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Democratic Visions One-on-One

by JeffStrate on December 29, 2016 · 0 comments

What happend? What's next?

The Uptake, the citizen driven, online, news service, was “baptized” during the tumultuous, September 2008 Republican Party Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.  That’s the G.O.P. convention associated with un-announced search warrants, the torching of squad cars, the arrest of more than 300 protestors including journalists, roughed-up demonstrators and conventioneers; that’s the one that nominated John McCain and placed a tiara on Sarah Palin as its VP candidate to an amused and bemused electorate.


Two months later, voters, Obama and Biden solved that problem.


This past election season, neither Sanders or Clinton and Kaine were provided a position to help solve the Trump problem.  With DT’s carnival about to enter the big top’s center ring, America’s political culture continues to morph into the kitsch world of a John Waters film.  The cynical fun, however, is now a real nightmare.


The Uptake executive producer Mike McIntee  joined Tim O’Brien for a 22 minute, one-on-one, Democratic Visions meet-up on December 19th.  Much has since happened.  The following day, McIntee was carting office and streaming gear into the renovated press bunker at the Minnesota Capitol.   Six days later, the StarTribune reported that Amy Klobuchar had told it that she would run in 2018 for re-election to the U.S. Senate and not for Governor.   A few days after that, the President-Elect was defending Israel’s settlement policies and damning Kerry and Obama via tweets. Only the tandem deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds have dimmed these recent Twitter flare-ups.


That said, the new edition of Democratic Visions features Mr. McIntee and Mr. O’Brien sharing still timely perspectives on  the life political as the informed and engaged adults that they are.    Mike and Tim have a lot to say about where we’ve been and where we’re headed, about the DFL, future DFL leadership, the national Democrats and DT.


The second and third courses of the viewing include a visual essay set inside the winter time, tropical redoubt of the Como Conservatory and some ruminating by truck driver, critic-at-large Bruce Baird.


View the half hour program on YouTube here.


Democratic Visions on cableTV


Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Edina, Hopkins, Richfield, Comcast Channel 15 —

Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.


Bloomington – BCAT Channel 16 — Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.


Minneapolis – MTN Channel 16 — Sundays at 8:30 p.m., Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m.  Programs are streamed during airings.


Champlin, Anoka, Ramsey, Andover – QCTV Community Channel 15 Schedule varies consult website –


Democratic Visions is hand made by unpaid volunteers from Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins and Bloomington. Our program is not financially supported or endorsed by any political party, political action committee or special interest group.


DFL state convention live blog

by Eric Ferguson on June 1, 2014 · 9 comments

I’m at the DFL state convention, and I’ll be live blogging it, which means I’ll be posting updates below. The video above is an introduction similar to this, just for kicks. Feel free to subscribe to my channel. I may post video updates if opportunity arises, but I’ll generally be where people are trying to talk or people are trying to hear, so no promises, but I’ll see if I can show some of what goes on at a convention. Otherwise I’ll be posting what’s happening, maybe with an opinion since I’m allowed to do that. It’s a blog you know, and I’m not pretending to be a reporter or to be without biases. Jump to a preview of what’s going to happen.
Late Saturday update: The Saturday portion of this live blog got very long and made the front page a long scroll, and there are other posts worth reading. So I’m putting the “read more” below this paragraph, and the time stamped updates start on the jump. As expected, life required my presence at home, but I plan to live blog Sunday too, if I can get The Uptake’s stream working for me (quickie update: it worked). I suppose it depends on traffic, but I should have a better connection anyway. The mining resolution is expected to be the controversial part of the platform debates. Guess we’ll watch and see. Some things, like the constitution changes, might be inside baseball, but leave a question in the comments and I’ll try to answer.


Update on The Uptake’s marriage equality film

by JeffStrate on August 31, 2013 · 0 comments

Uptake logo

As of this posting, The Uptake is short by more than $7,700 of its Kickstarter fundraiser deadline goal of $21,211 for its documentary project on the struggle for marriage equality in Minnesota; that deadline arrives on SEPT 6 at 11:59 p.m.  The Uptake, a non-profit, citizen-propelled video news service, says the program will be crafted for a national TV audience.

The gubernatorial signing of Minnesota’s marriage equality legislation came just six months after the unexpected defeat of the discriminatory constitutional marriage definition amendment question on the November 2012 ballot.  “That’s our story,” says The Uptake’s Mike McIntee.

The Uptake can select interviews, demonstrations, legislative debates and protests from hundreds of hours of streamed and taped video from its own coverage and the video vault of the Minnesota United for All Families, the lead organization in the fight for equality. If the funding pledge deadline goal is made, The Uptake will be good to go.  But if the $21,211 Kickstarter pledge goal is not reached by 11:59 p.m. on September 6, the film will not be produced.  The project will need to pay for such production costs as sifting through and selecting video clips from three years of coverage, scripting, digitizing the chosen footage for computer editing, music use fees, audio mixing, graphics and some promotion.

Referring to the documentary’s small budget, McIntee says, “There’s some money in here for promotion and distribution, but not a lot.  We’re hoping that once we get this made other like-minded organizations are going to help us out on that.  It will get seen nationally.  Free Speech TV is one outlet for that.  I’m hoping that others will be available as well.”

During the evening ramp up to the first, legal, same-sex marriage ceremonies at Midnight on August 1st, I assisted McIntee and Uptake videographer Bill Sorem at the Wilde Roast Restaurant at St. Anthony-on-Main.  They were live-streaming interviews of couples, activists and political supporters of the marriage equality campaign that I was recruiting from the jovial and reflective celebrants.  The three of us later added to that footage at Minneapolis City Hall before, during and after Mayor R.T. Ryback legally married the first group of 46 same-sex couples.  You’ll see clips of the evening in my accompanying video.

McIntee explained that if the target amount is not raised by the September 6 deadline, pledged gifts will not be processed – prospective donors will keep their money. If the deadline goal of $21,211 is reached or surpassed, donations will be tax deductible.

Here is the link to the film project’s information and pledge page at Kickstarter.

Here is the link to my second promotional video in support of the project.  Enjoy and give.


Bill Sorem – Citizen Journalist

by TwoPuttTommy on December 23, 2010 · 0 comments

Bill was recently a guest on Democratic Visions.  Here’s the story:


Duluth Editor Admits To Sham Screening

by keewatinrose on October 28, 2010 · 1 comment

Duluth News-Tribune Editor Chuck Frederick on Tuesday admitted that the Tea Party dominated brawl that masqueraded as a debate was indeed their screening for the endorsement of the 8th district congressional seat.

In interviews with The Uptake and Minnesota Post, Frederick maintained that it was a local decision and not one imposed by his conservative bosses in Fargo. He also admitted it was a departure from the interviews with the editorial board they have done in the past, but gave no viable explanation as to why that decision was made. Instead, he offered this to Dave Brauer of the Minnesota Post  “…we know what he (Oberstar) is thinking”.  Really? Wow.

Frederick further protested to Brauer “we didn’t go into that forum to make Oberstar look bad”.

Let’s look at the facts. The venue was changed twice to accommodate the horde of Tea Partiers who came in support of their candidate. The doors did not open until 7:30 am, yet the Cravaack supporters were allowed in at 6:45 am to place pre-printed ‘reserved’ signs on seats in the auditorium. They arrived with props touting anti-Oberstar slogans and appeared to acting in coordination with each other both before and during the debate. The Tea Partiers were allowed to cat-call, jeer, taunt, mock and verbally-assault the Congressman at will. Cravaack did not seem surprised by any of this boorish behavior and in fact played to it.  None of the questions submitted by Oberstar supporters got through. I don’t know how a reasonable and prudent person could come to the conclusion that this was anything other than a set-up in order to justify their pre-determined endorsement of the Tea Party Candidate From The Metro Area.

Chuck Frederick has a reputation for being a decent guy and that has been my experience with him as well. His weak explanation of their actions supports the belief these decisions were indeed dictated by the fat cat executives in Fargo who sign his paychecks.

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Today was the final Quick on the Uptake

by Eric Ferguson on July 28, 2010 · 1 comment

The last broadcast of Quick on the Uptake was made this afternoon. The show was live on AM950 KTNF at 5 PM weekdays, and will be replaced by Nancy Nelson, who has a show on Saturdays and recently filled in while host Mike McIintee was gone.

The is not the end of The Uptake, just the daily radio show. The web site continues. Mike explained that it was a matter of available time. He pays the bills as a video editor, and he described The Uptake as his “passion”, and something had to go. Unfortunately for his regular listeners, the radio show was it.

Mike said he left on good terms with station management, and he reminded his listeners the station is a local independent, not a big corporate station, and we’re fortunate for that. He said he’ll still be on the air occasionally, and indeed he was a regular guest on The Mark Heaney Show prior to getting his own show.

Speaking for myself, the show’s end will leave a gap in my ipod, since I listened to the podcast almost every day I didn’t hear it live. I don’t know how long the podcasts will be available, but for the moment, they can be downloaded at…

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… “A Peek Through The Flaps Of The Small Tent Party”

Part 1 is here; Part 2 (with pictures!) is here.  And I know I’m a day late with Part 3, but I thought last Saturday’s post about the Strib leaving out Emmer’s offensive quote (“I don’t think you can call yourself a freedom-loving American and be a Democrat.”  —  Tom Emmer, 9-26-09) was too important to ignore.  The Strib has a long history of carrying water for GOPers; Strib Reporter Repeater Kevin Diaz bein’ the most notable of late.

It’s important to note that at Sloganville (the GOPer State Convention), up was down, war is peace, and George Orwell was spinning in his grave at the trash the GOPers spewed.  For instance, as noted by Big E, GOPers are continuing the long-debunked “Normie wuz robbed!!!” meme – and because of the pounding of that meme by GOPer Blowhards, the “base” actually still believes that.

Emmer ran through the pre-endorsement process as an “outsider” taking on “the establishment” even though his campaign staff was filled with plenty of “insider” staffers, such as former Bachmann Political Director Jack Tomczak.  And Emmer’s pick for running mate – Annette Meeks – is the ultimate insider, as noted earlier today by MPP’s Joe Bodell.

Annette Meeks used to work for Newt “Is My Wife Well Enough To Divorce Yet?” Gingrich, an infamous sloganeer.  When it comes to sloganeering, Gingrich wrote the memo – let’s look!

From Information Clearing House:

Language: A Key Mechanism of Control

Newt Gingrich’s 1996 GOPAC memo

  As you know, one of the key points in the GOPAC tapes is that “language matters.” In the video “We are a Majority,” Language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party, along with Agenda, Rules, Attitude and Learning. As the tapes have been used in training sessions across the country and mailed to candidates we have heard a plaintive plea: “I wish I could speak like Newt.”

  That takes years of practice. But, we believe that you could have a significant impact on your campaign and the way you communicate if we help a little. That is why we have created this list of words and phrases.

  This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and mail, in preparing speeches, and in producing electronic media. The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.

  While the list could be the size of the latest “College Edition” dictionary, we have attempted to keep it small enough to be readily useful yet large enough to be broadly functional. The list is divided into two sections: Optimistic Positive Governing words and phrases to help describe your vision for the future of your community (your message) and Contrasting words to help you clearly define the policies and record of your opponent and the Democratic party.  (

And, what is one of the words on “Mr. Republican Families Values” list, that GOPers should use?


THAT was a word used over and Over and OVER; at one time the GOPers even blared Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom” over the loudspeakers.  ELTON JOHN.  It was surreal.

Another word used, on thrice-divorced Gingrich’s 1996 list for GOPers to use?


Again, a word used over and Over and OVER; more than one time the GOPers even blared Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin'” over the loudspeakers – BOB DYLAN.  Beyond surreal; it was unreal.

Here’s that list; the list Annette Meek’s old boss penned in 1996.

Sure, they’ll add – and have added – new ones to that list; new ones like this one ushered into the tudra’s lexicon last Saturday:  “constitutional conservatism”

GOPers are very good at sloganeering, and they came out of Sloganville spinning as fast as they can.

That spinning – “up is down” “war is peace” and “Emmer’s an outsider” – is but one reason why I always say:

Reasonable people cannot reasonably believe anything a GOPer says, anymore.

GOPer Party Leadership simply doesn’t care that what they spew isn’t true; they only care that THE VOTER thinks the spew is true.


… “A Peak Through The Flaps Of The Small Tent Party”

Part 1 is here.  In part 2, we’ll talk briefly about Day 2 (more, next Monday) – plus, there’s some pictures below the fold!!!

On Friday, Tom Emmer was working the delegates over by Vendor Row; he saw me and said: “Hey, TwoPutt!” – which explains one picture (below the fold!).  I’ve talked to Emmer several times over the last many months; like at last October at the Veterans Protest outside of the GOPer Trial-Run Convention in St. Paul; in the “Spin Room” after the Minnesota News Council/League of Women Voters Guv Debate in January; at the GOPer SD-42 Caucus in February (where I met his wife, Jacquie); and those are just off-the-top…

The thing about Emmer, is – just like Wellstone; just like Ventura; hey – just like Tommy Rukavina!!! — when you ask Emmer a question you get an answer.  You may not like the answer, but you get one and it’s NOT an answer based upon what you want to hear —  it’s based upon what they think.

And a LOT of voters like that, in a candidate.

That said, Emmer also – often! – says some really, Really, REALLY polarizing things, such as:

“I don’t think you can call yourself a freedom-loving American and be a Democrat.”  —  Tom Emmer, 9-26-09 (

So, can a guy like Emmer, saying stuff like that, really, Really, REALLY get elected?

Well, this guy did:

“Children who are victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem for our government.”  — Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty, April 2001 – as quoted in the Aitkin Independent Newspaper

More, on Monday, and enjoy the pics below!

Oh – and the slogan of the day, at Sloganville, was:

“Constitutional Conservatism”

Which is rather funny, coming from The Party Of Watergate & Iran-Contra & Boy Blunder…  
The ol’ TwoPutter, with the then-not-endorsed Tom Emmer on Friday, April 30th:

The ol’ TwoPutter, with GOPer SD42 State Rep. Jenifer loon:

Here’s a poll on what “new media” training GOPer Convention attendees want next; my question is what training is the DFL gonna provide first??!?

Media Central, which the ol’ TwoPutter was specifically kept OUT of:

A union Steel Worker – let me repeat that, A UNION STEEL WORKER – with delegate credentials at the GOP Convention; talk about voting AGAINST your own economic self-interest…

Here’s two bumperstickers on a GOPer Vendor’s table; let’s hope the top guy meets the same fate as the bottom guy’s last election:


Fear And Loathing In Sloganville, Part 1 – or…

by TwoPuttTommy on April 30, 2010 · 2 comments

… “A Peak Through The Flaps Of The Small Tent Party”

I’ll start this post out dealing with the Fear Factor! As expected yesterday, Minnesota’s GOPers weren’t gonna give the ol’ TwoPutter Media Credentials.  But, that’s no surprise; they didn’t credential The UpTake, either.  As a matter o’ fact, the MN GOP is none-too-keen about letting “just anyone in” to see the goings ons o’ their party; no one – and I mean NO ONE – can wander on in and watch how The Small Tent Party conducts their business, without bein’ approved to do said watching.

One wonders what would happen, were a teacher to bring a coupla kids down to the Mpls Convention Center, for a teachable moment about democracy – GOPer Style.  I’m guessing it would be a real teachable moment; GOPers refusing school kids to watch ’em in action!!!

Compare/contrast with the DFL’s “Open Door – Open Look” policy in Duluth…which explains a lot about the difference between parties.  Well, the average DFLer’s “Open Mind” and average GOPer’s “Closed Mind” does, too.

Here’s the tweet, about my exchange with MN GOP Communications Director Mark Drake concerning my Media Credentials:

Drake: “U didn’t rgstr in time” Me: “What was deadline?” Drake: “Didn’t u get my memo?” Me: “U r a funny guy, Mark”
#mngop10 #Stribpol    
about 14 hours ago  via web


We’ll post a whole buncha more tweets, down below the fold!

Getting back to Sloganville – apparently, judging by the “speeches” by GOPer Candidates and almost all of the Delegates and Alternates I talked with, the main qualification for elective office is “who loves freedom and liberty and hates tyranny more” and who hates “the direction our country is headed” the most.  They all want to “cut gubmint spending” and “shrink gubmint” – although the GOPer Sloganeers don’t talk much about what they’ll whack once they get back power.  Presumably, everything is on the table.  Well, except Defense, I guess, because they’re all “strong” on National Defense.

Pretty hard to be “strong” on National Defense whilst whacking a National Defense Budget that spends more than….well, probably the rest of the world combined.  Nope!  Can’t whack that!!!

And Veterans, apparently, can’t be whacked either.  Here’s a snippet from that notoriously liberal/leftist/socialist America-hating dam-near commie rag, The Moonie Washington Times:

Mr. Obama’s proposed VA budget for fiscal 2011 asks for $125 billion – a 10 percent jump from what Congress enacted for 2010, which was itself more than 16 percent more than 2009. The discretionary portion of next year’s budget request – the part the administration and Congress have the most direct control over – is up nearly 20 percent since 2009, to total $60.3 billion.
Perhaps one of the reasons Mr. Obama’s veterans policies have flown under the radar – relative to his hard-fought victory on the health care overhaul – is they draw bipartisan support at a time when the nation is still fighting two wars. In addition to approving double-digit budget increases, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle came together last year on a bill that put the portion of the VA’s budget that deals with medical care on a two-year track to insulate it from legislative delays.

They also signed off on the post-9/11 GI bill, which provides Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with money for tuition and housing while in school.

More recently, the Senate last week approved a bipartisan bill that expands benefits for the caregivers of wounded veterans and tries to accommodate those in rural areas by expanding the VA’s telemedicine program and travel reimbursements. The bill, authored by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii Democrat, now awaits the president’s signature.

“I would think there’s more agreement than disagreement” on veterans’ issues, said Brooks Tucker, deputy staff director for Republicans on the committee. (

So, apparently, “shrinking the size of gubmint” doesn’t include Veterans Benefits – in the view of The Small Tent Party.

So, just WT(C) do they want to whack?  I dunno; I haven’t heard it yet.

They certainly don’t want to whack Border Security; that’s a big topic down there in Sloganville.

Maybe in the RightWingNutJobWorld, “Border Security” can magically be expanded, and be paid for by…..


How DO they want to pay for it??!?

I’ll keep asking, today, as I head back to gather material for Fear And Loathing In Sloganville, Part Two – or … “A Peak Through The Flaps Of The Small Tent Party”

Oh – and here’s the tweet, describing how I got A “Guest Pass”

I’m in! A fellow VFW Member thought #mngop10 policy is bogus, and invited me in as a Guest! #Stribpol    
about 14 hours ago  via web


Here’s the list of tweets sent yesterday, over the three hours between not getting Media Credentials, getting a “Guest Pass” and the GOPers actually letting me in, using said “Guest Pass”:

_ To no surprise, no Media Credential for the ol’ TwoPutter! What is @mngop hiding behind the closed flaps of The Small Tent Party? #Stribpol    
about 15 hours ago  via web  

_ @sturdevant Hey, Lori – out of curiosity, when did you register for press credentials?    
about 15 hours ago  via web  

_ According to a Sergeant-At-Arms, all persons entering must have a pass @mngop10 #stribpol     about 15 hours ago  via web  

_ According to @mngop10 info desk, must be a guest of delegate or alternate to get a guest pass – no casual observers allowed. #Stribpol     about 15 hours ago  via web  

_ Drake: “U didn’t rgstr in time” Me: “What was deadline?” Drake: “Didn’t u get my memo?” Me: “U r a funny guy, Mark” #mngop10 #Stribpol     about 14 hours ago  via web  

_ I’m in! A fellow VFW Member thought #mngop10 policy is bogus, and invited me in as a Guest! #Stribpol     about 14 hours ago  via web  

_ Ruh-roh – #mngop10 not a “happy face” w/ my “Guest Pass” and are not allowing me in! In limbo… #Sribpol     about 14 hours ago  via web  

_ Just saw a kid w/ a “Guest Pass” leave the hall; but my “Guest Pass” apparently, mine won’t let me in. #mngpo10 #stribpol     about 14 hours ago  via web  

_ Just saw a #mngop10 “Guest Pass” go in; Security explains: “That Guest Pass was typed; yours is handwritten” – still in limbo… #Stribpol     about 13 hours ago  via web  

_ There goes ANOTHER “hand-written” “Guest Pass”!!! Me? Still in #mngop10 limbo! #Stribpol     about 13 hours ago  via web  

_ Security: “Can he (me!) go in yet?” #mngop10 MediaType: “No.” Me: “Orders from above?” MediaType: “Yep.” #Stribpol     about 13 hours ago  via web  

_ Followed the rules; paid my $20 and a fellow Veteran sponsored my “Guest Pass” and I’m still not in. #mngop10 #stribpol     about 13 hours ago  via web  

_ Taking a quick break from limbo and sitting down; the hard floors here are rough. #mngop10     about 12 hours ago  via web  

_ Break over; #MNGOP10 MediaType indicates my bought ‘n paid for “Guest Pass” still isn’t a “pass.” Standing by, by the Stanek booth..     about 12 hours ago  via web  

_ I’m in! #mngop10 musta got tired o’ my tweets…     about 12 hours ago  via web



On last Tuesday, I called the MN GOP to get Media Credentials for their State Convention; the nice person that answered the phone told me to talk to Mark Drake and gave me Mark’s email and patched me through to Mark’s voicemail.  So, I left a message and sent an email.  Didn’t hear back.  So I called and emailed again yesterday – and didn’t hear back.  So I emailed and called again today – and haven’t heard back.

So, will the GOPers give the ol’ TwoPutter media credentials?

Well, if The UpTake is any indication, don’t bet on it!

Take a look at what The posted earlier today:

Here’s The UpTake’s post, today, about that video:

Back in 2008 when he was a blogger, Michael Brodkorb told The UpTake how pleased he was that the DFL was giving him access and said that GOP conventions should give all bloggers and members of the opposition parties access.

Brodkorb told The UpTake in 2008 “I do believe, and I’ve said this before on my blog that I do believe that conventions should be open to the opposition and political parties. I think Republicans should let Democrat bloggers in and vice versa. From an openness standpoint that’s important to do”

But now that Brodkorb is GOP State Deputy Chair, his party has taken just the opposite stance.  DFL officials report that they are being refused admission to the GOP party convention scheduled to begin tomorrow in Minneapolis.  GOP Communications Director Mark Drake has even refused press credentials to The UpTake calling the non-partisan nonprofit that has streamed debates, thousands of hours of the legislature and every moment of the Norm Coleman/Al Franken Election Contest trial a “partisan DFL organization”.

DFL Communications Director Kristen Sosanie says all media that requested credentials for last week’s DFL convention in Duluth were given them.  That includes the FOX News Network.  However FOX News was asked to share video with one of the local TV stations instead of setting up its own camera and then decided not to attend the convention.  She says “We did not turn anyone away and in fact did everything we could to accommodate even those TV and print journalists who did not RSVP but showed up the day of the convention.”

Sosanie points out that the DFL allowed Brodkorb and Drake to attend the DFL convention, a courtesy the DFL has offered to other Republicans in the past.  But the DFL has not had equal treatment in return.

“They have said repeatedly that DFL staff will not be allowed into the GOP convention, and they kicked every one of our staff or volunteers out of all the local unit conventions as well.  So it’s not just media they are keeping out, which leads to the question: what are they hiding?”

The UpTake will be covering the convention the best we can considering the circumstances. (

I’ll be at the GOP Convention today; whether or not the GOP offers me media credentials remains to be seen.

Stay tuned!!!