Cravaack and Nolan hold little back

Before Romney-Obama, Tuesday’s debate action was up north with Chip Cravaack and Rick Nolan. In addition to Devin Henry’s MinnPost report, Baird Helgeson’s Strib story says: “Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack and Democrat Rick Nolan slugged it out in a debate Tuesday, the latest spirited exchange in what is emerging as one of the most expensive and closely watched races in the country. … The candidates used nearly every question to jab at each other. Nolan accused Cravaack of trying to portray himself as a friend of working men and women while taking money from industrialist millionaires Charles and David Koch to carry out their union-busting agenda in Congress. ‘You might be for mining, but you are a company man, not a working man,’ Nolan said. … Cravaack noted that Nolan helped created the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness decades ago, which prevented any development, mining or use of motorized vehicles in the park — a move that resulted in a treasured environmental preserve, but one that rankles many locals to this day. Cravaack said sharply: ‘You sided with Twin Cities environmentalists’ over economic development.”

Mark Zdechlik’s MPR story says: “Asked whether the stimulus bill worked, Nolan said it could have been better, but that it did. ‘It did in fact create good jobs in a whole wide range of areas, not the least of which is in the field of transportation,’ Nolan said. Nolan also spoke about the tax cuts in the bill and the billions in aid to state and local governments. Cravaack said the bill was not worth what it added to the national debt, which he repeatedly said could leave future U.S. generations ‘indentured servants’ to countries such as China. ‘By every economist that I have read [it] did not help the economy,’ Cravaack said. ‘All we did was add more to our debt.’ Moments later Cravaack said the stimulus had a ‘very small impact’ on the economy. Economists disagree on the impact of the stimulus, but a Congressional Budget Office study found that between 1.3 million and 3.6 million jobs were saved or created by it.”

Down in the 1st District race between Congressman Tim Walz and Allen Quist, Josh Moniz of the New Ulm Journal reports: “Allen Quist, the Republican candidate for Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, pulled in his strongest fundraising total of the campaign in his most recent FEC quarterly fundraising report. However, he still finds himself significantly trailing Democratic incumbent Rep. Tim Walz and less than halfway to his promised goal of raising $1 million. … This quarter, Quist received $23,125 in individual contributions and loaned $160,000 of his own money to the campaign. His overall combined fundraising total was $185,625 this quarter. He spent $134,824 and ended the quarter with $168,679 in cash on hand. This quarter was Quist’s strongest fundraising yet, and he said he was very pleased with the ‘exponential increase’ in his fundraising.”

Associate prof Stephen J. Heaney of St. Thomas comes to Archbishop John Nienstedt’s aid in a Strib commentary: “He stands accused of forcing his religion on everyone, and of forcing the consciences of his fellow Catholics. Though not unexpected, the charges are unfair. … A Catholic bishop is sworn to proclaim and defend the deposit of faith and morals passed on to him. He receives his authority from the laying on of hands in unbroken succession from the apostles to this very day. The priest is sworn to help the bishop, from whom he receives his authority. Together, their task is to urge the rest of us to accept the deposit of faith and morals as our own, and to act rightly in accordance with the truth. Failure to so act in general will not lead to human flourishing. In this situation, to accept the revisionist notion of marriage logically necessitates a rejection not only of reality, but of both Catholic teaching and the authority given to bishops by Christ.” Or, you might just say, “dogma trumps all.”

Martin Pengelly of The Guardian reports: “The NFL has announced the staging of a second 2013 regular-season game in London. The Minnesota Vikings will ‘host’ the Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 29 September, before the Jacksonville Jaguars play the San Francisco 49ers at the same venue on Sunday 27 October. … The Vikings have not played in London since they staged a 1983 pre-season game at Wembley; the Steelers have never played in the UK. The NFL claims to have a UK fanbase of 11 million, two million of them counting as ‘avid fans.’ Regarding UK television audiences for the sport, the League said: ‘Sunday viewership of NFL games [is] up 154% and the Super Bowl audience [has] increased 74% since 2006.’ ” And where do we tailgate?

The meningitis outbreak is not getting any better. The AP story says: “The Minnesota Department of Health says 129 clinics in Minnesota received injectable drugs from a pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak. … Minnesota clinics currently listed on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website as having received Methylprednisolone Acetate are Edina Medical Pain Clinic, Minneapolis; Medical Advance Pain, Fridley; Medical Advanced Pain Specialists, Shakopee; Medical Advanced Pain Specialists, Maple Grove; Minnesota Surgery Clinic, Edina; and Minnesota Surgery Center, Maple Grove.” This New England distributor had a heck of a network.

On Romney-Obama, The AP was out with some instant fact-checking. A couple of samples:
ROMNEY: “I know he keeps saying, ‘You want to take Detroit bankrupt.’ Well, the president took Detroit bankrupt. You took General Motors bankrupt. You took Chrysler bankrupt. So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did. And I think it’s important to know that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet, so they could start hiring more people. That was precisely what I recommended and ultimately what happened.”
THE FACTS: What Romney recommended did not happen, and his proposed path probably would have forced General Motors and Chrysler out of business. He opposed using government money to bail out the automakers, instead favoring privately financed bankruptcy restructuring. But the automakers were bleeding cash and were poor credit risks. The banking system was in crisis. So private loans weren’t available. Without government aid, both companies probably would have gone under and their assets sold in pieces. …
OBAMA: “And what I want to do is build on the 5 million jobs that we’ve created over the last 30 months in the private sector alone.”
THE FACTS: As he has done before, Obama is cherry-picking his numbers to make them sound better than they really are. He ignores the fact that public-sector job losses have dragged down overall job creation. Also, he chooses just to mention the past 30 months. That ignores job losses during his presidency up until that point. According to the Labor Department, about 4.5 million total jobs have been created over the past 30 months. But some 4.3 million jobs were lost during the earlier months of his administration. At this point, Obama is a net job creator, but only marginally.”

And what did Power Line’s John Hinderaker think of this latest debate? “I predicted on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show that Mitt Romney would do well. He did. I predicted that Barack Obama would do better than last time — he would almost have to. He did. I expressed concern that there would be argumentative curve balls from the audience or Candy Crowley. There weren’t, really, with the sole exception of when Crowley tried to earn her Democratic Party stripes by backing Obama’s claim that his administration was on to the Benghazi attack as an act of terrorism from the beginning. … Obama did nothing tonight that would stop the bleeding. Unless you are Rip van Winkle, you know that the Obama administration’s policies have failed. Romney did a good job tonight of driving those statistics home. He also effectively distinguished himself from the Bush administration, which may seem like a silly issue to our readers, but is probably a live question for many undecided voters.” Probably more than you care to think, John.

It’s a forlorn situation GOP Senate candidate Kurt Bills finds himself in. The AP story says: “The high school economics teacher and one-term state representative has had to look for reasons to be optimistic. He trails the first-term Democratic senator badly in fundraising, and recent polls have shown him down by nearly 30 points. With a dose of gallows humor, Bills was incredulous that his name recognition seemed to be getting worse in two successive recent polls from different organizations. The more recent of the two, he said, showed 2 percent lower name recognition than the earlier one did. Still, Bills insists an upset remains possible because he has a biography and a message of restoring fiscal integrity to government that voters would respond to if they more knew about it.” Maybe next time Mike Parry will take a shot at that job.

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Comments (30)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/17/2012 - 06:10 am.

    Funny you should say that

    “Dogma trumps all”

    That is the tactic that has been used by every single member of the sand-is-food debating team here and everywhere.

    I aver the Archbishop has a more difficult task in using morality and faith to warrant his argument, but his antagonists have relied upon the same inchoate talking points that they deploy against the incontrovertable proofs of science and human biology.

    You might think they’d try and develop a two pronged approach by now, but no.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/17/2012 - 08:01 am.

      Sand is food

      Please provide the cite where anyone has said “sand is food”. (Besides yourself, that is). You make this claim all the time, you need to support it.

      As for a “two-pronged approch” – you first. You keep claiming “science and human biology”, but all you really have is your faith in what those terms mean within your own apparently limited understanding. So faith – and an insistence that your values are the only values that people should live by (hmmm . . . . there are some organizations on the other side of the planet who use that same talking point with much bloodshed ensuing . . . . . ) remain the SINGLE-pronged approach of your arguments.

      Not persuasive . . . . . . .

    • Submitted by LynnMarie Lindl on 10/17/2012 - 08:44 am.

      What more do you want?

      Thomas, I have been reading your responses for weeks now on this subject. I understand your views and position. What you refuse to do, however, is even acknowledge there is another possible side or view. That is the definition of close minded. You don’t have to believe what others believe to understand where they are coming from. Where I, and others, can see your point of view, even if we don’t agree with it, you don’t even allow in your posts and responses anyone to have opposing views without ridicule.

      The point of someone voting what they feel based on their faith/religion or lack there of does not change the fact that…

      1. Marriage is a state sanctioned contract and as such must allow for equal treatment for all citizens, whether or not we agree with it or not. It isn’t called “Civil Union License”. It’s called a “Marriage License”.

      2. Marriage has been defined and re-defined for centuries and will continue to be re-defined for centuries into the future as cultures and attitudes change. Change will and does happen. It can’t be stopped. And those that try usually try not because they truly believe they are doing what’s best in trying to stop change, they are doing more because they fear change. And fear is more dangerous than change. Fear is behind oppression, discrimination, intolerance, et al.

      3. Most of those for the Marriage Amendment say they are voting for it because of their faith/religion. Regardless of the fact that they are pushing their religious agenda into state government, they are also going against the very foundation of separation of church and state. Not only does that concept allow for churches to be free of state influence, it also allows citizens to be free of state sanctioned religious ideology. It works both ways. You don’t have to approve or disapprove of anyone’s lifestyle. But the government can not make laws based on the fear/dogma of any one or more relgious groups that affect all the citizens. To do so leads us down a very slippery slide into a theocracy.

      4. I personally feel that what those for the Marriage Amendment are most fearful when they say gay marriage will affect theirs is that they are afraid their own dysfunctional relationships will be shown for what it is – dysfunctional. Hetro marriages fail over 50% of the time. Father/mother headed families still raise dysfunctional children. Hetro marriages have adulterous relationships, incest, abuse, et al. I seriously wonder if what those for this admentment are most afraid of is gay marriages showing others more how to do marriage right than anything else. But that is my personal query.

      5. No one owns the copywrite on the word/concept of “Marriage”. It can and has and will be defined and re-defined as a culture. And the culture is changing. When someone does hold that copywrite please let me know. We all will owe someone huge royalties. Until then, no one person, church, government, organization, institution owns the word and has the right to limit its definition for their own purposes.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/17/2012 - 10:22 am.

        Marriage as a civil institution

        Marriage was invested with special rights and responsibilities to encourage an environment which fosters the development of happy, well adjusted children.

        Homosexuals cannot, by themselves have children and their relationships run counter to what is universally accepted to be the ideal; a mom and a dad.

        Not unsurprisingly, that is the ideal marriage is meant to foster. I have yet to see an argument that convinces me that we should be encouraging an environment which is inherently flawed for children.

        • Submitted by LynnMarie Lindl on 10/17/2012 - 11:06 am.

          So what you’re saying is…

          since I raised one of my daughters without her father around she is less of a wonderful child? Her father wasn’t in the picture for most of her life by HIS choice. I raised a well balanced child who put herself through college and is a contributing citizen in society.

          Marriage has rarely been about the well being of the children. That is a recent concept from the 1950’s and that less than golden era that most seem to remember fondly, even though it helped foster some of our current major dysfunctions in families and relationships.

          What those who spout “it’s for the kids” seem to forget is that what is best for one is not best for all. How, pray tell, is divorce, adultery, abuse, etc – that is more than too common in hetro relationships and has been for so very long – any good for the kids?

          And if you were to follow your line of thinking then infertile couples, those who choose not to have children, the elderly who decide to marry late in life, would also not be considered marriages because they don’t procreate.

          You focus on the biology, the tradition. Granted, there is no way two men or two women themselves can have children just between themselves – and no one is agruing that. But in this day and age I believe we have more than “gone forth and multiplied” so saying procreation, or the lack of the ability to procreate, is your reasoning for denying basic, simple liberties and rights as defined by the state just doesn’t hold water any more. It’s a vaguely veiled attempt to justify discrimination. To argue otherwise is like a child holding their breath to make a point. All you do is turn blue in the face and pass out and the world keeps spinning.

          • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/17/2012 - 02:14 pm.

            I’m saying

            And research backs me up, that your daughter would have been better off being raised by an intact family that included her dad.

            And you’re right; divorce and dysfunctional homes do harm kids. But the fact that many marriages fail, or that some marriages do not produce kids does not invalidate the fact that it is the best model nor is it a justification to throw open the gates to environments that start off deficient.

            You’re also right that it is discrimination, but not all discrimination is bad.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/17/2012 - 11:47 am.


          I have yet to see an argument that convinces me that an environment in which both parents are of the same gender is inherently flawed for children.

        • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 10/17/2012 - 11:55 am.

          How does a divorce rate of

          Over 50% fit into your ideal environment? A bad investment?

          • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/17/2012 - 02:18 pm.

            You’re argument

            Boils down to”it’s already ruined, so there is nothing left to protect”. I reject it on its face, as would any rational person.

            • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 10/17/2012 - 04:08 pm.

              I would think a “rational” person

              Would attempt to change laws and views on no-fault divorce if heterosexual marriage is such an ideal environment for children. Still no verifiable, legitimate proof that gay marriage is bad for kids though in any event.

        • Submitted by Sara Fleets on 10/17/2012 - 12:29 pm.

          For the children

          So, if a homosexual couple promised to not raise children and made that promise medically permanent, then it would be fine for them to get married, right?

        • Submitted by Matt Haas on 10/17/2012 - 12:49 pm.

          As a consequence of your chosen religious conviction. Either come up with a credible eference for your claim or give us all a break. Repeating something over and over again will not make it true. We know you are bound by your religious faith to certain point of view, but we also know that you are aware that you are unable to use that as an argument against a secular policy. Do you have any other line of reasoning? If not, I would suggest the discussion is quite over, and you’ve failed to make a compelling case for your position.

          • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/17/2012 - 02:25 pm.


            I have never used religion, mine or anyone else’s, as a position from which I make my arguments.

            I have tenaciously stuck with facts.

            • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/17/2012 - 05:01 pm.

              Moral aberration

              Right here (in your comment following mine) you state that you consider homosexuality to be a “moral aberration”:


              That’s an odd way to define “tenaciously stuck with facts”.

            • Submitted by Robert Helland on 10/22/2012 - 01:20 am.

              Facts vs. Choice?

              Dr./Mr. Swift:

              Which is it: “facts” or “personal choice”? Do your “facts” preclude someone else’s “choice”?

              As a child of the 80’s, I and my peers are shocked, absolutely shocked, at the hypocrisy of the right-wing, private property, pro-constitution, pro-freedom, choice-loving, thoroughbred Americans who are in the wrong century on this one. A contract between two consenting people at a responsible age on their terms regarding their own property and livelihood! I read the the US Constitution and I do not mince words, Tom.

              Think about it: the government (legislature/state electorate) is tampering with the state constitution because… nope, I’ll stop there. Historically, that has been enough, right?

              From man to man, let me tell you what happens if you say, “Maybe I was wrong? Maybe it is in inevitable?” People have made the argument that it is currently impossible for same-sex couples to marry, let’s let this one slide – no sense extending government further into our private lives.

              See the true nature of this scam, partner, and help us defeat this amendment. What’s the worst that will happen: a lot of folks on MinnPost will say, “Wow, that Tom Swift can surely weigh facts and sense, if necessary, change his mind on important issues.” You’d certainly make a lot of friends and fans very quick. Cheers.


        • Submitted by Sean Huntley on 10/17/2012 - 01:19 pm.

          “I have yet to see an argument that convinces me that we should be encouraging an environment which is inherently flawed for children.”

          I have yet to see one verifiable argument that shows that homosexual parents are inferior to heterosexual parents.

        • Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/17/2012 - 01:47 pm.

          Marriage was not created,

          it evolved over many millenia and across many cultures. One of its most significant features in all cultures and times is that it created rights in and obligations for each of the parties to the marriage. It is these rights and obligations that gays seek, as well as the psychological, social and emotional benefits that accompany a life as a couple which is recognized and affirmed as valid by society.

          I believe your true complaint is that your religion teaches you that homosexuality is a sin and that it is wrong to institutionalize sinful conduct. This is not the first time that religious convictions and civil rights have come into conflict. It will not be the last. It is not, however, a valid basis for imposing your religious beliefs on others, whether or not your beliefs happen to be in the majority at the moment.

          It would be refreshing for proponents of this amendment to be frank about their religious motivations, particulalry in view of their inability to make any argument not ultimately founded in those beliefs.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/17/2012 - 08:33 am.

    I was going to write

    …that Brian had summed things up nicely with “dogma trumps all,” and of course he has, but while I was mentally preparing an equally brief “bravo!” I scrolled down to the comments section, where Mr. Swift provides yet another well-timed example of dogma trumping all. Well… all except his usual snark. Fortunately, Pat Berg tossed a nicely-executed knuckle ball over the plate with his response, making further rejoinder from me totally unnecessary, and on both the dietary and theological fronts.

    Thanks, Pat.

  3. Submitted by John Rollings on 10/17/2012 - 08:43 am.

    Defending the marriage amendment

    If the process was the same, back in the 1950s/60s there would have been overwhelming support for a constitutional amendment to ban interracial marriage. In some States, it was in the law/constitution. If this constitutional marriage amendment passes, I wonder what people will think about it in 50 years…probably similar to what we think about the Church’s stance on Galileo and the earth rotating around the sun.

  4. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 10/17/2012 - 08:58 am.

    Swift the Inconsistent

    …Tom, where’s all that devotion to science when it comes to global warming? It’s clear Swift’s dogma is Tea Party, and nothing else.

    And a P.S. to Prof. Heaney. actually, the charges are perfectly fair. If his instructions were limited to Catholics, you’d have a valid argument. But since they’re not, he IS trying to force his faith on all of us non-Catholics.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/17/2012 - 10:27 am.

      Actually Jackson

      I am completely consistent in that I do not accept as fact that which cannot be independantly reproduced. That is a the scientific method .

      Global warming depends on mathematical models which are ridden with shortcomings. When solid data is available, I’ll accept it.

      • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 10/18/2012 - 01:00 pm.


        Because I produced several studies (from several DIFFERENT researchers) that completely contradict your stance on gay marriage and the effect on children. Yet, you deny that this independently reproduced fact. Perhaps the more appropriate sentence should be “I am completely consistent in that I do not accept as fact that which cannot be independently bound to my beliefs.” It’s not scientific method, but it would make you more consistent. It would appear that solid data is not sufficient for your acceptance.

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/19/2012 - 10:30 am.

          And I provided

          An equal number of studies that de-bunk the predetermined outcomes the authors of your studies constructed their “research” to conclude.

          I also provided peer reviewed research that came to a completely different conclusion.

          My insistence on solid data is why leftists are unable to win a debate with me.

          • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 10/19/2012 - 02:05 pm.

            Not that I recall

            Please link to your studies again. When you and I last discussed this, I provided 3 studies that supported my view. You provided none. One time, when we were discussing this, you provided an article (as in one, single article) that described a study, but it really didn’t say what you claimed. So, besides not being the peer reviewed study itself, it actually supported my views, not yours. In any case, I can provide links to a plethora more. Many are behind pay walls, so I tried to provide at least a couple that weren’t last time. But if I’m not limited to actually providing the information for free, I can direct you to lots more information if you’re willing to pay or go to the library.

            In other words, you really haven’t insisted on solid data. THAT’s why we “leftists” are unable to debate with you. It’s mostly because we point out that your “solid data” are hocus pocus and you simply maintain that sand is food. That’s not a debate, but not for lack of trying on our part.

  5. Submitted by Jeff Klein on 10/17/2012 - 09:46 am.

    So we’re to the point where the GOP is using the BWCAW as an example of a BAD thing? At this point it’s almost storybook evil.

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/17/2012 - 01:19 pm.


    Just so everyone knows, scientific methods are not limited to experimental science. Observations can be made and verified in a number of different ways. Replication is not limited to physical experiments since such experiments are frequently not possible.

    Thousands of observations and statistical models have now be produced, verified, and replicated regarding the “fact” of climate change. Any person can believe what they want, but the science is based on consensus, and the overwhelming consensus is that climate change is real, and caused by human activity. There is a difference between skepticism and denial. Denial recognizes no evidence.

  7. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/19/2012 - 02:34 pm.

    So, in the end Rachel

    …the best you can come up with is; “Did not, so there.”

    Not that anyone really expected more, I’m somehow dissapointed.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/19/2012 - 03:16 pm.

      Rachel did a fine job

      Far better than I expected given how weary it’s becoming going around in the same unproductive circles with you again and again and again and again and . . . . . . . .

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