Category Archives: Trump 2016

Frat Boy Justice

My column made it to the Reader today:

It begins:

“My first stab at writing about our newest Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was from the perspective of my “frat boy” experience ten years before Brett allegedly made a habit of getting black out drunk in college. The crappy behavior I witnessed during the age of Aquarius was not unlike the self-entitled depredations Kavanaugh has been accused of in the Reagan Era. Experience leads me to believe that our newest justice was as guilty of attempted rape as OJ Simpson was of murdering his wife. If I’m right that’s a triumph for the “rule of law” which can be greatly diluted if one attends prestigious universities and/or has plenty of money.”

To read the rest click the link in the lead sentence.

Boys will be jerks

Thirty days in France was a welcome relief from the continuing Trump news sepsis in the United States. Oh, I did peek at the news on my cell and occasionally on various French hotel televisions which carried one English speaking channel. It was always CNN. It was like peeking through my fingers at a horror show.

Toward the end of the trip and now, upon my return, I find myself waking up in the middle of the night hoping not to think about our nation’s politics. Sometimes I am able to get back to sleep. Typing out my thoughts on my blog helps. Yesterday I returned to my on-again, off-again column in the Duluth Reader. Over the day I cranked out a couple of attempts and was concerned that there was so much water flowing over Niagara that I couldn’t possibly stuff it all in a tiny, 800 word bucket. Although there is so so much more to say I was reasonably pleased with my final product. You can read it at the end of the week in the Reader. Its titled: “Frat Boy Justice.”

I begin by explaining that my first attempt to write a column was to expose my “guy” experience as a member of a fraternity from 1969 to 1973. But there were larger issues to dance around so I departed from that. However, the subject of boys behaving badly has made it to this blog before. I remembered writing about one particular episode about a friend of mine who spit on a stripper. I just discovered that I had blogged about this twice. You can read both posts to check to see whether the four year interval between tellings betrays any serious discrepancies. If you are only going to read just one I’d suggest the first post from 2013 because it preceded any thought of a Donald Trump Presidency or a Bret Kavanaugh justiceship.

If you read the shorter second retelling from 2017 (immediately after Trump’s election) you may intuit a premonition on my part of things to come.

Any fair minded person looking the Republican defenders of a likely attempted rapist for signs of moral sepsis have only to look at South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. His example is what my Mother feared could happen to me if I stuck it out in politics.

The America that Bret Kavanaugh helped make..


…elected Donald Trump.
………

At the moment it is 4:30 am in France. I am only miles away from where another man – who was helping to make the America that really is great – fought and was awarded the nation’s highest military honor. My eight loyal readers know him as my grandfather – George Robb.

Whether I fall asleep again or not tomorrow – today- I will walk over some of the ground he trod as his friends and fellow soldiers were being blown to dust and blood all around him. And I can’t sleep because I woke up thinking about that smarmy little skunk Bret (pay no attention to that frat rat rapist in the closet) Kavanaugh is invading my pilgrimage to remind me what’s at stake back in the land my Grandfather helped make!

Well, I have a lot to say on that account but having mostly bit my tongue about Trump World to write about my pilgrimage I had to go find a quiet place in my latest hotel room to get that off my chest. I am going to try to get a little more shut eye before walking the path of heroes who’s blood once soaked into this land.

Onze (eleven)

My last post suggested that we are not intensely interested in the fate of the United States. Nothing could be further than the truth. The New York Times is keeping us up-to-date. We watched PBS’s Washington Week in Review not long after it aired to hear the interview of Bob Woodward. We are not alone. His bookk “Fear” about the Trump catastrophe is the number one selling book in Europe right not. Claudia bought the audio version on line but I can’t imagine it helping her get a good night’s rest.

But tomorrow we board the TGV to Bordeaux after sampling several fine samples of the wine of the Loire and Tourine. Here is what I put into Facebook about our eleventh day with a couple of the pics. We’ve started the second third of our trip now.

FROM FACEBOOK ON DAY ONZE: Continue reading

Managing my Trois

I spare my Facebook friends long tedious explanations of what I do. I simply inundate them with pictures when I go traveling. Here’s how I summarized yesterday on Facebook:

“A day spent on the Seine between Notre Dame and the Eiffel tower and endless gigabytes of picture storage is awesome. We climbed the 400 steps past Mother Mary’s gargoyles and rode the Bateuxbus down to Eiffel’s miracle with a stop at the Orsay Palace of Art before returning to the Hunchback’s domicile. Our poor legs. Thank goodness we had a final stop for fromage, pain and vin accross from Victor Hugo’s old church.”

Some additional reactions. 1. The French we’ve met, however briefly, have been cordial from the street workers who saw we were unsure of where we were and tried to help us on our way to the wait staff at cafes. 2. Paris is indeed a “walkable city.” Everyone is out on the sidewalks. But that’s a lot of walking. For the tourist there are other ways to get around and for us yesterday the boats on the Seine River took us between the principal sights in a one hour forty minute cycle from Notre Dame to the Eifle Tower and back. The cod at the restaurant in the Orsay Museum of Art was heavenly and our server most charming. Museum walking is tough like Christmas gift shopping. We ended our day with a simple plate of cheeses and baguettes and wine watching the folks passing by on the street.

I’ll share a couple of the hundreds of photos I took and then conclude with my take on the goings on back in the good ole US of A. Continue reading

The Reader

At the insistence of the Duluth Reader’s publisher I quit submitting my by weekly column when I filed for the Eighth District Congressional Seat. Heaven’s forbid that my dotty columns might pose a journalistically unfair threat to Donald Trump’s local pet Pete Stauber. The Reader, unlike Fox News, really tries to be “fair and balanced.” I was originally tendered my Not Eudora spot to be a “conservative” voice against the many liberal voices happily volunteering to keep the Northland informed. At the time these liberal voices considered the Trib to be rabidly conservative. (I have to pause briefly to laugh a little)

Actually writing even one column once every two weeks is more work than I could easily handle while occasionally poking Pete Stauber in the ribs, studying French, escorting family on trips and planning for next weeks departure for France. Now the later looms. My wife and I will board the plane one week from today.

I had originally thought I would submit a weekly column about France while I was away. I didn’t know if the Reader would want them or not. I’ve just decided to submit two columns on my travels instead – one every other week. I will likely blog daily about my travels for my eight loyal readers. To do so I will need to take my computer because posting from my cell phone, while possible, is a pain…….and I don’t mean a loaf of french bread.

The logo above is a computer graphic I used 18 years ago as a newbie Internet enthusiast to help get people to the caucuses to choose delegates for John McCain in his first run for the Republican nomination. The creeps, trolls and assassins who made Donald Trump an accidental Republican President were already at work back then slandering McCain. When he was slandered out of the running I only had a few pathetic Republican breaths left in me. I ran for the legislature as a republican in 2002 but I was not like the usual Republican suspects today.

I have roughed out a few words on the column I’ll be sending into the Reader later tonight. Polishing them up and last minute organizing for my trip are on today’s docket. Finishing a book on America’s involvement in World War 1 will take up the following days.

Gotta get started.

My Kind of Loser

John McCain is on his death bed. The news has it that he is no longer accepting treatment for his cancer and that his family is gathering together. Although he was not a perfect vessel for my moderate version of Republicanism he was the last Republican I could enthusiastically throw my heart to. In 2000 as the caucuses for the Presidential election grew close I became one of his early organizers from my home and started a webpage to encourage his supporters to go to the caucuses. I just found it in the Wayback Machine a service devoted to keeping old websites from evaporating into the void.

https://web.archive.org/web/20010127085800/http://snowbizz.com:80/CaucusMcCain/CaucusMccain.htm

I’ve been casting about for a subject to write about in my return to Not Eudora. Thinking about our current draft dodger President who called Senator McCain a “loser” while on his merry way to sullying our nation’s Oval Office I know just what to write. My next column will be about my kind of loser.

Guilt by Association

The Congressional Republicans are raising hell about Joe Radinovich’s parking tickets. I hope that in this election guilt by association will be a bigger deal. After all Pete’s chief sponsor is the Commander and Chief a man strongly tempted to turn the Justice Department upside down and cancel an increasingly hot criminal investigation. Worse yet for Pete Stauber, the retired policeman, is his champion’s heinous “shithole” success in sending five innocent black kids to prison. Watch the 3 minute video with this Guardian story to see how Donald Trump does law and order.

And don’t forget this longing look for another congressional accomplice to overlook Trump’s ballooning mismanagement of the United States.

The elephant in Pete Stauber’s room

Pete told the Duluth News Tribune these wise words he picked up from Vice President Pence:

In recounting advice passed along to him from Vice President Mike Pence, he relayed the necessity of running a positive campaign.

“Don’t impugn the integrity of your opponent,” he said. “I think this country has had it with demonizing the loyal opposition and taking personal attacks. We are going to focus on the positives.”

Would that the mostly mute Vice President offer the man whose coattails he rode to the Vice Presidency the same advice – publicly:

A few samples of Donald Trump’s demonizing:

Of Arianna Huff he tweeted: .@ariannahuff is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man- he made a good decision.

7:54 AM – 28 Aug 2012

Of Rosie O’Donnell he said:

“Rosie’s a person who’s very lucky to have her girlfriend. And she better be careful or I’ll send one of my friends over to pick up her girlfriend, why would she stay with Rosie if she had another choice?”

Of Senator McCain he said:

“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

Of Senator Ted Cruz’s father he told Fox News: “His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous,” Trump said Tuesday during a phone interview with Fox News. “What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it.”

“I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?” Trump continued. “It’s horrible.”

Of President Obama:

“An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud”

On Mexicans:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”

Candidate Stauber, let me share some advice from Jesus of Nazareth before you get too comfortable with President Trump:

Matthew 7:1-5 English Standard Version (ESV)
On Judging Others:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Some quick Welty analysis of the primary results

The NY Times is still updating Minnesota’s primary election results.

I hoped to get 10 percent of the vote in Duluth. I did better than that across the entire 8th Congressional District in places where my name means nothing. Pete Stauber was so well publicized as being Trump’s candidate that I presume that anyone voting for me didn’t much care for the Trump/Stauber connection. That’s not good for Pete even if he currently has a million dollars in the bank. He’s already beginning to soft pedal his loyalty to Trump but that too is a problem for Pete.

As for what I spent to get my 5,000 votes compared to what Pete Spent to get his 40,000 votes that’s noteworthy too. I only spent $300 to file for office ten weeks ago and bought one tank of gas traveling to Hibbing twice. (One of those trips was a mistake) So my cost per vote was about 6 cents. I’m not sure how much Pete has spent so far but I’m guessing its about $400,000. If so, his 40,000 votes cost him $10 bucks each. I like that comparison. Now that the Democrats have settled on a candidate the DFLer will not be outspent by Stauber. They will be even steven.

The more worrisome issue for Pete is the primary turnout. The combined Democratic candidates won about 16,000 more votes than the two Republicans Harry Welty and Pete Stauber. Pete can’t count on all of my anti-Trump votes swinging his direction any more than we can be sure that all the votes for the losing Democratic congressional candidates will swing to the DFL winner Joe Radinovich. However, I think the primary turnout is a harbinger of what’s to come in the General election. Even the safe Minnesota First Congressional District Republican candidates got fewer votes than the Democrats running against them. I’m beginning to smell some blood in the water.

U.S. House District 8 »
Democratic Primary……………..Republican Primary
CANDIDATE…VOTE….PCT……..CANDIDATE…VOTE….PCT.
Radinovich..26,319..43.4%……Stauber…..40,122..89.6%
Lee………16,983..28.0…….Welty…….4,6814..10.4%
Metsa……..7,633…12.6
Others…….9,680…16.0
60,615 votes, 92% reporting …44,809 votes, 92% reporting

(These figures are from 11:30 CST from 742 out of 806 precincts)

When being “anti-democrat” is being anti democratic…

…as in dictatorial:

A week ago I ordered some new eyeglasses for my trip to France. The old prescription hadn’t changed much but my lenses were a little scuffed after two years service. I got them before my visit to Israel if memory serves. (WARNING – this post includes a picture I took of a shot-dead Palestinian)

While waiting for my “about an hour” glasses I killed some time at Barnes and Noble’s where I found this discounted book:

I am a sucker for good cartooning and cartooning history. I even have one on snow sculpting and this one began with a fascinating forward by author/cartoonist Tony Husband which gave cartoonists the credit for being the canaries in a coal mine of political analysis. Hitler kept a collection of the cartoons that mocked him and a black list of the cartoonists he would deal with after taking over the world. Today’s cartoonists also have a larger than life buffoon to caricature. I tried doing him in snow. Folks who saw my old Bill Clinton On the Road video heard me say I always wanted to be a cartoonist.

Hitler Nazi’s cheated to get elected in 1933 and the darned Republican Party has adopted the old southern Democrats voter suppression laws which prevented black voters from casting votes. Its one way the Republicans have shored up their shrinking majority and they are getting help from an emerging Republican majority on the Supreme Court to enhance and support this suppression. The Court let big money into campaigns with the Citizen’s United decision. The Court ended Federal intervention in states with long histories of racist voter suppression. Time after time the Court has OK’ed state laws restricting voter access in areas of poverty and high minority residence. And now, Donald Trump is promoting some of the worst offenders, among them Secretary of State Kris Kobach in Kansas and the even more despicable Brian Kemp in Georgia.

These efforts at wounding Democracy in all the Red States are next of kin to fraud and dictatorship. The Book on German cartoonists shows early critiques of Nazi’s suppressing votes. I have always felt that an honest election is far better than a winning election. If you stand for something you should be prepared to lose while standing up for your cause. Republicans are no longer willing to take this chance even though fair and honest elections have generally kept the nation on the straight and narrow. By suppressing the majority under the guise of “the rule of law” you create dangerous bitterness and paranoia. The GOP has done a masterful job of denying the voting majority from expressing its will since the Supreme Court overruled the Florida courts ability to enforce its own elections in the 2000 Presidential election. Donald Trump is poised to further poison voter confidence in honest elections and he’ll have Pete Stauber there to back him up if he gets his way.

VOTE WELTY, a Republican for Democracy!

Gone fishin

Over the past nine weeks I’ve made my case for a return to the GOP’s better angels. It cost me $300.00 to file for office and given my antipathy for President Trump’s misanthropy it was a bargain. In a couple days the folks voting in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District will have a choice between me and one of Donald Trump’s minions, Pete Stauber. I’ve already noted Pete’s pulling back a little in the Trump department with the Duluth Tribune’s editorial endorsement in which he stressed his independence. Yeah sure. No Republican with a spark of independence has survived Trump’s scorn over the last year. They are all weak sisters and Pete Stauber is no exception.

How will I do on Tuesday? Continue reading

My Seven minutes on KBJR TV

From the KBJR Website, at last, my seven minutes (as well as Pete Stauber’s and Jason Metsa’s seven) with reporter Dan Wolfe:

DULUTH, MN –
The August Primary in Minnesota is just around the corner.

That means candidates vying for their preferred party’s nomination are hitting the campaign trail hard in the days leading up to August 14th.

Over the next three weeks we’re going to introduce you to each candidate in the 8th Congressional District race. That’s five Democrats, two Republicans, and an Independent all vying for the seat currently held by Democrat Rick Nolan, who is retiring in November.

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Headlines, Dan Wolfe sits down with Pete Stauber, Harry Welty, and Jason Metsa.