President Trump has promised billions in relief to farmers hit by his trade war. But a new report shows a large chunk of that money went to a foreign company run by a pair of brothers who are legally prevented from leaving Brazil:
Mexico is paying for the wall.
China is paying for the tarrifs.
Democracy is paying for the Trump crime wave.
Checking my blog stat page I discovered that my old Congressional Campaign website from 2012 can still be found. I thought it had disappeared from the Internet. I forgot that I’d once put my URL into a snow sculpture. Its a sculpture I remember being very disappointed in but looking at it now, 7 years later, its not so bad.
And I’d forgotten this race against Democrat Oberstar and former Senator Nolan. I actually got on Almanac North with my rivals that time. I’ve been thinking that running against Pete Stauber in the GOP primary last year was my third “run” for Congress. In fact, it was my fourth although all I did was spend 300 bucks to put my name on the ballot against a Trumplican. If, however, I were to do it one more time I think I’d put a lot more oompf into my campaign. But I may also have a school board race in me too. Helping choose a new Duluth Superintendent offers a powerful temptation. We can do better.
I’ve always described myself as a Don Quixote with my long string of electoral losses. That fourth time I ran and finaly won an election my daughter was asked at my campaign party how she felt. She explained that for once she wouldn’t feel like putting a paper bag on her head at school the next day.
That was in 1995 my 7th attempt at public office. I long ago got over the fear of losing an election. That fear is what has turned so many Republican politicians into zombies flushing Abe Lincoln down Donald Trump’s golden commode. Someone should send them all JFK’s book Profiles in Courage.
I read it in Junior High and it made a powerful impression on me. It reminds me of my take on a The Emperor’s New Clothes which I published in the Reader 17 years ago this month: The King is Naked.
I hope my version doesn’t prove prophetic:
I don’t watch the late night hosts mock President Trump very often anymore. They were a comfort to me for the first year of the Trump Presidency but I eventually decided that going to bed early was better for my mental health. But occasionally some of them are sent my way and this is another one that is right on target:
Since Americans are all equal before the law and since we have a President whose lawyers refuse to let him testify under oath because perjury would be the natural result and because, apparently, our President is free to use lies to “tell the truth” I claim the same right. I want the truth to prevail even if it is built on lies.
I just watched the first half of PBS’s four-hour long documentary on Reconstruction. I’m fit to be tied as I always am at the ignorance of so many.
I blame having so much on my mind for starting three or four attempts at a column next week before shelving all of them. But Attorney General Bob Barr gave me enough for a post this morning.
His reasonable explanation of the Mueller report’s findings will no doubt threaten to put Democrats into apoplexy otherwise knows as being chickens with their heads cut off.
The risk of apoplexy is that it will scare voters away from Democratic candidates. What Democrats need to remember is that there are plenty of reasons for American voters not to reelect Donald Trump even more reasons than there were three years ago not to let him become the Republican nominee.That’s when I first used snow to warn that he would be a disaster.
Then I put up a No Manchurian Candidate lawnsign…
…and after the snow melted then after his election I offered this:
Then I ran against a Trump enthusiast in the Republican Congressional primary then this year for new year I made this:
And BTW I just found an email from January from a witness who told me that he saw a young man with Massachusetts plates pushing the head over.
So when I say that Bob Barr sounded reasonable this morning I think Democrats should slow down. Newt Gingrich handed Democrats a huge weapon when he went after Bill Clinton over his sexcapades. There are plenty of other reasons to elect someone other than Donald Trump. An acquaintance of mine just texted me to say that Americans have 300 more days of Donald Trump before they can vote for someone else.
I’ve already written in the Reader that I will vote for whoever the Democrats nominate to challenge Trump. Not every potential Trump disapproving voter will automatically do that. I will support Bill Weld in the Republican field until the GOP swats him aside.
Our real enemy is disinformation. Both Russian and Fox News’s. I’d refer my readers to the story about Rupert Murdoch in a recent New York Times and to remember its News Impresario, Roger Ailes” who sold Richard Nixon to America.
And this demonstrates just how unbalanced Fox News is. To paraphrase Pogo, “We have met the enemy and it is Fox News.”
What if Fox News covered Trump the way it covered Obama? It would look like this pic.twitter.com/dLfhHToieL
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 16, 2019
Too many Trumplicans wish the President had as developed a body below his belt as the cultic Goddess Diana had above hers.
My eyes are too big for my stomach for history books!
These are my library’s selection of books about African-American history and part of my collection related to the Civil War which arguably is pretty much the same history.
I haven’t read them all. I describe the books I buy but don’t read immediately as being like planes circling an airport waiting for clearance to land. Another plane is close to being added to those circling my bibliographic airport. Its The Stony Road by Henry Louis Gates known to the PBS viewers for his series on family history.
I didn’t know he was about to launch a book let alone on Reconstruction. A week ago, however, I bumped into an old NY Times story about Gates in which an interviewer asked him for the books he had been most moved by. He mentions three or four including one that was sitting behind my computer Reconstruction by Columbia University historian Eric Foner.
All my life I’ve tried to find the Cliff Notes version of everything so that I would have time to become knowledgeable about all things. It has not really worked. There’s just too many books. But I did buy Foner’s book thirty years ago only to discover that he had an abridged book by the same author. I once wrote to Foner asking him (stupidly I admit) what I would find in the full version vs. his Cliffs Notes version. He was kindly un-sarcastic in his reply to me.
So I was surprised to see that Gates has written his own history of Reconstruction taking it through Jim Crow. I am strongly inclined to read it which means buying it too.
BTW – Gates is the fellow that another cranky white lady called the police on when she saw him entering his home in Boston. He was arrested by a white cop and that led to the first proof for Murdoch oriented white nationalists that Barack Obama was a raging black monster when he said the cop over reacted. That led to the obviously raging Obama to hold a beer summit between Professor Gates and the policeman in the Rose Garden. Heavens!!!
Thank God we have the sensible Murdoch-approved Donald Trump presiding over America today.
Three hours since rolling out of bed before I got to the blog. That was an hour of morning miscellaney and two hours of pouring over the DNT listening to NPR and doing a quick perusal of the NY Times. Those final two hours have me interested as of this second with blogging about a couple subjects among them Toxic Masculinity. I am struck at how virulent the reaction is to true toxicity that it has ensnared Joe Biden who sniffed a woman’s hair. The story, from the Times, that I took the trouble to read, it wasn’t long, was about a series in production about the Choreographer Bob Fosse which grew to include his “muse” dancer, Gwen Verdon.
I have been lobbying my family to watch Damn Yankees for several months. I saw it at a drive in in Estes Park when I was in fourth or fifth grade. It made an impression on me but so did the scene described in the story about Sweet Charity, another Fosse musical where bar girls are singing to “Big Spenders” in which their souls are dead. That stuck with me when I saw the movie years ago. So too did the male lead who proved to be a male neutered by the social pressures of an earlier era.
I am keen to write more about my witness of and in the world of toxic masculinity. Whats the difference between Trump, Fosse who ruthlessly bedded every chorus girl he could nail and the Isis fighters who raped, sold and impregnated thousands of Yazidi women in Syria now being forced by social stigma to abandon their children. That is in this NPR Story. But God save us from Joe Biden.
And then I want to write about the news business. Oh how I want to. Three weeks ago I spent a day researching a column in the Reader about the Duluth News Tribune in the larger scheme of things but the subject was far to big for me to encapsulate in a mere 800 word column. Since then I’ve started five other columns and each fell victim to my expansive thougths. I sent my regrets in at the deadline instead of a column.
So many thoughts. Today I need to organize those thoughts. In the last year I’ve mostly abandoned writing suggestions for blog posts on the nearest slip of scrap paper. They always built up to an impossible clutter and so many of them were barely readable in my dash to hand write something. I’ve taken to typing them into a “notebook” on my cellphone. I’ve begun putting these random thoughts into categories but I just noticed that I have 123 “unorganized” notes.
If I get around to writing anything today other than this excuse for a post it will be after I’ve read the mother load of info that the NY Times has in today’s paper. Its an investigation, long overdue, of Rupert Murdoch who I intended to add to my now abandoned column on newspapers. I have “Page Three” particularly in my sights. Sleaze coated news. Rupert’s name has come up in the blog on 18 previous occasions.
This is the story and its just the beginning of a multi part series. It may be the most important story in the Times after all the Time’s work exposing Donald Trump for the man he is not and the man he is.
I like a little schadenfreude as much as the next fellow and I’m particularly enjoying Mr. Kellyanne Conway‘s dead on deflation of President Trump. Obiously the President and Kellyanne hold no terrors for the terror from the Club for Growth.
Conway’s organization has been steadily making the Republican Party ripe for a Trump takeover for a decade or more by removing moderate Republicans leaving only a rump party with a lot of gas blowing out of it. For instance one of the grand old moderate Republicans was Indiana’s Senator Dick Luger. The Club for Growth blew him out of the water in 2010 in one of the internecine primary battles wit its deep corporate pockets. And as animated as Mr. Kellyanne is now it took him a while to grasp the obvious – that Donald Trump cares only about himself not the nation.
Conway’s anti-tax club shares the same attitude as its clone Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform to wit: “Our goal is to shrink government to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub.”
What Mr. Kellyanne and his ilk have done is turn their back on the Republican Party’s founding which brought us our first income tax to finance the Civil War and Teddy Roosevelt to organize the Federal Reserve System. When I was a kid Republicans could be counted on countering the worst excesses of Democrats to bleed dollars for every worthy cause. But they didn’t deny that those causes existed. Obamacare was largely the work of long gone Republicans like Minnesota Senator Dave Durrenberger. Now Conway is doing his best after the fact to curb Donald Trump’s self dealing. That’s commendable. I wonder if that explains Trumps recent nomination of Sherman Moore to the Federal Reserve. Moore co-founded Conway’s Club for Growth. Since Kellyanne and the President seem impotent to curb Conway perhaps Sherman might be useful to Trump in chastising Conway.
I am especially fond of the early Charles Schultz Peanuts cartoons.
Here is his first introducing Charlie Brown:
And here is a delightful retrospective wink with a modern twist.
There is an asinine level of outrage on the American right over some female Congresswomen who have dared to tweak cherished tropes. For years Republicans have accused anyone of faulting Israel over the abandoned peace talks of being an anti-Semite. Or, to be fair, maybe this began with the cheerleaders of AIPAC. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, following the President down the Twitter hole recently tweeted. “Its all about the Benjamins, baby.” I guess that since Benjamin (like about 40 percent of all American names) has a Jewish origin it was said by her critics that she was using a Jewish trope. Really, Ben Franklin was about as far as you can get from Jewish. Of course, suggesting that Republicans craved Jewish money may have had more resonance and I’ll be the first to admit that Jewish bankers have been pilloried in Europe all the way back to the middle ages as occupations involving usury (charging interest for borrowing money) were shunned by Christians. Often this was a wonderful charge to bring when a King decided he didn’t want to pay the bankers back. But back to Ilhan…
If this was part of her charge the only part that was correct is that politicians fund raise mindlessly. In recent decades the political machines expect them (the non-multimillionaires) to prove their worth by spending 30 hours a week like pimpled high school drop outs grubbing for money on the phone. But if suggesting that the money that funds American politics is driven by the 1 percent of Americans who are Jewish Ilhan was dead wrong. AIPAC, Soros and Bloomberg wield lots of money but not enough to overcome the PACs that fund Congressional campaigns.
The real complaint against AOC and Ilhan is that they are full of piss and vinegar. That line from Ilhan about the ” …Benjamins Baby.” That is so sassy and hip. It could have come from Donald Trump who has gone deeper into the gutter than Ilhan by saying the Nazi imitating torch bearers of Charlottesville were full of “fine people.”
I like a little piss and vinegar in my candidates. Piss and vinegar is a reaction to stuff shirts who often seemed to be above the average person’s travails. As much a I detest Donald Trump you have to give him credit for finding the P and V that a lot of Republican voters were desperately looking for. Of course, the original Republican full of Piss and Vinegar was the man Donald Trump called a loser for getting shot down over Vietnam and getting caught. What Trump was really saying was that McCain was a sucker for being a patriot when he could have claimed to have a bone spur and gotten out of the war.
The problem with Trump is that he is also full of shit which reminds me of the crass joke I thought was really funny when I was 13.
There were three scientists who wanted to see how long a pig could go without pooping. So, they put a cork in the pig’s butt and waited. The pig swelled up and swelled up until he almost didn’t fit in the laboratory any more. Being prudent scientists they trained a monkey to remove corks from various objects and when it was sufficiently adept they stood back as far as they could from the pig and set the monkey loose.
Weeks later the three scientists woke in the hospital and began comparing notes. “The last thing I remember is buckets and buckets of poop,” said the first. The last thing I remember said the second one was oceans and oceans of piss,” said the second. “All I can remember,” said the third, “is that poor monkey trying to put the cork back in.”
I’m no longer in junior high and as proof I’ll note something that I missed when I heard that joke 57 years ago. How the heck did piss get past that particular cork into the punch line?
I just caught a whiff of a challenge to Donald Trump in 2020 that greatly appealed to me. Skimming a couple of news stories and headlines on the Internet it appears that one of my my last remaining Republican heroes, William Weld, will be challenging Donald Trump. I just found a twitterfeed (I think that’s what it was) and donated $100.00 to his campaign. If he ends up running as a third party candidate I’ll wish him well but support a Democrat instead. But as a fellow who recently forced myself back into the GOP as a anti-Putin candidate for Congress I will be happy to help Bill Weld.
He’s been out of circulation for years. He’s a year older than Trump but he’ll have my support and unlike Trump he’s not taking a sub lethal dose of Rosuvastatin. I’ve mentioned Weld a few times on the blog. I’m sure I only had good things to say about him. Look for yourself.
A perfect accompaniment to my recent Reader Column:
Pretty good Nixon impression too: “Well I met your guy…” replay it and listen close
What prompted my upcoming Reader column is a recent spate of Facebook debating I’ve found myself taking part in. On the one hand it got me typing up my thoughts rather than waking up to them in nightmares. For instance, after cranking out 1100 words for the Reader last night I slept seven solid hours. That’s rare for me.
Among the debates have been one with a friend of a half second cousin who dearly loves folks who hate the President she voted for. After corresponding with her extensively I asked if she would mind if I posted part of our conversations without mentioning her name. She demurred. Still, it was good to have someone take over for my now deceased “Buddy” with whom I can no longer fuss.
Then there have been old-time DFLers and newbie Bernie worshipers and Women’s Marcher types arguing over the recent DFL endorsement and primary election going on to Duluth’s south. I sympathize with both sides in a fight that is not mine. But I worry it is a sign that Democrats will go into the election of 2020 divided against each other. I saw what happened last time and tried to remind the DFLer’s of this.
Then an old college buddy began sending out posters of villains who are crossing our borders. He was joined by his Obama hating friends who who are mad at Tump haters. I couldn’t resist tossing in a dollar’s worth of two cent replies. However, all these debates remind me that a society devoted to argument rather than solutions, mutually if reluctantly agreed upon, is heading up merde creek without a paddle.
Its too much work to copy the back and forth down although I’m pleased with my ripostes. I will give you the background of one of many discussions to set up the one reply I sent out.
My old college chum was going on about the mass leaker Edward Snowden who skipped town and settled in Russia. He mentioned a former secret service agent who had guarded both George W Bush and Obama and has been busy pedaling the allegation that Obama chased him away because he had dirt on Obama. This fellow Daniel Boingo Boingo quit the Service to run for the US Senate while imitating Rush Limbaugh as a radio talk show host. Conspiracy buffs can make lots of money this way kinda like get-rich TV Preachers. Boingo’s also been on Fox’s Hannity and Info Wars. My old friend wrote something about Obama laundering millions of dollars through Switzerland to help terrorists in Iran or something like that. I guess Snowden had made this all public and Obama wanted to shut him up. It sounded vaguely familiar and not unlike the Info Wars’ hooey that prompted a young man from one of the Carolina’s to shoot up a Washington DC Pizza Joint said to have been protecting Hillary Clinton’s pedophile friends.
Anywhoo: After explaining I wasn’t a “Deep State kind of guy” I sent this final riposte:
OK. I Googled Snowden. This comes from WAPO so you can be assured it isn’t as trustworthy as Info Wars. Still, you must take into account that deluded people like me invest a great deal of faith in the rag that exposed Nixon’s treachery.
I really have to ration my Facebook debate time. I could spend the next thirty years in a very Deep State rabbit hole.
And by the way. The only reason a person would wear a hat saying “Make America Great Again” is because they don’t think America is great now. I can’t help but wonder if what they really think is that America is crappy.
I also wonder what their crusade has accomplished to make America greater over the last two years. Health care? Economic security? Military security? Good feelings? Political fairness? World confidence?
This will be brief and very incomplete. Its really meant as an introduction to the next two posts.
Among the plethora of Trump related mini-exposes lately have been a couple about Trump’s past working with the “Russian Mafia.” Russians began settling in large numbers in New York at about the time the Berlin Wall fell and were getting acquainted with the dark side of the American economy. Claudia and I stayed near the Brooklyn Bridge the year before 9-11 to see our daughter’s East High School Choir preform in the Big Apple. We were down by the area where sea food is sold and already were wondering if some of the shadowy figures we were seeing were tied in with this new mob. Its been described as more of an extension to Russia’s old KBJ spy network.
Today a whole set of billionaire KBJ offshoots traces back to this Era of gobbling up the old USSR’s most valuable state industries. Putin, himself is reputed to have become one of the richest Russians today based on his connections.
Those connections may have extended to the cash strapped, bankruptcy riddled Trump family. Reportedly he has had Russian Banks shore his lost fortune up by about four billion dollars while also getting him into the business he’s made beau-coup bucks at – licencing the Trump name.
I don’t take any of these charges lightly. Donald Trump bragged when he was running for President about knowing how the swamp works.
I haven’t posted any links to these current stories because anyone can find them with a quick google search. What my eight loyal readers would have more trouble finding are the Minnesota connected stories to the Mafia that I will write about in two cursory posts to follow.
(NOTE- I just fixed the link to my column)
I hurried this column so as to make a Church Properties Meeting. Sadly, I can now see a couple mistakes that might have been fixed had I not rushed it to publication:
It’s coming! The biggest case of overdue Karma in America’s history. The only question will be whether Donald Trump leaves the Oval Office like Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy left his Senate soap box with 36 percent of American’s still approving of him. Or, will President Trump’s lock on 30% of America (80% of Republicans) evaporate? . . .
Our pussy grabbing President is shocked that one of the new Congresswomen has referred to him as a “mother****er” in a call for his impeachment. Considering our President’s previous reputation I suspect the term, as rude as it is for folks like me in their sixties, is probably accurate.
As for the call from the Congresswomen there are two mitigating facts. First – Impeachment is only a process to force a trial. Considering the charges that have been made it to the news so far that seems like a pretty modest statement. The trial, should one happen, will take place in the United States Senate, a body controlled by Republicans. AND…
Second – Donald Trump constantly led cheers of “lock her up” while he ran for President. He has certainly set the standard for inflammatory language and thus has no cause for sympathy when similar words are aimed at him. As for the criticism directed at me for disrespecting our President by depicting him as a cheeto colored New Year’s Baby. Tosh!
Oh, and I remember how appalled the establishment was when an earlier President inadvertently called a now infamous mass murder guilty during a trial to determine his guilt. That was pretty tame compared to Trump’s calling Mexicans refugees rapists.