MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) — A state election board on Monday will announce Democrat Al Franken has defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race, state officials told CNN Sunday.

A board will say Al Franken won the U.S. Senate race by 225 votes, Minnesota's secretary of state says.

A board will say Al Franken won the U.S. Senate race by 225 votes, Minnesota’s secretary of state says.

The canvassing board on Monday will say a recount determined Franken won by 225 votes, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie told CNN.

However, Coleman’s campaign, which contends the recount should have included about 650 absentee ballots it says were improperly rejected in the initial count, has indicated it will challenge the certification.

Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan said his team believes the recount process was broken and that “the numbers being reported will not be accurate or valid.”

“The effort by the Franken campaign, supported by the secretary of state, to exclude improperly rejected absentee ballots is indefensible and disenfranchises hundreds of Minnesota voters,” Sheehan said.

After the results are certified, Coleman’s campaign will have seven days to file a challenge.

The initial count from the November 4 election put Coleman, a first-term senator, 215 votes ahead of Franken — known for his stint on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and as a former talk-show host on progressive radio network Air America.

The slim margin triggered an automatic recount.

During the recount, Franken’s campaign alleged that thousands of absentee ballots had been improperly rejected and asked that they be counted. The state’s Supreme Court eventually ordered that rejected absentee ballots be counted if local officials and each campaign could agree that the selected ballots were rejected mistakenly.

About 950 initially rejected absentee ballots were counted Saturday after all parties agreed on them. However, Coleman’s campaign said about 650 other rejected absentee ballots — many of them from pro-Coleman areas — also were improperly rejected and should have been counted.

The Coleman campaign has also alleged that more than 100 ballots may have been accidentally counted twice and may have unfairly benefited Franken.

“When a candidate is leading because of double counted votes, and votes that get counted even when ballots don’t exist, it clearly means that a [post-election challenge] is the only likely remedy to ensure a fair outcome,” Sheehan said.

Franken’s attorney, Marc Elias, in a statement said: “The next step is the canvass board’s meeting tomorrow, where we have every expectation they will declare that Al Franken won this election.”

Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann, who oversaw Saturday’s tallying of the 950 improperly rejected absentee ballots, said the only thing left for the canvassing board to do Monday is certify the numbers. The board’s meeting will convene at 2:30 p.m.

“Candidates may have objections or suggestions or comments that they want to make,” Gelbmann said. “I would assume the canvassing board will allow that as long as they’re brief.”

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York and chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued a statement Sunday declaring Franken the winner and expressing confidence Franken would remain on top following any legal battle.

“There is no longer any doubt who will be the next senator from Minnesota,” Schumer said. “Even if all the ballots Coleman claims were double counted or erroneously added were resolved in his favor, he still wouldn’t have enough votes to win.”

Schumer also said it is “crucial” Minnesota’s second seat in the Senate not go empty, implying Franken should be seated when the rest of the Senate convenes to be sworn in Tuesday.

Minnesota’s other seat is held by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has pledged a GOP filibuster if the Democrat-controlled Senate attempts to seat Franken before all legal battles play out and before Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, can co-sign the secretary of state’s certificate.

Ritchie said the state has no problem with not having two sworn-in senators Tuesday until the process is completed

Huffington Post reports:

GOP Group In Panic Over Possible Franken

Update: 7:35 Central

Franken projected to win by 35-50 votes.

Submitted by www.lostmarbles.us
While Iraqi reporter and pitcher, Muntadar alZaidi, awaits trial the BBC reports that sales for the brand of shoe that was hurled at President Bush have skyrocketed. There is no word as to the reason for the sudden increase in sales but insiders say that the Lame-Duck President has been practicing weaving and ducking should anyone else hurl over his performance as Commander and Chief.

Muntadar alZaidi’s trial is set for December 31, 2008 where he faces up to 15 years for “aggression against a foreign head of state” which the BBC reports could be reduced to a lesser charge of “attempted aggression” (I didn’t make that part up). No one was injured during the attack except for the shoe-wielding assailant. Muntadar alZaidi’s brother told BBC reporters that he has been abused in detention and plans to file a legal suit over his injuries.

The scheduled trial date was specifically selected to provide Christmas cheer and entertainment to Black Water thugs.

Since a number of individuals including alZaidi have referred to Bush as a dog, the Obama’s are reconsidering the adoption of a new White House mutt and may elect to keep George Walker Bush instead.

Link to online shoe throwing game

Someone recently posted a YouTube video of an Iraqi reporter , throwing his shoes at President Bush.

Someone on Twitter suggested we ship our old shoes to the White House. I didn’t know if he was kidding or not and I didn’t care. As a final act of protest I’m joining the Iraqi reporter and I’m shipping my old shoes to the White House.

Anyone interested in joining me can
ship their old shoes to:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20500

Reportedly the Iraqi reporter shouted, “This is a kiss goodbye you dog.” My shoes will be shipped with an identical message.

In addition I’m asking folks to assist me in coming up with shoe jokes. Thus far I have:
Chooing the fat in Iraqi
Playing with the Keds
Bush grapples for New Balance
Mock a Sin
Bush foreign policy…Ugg!
Instead of making his way to the DMZ as scheduled, Bush instead arrived at DSW.
Bushwacked!
Shoe-in For Worst President

Tonight Secret Service and the President of Iraq are sporting T-shirts that say “I’m Not George”, lest there be any confusion among journalist or the general population as to where their hostility should be directed.

Feel free to add your own in the comment section!


I don’t know the first thing about stock or the stock market but Uncle Pinky did and he died a millionaire. Michael does and his house was featured on a Christmas segment on Home and Garden Television, he’s also a portfolio manager for Thrivent Lutheran so he talks about investments with media such as Reuters and on MSN. Michael got the financial gene from his dad, Uncle Lee who I believe worked for Kidder Peabody or some such investment firm…naturally all are more than comfortable.

I on the other hand have trouble with such basic things as a checking account, my children all did well in Math because my oldest son is a Mensa genius and is currently a math and space physics major. He played with stock recently for a college course and did very well, so perhaps he got his genes from the Binger side of family because he certainly has their hair.

Recently I was introduced to a company called WeSeed: The Stock Market for the Rest of Us. I admit that I wondered how long it would take for someone to realize that a vast number of Americans with at least some money to invest, weren’t. It always seemed like a massive untapped market…like Barrack Obama engaging the disengaged masses.

WeSeed lets you set up a mock account called a PortFAUXlio so you can practice and learn before you invest. Their objective is to make it user friendly and make investing accessible to…well, people like me. The WeSeed website has investment games, like the Cage Match game where you’re shown 2 stock names and you have to the pick which stock is the best investment…you have 60 seconds to get as many correct answers as possible….fun!

I got half right…or half wrong depending on whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist. Anyway, their site is fun, interesting and inviting. You can check out stock in the fashion industry..gamer industry you name it. WeSeed’s friendly approach allows curious interested onlookers to look at investing through fresh eyes in an embrace everyone atmosphere.

Thanks for thinking about people like me WeSeed.

According to the latest edition of the Morrison County Record (November 30, 2008 print version), the Board of  the Little Falls Golf Course is hosting a contest to name the Golf Course restaurant.  (I’d link to the article online, but it doesn’t appear when I search for it.)  Yippee!  A contest!  What a great way to get the community involved, but there’s a catch.  According to the contest rules, the name must have the words “Mississippi River” included in it because the Golf Course is situated on the river.

Talk about hamstringing the contestants.  If the Golf Course Board is so wedded to the words “Mississippi” and “River,” why doesn’t it figure out its own name?  The board is half to two-thirds of the way to a name already.

The Golf Course Board has also set a few other rules.  (And I’m paraphrasing here.)  The name must position the Golf Course restaurant in the minds of visitors and residents.  It must be brandable and easy to market.  It has to be distinctive in comparison to other golf courses (or is that golf course restaurants?). And, it must be an easy-to-remember name, which I guess hearkens back to that positioning rule, because it’s hard to position a restaurant that no one remembers.

When it comes to marketing and branding, long names are unwieldy for customers unless they are very, very memorable and catchy.  Now take the word “Mississippi,” which is already a mouthful, add the word “River,” and then add some other word or words to create the name.  If the name gets too long, I guarantee that customers will find a way to shorten it.  If the name itself is too difficult to easily shorten, the place will probably be referred to as the Golf Course restaurant and that will be that.

Along with saddling contestants with already-chosen words, the Board has decided not to reveal (or, perhaps, overlooked revealing) what will be served at said Golf Course restaurant, as though everyone in the community has already been there and knows what’s on the menu.  What is the ambiance of the restaurant?  The name must accurately reflect that ambiance in order to properly position it in the minds of customers.

According to the Record article, “Additional contest rules are available online and entry forms may be downloaded at http://www.littlefallsgolf.com. Entry forms may also be picked up at the Little Falls City Hall . . . .”  I sure hope City Hall has those entry forms, because when I went to the Golf Course website to check on a menu, I could find no entry form or information about this contest at all.  As the contest deadline is December 19, will there be time to get this online?

Methinks this contest could have used a little more forethought.

Trapped in a water hole,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel

Submitted by Black Marlon:

Dear President-Elect Obama,
I was listening to NPR and they were discussing your selection for the Director of the CIA. It was mentioned that John Brenner was probably high on the list but removed himself from the question due to the reaction of bloggers.
You strike me as the kind of guy who is willing to buck criticism in the interests of achieving the best results. It’s my suggestion that you talk to him and try to convince him to accept the job.

Clearly, Brenner is aware of and concerned with the way things look and to that extent that he’s willing to take the hit to his own career. I cannot imagine anything that is more desperately needed in the CIA than for the CIA to be aware of not only the logistical interests of the United States but also of its Geo-Political interests.
Don’t discount him even though he’s discounted himself.

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