condescending, rude, and frightened.  It made it look like McCain thought Obama was somehow unworthy to stand on that stage.  Age? Experience? Race?  It appears at least that there's something to this whole "get off my lawn" aspect that the media has been talking about for some time now.  Regardless, though, if you can't stand on a stage and even look at Barack Obama throughout a 90 minute debate, what does that say about your negotiating skills?  

So who won?  Obviously I'm biased, but I think Obama won, but I have the advantage of having polls to back me up(CNN and CBS).   McCain did hold his ground, but remember, this is supposed to be Obama's weakness.  McCain should have cleaned Obama's clock in that regard, and frankly he didn't.  They came out about even on policy.  Neither was defeated roundly.  I think that McCain's temperament and his repeated use of the "Obama doesn't understand" line is a turn off to independent voters.  I understand that it's code to religious conservatives, but he already has them.  For undecided voters, he did not do himself many favors tonight.  

Favorite lines:

And so John likes -- John, you like to pretend like the war started in 2007. You talk about the surge. The war started in 2003, and at the time when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy. You said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. You were wrong. You said that we were going to be greeted as liberators. You were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shia and Sunni. And you were wrong.

Jim, let me just make a point. I've got a bracelet, too, from Sergeant - from the mother of Sergeant Ryan David Jopeck (ph), given to me in Green Bay[Wisconsin]. She asked me, can you please make sure another mother is not going through what I'm going through.

But let's be clear: Earmarks account for $18 billion in last year's budget. Senator McCain is proposing -- and this is a fundamental difference between us -- $300 billion in tax cuts to some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the country, $300 billion.

John, it's been your president who you said you agreed with 90 percent of the time who presided over this increase in spending. This orgy of spending and enormous deficits you voted for almost all of his budgets. So to stand here and after eight years and say that you're going to lead on controlling spending and, you know, balancing our tax cuts so that they help middle class families when over the last eight years that hasn't happened I think just is, you know, kind of hard to swallow.

And one final one from the post-debate coverage...

When he mentioned Alexander the Great, I thought he was going to say, "And you know, I met with Alexander the Great!"

-Howard Fineman

What did you guys think?


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