Friday, June 23, 2006

Drinking Liberally - Corkage, Cuba Libre, and other C words

I made it to Drinking Liberally last night, with a little help from some friends I met along the road. Thank you! Good candidates also need your help. Volunteer and/or donate to the Becky Lourey and Ford Bell campaigns today. I am also, obviously, for Tim Walz in CD 1. You've seen me out panhandling for Tim Walz with a bumperstickered bleach bottle in Northwoods bars. I'll deliver your small change contributions (now just shy of $20.00) to that campaign next week. Find me and that bleach bottle, and add a few more pennies if you can, or if you want to donate more than $20, I think you need to find a campaign contribution envelope or donate online. I'll bring the bleach bottle to Aaron Tank's CD release party tomorrow night, and the voter education picnic next Wednesday afternoon. Since CD 7 and CD 8 are pretty safe, we've got to help out DFL candidates for congress in other districts.

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I brought three bottle of Rhubarb Wine from Forestedge Winery to inspire more interest in my idea of hosting a "Bloggers in the Northwoods/Bloggers in Bemidji" tour. Its not quite Bloggers in Amsterdam, but it is potentially more informative for bloggers interested in writing about and understanding politics in Minnesota, and recruiting new blog talent from outstate (a quick workshop for the interested public on how to blog about politics is part of my vision for this). Forestedge winery had a little lit piece that explained how much tax revenue they generated for the State of Minnesota by turning rhubarb into wine, bottling it and selliing it, vs. selling it as food. And Rhubarb is very Minnesotan :) However, Forestedge has many other great fruit wines made with northwoods berries and fruits. I really like their blueberry, chokecherry, and currant wines. If you are headed into the lake country around Bemidji from places further south, the route on Hwy 64 can take you to Forestedge for a quick rest stop where you can enjoy their wines with cheese on their patio, and decide which of their wines you really want to take up to your cabin with you, or back home with you on your return trip.

For beer in the Bemidji area, Beehive Offsale Liquors on the stretch of US HWY 71 south of town has the best selection in the area.

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Because the 331 Club didn't have a corkage policy, we didn't sample the wine at Drinking liberally. Instead, people had lots of beer, and Tild drank several Cuba Libre and told us stories of parties held by her literary hero and mentor Barnaby Conrad. We talked about strippers and beatniks, and the Power Liberals went crazy with the "C word". I was told I should read the The Rude Pundit.

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There was also some discussion about the latest Zogby Poll. While it has some flaws (it is an online poll that favors politica insider types and has a lower sample size than I would like), it does show Ford Bell and Mark Kennedy are running neck and neck in the U.S. senate race (43.2 to 43.4) and Pawlenty beats Hatch and Lourey, with a sizeable number of voters for Hutchinson spoiling that race for the DFL. Neither Cavlan or Pentel register at all in the polls, so I think its time that Greens realize they need to get behind progressive DFLers in the September 12th primary - not just voting, but volunteering, campaigning, and funding these candidates as well as voting DFL. If they don't make it through the primary, then on September 13th cover your Becky Lourey signs with Ken Pentel signs, etc.

Peace remains the central issue of this campaign cycle. When you vote on September 12th and in the November general election, consider Peace First!. Forget fear... the fear/electability arguement will not mobilize voters to turn out and vote. Lets save money and lives and elect candidates that will bring the misadventure in Iraq to a speedier close. First and Fouth Amendment issues should be a high priority issue: Jim Hightower recently delivered an "I told you so" about Alito. I told you so, too!. Alito favored the police and prosecuters in his pre-Supreme Court rulings vs. Fourth Amendment arguments. The last thing we need in the Senate right now is another prosecutor. If we don't keep the Bill of Rights intact, we might as well all be speaking Burmese, or North Korean. George Orwell was a prophet.

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