The fightin’ MN-8th gears up for Friday night (possibly literal) fight

U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar and his GOP challenger Chip Cravaack will take part in their second debate Friday night at 7 at the Davies Hall on the campus of Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. This event will have limited seating, mostly dedicated to students.

One hopes this debate goes better than the one on Tuesday. The first MN-08 debate in a packed DECC auditorium was marked by almost constant heckling from the audience, which was dominated by Republican supporters of Cravaack. Oberstar’s Democratic supporters responded in kind and the entire event, which was hard to hear on the tinny sound system, served almost no useful purpose whatsoever. Honestly, we should have just handed everyone tire irons and let them have it out. Northland’s NewsCenter is going to air it on My9 Friday evening as well, which is fitting because it ought to fit the Jerry Springer programming niche quite well.

I knew there was going to be trouble as one of the moderators was running through the pre-debate rules. When he said “And we ask that you keeping cheering and booing to an absolute minimum, and no catcalls” he was actually booed and catcalled. This was before the candidates were even on stage.

Considering that Tuesday’s debate was organized by the largest city newspaper and chamber of commerce in the entire district, and this one Friday is organized by a student group at a small community college, I’m sure everything will be orderly. No problems here, folks. Just democracy in action.

So … we’ll try again Friday night in Grand Rapids. Knuckles and clubs. No knives. No pistols.


  1. Aaron…Here’s a list of issues I hope they both address…


    $26.2 Trillion: Projected Federal Debt In 2020 Due To Oberstar’s Binge Spending. (OMB, 7/23/10)

    $13.6 Trillion: Current National Debt. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/19/10)

    $8.5 Trillion: Cumulative Deficits Caused By President Obama’s Proposed Budget, FY2011-2020. (OMB, 7/23/10)

    $3.9 Trillion: Total Cost Of The Democrats’ Tax Hike To Taxpayers. (Joint Committee On Taxation, 8/6/10)

    $3.0 Trillion: Amount Added To The National Debt Since Obama Took Office. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/19/10)

    $2.5 Trillion: True Cost Of ObamaCare Once Fully Implemented. (Sen. Max Baucus, Floor Remarks, 12/2/09)

    $1.42 Trillion: Federal Budget Deficit For FY2009 – Highest In U.S. History. (Congressional Budget Office, 10/7/10)

    $1.29 Trillion: Federal Budget Deficit For FY2010 – Second Highest In U.S. History. (Congressional Budget Office, 10/7/10)

    $868.4 Billion: American Debt Held By China. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/19/10)

    $831 Billion: Net Interest Payment On Our National Debt In 2020 Due To Obama’s Budget. (OMB, 7/23/10)

    $814 Billion: Price Tag Of Oberstar’s Failed Stimulus. (Bloomberg, 8/20/10)

    $575 Billion: Amount Of Medicare Cuts In ObamaCare. (CMS Chief Actuary Richard S. Foster, Memo, 4/22/10)

    $569.2 Billion: Amount Of Taxes In ObamaCare. (Letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10)

    $10 Billion: The Cost Of The Teacher Union Bailout. (The Washington Post, 10/8/10)

    $54 Million: Amount Of Stimulus Funds Spent On A Napa Valley Wine Train. (ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” 2/2/10)

    41.8 Million: Number Of Americans Receiving Food Stamps. (Bloomberg, 10/5/10)

    40 Million: Number Of Businesses That Will Be Burdened By The Onerous IRS 1099 Requirement. (The Washington Post, 8/29/10)

    $18 Million: Cost Of The Stimulus Website (ABC News’ “The Note“ Blog, 7/8/09)

    14.8 Million: Unemployed Americans. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

    9.5 Million: Americans Working Part-Time For Economic Reasons. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

    6.1 Million: Americans Unemployed For Longer Than 27 Weeks. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

    5.4 Million: Number Of Properties Receiving Foreclosure Filings Since Obama Took Office. (RealtyTrac, Accessed 10/19/10)

    3.8 Million: Increase In the Number Of People Who Were In Poverty In 2009 Over 2008. (NPR, 9/16/10)

    2.6 Million: Jobs Lost Since Stimulus Was Passed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

    2.3 Million: Private Sector Jobs Lost Since Stimulus Was Passed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

    1.2 Million: Americans That Have Given Up Looking For Work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

    964,900: Number Of Jobs That Could Be Lost Per Year Under Cap And Trade. (Tax Foundation, 3/09)

    89,000: The Number Of Stimulus Checks Sent to Dead Or Incarcerated People. (The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire” Blog, 10/7/10)

    $43,000: Your Share Of The National Debt. (“The Daily History Of The Debt Results,” TreasuryDirect, Accessed 10/19/10; U.S. Census Bureau,, Accessed 10/1910)

    23,000: The Number Of Jobs Obama Knew His Drilling Moratorium Could Kill. (The Wall Street Journal, 8/21/10)

    22,000: Number Of Seniors In MA, NH And ME That Will Lose Their Medicare Advantage Plans As A Result Of ObamaCare. (The Boston Globe, 9/28/10)

    $1,761: Cost To American Families Per Year As A Result Of Cap And Trade. (CBS News’ “Taking Liberties” Blog, 9/16/09)

    $1,540: The Amount Of The Tax Hike The Average Middle Class Family Will See As A Result Of The Dems’ Tax Hike. (Tax Foundation, 8/1/10)

    1099: The IRS Form Every Business Will Have To File After Doing $600 Worth Of Business With A Vendor. (, 5/5/10)

  2. The Duluth News Tribune, St. Lukes and Duluth Chamber of Commerce representatives looked very nervous. Also could the two representatives for the Chamber and the DNT look any goofier? They did a very poor job, hope they were able to take away some serious learning lessons.

  3. I fully agree DS. I went on the Debate Minnesota website to communicate with the moderator’s, however they don’t give any means to do so. They did a terrible job…

    Regardless, Cravaack handled it very well..Oberstar got sacked twice, dropped three passes and fumbled at least four times.

  4. In case anyone is fooled, that long list attributed to Oberstar’s failings has been cut and pasted all over the internet.

    For instance this claim “Number Of Seniors In MA, NH And ME That Will Lose Their Medicare Advantage Plans As A Result Of ObamaCare (The Boston Globe, 9/28/2010)” is actually a story about one insurer who has dropped this form of coverage. Here is a link to the Boston Globe story, minus the invented headline and spin:

  5. The truth is what we’re after, not how many times it’s been said..

  6. Winston Churchill, famous conservative British Prime Minister had a couple quips appropriate to this discussion.

    One set of advice, the authors of the above list have clearly taken:

    “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

    The other the rest of us would do well to remember:

    “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.