Archive for the ‘Big Dooker’ Category

It is about damn time!

The House passed the Wellstone parity legislation 376 to 47. A Bluestem Prairie has nice coverage of the story. As Ollie Ox pointed out, the only member of the Minnesota delegation to vote against this important piece of legislation was Rep. Michelle Bachman. Maybe if there was an amendment allowing drilling for oil  in ANWR she could have supported it.

It has been a long while since I featured a Big Dooker of The Week and I really have other things I could be doing right now, but Rep. Bachmann has outdone herself this week with this vote and her attempts to link drilling for oil in ANWR to the Wall Street bailout legislation.

Congratulations Michelle, you are our Big Dooker of The Week.

Peace & solidarity,


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It was back in April that Representative Dennis Kucinich introduced H. Res. 333 , the Articles of Impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney.Although hearings have been blocked in the Judiciary Committee by Speaker Pelosi, Rep. Kucinich has announced that on Tuesday, November 6 he will use his right of personal privilege to force a floor vote.  He fully expects a motion to table so it is important to contact your representative in the House and strongly urge them to support H. Res. 333. This will allow debate and put the members of the House of Representatives on record on the impeachment issue.

The following telephone numbers can be used to contact your representative:




View the Robert Greenwald video about Dick Cheney and the Articles of Impeachment at CHC Theater. 

George McGovern’s comments about the Vice President were the subject of a previous post here.

The Democratic leadership should allow this vote to happen! Many of the Democrats will say that it will take up precious time when they could be working on other legislation. They need to review what we have lost in freedoms, liberties, and precious resources and what we will lose by allowing Cheney and the Bush administration to continue to operate unchecked.

Here is the video of Rep. Kucinich explaining the upcoming vote.

Peace & solidarity,


Want to turn the music off? Go to the right and scroll down to CHC Jukebox and click the play/stop button. The current selection is Snake Charmer by The Monks Kitchen. Appropriate, don’t you think?

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After a lengthy hiatus the Big Dooker of the Week feature is back this week. It is often times difficult to choose because there are so many deserving candidates for the title. Rush Limbaugh was a serious contender with his ‘phony soldiers’ remarks. Over at mnblue you can read reaction to his comments from Brandon Day, secretary of the Minnesota chapter of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. Army of Dude also has some thoughts about Rush.  But I digress.

Known for his ability to flip, flop, straddle, weasel, and spin; this week’s Big Dooker award goes to:

drum roll please

Minnesota’s very own senior Senator,

Norm Coleman


Senator Coleman has been a contender numerous times but this week he shot to the top with his decision to sign on to a proposal that would withdraw troops from Iraq after Bush leaves office in fifteen months. How convenient! Senator Coleman has tried to play the part of the critic of the Bush administration while supporting him with his votes. Senate candidates Al Franken and Mike Ciresi have both released statements condemning this feeble attempt at appearing to be looking for a solution. Read their comments at Minnesota Monitor here and here.

The working stiffs of this country like me are tired of politicians like Norm Coleman trying to sound like they are with us while they are really sticking it to us. Democrats- take note, we voted for change. We are still waiting.

Peace & solidarity,


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See previous post

Oh man, these people definitely fit the description of Dooker!

Peace & solidarity,


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“It’s to late for us, but it isn’t to late for our children and grandchildren to have a better life”.

Those are the emotional words of Mary Stodola of Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota as she testified before legislators at a public hearing on June 28 in Mountain Iron regarding the Minnesota Department of Health’s  withholding of information about asbestos related  cancer among taconite miners. Her husband has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and faces a deadly future.

I first wrote about this on June 22 where I suggested that Governor Pawlenty should ask for the resignation of Commissioner Mandernach. She is still there and the Governor seems more interested in his national aspirations. The good news to come out of the hearing is that the Universtiy of Minnesota will take over the study of the mesothelioma-related deaths. Congressman Jim Oberstar  in a letter to the International Falls Daily Journal has pledged to do whatever he could do on the federal level to secure funding for the study. He also said that he was not aware of any attempts by the MDH to secure federal funding. The bad news is that so far no one is being held accountable for the year long delay in the release of the information.

State Senator John Marty (DFL) has a very good commentary on this issue on the Workday Minnesota website. Here are a few paragraphs:

Commentary: Health Department cover-up – mistake or malfeasance?

By Senator John Marty

9 July 2007

ST. PAUL – “If this is leaked in any way and there is some digging by the media, we will have hell to pay…”
The MN Department of Health’s decision not to disclose additional mesothelioma deaths among iron miners is not a “mistake” that an apology will fix.

 Commissioner Mandernach repeatedly has stated that they did not want to release the information about health risks to the miners until the administration had “all their ducks in a row.” Forget about the Pawlenty administration’s ducks. How about showing some concern for the miners and their families?

No, this was not a mistake. It was a cynical attempt to protect the Pawlenty administration’s political interests. It is time for Commissioner Mandernach, and the those in the Governor’s office who were involved, to be dismissed.

Read the entire commentary here.


There are several very important issues that I believe need to be resolved.

  • Senator Marty is right to call for the dismissal of Commissioner Mandernach and any other people in the Governor’s office who were involved. The credibility of the Minnesota Department of Health needs to be restored.

  • Governor Pawlenty should not get a pass on this. His history of disregard for the health and safety of working men and women is clear. The people of Minnesota need to be reminded again and again what this guy really stands for.

  • The miners need to know why 58 of their brothers died. It is good that the Universtiy of Minnesota will take over the study but there needs to be assurances that budget cuts will not cut it short. Funding should be secured.

  • All  of the stakeholders need to be involved in finding a solution to protect the health and safety of the workers. The miners and their unions are critical to this process because they are on the front lines everyday.

I hope this issue does not get “lost in the noise”, as GOP pundit, one-time governor wannabe, sockless Brian Sullivan stated June 29 on Minnesota public television’s Almanac program, (say it ain’t so, Brian).

The noise should be coming from the working men and women of this state. Call your representatives. Call the Governor. Write your local newspaper. Call or write the McCain campaign office and tell them the guy (Pawlenty) who is helping John out is no friend of a lot of people who vote.

Protect the health and safety of all workers in this state. Do Something!

Peace & solidarity,


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This is getting hard! McCain is going to Iraq again on Monday for another campaign photo-op, placing the troops who must protect him in harms way. Joe Lieberman is, well he’s just Joe, and the ‘commander guy’ thinks Iraq should look to Israel as a mentor on democracy.

Someone usually stands out and that person this week is the man behind everything in this administration:

Vice President Dick Cheney

always in the shadows 


The Vice President apparently makes up the rules as he goes along. Is he part of the executive branch of government or part of the legislative branch. Maybe it is the Shadow branch?

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OK, so I missed last week. I make the rules at CornerHouse so this week we will have two Dooker’s. Actually, a tie.

We expect our government agencies and officials to serve us-the public. Many of those people claim to be ‘public servants’,  or like to say they are ‘serving the public’.

Two of Minnesota’s government officials failed the ‘public servant’ test miserably this last week. Of course that would be Minnesota Commissioner of Health, Dianne Mandernach, and her boss, Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Why are they this week’s honorees?

Read on.

From the June 17, 2007 Star-Tribune

The state Health Department found that additional Iron Range miners had a deadly asbestos-related cancer, then sat on the information for a year.

By David Shaffer, Star Tribune

The Minnesota Health Department suppressed research about additional deadly cancers among Iron Range miners for a year, even though a top government scientist warned that the findings raised significant new health issues.

The department discovered in March 2006 that a rare, asbestos-related cancer had stricken 35 more miners than the 17 previously known. All of the miners have died. The state didn’t release the new information until March of this year, a decision that some health experts are now criticizing. Read the entire article here.

The news of Commisioner Manderach’s decision to withhold the information about the 35 additional miners striken with the deadly cancer known as MESOTHELIOMA immediately garnered plenty of criticism. Commisioner Manderach originally defended her actions during an MPR interview on June 18th but then issued an apology on June 20th .

Nine state legislators have sent a letter to the Governor calling for her resignation and the United SteelWorkers have called for legislative and criminal investigations. While the governor has been critical of her actions he said they don’t rise to the “level of termination”. What don’t these people get?  The Minnesota Department of Health has suffered a serious blow to its credibility and precious time was lost to secure funding for further research. Important stakeholders were shut out of the decision making process. Governor Pawlenty should ask for her immediate resignation and make it a priority to find funding instead of playing the GWBush card, ‘I didn’t know so it’s not my fault’. It is his team and he should take full responsibility.Because of their actions Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dianne Manderach and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty are the:

Big Dookers of the Week 


mandernach.jpg               tim-pawlenty.jpg




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This week I happened to catch a little bit of the GOP presidential debate not because I intended to watch it but because the television was on as I walked by on my way outside to work on the yard. I was stopped in my tracks when I heard the comments of Rep. Duncan Hunter (GOP) of California. He was responding to a question about immigration and proceeded to make a statement that was so outrageous that I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly. Watch the video above.

Rep. Hunter talked about the ICE raids at the Swift & Co. plants and got most of the facts wrong and then proceeded to say, American citizens were lined up the next day to get their jobs back at $18.00 an hour.”

 I happen to have a little knowledge about those particular raids. I work in one of the plants that was targeted in Worthington, Minnesota. Rep. Hunter refered to the raids as happening in Iowa and said there were about 850 illegals arrested.

Let’s see if we can do a little fact checking here.

The ICE action(read ICE press release) targeted Swift & Company plants in Greeley, Colo., where Swift is based; Grand Island, Nebraska; Cactus, Texas; Hyrum, Utah; Marshalltown, Iowa; and Worthington, MN. NOT JUST IOWA!

Over 1280 immigrants were arrested.

No one was lined up for jobs at the plant I work at the next day and I am reasonably certain that was the case for the other locations.  It has taken over five months for the company to get staffing back to pre-raid levels. Read the Swift press release here. There are a few reasons why that did not happen. The company was not prepared to do any hiring at that moment because they were busy assesing the remaining workforce and they were looking at how they were going to meet production demands. The biggest reason there were not lines for those $18.00 an hour jobs: They do not exist.

The starting rate for production jobs at the Worthington, Minnesota Swift plant is $11.50 and hour. Yes, $11.50 an hour. The plant at Marshalltown, Iowa has a similar starting rate. The production employees are represented by the United Food & Commercial Workers union and I have seen the contracts for both plants.

Was Rep. Hunter lying to make a point? Was he confused? Did a low level campaign worker misinform him? Maybe he was suggesting that Swift pay $18.00 an hour for hew hires (great idea). Perhaps he  just doesn’t know how to ‘google the internets’  to get information . He certainly demonstrated the willingness to use his so called facts to support his position. What kind of facts does he use on issues like Iran, Korea and Iraq? What is his position on the sale of Swift & Co. to a foreign company?

If you follow the news the immigration bill crashed and burned in the Senate. I have my own views on this issue but won’t get into those in this post. For backgound and reaction to the ICE raid in Worthington check out a collection of news articles from the Worthington Daily Globe here.

Because of his actions and statements Rep. Duncan Hunter earns the honor of


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There are so many worthy candidates to consider for this honor but Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut came out of nowhere with his John McCain imitation in Iraq today. As I’ve said before, these campaign photo-ops should be paid for out of the candidates re-election funds, not taxpayer funds.

This weeks BIG DOOKER honoree is


Senator Joe Lieberman


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I am introducing a new feature that is called:

Big Dooker of the Week

This feature will feature a person in the news who is deserving of the title of Big Dooker .

The winner of this title will be decided by the impartial staff of Corner House Comments. Suggestions are always welcome.

The name Big Dooker comes from my grandson who was describing-well, let me put this delicately-one of his recent bowel movements.


There are so many deserving candidates to choose from but this weeks honoree is:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales




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