Minnesota GOP Legislators Announce Full Blockade of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Friday near Raspberry Island.

Saint Paul (AP) — Minnesota Republican legislative leaders said today that their decision to defund nearly all bonding projects in Minnesota’s two largest cities was just the beginning, as they began preparation for a full blockade reminiscent of the U.S. blockade of communist Cuba in the 1960s.

Earlier this week, the Republican majority in the Legislature refused to approve most bonding requests from Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the two cities that are Minnesota’s most reliable Democratic political strongholds. Longtime observers of the Legislature characterized this year’s bonding bill as the most partisan in Minnesota history. But Republican leaders maintain that further pressure is needed to break the core cities’ will.

“Killing their dream of a sub-minor league baseball field was a start, but more government reform is needed,” said Senate Capital Investment Chairman Ronnie Wright (R-Bunker Hills). “So we’re going to blockade the metrosexual candy asses.”

In anticipation of the blockade, Republican legislators were reported to be hording legislators’ favorite urban delicacies before they become unavailable during a blockade, such as Fabulous Fern’s ‘Fern Burgers,’ mini soap bars from the Kelly Inn Best Western, and tassles from Augie’s Cabaret.

“Hey Jack Kennedy smuggled 1,000 cigars out of Cuba, so you can’t expect us go cold turkey,” said Rep. Richard Dick (R-Sticks). “And I’m just telling you, they don’t call it the ‘Best Western’ for nothin.”

The blockade leaders rejected charges that they had lost their promised focus on producing “jobs, jobs, jobs” during a sluggish economic recovery.

“Those in the liberal media who charge that this is just about a raw political power grab are dead wrong,” said Rep. Wy Kayer (R- Stillwhiter). “It’s simply about raining the Creator’s righteous wrath down upon those in Sodom and Gomorrah who insist on voting for unconstitutional sinning, that’s all.”

But legislators acknowledge that even a full commercial, economic and financial embargo may not be sufficient to keep their Tea Party supporters sufficiently aroused.

“If the blockade doesn’t work, we are not ruling out a full Bay of Pig’s Eye invasion,” said Kayer.

The Un-Convention

As I write this, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis is detailing the dismantling of the GOP convention.

This is probably the right decision, given how poorly the current Republican administration handled nature’s last assault on Louisiana, but let’s be honest about what’s going on here despite the rhetoric of concern for the citizens of Louisiana and the Gulf coming from the GOP spin patrol :  this decision is pure damage control.  The prospect of celebrating GOP attendees juxtaposed with rising flood waters is apparently too big a risk to entertain.

I’m not in any way diminishing the risks of Gustav or the seriousness of the situation in the Gulf.  Nor am I doubting that Republicans from George Bush, John McCain on down feel just as sympathetic and concerned as anyone.  That said, this decision is all about appearance and image and not about anything else.

As a result, Gustav has cost Senator McCain and the GOP the 4-day opportunity to showcase their message and the enthusiasm of their party.  I suspect all of the slapped-together programs to “help” the victims of the hurricane will be seen for what they are and judged as not particularly relevant to either the political picture or the hurricane.

Unfortunately, though, their decision may not save themselves from the images they’re trying to avoid.  Thousands of GOP-ers are in town with more time on their hands than expected; how long before we see pictures of the faithful partying down at some off-venue location?  I’m betting tomorrow.  These events will be “re-purposed” as hurricane relief fundraisers but the images will remain.

There is one silver lining for the GOP…this development has spared it the awkwardness of having President Bush and Vice President Cheney on site. It also gives Governor Sarah “Hockey Mom” Palin more time off-camera to prep.

Lucky them.

- Austin internet marketing tool fine

Blues’ Clues

It looks as if the security perimeter around next week’s Republican National Convention (RNC) is going to make St. Paul’s Excel Energy Center about as publicly accessible as China’s Forbidden City during the Ming Dynasty.

So how are blue bywatchers to know when the Red Man Group arrives in our fair city? A few clues:

Festive Bush and Cheney figurines replace Snoopy and Charlie Brown on streets.
• Airport men’s room sounds like rehearsal for Riverdance.
• McCain offshore drilling proposal expanded to include 10,000 lakes.
• Stretch helicopters brought in to ferry delegates over Pawlenty’s unfunded bridges.
• Electric Fetus targeted for Operation Rescue protest.
• “Mission Accomplished” banner hoisted outside Deja Vu.
• Mickey’s adds foie gras to menu.
• Rove holds press conference to deny leaking location of Winter Carnival medallion.
• Pawlenty actually stays in Minnesota for a couple days.

If one or more of those things happen, there’s a good chance our conservative comrades have arrived.

- Loveland
(Assist from Austin)

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St. Paul’s Game of “Where’s Walker?”

Hoping to see a lot of President George Walker Bush in our fair city during the Republican National Convention? Well, he’ll be harder to find than the St. Paul Winter Carnival medallion. This Gallup poll shows why Bush largely will be kept in hiding, if the handlers of Senator John McCain and Senator Norm Coleman have their way.

- Loveland

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