This site functions as an archive of Conner's Blog, which was a blog from 2006-2014 located at http://connermccall.com. Images and links are likely to be broken.

Thoughts and Links 11/10 Edition

Circuit City is filing for bankrupcy shortly after announcing they would be closing numerous stores. From what I've read it sounds like Minnesota stores are safe which is good. I'm not a big fan of Circuit City, but I hope they survive, Best Buy needs some competition keeping them honest.

I've added a few new Minnesota Blogs to my reading list:

So far the Obama's search for a puppy seems to have caught the nation's attention more than anything else. Bob Collins at MPR's News Cut takes the press to task for their lack of reporting on real issues.

Am I allowed to rescind my opinion on the Timberwolves? I'm considering starting a fire Randy Whitman site shortly. The Timberwolves better start playing defense or they won't win 10 games this year.

The Vikings defense played a solid game against the Packers. Lucky for the offense the insane number of mistakes they made didn't cost the Vikings the game.

For the record the Vikings MVP's halfway through the season are Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen. If you didn't see Sunday's game and how Peterson willed his team to victory after fumbling on fourth down you need to. Talk about heart. Allen played hurt all game and was very effective. He may not deserve his contract, but at least he's trying to live up to expectations.

The Franken-Coleman race will never end. This is what Minnesota gets for voting for either of those imbeciles. There was another choice.

FiveThirtyEight.com had a front page article on the NYT's web site today. I started introducing my offline friends to this site. I'm usually very hesitant to introduce them to websites but Nate Silver's site was just too good.

I had a horrid experience at the Applebee's in the Burnsville Mall this weekend. I've never had bartenders be quite so angry at their customers. On the other hand Chili's in Burnsville was, as always, a good experience. Of course I would prefer a non chain bar, but I live in Burnsville so my options are limited.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This means Christmas music will start shortly. I hate this, I like Christmas music, just not for a month straight.

With the change in seasons I'm suddenly craving soups and chili. This is fairly unusual for me so I'm on a recipe collecting spree. I'm planning on trying this recipe at some point this week. Any other soup or chili recipies I should try?

It snowed all day on Saturday. I had to scrape my windshield for the first time all year. I am not happy I had to pull out the hat and gloves from storage.

If you are a blogger, please read this article from Lazy Lighting. There are people out their trying to alter the contents of local blogs. Let's keep them from succeeding.

Moving Day

Due to having one to many incidents in the past few weeks of my server being knocked out by my roommates I'm going to be moving connermccall.com to a hosting service. Hopefully this will go smoothly, but please be patient if you experience any odd behavior.

Mistakes, Love, and Trust Issues (T'Wolves Observations)

This is supposed to be a post about the Wolves but I have to mention Tony Parkers night. This man was amazing last night. I would rank his performance as one of the best I have ever seen, and that includes some of Michael Jordan's best post-season performances. He willed the Spurs to victory yesterday and deserves every bit of credit. But let's get back to the Wolves.

Kevin Love is the real deal. Kevin Love just hustles, hustles, and hustles some more. Love played solid defense against Tim Duncan, grabbed rebounds and had a phenomenal game. I haven't seen any other rookies play yet, but I have a hard time believing that they have had an impact on their teams like Love.

Our defensive rotation is awful. Parker didn't just score 50+ points because he was that hot, he was open all night long. If the Wolves don't fix their pick and roll defense we may as well not even play against teams with point guards who can shoot. The Timberwolves one on one defense was ok though which is a good sign.

Al Jefferson doesn't trust his teammates yet. He went up against double teams a few too many times for my liking. He also faded from contact in the fourth quarter and in overtime. That is concerning to me.

Kevin Love scored a go-ahead basket with less than a minute remaining. He's the real deal Wolves fans. O.J. Mayo may score 26 points a game during his career, but Love will average 20-7-5 and will block shots, get steals, and chase down loose balls all night long.

The Target Center's new court is rockin'.

Cory Brewer will be defensive player of the year in 2-3 years. He makes little mistakes that cost him, but if his teammates are figure out how to defend a pick and roll with him he will be able to shut down almost any guard or forward in the league.

Rashad McCants should not be allowed on the court. He got embarrassed on the defensive end and completely missed a wide open teammate on at least one occasion. Let's trade him now for whatever we can get.

The Wolves play like a young team. Too many little mistakes that kept the Spurs in it. Passes picked off and players left wide open.

The Wolves have been hitting free throws well the last two games, I'm guessing Randy Whitman focused a ton of time on that after the first games showing.

FSN North needs to change either the size of the info box or the font. When it's hard to tell if a number is a 6 or an 8 your font choice sucks. I don't care if it looks fine in HD, they need to test it on regular television sets first.

The Timberwolves need to ask me to go one on one against Foye for an hour or so. He's playing so tight right now it's no wonder he keeps making mistakes and missing shots. He needs a confidence booster.

Game MVP: Tony Parker, Wolves MVP: Al Jefferson with a nod to Kevin Love, Least Valuable Player: Rashad McCants, Hustle Players of the game: Kevin Love, Mike Miller, and Cory Brewer

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who went out and voted yesterday.

Thank you to John McCain for making Obama fight, he will be a better President because of it.

Thank you to the old Democrats and all the new Democrats for bringing hope back to the party.

Thank you to Twitter for creating a platform that drew me into politics again.

Thank you to George Bush. This is an odd one, but we will look back and see that he got this nation interested in politics again.

Thank you to Barack Obama. Your people first strategy magnetized the interest that eight years of George Bush created.

Finally, a big thank you to every single one of you that canvassed, called, and worked for President Elect Obama's campaign. I never took the opportunity to work for his campaign and think it is something I will always regret. You are the reason I woke up this morning smiling and you should feel extremely proud.

Yes We Did!

President-Elect Barack Obama. I can't believe I am able to say those words and not be presumptuous. I am a mix of emotions. I will admit that selfishly I am happy that I was finally able to vote for a winner of a presidential election. I'm excited for our country for so many reasons. Having the successor to Bush elected is just the start.

The thing that excites me more than anything though is that our opinion across the world has just been dramatically improved. The best story I've heard so far came from the morning show on KFAN here in Minneapolis. If you do not listen to the show, their producer Chris Hockey is currently in France to run a marathon. He called in this morning and told a story about his morning. He said he got into his cab and the first thing the cabbie, who couldn't speak English, said to him is "Go Obama." It's wonderful to think others around the world think we made the right choice.

To John McCain's supporters, you fought a good fight, and I understand you are disappointed. But if you truly love this country you need to put down any anger you may have and stand with your country behind your new President. We all need to work together to fix things.

To John McCain, you would have won this presidency had the Maverick on stage for your concession speech ran. I'm glad you are back and am thankful you are going back to the Senate. We need someone with your experience and leadership to work with President Obama to rebuild this country. Disagree with him whenever you can, it's the debate between our leaders that will lead us back to greatness.

To Sarah Palin and her supporters. I may not agree with you that Ms. Palin should have been Vice President, and I hope I'm wrong about who will get the blame for yesterday's loss. I may not want Sarah Palin in a high office in this country, but I do think she can get out and do good things for us if she wants to.

I said on Twitter last night that I was proud to be an American last night. I got some responses that said they were always proud of America and their pride didn't change based on elections. I can't say the same. This country has made so much progress over the last 50 years. I never thought I would see a black president, let along one with the name Barack Obama. Race relations in this country will never be perfect, but I hope that my children will grow up and not think about the color of a persons skin. When I say that I'm not talking about not judging based on the color of someone's skin, but truly not noticing color at all.

We will never know if we made the best choice yesterday. But I don't think we made a wrong choice. Watching our President-Elect speak in front of thousands of people in Grant Park was awesome. Obama is an incredibly gifted speaker, but his speech wasn't just about speaking style. He knows and admits that nothing has changed yet, but he thinks that he can change things for the better. He didn't try to tell the American people that things will be better on January 20th, 2009. He warned us that hard work is ahead and he will try to lead us through it the best he can. It's for that reason that I am confident that American did make the best choice last night and go to work today knowing that things will get better.

Vote

This is all I have to say today. It is your right and responsibility please take it seriously. If you don't know where you need to go, Google comes to the rescue.

If you want to find out what I'm thinking today expect a deluge of Twitter updated starting around 4:00 or so. Follow me here.

A Pre-Election Wishlist

Regardless of the outcome of tomorrows election, have some things that I wish would happen. I have no hope they will but it would be nice.

  1. Make election advertisments illegal. There is no reason we need to allow our politicians to smear each other on the airwaves. In fact I will go so far as to state that anyone who decides who to vote for based on a political advertisement should be banned from voting. It's a giant waste of money that could be put to much better use.
  2. Limit political donations to $50.00 per person. This would include ban on donations from companies and organizations. Our government is for people not companies, only people should be able to donate. If we ban political advertising this will also elimite the problem of organizations not affiliated with candidates getting huge donations to be used for a candidates benefit.
  3. Stop putting D, R, or I next to politicians names. Why do we need to know this? If you don't already know which party someone is affiliated with does it really matter? I understand party is an important part of our political process, but too many people just support and vote for candidates based on party and don't have a clue what that person really stands for.
  4. Open up the government. Government web sites should be simple enough for my Grandmother to use. We need a Mint.com for government spending, a Twitter for government, and a Facebook for politicians. Unless a meeting has national security implications it should be recorded and posted to the web, and those that have those implications should be documented as occuring.
  5. Stop pointing fingers. The last eight years have been a massive failure and not one person, party, or branch is solely responsible. It's going to take a lot of work to fix things and if those Ds, Rs, and Is are not willing to compromise we are in serious trouble. Quit trying to place the blame on someone else. Step up and take responsibility.
  6. Start following Canada's example for elections. Canada has started and finished an election in less time than it took us to select the actual candidates in ours. Our election cycle takes away too much time from our best and brightest leaders. Just look at John McCain's and Barack Obama's voting record during the 110th Congress.
  7. Get religion out of government. The Declaration of Independence and Constitution should be the handbooks of government, not the Bible, the Koran, or the Bhagavad Gita.

These are just some of my hopes for the meetings of the 111th and 112th Congresses and the first four years of the 44th President. List your wishes in the comments.

Taxes: A Reason to Vote for Obama

As things stand this morning, all signs are pointing to an Obama victory tomorrow. I am hoping for this result. One of the reasons I am hoping for an Obama win is the candidate’s tax proposals. As the election reached the final stages, other than negative ads, the only argument McCain seemed to throw at Obama is that his tax policy is going to cost America jobs. At first glance, the logic does seem to back up McCain. What McCain and other conservatives seem to ignore is that some of their own policies show Obama’s plan will be better for the economy.

It is true that until recently, Bush’s tax plans seemed to be working. Companies were profitable and other than post 9/11 the markets were growing. This did not continue though, and for the last two or three years, economic indicators showed that the economy was slowing down.

The fact that the economy slowed down is not an argument against Bush and McCain’s tax plan. The argument is the economic stimulus plan that both Republicans and Democrats supported in an attempt to stop the slowdown. The economic stimulus plan gave the middle class extra income. The hope was this extra income would go towards the purchase of goods and services in an attempt to jump-start the economy. This is counter to the trickle down tax policies of Bush’s eight years. If trickle down economics worked, the solution to the economic slowdown would have been to send the stimulus package to large companies so they could pay their employees more, or show more profit on their balance sheet. One could argue that the reason this was not proposed is it sounds insane. I say that Bush’s argument for trickle down economics sounded just as insane.

Looking at the two presidential candidate’s tax plans in this context may not be 100% correct, but it is interesting. In this context, Obama’s plan acts like an economic stimulus plan for anyone making less than $200,000. Granted he will repeal Bush’s tax cuts, which will hurt some upper income tax payers. This is not a problem if you believe as I do that everyone is better off if everyone who makes less money than them makes more money. Why do I think this? It is simple, for business to thrive it needs customers. For people to be customers they need money to spend on goods and services. If you run a business, chances are you can afford your product. If everyone who bringing home less income than you has more disposable income, you have more potential customers. More customers mean more opportunities to bring home a profit, which will trickle up to those hurt by Obama’s tax policies.

Obama's tax plan acts like an economic stimulus plan. It gives the middle class extra take home income to the middle class that they can use to purchase goods and services. If a $600 per person economic stimulus package is good for the economy, how can anyone say that Obama's tax plan is going to kill job creation. If that was the case then conservatives should have fought tooth and nail to keep the economic stimulus package from going through.

About

My blog is about anything crossing my mind. Generally topics range from food, sports, photography, Minnesota, and occasionally politics. I write for myself and hope I can get a few people to enjoy the ride.

Me, I'm a 20 something guy living in Minneapolis. I love to eat, cook, take photos, bike, and spend time doing as many things as I possibly can.

You can contact me by email at conner.mccall@gmail.com

Tim O'Reilly's Endorsement of Obama

I don't usually devote entire posts to a single link, but as November 4th approaches I think everyone should read Tim O'Reilly's Endorsement of Barack Obama. If you don't know who Tim O'Reilly is, he is one of the most influencial people in the technology business. His company, O'Reilly Media, is the most respected publisher of books on technology. His endorsement reflects his interests, but is a wonderful argument as to why Barack Obama may not solve all of our problems but is the best choice to get us started in the right direction.