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Al Franken and Taxes

Seventy-thousand dollars owed in taxes. For many Minnesotans this is more money than they see in a year. But, this tax thing could be good for Al Franken. Nothing can create empathy in the hearts and minds of the voters better than tax problems. Franken needs to embrace this scandal to get in front of it; here’s how I would accomplish this task:

TV Commercial Starts

Franken: “Some of you may have heard about my recent tax problems, for the rest of you let me fill you in, I owe and have paid $70,000 in taxes from my work I have done in other states.

“As all of you know, the tax code is a complex thing and when you do a lot of work across state lines it becomes nearly impossible to keep track. I’m not trying to excuse my actions, I should have paid closer attention.

“For all the trouble it causes us, we must remember that taxes are a necessity to our democracy. They pay for the bridges, the police officers and the education of our young people, among other things.

“Seventy thousand dollars sounds like a lot of money, and it is. I’ve been very lucky, this great country has provided me and my family a lot of wealth. But there are people who have been less fortunate than I, and once again taxes are used to help them out.

“Taxes can be a pain, we all know it, but we need to remember the good it does. If you send me to Washington, I will make sure the pain of trying to pay all these taxes is worth the effort.”

I think with a little polish and some stock footage of homeless people, it could be an excellent TV ad. The focus needs to be to bring Franken down to the voter. I think he’s seen as too much of a Hollywood elitist, having tax problems makes him more identifiable to the common voter who struggles with finances.

Reminding voters that even Democrats don’t like to pay taxes helps take the edge off the fact they intend to raise taxes. And, by focusing the voters attention away from the hypocrisy and towards the positive effects of taxation it will move voters towards accepting the struggles we all go through every year with our government obligations. This could really work to Franken’s advantage, and it would make the people pushing ths scandal look like soulless, hypocritical accountants (hypocritical, in the sense that one could ask “why are Republicans so interested in this scandal, don’t they want people to pay less taxes? Why are they pushing so hard on this?”)

So far, Franken has been quite forthright. But embracing this scandal could gain Franken the sympathy of the voters. There’s quite an opportunity here for Franken.


My First Game

In 1993 the Rockies were a lowly expansion team, and I was a young buck attending my first game.

Some interesting notes:

-Andres Galarraga, my favorite player growing up, hit a home run

-Bruce Froemming was the Home Plate umpire

-Rockies actually won 9-5

-Even more unusual, David Nied won

-Joe Girardi, a catcher, got a triple

Other stuff:

Time of Game: 2:48.
Attendance: 65,261.
Field Condition: Dry.
Weather: 59° F, Sunny, No Precipitation.

I don’t remember it being quite that cold.

Baseball Reference is awesome.


Random Link o’ the Day:


As a McCain Supporter

I am not at all worried about the Ron Paul “takeovers” in caucus states. Nevada (the state mentioned in the story) didn’t even go for McCain, so who cares? McCain won’t lose the nomination even with the loss of caucus states. The only problem might be that the nomination won’t unananimous, again, so what? Considering what the Democrats are going through, a little elda grátt silfur during our convention will be meaningless.

Another Column Thing

Wanted to note I also contributed to this Bleacher Report column (which ranks teams and players so far in the baseball season).

Catching up on some Reviews III

The last one, for now.

Book: Lord High Executioner, Howard Engel

This is a book about various hangmen and executioners throughout history, focusing mostly on British hangmen. This book makes a case against the death penalty but does so under fallacy. The argument, repeated often throughout the book, is “people who were executed were clearly not deterred by the death penalty therefore it’s ineffective.” Of course, the question is really to ask how many people were deterred and how much crime was prevented, something that can’t be found looking at the lives of hangmen.

Book: The Official Handbook of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Mark Smith

Ugh. This book was a series of responses to common arguments made by liberals, many of which dealt with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The responses were five-second sound clips and worthy of politicians trying to answer questions in a guarded way. For those of us involved in political discourse, we are probably better off on our own than with this volume.

Book: The Good, the Bad and the Mad, E. Randall Floyd

An enjoyable volume of short biographies of some odd characters from American History.

Book: Blog!, Hugh Hewitt

I consider this the great statement of the purpose and philosophy of blogging. Much like Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” this takes aim at the way things were and describes how they ought to be and soon will.

Book: CARtoons, Andy Singer

It’s a work of cartoons with some essays regarding how traffic should be dealt with. Mr. Singer seems to think getting rid of cars will be the panacea to society’s ills. Whatever.

Book: Roadkill Bill, Ken Avidor

Yes, that Ken Avidor. Don’t waste your time or treasure on this book.

Twins Notes

I and a bunch of other Twins writers at the Bleacher Report discuss some of the goings so far this season in this article composed by Andrew Kneeland.

Who Is…

Rick Monday

Conservative Canon: Author Discussion

C.S. Lewis

Sometimes I worry if the canon is becoming a little Christian heavy. I definitely don’t want to keep conservative Jews or Neo-cons away (I assume Neo-con is a religion). The religion-heavy aspect of the canon stems from the fact I was late to the party and always way behind when it came to apologetics and theology. So, right now I’m spending a lot of time reading the books I should have been reading much sooner in my life.

Also, I really want to avoid the Catholic v. Protestant debate so I’ve done what I can to focus on bringing people into the Judeo-Christian ethic, hopefully leaving it up to them where they’ll settle. The Canon is supposed to be a toolbox of persuasion as well as learning. Something C.S. Lewis accomplishes.

So, C.S. Lewis…

Lots of books and here are the ones I think are canon material:

Mere Christianity
The Problem of Pain
Surprised by Joy
The Screwtape Letters
The Great Divorce
The Chronicles of Narnia

This is also as good a time as any to put the Lord of the Ring Trilogy up for debate.

So, Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the Lord of the Ring, also in the canon? What other works of literature belong?