Its about time we elected a Jewish President….But Which one?

I’ve been sparring with my ex brother-in-law over the merits of Sanders for a while now. The conversation has now migrated over into the merits of Mike Bloomberg. I’ll show you a sample of our tit for tat….showing more of mine than his. Its my blog and I’m used to stripping myself naked here.

I responded to a list of drawbacks my Bro-in-Law posted about all the candidates in a theoretical campaign against Trump mano a mano or femo, as the case could be. The last option labeled the “nuclear option” featured Mike Bloomberg as if in this case nuclear weapons (his billions) were perhaps an overreach.

I responded:

I’ m pushing the button. It’s better than drinking Trump acid for four more years. If its Bernie I will vote for him but by far most of the very thin wedge of independent voters have had years of warnings that socialism is toxic. Sure, Bernie is given credit for being a straight shooter but these voters will treat a vote for him as like shooting themselves in the foot.

To which with great patience and considerable frustration MY EX-B-I-L wrote back:

Harry I’m sure that when push comes to shove the Democrats will make sure Bernie loses and replace a fake billionaire with a real one, democracy for sale.

And my riposte which will no doubt be just one of many to come until the Democratic convention.

I was talking to a couple of French kids last night who assured me the people of France would never elect a president like Trump. I wished them well. Trump has changed all the rules and I sympathize with your disgust about that. Everyone in America a socialist. Too bad we don’t recognize it. If Bernie could win I’d cheer him on. As it is I may end up voting for him. If he does win the nomination it will be interesting to see if Bloomberg really does help him. I think he will. A capitalist Jew helping a Socialist Jew to rid us of a semi-fascist moron.

Duh! Correction

Anyone driving by my house may have noticed a couple piles of snow growing in my front lawn. I have been so preoccupied trying to finish a two week project in five days before we take our grandsons on a winter vacation that I barely got a hastily written column finished late last night for the Reader. Even now I’m not sure it made it into the edition that should show up on Thursday. SO I HAVE TO CORRECT THE DATE OF A MEETING I ANNOUNCED WOULD LIKELY TAKE PLACE THIS COMING SUNDAY.

It won’t take place then but Josh Sande who I should have confirmed the date with yesterday said he will have folks at the Bloomberg office at 1 on Sunday in case they mistakenly believe the FAKE time and place I put in my column. As for those of you reading this the time to show up is Saturday at 2PM.

Its half a block below City Hall on 4th Avenue West above the alley across from a small metered parking lot.

As for my snow sculptures……..too complicated. I’ll have to wait to finish them when I’m back in town.

Hint: The little fellow who keeps rolling down his window on the School Bus asked me if I was going to sculpt Trump again the other day. I told him time would tell. He drove by yesterday and saw my work and began smiling very broadly. He’s an optimist. The only thing is he has probably not yet heard the saying: Whom the gods wish to punish, they grant their wishes. You know, kind of like King Midas’s golden touch.


Ivanka as a young girl.

I went to the unofficial opening of the Trump HQ in Duluth…

It was very reassuring. It spurred me to attempt to finish a challenging snow sculpture in the four days I have before I head out of town. And it gave shape and substance to the column I mentioned earlier that has already been changed two times. You will have to wait to see what I think about Bloomberg now until my column is written and published in the Duluth Reader Thursday. If Iowa scared the bejesus out of you, then good for Iowa.

My wife winced today when I told her about IOWA’s new acronym. Its: Iowa Owes the World and Apology. I love Iowa. I go there for my wife’s family reunions all the time. But IOWA’s Dems gave the whole state a black eye. Fortunately with our current President he will give us reason to take our eyes off Iowa yesterday…..and he has. He now targeting the Hmong and Lao refugees in Minnesota from the Vietnam War who were foolish enough not to take US Citizenship. Goody Goody. More dark skinned people to cull from the Trump Nation. Who gives a damn if their family members died helping us in Vietnam. They shoulda claimed bone spurs.

I hope someone takes a movie of Tim O’Brien at the next Bloomberg Office opening he goes to. He spoke to thirty of us. We hung on his every word and had lots of questions for him afterward. Google his name along with Trump books or New York Times. The 800 words I always aim for in my columns will barely give you enough to savor everything he talked to us about.

It’s taken me two nights to sculpt clay models for my next sculpture/sculptures for my lawn. If it/they comes/comes out as I plan I’ll regret seeing the sun take it away.

Political Spin the Bottle

In our current atmosphere a day can spin you off in new directions. I have written two columns for next week’s Reader and now I’m about to shelve them and write a third. My Snowsculpture plans, however, haven’t changed but they may have sped up.

Anyhoo, this is my latest enthusiasm:

I read about Michael Bloomberg’s Duluth Office opening last night in the Strib and then looked for it in the DNT. Here’s the DNT version.

I sent a couple emails to DNT reporters asking for the contact info for the Bloomberg staff but it was late Friday night and they probably won’t see it till the new week begins on Monday. There is going to be a mini open house tomorrow, Sunday at one, according to the story. I wasn’t sure I could make that as Sunday is a family day for me. But I reasoned that Nicole would be fussing around in the new headquarters today so a little after noon I sauntered over. Sure enough two people trying to pry heavy duty vinyl signage off of their picture window overlooking 4th Ave W. I parked, hopped out and lent them a hand. After some strenuous effort we got the lower half off. That let some light into their headquarters. We chatted a bit and I left. But the work wasn’t done. I returned a short time later with a step ladder and razor to remove the upper half. I took over some paint supplies too because they will want to spruce up the office until Mayor Mike is out of the Democratic nomination or becomes their candidate in the Presidential Sweepstakes. I think our Billionaire class helped screw up America and I find it poetic justice that it might be a much bigger billionaire who cleans up the damage of a much tinier piranha.

Josh, the director, is a local boy and a 2008 graduate of East High. Nicole, another Minnesotan, is his assistant. She told me she came from reality television and when I asked if it was “The Apprentice.” It wasn’t but she knew some folks from that show. They told her they learned never go into any room alone with Trump.

I warned the pair that I’m something of an acquired taste in Duluth but said I’d be happy to offer them advice. I told them that one of the more refreshing things about Bloomberg was that he’s the only Democratic candidate training all his guns on the real menace, Trump, instead of looking over his shoulders worrying about the other Democrats. I explained that the minute I heard Bloomberg take a nasty shot at any of the others I was outta there. I’ll accord Mike a little more leash if he makes it to the debates. Goodness knows he’ll be a big target since he wields fortune that dwarfs Trump’s grifting.

My piss and vinegar button has been pushed

There is nothing like hearing a bully gloating to bring out my piss and vinegar. It may have skipped a generation because that wasn’t my Dad’s style but it was his father’s. At his death a close fried wrote a letter to the family explaining the kind of friend he was and describing a basket ball game where some thugs tormented one of my grandfather’s teammates. My namesake challenged them to meet outside. They were bigger and he got a pounding but that was the spirit my Welty grandfather’s friend so admired. And the other grandfather is the one who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. I’ve written a lot more about him.

Stewing about our President has inspired my next column in the Reader and a snow sculpture that I am in no hurry to complete as the weather won’t cooperate until I leave town for a of couple weeks. But my snow isn’t going anywhere. I may pile more of it up for my return.

I still haven’t proof read the post from a couple days ago. I’m not in the mood. Yet. Its midnight. Time for bed.

Hints ahead

I’ve been working on the sculpture. This won’t help you much.

and this is apt for my column

I told you Iowa’s ten minutes would be forgotten quickly

To Democrats everywhere: (GOTTA GO TO CHURCH. I’M POSTING THIS NOW BUT I’LL PROOF READ IT LATER)

I only caught the Senate roll call vote on the first charge of impeachment I didn’t listen to it all but I was pleased that Mitt Romney vote for the impeachment. Its a very small sliver of decency but I’m glad Mitt was more concerned about his legacy than any short term popularity with the Trump Crowd.

I can’t predict the arc of history for the GOP. I hope my conviction that its centrists will flea to Democrats. As I explained in my recent Reader article no one can count on that. Honorable do not want to dishonor their past and the Republican party aura is still in people’s memories if not in current reality. There have been a lot of news stories recently about how those who find Trump somewhere between disagreeable and and abomination might be able to get his supporters to second guess their support or their incredulity. Taunting won’t do it. Has Trump’s taunting made any of you change your minds?

I think the stakes are too high. Self righteousness on the anti-Trump part could give Republicans enough control to further their slow steady progress towards improving their mal-reapportionment and setting it in stone. Justice Roberts will not save us and if someone palatable to the reachable center is not elected there will be four more years of Court appointees and another ten years of reapportionment disasters for Democrats. It will take a consititutional amendment to change the constitution’s imposition of electors to elect a president.

This can be stopped with the cool calculations, not unlike Mitch McConnell’s to build toward a government that will protect the Earth. But shooting for full on change the way a lot of twenty-somethings will like is probably doomed. Your potential friends scare easy when you start frothing at the mouth in desperation.

I am an unrepentant socialist. Though they wouldn’t admit it so have almost all the Republicans I’ve ever met. Unless they are willing to face the electoral consequences of ending Social Security they are all Socialists. Until Trump energized a lot of voters who would benefit from a single-player-plan with fears that Socialism a is Marxism and Dictatorship. We have to talk these voters down from the ledge but not with Trumps bragadoccio and false confidence. I believe his confidence is paper thin but well practices skirting financial disaster over the last fifty years. He’s a bully but he ain’t the biggest fish in the Presidential campaign. Any other candidate than can win the electoral vote is a bigger fish. And one of them who intrigues me is a billionaire 60 times over. And as he said in response to some tweet at least there is one billionaire in the campaign.

Few young people are familiar with New York state’s unorthodox political history going back 60 years or more. Both Trump and Bloomberg have been both Dems and Gops. That’s because for decades there was a serious third party in New York called the Conservative Party. It was in line with famed conservative columnist William Buckley. In a three way race in 1970 the party elected James Buckley, Bill’s older brother to the US Senate.

Bloomberg and Trump were both pragmatists about politics donating to candidate from each party. But there the comparisson ends. Bloomberg earned his billions. Trump inherited, squandered them, lied stole and cheated to preserve them, and will say whatever he has to to get people to sign on the dotted line. His supporters have no idea how empty his words are. They see a wall. They see a pro life savior, If lying gets them what they want its a small price to pay no matter what harm befalls them that you can be sure he will blame on Democrats.

Bloomberg like you and me abhors Trump but unlike you and me he lived in the same town as Trump and knows his vile past far better than anyone except perhaps the whole corpus of the New York Times.

This isn’t an ad for Bloomberg. I will vote for whoever the Democrats put up against Trump. I like them all. The issue for Democrats who become delegates to the national nominating convention is this. Which candidate will beat Trump with candor and honesty. I hope when the decision is made some of the players do what they did in 2016 – Decide that neither Trump and the other guy’s democratic candidate preference is worth voting for. God Damn you. My Grandchildren need an American President who doesn’t lie, understands the perils of climate change and who will do his/her best to bring Trumplicans back to their senses.

“God chose the weak things of the world . . .

. . . to shame the strong.”

Once again I came home with my Church bulletin cluttered with my notes from today’s message. This is but a remnant of a great many I checked in the fall to thin out old paperwork. I’ve spread them out for this picture to give you a sense how difficult it is for me to give up stray thoughts. Today’s sermon was no exception. Based on First Corinthians 18-31. Verse 27 stuck out at me. “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

It wasn’t the beginning that stuck out but goodness knows I don’t mind to have people call me foolish, It was the second half about God calling on the weak to shame the strong. Perhaps that could mean the Trump supporters are weak and using Donald Trump to shame the economically well off who oppose him. Or (and my preference) it could mean that Trump is strong and that those rising in opposition to him have been made weak and are to challenge him. I take a Lincolnesque view of this. I have no idea which side God is on.

In my youth there is no question that the ten percent of our population that was black was almost universally black. They had a black champion too Cassius Clay, later known as Muhammed Ali. He defied white authority with an impunity not unlike Donald Trump. But he wasn’t handed millions of dollars as a kid he came from nowhere to needle white America. Trump is no Ali. I loved Ali like Trumplicans love Trump. At least Ali wasn’t laughing at his followers behind his back. He was one of them.

I made a follow-up video to the one I put up last night. the first addressed “Trump America.” The second was addressed to people wishing that Trump would a one-term-President. I’m debating whether to upload that video or shoot a new one. One of the other should show up here soon.

Grievance Merchants

I’m always way behind on popular culture so I don’t recall hearing about the country western sounding band Drive-By Truckers.

This morning I caught the last half of an NPR story about them and when I heard their recording with the following lyrics I immediately began doing an internet search for them:

“They say his trouble with the ladies can’t be his fault / After all he’s what it’s natural they should want / That there’s just outside forces turning them against him / A conspiracy to water down his blood / A conspiracy to water down his blood / And it’s all the fault of it or them or they / Give a boy a target for his grievance / And he might get it in his head they need to pay”

Though Mike Cooley’s songwriting isn’t as prevalent on The Unraveling as on previous Drive-By Truckers albums, his contributions are felt more than ever before, especially on “Grievance Merchants,” a song that laments the cycle of gun violence in the United States. Cooley’s anger and frustration are all over the track, and every time these lyrics hit the speakers, it’s impossible not to join him in those feelings.

The person being interviewed Packer something got in trouble with his teacher as a third grader in Alabama writing a defense of Richard Nixon’s impeachment. Whoa!

Read More: Drive-By Truckers’ ‘The Unraveling’: 5 Powerful Lyrical Moments | https://theboot.com/drive-by-truckers-lyrics-the-unraveling/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

Another new start on a book

Trying to figure out just what to write bookwise has been a preocupation of mine for ten years. It keeps getting more urgent. Donald Trump only ratcheted up that desire. It was sidetracked by a book about education in my failed run for the School Board last year but as we head to November 2020 I’m back on my original track. This blog contains perhaps ten millions words. Many of them are about my Grandfather. I intend to mine lincolndemocrat and a raft of other sources I’ve collected over the years.

Checking out the search words “bank house” in my blog’s search engine here’s a sample I just found about my grandfather’s family and other pioneers compared to today’s illegals. Take a look. The link to the Story in Forbes magazine still works.

I cranked out a short prologue and am starting on my latest Chapter One.

A little Happy for you

I heard this fun little communally produced poem about New Year’s resolutions on NPR this morning. Its compiler just was awarded a Caldecott Medal for children’s literature:

Enjoy: https://www.npr.org/2020/01/31/800395415/a-poem-for-those-who-dropped-the-ball-on-new-years-resolutions

And I’ve just added a category called television. I am besotted with so many wonderful television programming now that is no longer beholden to the standards of standard fare for everyone. Claudia and I just watched the last four episodes of the Good Place. It has been such a wonderful four years and fifty episodes. Its hard to believe it was a product of network television. I was surprised I got a little teary but I was not alone. Ted Danson is part of a superb cast. In the 80’s when we had a little girl we wanted to get to bed and not be contaminated by the sexy zeitgeist of Cheers he was pretty irresistible too. Nice to have him back.

Eight loyal readers plus

I’m not running for anything. I’m not harping about the Duluth Schools. I’m rarely mentioned by the News Tribune. And this month my readership is about as high as it has ever been. This month over 5000 visits to Lincolndemocrat have lasted fifteen minutes or more. 1000 such visits lasted longer than an hour. That’s despite the fact, or maybe because of the fact, that I’m not killing myself to write blog posts daily. Not that I couldn’t. In the last two days I’ve forwarded a dozen news stories to my email account to add to the links I began adding a couple days ago. They are evidence of the Earth’s destruction; Trump’s destruction etc. all of which offer insights on how to get past our world’s current myopia.

I’ve just spent my morning, as per usual, reading news from all sorts of rational and a few irrational sources. I still have my French practice ahead and then, if I can stay focused more puttering around with my book/books.

A bientot.

The Real Game

Mr. Percent said today’s “real game” isn’t between Democrats and Republicans but between national sovereignty and globalism.

I beg to disagree. America’s Democrat vs. Republican war is a terrible distraction. In my column I called myself an “alarmist.” I think that makes me a realist. I have had an environment change category for ages and just added a more specific Climate Change category as well. Any Global Warming stuff ended up there. Lately its been heating up just like the earth which suffers five atom bombs worth of new energy added to its oceans every second of every day.

We could use a lot more globalism to fight it as many sovereign nations have too much short term gain to lose if the world’s black market is curbed by international police. I hope we can unite the world to use our brain power to put an end to the coming end times. Saving the Earth doesn’t require the United Nations. But if we allow Donald Trump’s head-up-his-tush populism destroy America I’ll curse the naive Juan Percents from my grave. Or maybe my corpse will just off gas a little methane.

That will be nothing compared to the planned building by China of 150 coal burning power plants all across the third world. That ought to add a few more atom bombs per day to the oceans.

Juan Percent

My Column on Brooks v. Rogers got a very quick kick in the shin

A long time critic of my columns under the sobriquet of “Juan Percent” had this to say in two back to back posts on the Duluth Reader’s page:

JPThursday Jan. 30, 2020

How dare you use ’eminently reasonable’ to describe the war monger neocon David Brooks. BTW, the word Elitist Democrats haven’t learned a thing. Trump 2020.

Juan Percent Thursday Jan. 30, 2020

Times have passed you by Harry, you’re head’s not in the right game. Today the fight is not between democrats and republicans, as much as it’s between national sovereignty (populism) and globalism. The GOP has been remade. The Democrat rush away from Sanders is not as much away from socialism as it is toward globalism. Sanders is a populist. Watch THIS. It will help you reframe modern politics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIgmfpHBiDw

Of course I had to do a little reframing myself. I did so, to wit:

HI JP.

This is the first time I’ve checked comments in a long time. Glad you are still following me and offering critiques.

I like Brooks well enough but even he is a little too beholden to establishment Republicans for my taste. Its an establishment I’m none too impressed with myself. They caved to a pretty hideous mouth because despite their eagerness wage war they have proven spineless in the face of Trump’s outrages.

As you noted times may have passed me by. But I stand by the kind of Republicans my parents and grand parents were. Ironically, after my grandfather’s rush to fight in what he later came to regard as Wilson’s War (in his view Democrats could always be counted on to drag us into one) he too turned to isolationism. Or, in your terms “non globalism” although that would be a term for the future.

The Republican party you disparage has become Woodrow Wilson’s party sticking its nose into other people’s wars and making them ours. My Grandfather would agree with you. We’ve screwed up way too many times from Vietnam to damn near everything involved with the Middle East. But my Grandfather was part of the problem. During Vietnam he still stuck by the mantra of standing by his country……He was mystified by war protesters. And LBJ and Nixon both lived in fear that they would be accused of losing the first war in America’s history if they didn’t stick Vietnam out.

Sanders is not being beaten up by Trump for being a globalist. Trump will treat him as a boogeyman for socialism in large part because Bernie is a populist and Trump’s supporters are inclined to like Bernie. As for moderate Democrats they worry that Sanders socialism, not his populism, is what will get him beat by Trump. I think they are right to worry about that. At least when Bernie tells it like it is – its true! The same can’t be said of Donald.

I am glad you directed me to Farage’s little departure speech to the EU Parliament. It was quite good and even, despite the flag waving, cordial in victory. He is a smug bastard though. And I think the British will come to see that the EU with all its bureaucracy was a good place to hang out.

I don’t need to re-frame my view of modern politics so much as most people need to read a little more history. The context of today isn’t just a decade in the making. It goes back stone axes.

Today in the Reader- David Brooks is Wrong…

…Will Rogers Had it Right

It begins:

Last week I began sleeping well for the first time since Donald Trump became a Presidential contender. The powerful summation by Congressman Schiff, “Shifty” to the “Lock-her-up-crowd,” comforted me. Then David Brooks the eminently reasonable PBS News Hour pundit wrote off a second Trump victory. Brooks said too many Americans don’t want a Trump Presidency for four more years, never mind a hot economy.

I know better.

http://duluthreader.com/articles/2020/01/30/19419_david_brooks_is_wrong_will_rogers_had_it_right

Three visions of Satan

One of my favorite stories is The Devil and Daniel Webster. Our great old debater got the best of Old Scratch as I recall. But there are many takes on Satan. Of the three I offer here the first is the most eye popping.

Paula White “Trump’s personal religious advisor” and now advocate for aborting Satan’s babies: Click this link to cringe”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1221208783411650560
A …..

Here’s SNL’s Satan treatment as a fan boy of the President’s lawyers:

And finally, one of my favorite scenes as a kid in the musical Damn Yankees. I just watched it for the first time in thirty years on Youtube. VIEWER WARNING: One scene now makes my flesh crawl extolling the delight with Indians scalping people on wagon trains. Other than being played a joke about how Old Scratch likes to inflict hell on innocents its not unlike the depiction of the “savages” in our Declaration of Independence. Wish I could clip it out.

“Those Were The Good Old Days” Ray Walston singing the Devils song in the musical Damn Yankees

Note the Capitol dome behind the curtains in this scene. Times never change.

News links on current politics 1

This is a place I’ll start putting links to news stories I’ve been emailing myself for the past year or more. I want a place to organize them for later use. Feel free to read them if you’d like.

From Bloomberg which has supposedly broken ties to its owner, candidate Bloomberg. Democrats concerned that presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is avoiding scrutiny by not participating in televised debates with other candidates pushing the party to allow the billionaire on … View the article. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-28/democrats-are-calling-on-dnc-to-allow-bloomberg-to-join-debates?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_medium=social&cmpid%3D=socialflow-twitter-asia&utm_content=asia

Some members of President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team are campaign donors to jurors in the Senate. Former independent counsels Ken Starr and Robert Ray, who investigated then-President … View the article.
https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2020/01/senators-overseeing-impeachment-got-campaign-cash-from-trump-team/

A quote from General James Mattis helping to explain his ousting by Donald Trump.

John Roberts comes face to face with the political world he created: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/01/23/john-roberts-comes-face-face-with-mess-he-made/

The official source for all the blather of the eccentric Harry Welty – Duluth School Board member, off and on, since 1995. He does his best to live up to Mark Twain's assessment: "First God created the idiot. That was for practice. Then he invented the School Board."