Category Archives: Democratic Heroes

Could I support Elizabeth Warren?

The 2020 election is a little over a year away but I raised chuckles of appreciation not long ago at the Chamber of Commerce’s forum for the School Board candidates. I told the threadbare audience I wanted a presidential new School Superintendent like Warren. I’ve also said I am like Warren in that I have a plan for everything. I like Warren and I delight at seeing Donald Trump getting Pocahontased in the eye.

However, the wagons are being circled against this wannabe Native American. Former NY Mayor and current multi billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, a man I admire, is mulling a fight against her potential attack on Wall Street. I for one would cheer on Warren’s “wealth tax” but not at the expense of re-electing Donald Trump by dividing the electorate so that Trump’s blind and myopic supporters can keep him behind the nation’s wheel with 35% of the vote.

If it was a two-way race I would be less fearful because a Warren victory would still require her as President to get the Congress to go along with her most ambitious proposals. But the Congress might make a mighty Anti-Trump turn and give Warren the power to do what she wanted. I could live with a nationalized health care program although I think a gradual turn in that direction makes more sense. But again, could I endure the threat of four more years of a spoiled-rotten-child President who has cost me sleep for the past four years?

This is what centrist David Brooks said about Warren:

“First, there are Warren’s policies. On trade, she’s a protectionist. Her 10-year, $34 trillion health care plan isn’t paid for. Her student debt cancellation plan is a handout to the upper middle class. Her campaign seems to not acknowledge the inevitable trade-off between economic growth and high spending, high taxes and high regulation.”

To the extent that Mr. Brooks represents the thinking of a quarter of American voters who will toss a coin next year its worth agonizing about.

Here is Brook’s complete column.

Give’m Harry

I read the following wonderful summary of Harry Truman on Facebook today. Then I looked at the apparently pro-Trump author’s Facebook Page. He didn’t write it so I searched for the actual author. It seems no one has taken credit for it. The description of the man who was President when I was born accords with everything I’ve previously read although I can’t entirely vouch for its full accuracy.

Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 32 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence , Missouri . His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me.. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.”

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.”

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today , too many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!

We ought to have cloned him for telling it like it is and being frugal with our tax dollars!

That a pro–Trumper would circulate something that so diametrically contradicts Donald Trump and which I find so compelling suggests to me that our mutual admiration for Harry offers hope to America. And by the way. Truman’s order to integrate the US Armed Forces began the stampede of Southern Democrats out of the Democratic Party and eventually into the once hated Party of Lincoln……where they promptly forgot about the sixteenth President.

I’m reestablishing my old domain to advertise my 2019 school board campaign. I’ll be taking book orders from there as well.


Piss n’ Vinegar Politics

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?

Psalm 10 and Octopus Ink

In the six months since I’ve returned from Jerusalem I’ve managed to get over half way from Genesis to the last of the minor prophets – Malachi. (Those are generally all the books in both the Protestant’s Old Testament and the Hebrew Bible) Last night after the end of the Democrat’s Presidential nominating convention I read Psalm 10: As with Job before it I couldn’t help relate many of the lines to current events, to wit:

Vs. 2: In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor- (Donald Trump ripping off legions of small contractors, college students, renters, investors)

Vs. 3: For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart, those greedy for gain….:(Ditto Trump)

Vs. 5: Their ways prosper at all times: your judgments are on high, out of their sight, as for their foes, they scoff (tweet) at them.

Vs. 7: …..under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.

Vs. 8: …Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless:

The Republican evangelicals really have nominated a fifth grader’s, middle finger of a candidate. I’d say fourth grade as that is one estimate of Donald Trump’s vocabulary usage but my older grandson is going into fourth grade and I just can’t stand the idea of my grandson being in the same class with Donald Trump.

Even my first grade grandson has a superior vocabulary to the Trumpster. Yesterday after our trip to the Duluth Aquarium we were talking about Octopus ink and he said it was an “obstacle illusion.” That’s also a good description of the Big Apple, rip off artist. The fifth grader in me can’t help but think of that stock fifth grade retort, “I know you are but what am I?”, when I hear him call Clinton “Crooked Hillary.”

It turns out that about two-thirds of Americans who call themselves “evangelicals” never or rarely go to church. Consequently, they have nominated a candidate who is disinterested in religion and contemptuous of today’s thin Republican dogma. Now they are faced with a candidate, like her or not, who was locked out of her house by her Mother to face down the neighborhood’s bullies. Too bad the Republicans didn’t have any candidates with Mother’s like Hillary Clinton had.

Ten years after my speech…

…I was still stubbornly attending Republican activities.

I did however, have the chance to vent a little as I did on Apr 21st. 2002, in a column for Not Eudora which began:

I am a mass murderer. Now mind you, I’m not talking about just any old, garden variety, mass murder but the world’s most massive holocaust ever. My crime is so vast that it dwarfs the nazi death camps, the Soviet purges, and the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge all rolled into one.

Four years and two more Republican candidacies (2002 and 2004) later I finally started attending Democratic Precinct Caucuses. I may go back to the Republicans to attempt a rescue of Abraham Lincoln but my favorite precinct caucus of all time will forever be the DFL caucuses of 2008 in which swarms of like-minded Obama supporters flooded the Democratic caucuses to give Obama the lead in Duluth.

Obama reminds me of my favorite Kansas politician Dwight David Eisenhower. Of course, both men had Mothers from Kansas. So did I.

Why head lice are more popular than Congress

By way of Sullivan:

The HuffPo’s Ryan Grim and Sabrina Siddiqui obtained a PowerPoint presentation given to incoming Democratic freshmen legislators by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the DCCC’s recommended schedule for House members includes four hours spent on the phone begging rich people for money and one hour spent begging rich person for money in person. This is the daily schedule. As Kevin Drum notes, this leaves no time for studying or homework. …

This, as much as anything else, is why our Congress is both dysfunctional, legislators have no clue what they’re voting for or against most of the time, and so attentive to the priorities of the very wealthy.

And these are the Democrats!

Head lice are ahead of Congress by a 67 to 19 percent margin.

Why the Hell didn’t I think of that?

We’re talking some serious gravy train here.

Oh yeah. Now I remember. Roger supported the Red Plan too when he could have guaranteed a referendum on the monstrosity and saved our elementary children from classes with 36 children.

And I forgot. I’m caucusing with the DFL now. I shouldn’t criticize my buddies in the party.

And here’s how he can get “Duluth’s share” of the 1 billion to the Vikings. Tap the Red Plan. The School Board has already given 1 million of it for a hockey rink. (Not the Congdon Rink but the one out at the old Clyde Iron plant)

Fifty kids to a classroom would be a small price to pay to put all those Twin City’s builders to work up here when they outbid the locals for the jobs just like they did on the Red Plan.

Took me long enough to edit that last post.

I don’t recall why I hurried to upload that last post five or six hours ago. I think I was afraid that if I delayed it might somehow be lost. Well, I’ve just gone through it and made a number of important edits.

Tomorrow you can go to your precinct caucus. If you are a Democrat I’d suggest you keep your mind open. The alternative is to act like a Republican and I trust you’ve gotten an eye full of their candidates. Take your time. Someone really interesting might show him or herself.

Kiss him?

Someday the Dish will decline and I will no longer feel compelled to check it out on a near daily basis. It will joke around one too many times about “bears” or the Internet definition of some unfortunate, self righteous, ex Senator’s name and I will turn elsewhere. But with gems like this today that gave me a hearty belly laugh I’ll keep turning in to keep my brain fresh and informed:

The woman handed the dirty-faced infant to Old Hickory. Jackson took it and held it up before him. “Ah! There is a fine specimen of American childhood. I think, madam, your boy will make a fine man some day.” Then, with a quick gesture, he put the dirty face of the infant close to the face of Secretary [of War] Eaton, saying quickly and soberly, “Eaton, kiss him?” General Eaton pretended to do so with a wry face, amid the laughter of the crowd, and Jackson then handed the baby back to the happy mother.

My “my buddy” is not “a Republican Sympathizer”

My Buddy and I have had a great many words over my continual abuse of the GOP. My Buddy is not affiliated with either party. He has regularly chided me for my one-sided criticism of Republicans and noted the there are plenty of Democratic hacks and doofi (that’s the plural).

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

When Democrats get rid of Governor Walker, the Republican Congress, Obama wins relection and Goldman Sachs goes back to giving the Democrats the big bucks this little worm will turn. Until then I caucus with the Democrats and act like the same kind of maverick I was all the years I was a Republican.

PS. I had a close call. A friend at church asked if anyone had spilled the beans about my threat (fantasy) to run for Congress to Claudia. My friend kept her mouth closed. Claudia is still blissfully unaware of my threat.

When someone does unkindly spill the beans I’ll just claim I’m doing it to sell my book. For you my dear readers……don’t be so sure I’m not lying about that. I am a politician.

The woman with the little girl voice

I was in 4th grade in 1960 when JFK beat my family’s candidate Richard Nixon. The Democrats back then were as busy letting the dead vote in Chicago as the Republicans today are busy keeping the living from the polls. When school started that year I told my next door neighbor Becky Penney that Nixon would beat her family’s candidate Kennedy. It was the first of my many subsequent bad guesses about election outcomes.

When he was assassinated two years later I knew a horror had been committed because I was steeped in the lore of Abe Lincoln’s murder. However, being just shy of 13 I was too young to get caught up in the thrall of Camelot which some folks a little older than me have never managed to let go of even after 50 years.

I like to see the warts on historical characters so that I don’t get too caught up in their myths. Even so, I was rather sad to read this unsparing assessment of JFK’s widow Jackie and even sadder to find myself agreeing with it. But as my buddy who sent me the link wrote: “…who doesn’t have feet of clay?”

Pt.2- Obama is the worst Democrat ever…

…but the Republican Party today is even worse:

Apropos the last post on Jason Johnson’s angry unhappiness about voting for Obama is this assessment of the advantage Republicans have over Democrats:

“…the Democratic party is perhaps best characterized as a coalition between ideological liberals and moderates in which ideological liberals often have to restrain their impulses. The Republican party, in contrast, is far more conservative-heavy, and far less inclined to allow self-conscious moderates in the party, a small and arguably shrinking minority, to hold sway.”

From the same paragraph is this stark mathematical reality:

“…groups labeled Staunch Conservatives, Main Street Republicans, and Libertarians — amount to 29 percent of the general public, 35 percent of registered voters, and a large majority of Republican primary voters. Solid Liberals, in contrast, are 14 percent of the general public and 16 percent of registered voters.”

Pt.1- Obama is the worst Democrat ever…

…but I will vote for him.

I almost didn’t read this letter to the Editor from Jason Johnson. I’m glad I did. Jason outlines half a dozen examples of moderate Republican actions by his Democratic President all of which he resents. Here’s about half of his accusations:

“His only liberal accomplishments include a stimulus bill loaded with largely non-stimulative tax cuts to appease the right wing. His health-care plan was taken from a Republican governor. He has been a hawk on Afghanistan. He has embraced warrantless wiretapping, secret prisons and illegal rendition. He has essentially condoned torture with his failure to prosecute war crimes of the Bush administration, even going as far as to block attempts at prosecution by other countries. And he is to the right of Bush on deportations.”

In addition to Jason’s continuing list I could add a couple dozen others including his much maligned Obamacare, which was designed by moderate Republicans like our own former Senator Dave Durenberger and his Administration’s rapid approval, ala ” Drill baby Drill,” of deep water Gulf Oil Wells up until one of Exxon’s wells went haywire.

Obama will need more JJ’s who hold their nose and vote for him. They would like to think that if Obama had taken the liberal cudjal and fought the Republicans their cause would have prevailed. I think they are wrong in that and that Obama and his advisers know this.

For me the biggest frustration is that Obama has been rational so far and his very intellectual honesty and reasonableness are proving less effective than the Republican Party’s crass politicization of a national, even a world crisis. I’d like to think that reason can trump polemics and gratuitous self dealing. (And “No” Buddy. I don’t think for a minute that Democrats as a group are immune from the same faults)

The next post will pretty well point out the dilemma that “Liberals” face.

What’s sauce for the goose

I must have missed the rhetoric coming out of Detroit. I know Obama was there recently. My Buddy asks in an email:


Are you going to comment similarly, regarding the recent rhetoric in Detroit, if someone is “taken out”?

[your Buddy]

I hope it wasn’t Obama using target practice verbiage but yes, Buddy. Point taken. If whoever was using such language on the Liberal side was “getting ugly” on Republicans shame on them for flattering them by imitation.