Category Archives: God’s Own Party

My Buddy quibbles with the last post

From: “Your Buddy”
To: “Harry Welty”
Sent: Wed, 5 Oct 2016 11:04:59 -0500
Subject: Uncategorized | lincolndemocrat.com | Who holds what?

Harry:

From http://lincolndemocrat.com/?cat=1:

So, the GOP currently holds 4 out of 8 justices appointed to the Supreme Court? Who knows? Apparently many political partisans, apparently not of the GOP, are concerned about how the Supreme Court might subsequently rule on Roe versus Wade, although that decision occurred with the participation of Burger and Blackmun, who were appointed by a Republican president, and despite the dissent of White, who was appointed by a Democratic president.

Apparently some people have difficulty not seeing everything through the bullshit of political partisanship.

[your Buddy]

To which I replied:

Going through old stacks of stuff today I found a Time [magazine] story on Gingrich from 1995. I’m too cheap to subscribe to Time to get it but I’ll type out the second paragraph which expressed my attitude when Newt turned the tables on the Dems in 1994. I was thrilled.

“After so many years in exile the Republicans were at the mercy of a system rigged by their enemies. They calculated that even when GOP candidate captured 47% of the total US vote, they won only 40% of the seats because of gerrymandered districts: Democrats then grudgingly offered them only 35% of the committee seats and 17% of the committee staff. The best a Republican Representative could hope was that if he went along most of the time without making too big a fuss some Democratic committee chairman might occasionally feel generous and throw a few dollars to his district.”

Today the Republicans have repaid the favor. Even when a majority of American voters vote for Democrat congressional candidates only 40 some percent of the Democrat’s candidates get elected.

And yup. It was a largely Republican Supreme Court that gave us Roe v Wade.

Last night I saw my first Samantha Bee show which did a pretty good job explaining how the GOP picked up and ran with the wedge issue of Abortion and made it an evengelical cause….Samantha finds it ironic that the new evangelical hero is Donald Trump a man now pledging to pack the court with Pro lifers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/samantha-bee-gop-abortion-issue_us_5743f676e4b00e09e89fe561

Perspective, celebration and an escape from politics

And old neighbor reposted this to Facebook. It seems noteworthy since the GOP is attempting to take over about the only thing in American Government not in their possession.

I kept away from the blog yesterday as I finished up organizing myself…..meaning my office. It’s hardly recognizable. I celebrated at the end of the day with a bottle of wine, a slice of chocolate cake and the Vice Presidential debate. Claudia and I could only stomach about thirty minutes worth as Hillary’s running mate began by mimicking Trump’s constant interruptions. ‘Governor Pence took it all in with good humor. Judging by the full debate’s reviews this morning Caine did what he was supposed to and the fact checking mostly leans in his favor.

Instead of politics we watched another episode of an Australian/New Zealand series called 800 words. We are both smitten with the Antipodes. Its a charming series about a family that moves from Australia to the “Arse of the World” to escape from gloom and tragedy. You can see it on the British site “Acorn.”

The abandonment of true journalism

Donald Trump is, among other things, a fellow who has profited mightily by the faltering of twentieth century journalism. In its place is a dizzying array of Internet data dumps available for inspection by the curious and curated by interested persons from the honest to the nefarious. Somewhere in between are all the organizations which have a special interest in winning the public to their side. For the unwary and for people without the luxury of time to deeply investigate this inexhaustible library of data its far easier to let their tribal pals spoon feed them formulas.

My buddy is always telling me I’m being tribal when I bad mouth the Republican Party. I’m not sure what tribe this makes me a part of. I did attend Democratic precinct caucuses for about eight years never really becoming part of their machinery. For ten years before that I played gadfly in an increasingly purge happy Republican Party. Prior to that I quietly voted for Democrats when unappetizing Republican candidates won the primaries or GOP nominations. If I have a tribe to a large extent it could be called the tribe of the “Man without a Country.”

Here’s Wikipedia’s summary of this famous short story’s plot:

The protagonist is a young United States Army lieutenant, Philip Nolan, who develops a friendship with the visiting Aaron Burr. When Burr is tried for treason (historically this occurred in 1807), Nolan is tried as an accomplice. During his testimony, he bitterly renounces his nation, angrily shouting, “I wish I may never hear of the United States again!” The judge is completely shocked at this announcement, and on convicting him, icily grants him his wish: he is to spend the rest of his life aboard United States Navy warships, in exile, with no right ever again to set foot on U.S. soil, and with explicit orders that no one shall ever mention his country to him again.

I was haunted by the story which I read in an English class. That was the hope of the author Edward Everett Hale. Until perusing Wikipedia just now I had no idea who the author was or the circumstances for his the writing of the book. It was composed in the middle of the Civil War, a ripe time for an American to agonize about national identity. Lincolndemocrat takes particular note of the author’s being the nephew of Edward Everett, the orator and statesman, famous for the long forgotten speech that preceded Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and being the “grand-nephew of Nathan Hale (1755-1776), the Revolutionary War hero executed by the British for espionage.”

If I have a tribe its probably confined to my office. I will admit that it is a bit more capacious than the ship’s stateroom to which the story’s protagonist is confined for the rest of his life. Like the protagonist I have bits and pieces of evidence of my nation tacked to my walls. BTW – here’s the story long out of copyright. I didn’t reread it in full but just cut to the end to compare it to my memory of it.

About that end. I was probably 15 when I read the book and far less knowledgeable about the American history that had taken place prior to the story’s conclusion. That it was written during the Civil War and contemplation about what the union meant may not have registered with me quite as it does now.

My Buddy is no doubt right when he tells me the US will soldier on if Donald Trump is elected President. I suppose we would have survived if Huey Long had been elected or Joseph McCarthy but what a shame it would have been. The Presidents they would have supplanted were superior individuals. Its true that neither of these men were Adolph Hitlers but neither was Hitler early in his career. The great irony of Germany and the Reich was that a nation of such cultivated and sophisticated people could descend to the gas chamber, the charnel house and ruin. We seem to have past the time for a nuclear holocaust but our technology certainly leaves room for an even worse case scenario than that which transpired at the end of World War II. I can’t help but see seeds of destruction in today’s political tribal culture and campaign rhetoric and, frankly, its probably too late to stop Greenland’s icecap from melting.

I am troubled that the notion of American exceptionalism is often waved about by folks who mistake it for America’s wealth and power and not for the intangibles locked into our Bill of Rights. One of those intangibles is the right of a free press. Donald Trump can’t wait to get elected President so that he can change the libel laws like he plans to change the Generals and sue every newspaper that looks at him cross-eyed. Then he can enjoy the sort of freedom his good buddy Vladimir Putin enjoys behind the Kremlin’s walls. Donald Trump is just an eight hundred pound Albertson.

Yeah, compared to electing Trump, elevating Hillary Clinton to the Presidency would be a disaster. Remember Benghazi – or at least what the pretend newsman Roger Ailes wanted you to think happened there. That way you will be anesthetized to the coming of a White House with five letters tackily emblazoned on it in Gold leaf.

Get the lead out

After I was nearly finished scraping and painting the sides of my house this summer I began thinking that I should have at least worn a mask while scraping to avoid inhaling lead. Then I thought it was probably not that big a deal because lead was removed from paint a long time ago. Well, Kerry Leider told me otherwise. It was still in paint through the 1980’s a period of time I put new coats on my house. Oops!

What brings this to mind was today’s story in the DNT about concerns that a three quarter million dollar donation to prevent the recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker seems to have been rewarded with laws to protect lead paint manufacturers from lawsuits from folks like me who have been poisoned by their products. Of course, the Republicans and the Governor’s office deny that the money had any influence on them.

I found it interesting that the people reporting his story were from Great Britain’s Guardian Newspapers. They were looking into Karl Rove’s Club for Growth operation. I’m sure that Karl’s not the kind of guy who would arrange any back scratching, would he?

Madison and Monroe – state’s rights before States

Before I delivered my grandsons to school this morning I had a half dozen posts pounding on my door begging to be written and uploaded. Let’s see how many make it to the blog before the day is out.

I’ve just come in from my sun porch where I was forging ahead with the book Founding Rivals mentioned previously. Reliable Book Reviewer Kirkus describes this book as “lively, clear-cut.” It is. Both men, confronted the impossiblity of running America as 13 squabbling republics each with veto power over the whole. First friends, then foes and then friends again the two men, preside over the first resolution of the question. Madison and Monroe, the fourth and fifth Presidents of the United States, were simply among the first Americans to wrestle over the question and they were divided about the adoption of our Constitution.

Those questions continued to reverberate until the war that my hero (and the namesake of this blog) settled. But the question was like the undead. It rose again to search out more living brains to consume.

Today’s Party of Lincoln has taken up that call from the Dixiecrats who hated civil rights and fought integration. They have presided over what is being called the resegregation of the United States.

That’s enough for the first post. The next post will highlight the Grand Old Party’s latest champion.

How yesterday started

Yesterday I got a lousy night’s sleep. They seem to have come back again with the beginning of the School Year after a relatively blissful summer. Coincincence I’m sure.

During one of my sleepless hours the night before I’d made up my mind to visit Congdon Elementary School that morning at the beginning of its school day. I’d gotten the sense that the school was a little more disordered in recent years due to myriad changes in the School District. But all those sleepless hours resulted in me waking up at about 7:15. (I don’t often set alarms anymore) By the time I’d fed the cats, completed morning chores and cleaned myself up it was ten to 8. I was afraid the busses had long since dropped off the children but I drove over anyway. For the past six months I’ve been making up for the hideous first two years of my service on the School Board. I had stayed away from schools lest employees be brought under suspicion for being seen in my presence. I know that sounds, well paranoid, but it was a concern I had. Twenty years ago I used to joke with another school board member that our school board’s slogan ought to be “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you.” If its any comfort to my readers, and it shouldn’t be, I always worry that everyone in the District is paranoid about me especially what I might write about them in my blog. Mostly I give our employees a pass. As for my fellow elected officials……..I just write what I see, experience or hear tell about them. We are the elephants fighting in the African proverb about trampled grass.

When I got to Congdon it was quiet as a mouse. I’d only seen one parent I knew crossing the parking lot to get to the school. I signed in and introduced myself to the Office denizens and explained my intention and my failure to get to the school before the busses. I told them I’d walk the halls for a few minutes and make sure to get to Congdon earlier next time. On my way out of the office I followed one of the staff members to her office. When I asked her what she did she told me she was working with the homeless children. That rang a bell. I asked her if it was her name on the new emmployee list I’d perused at Monday’s Human Resources Committee. She affirmed that this was the case.

I asked her how many homeless kids went to Congdon. Forty she replied mentioning that there were about 80 such children at Myers-Wilkins (the old Grant School) and some more at Piedmont Elementary.

We spoke for about fifteen minutes before I went on my way. What I was assured of was of great importance to me. These kids going to Congdon, Myers Wilkins and Piedmont are allowed, encouraged even to continue on at the same schools no matter where they may move to while living in Duluth. That’s called stability and transient children need this desperately.

This is a vast improvement over the situation that existed when I was first on the School Board. I’d agonoized over “transient” children in those old days. These were kids who might find themselves in a half a dozen different school within a single school year as their rootless, homeless families wandered from residence to residence or even the back seat of a car – if they had one. Back then Congdon, being situated as it was in the posh Congdon neighborhood, didn’t have many homeless kids. Today it does and even handles more than its “share.”

My walk around the hallways afterward reminded me of the old orderly Congdon. Some of the teachers from Congdon I’d met at Denfeld on August 30th averred that class sizes were a little too generous but I saw no evidence of chaos in my walk through. Whew! That “Whew” said, its still early in the school year.

Among the news stories mentioned in the previous post that had me in their grip was one about Minnesota’s poverty rate reported by Minnesota Public Radio. The story reports that Minnesota has the second lowest poverty rate among the fifty states at 9.1 percent. Having mentioned homeless students I should add that Duluth’s poverty rate is significantly higher than the rest of Minnesota’s rate and that poverty affects children on average more than the adult population.

The DNT had a chart of National poverty rates going back to 1960 that I couldn’t help but contrast with the Op Ed piece the Tribune commissioned from the conservative blogger, John Hinderaker, of Powerline.

Hinderaker makes the case that the reason for Minnesota’s falling from the top to the middle of prosperous states is because of a couple decades of high taxes. I’m not so sure. Republican legislators have managed to fight state tax increases pretty successfully for the past fifteen or so years of this new century. A case could be made that the taxes not spent in education and fixing up old infrasctucture blunted our economic growth. As evidence I’d offer Minnesota’s economy from the 1970’s through the 1990’s during which Minnesota’s growth exceeded that of most other states while we were one of the five or six highest taxing states.

Furthermore, the MPR story about the nation’s declining poverty that ran in the DNT also included an intesting graph showing the decline and leveling off of the nation’s poverty rate from 1960 to today.

Hinderacker might be advised to look at the steep decline in poverty from 1960 to 1970. That was during LBJ’s War on Poverty and judging by this evidence it did a marvelous job lowering poverty rates until 1980 when the Reagan Revolution, with its War on Welfare Queens, left us with a mildly fluctuating poverty rate plateau of 12 percent. That’s half of what it was when Jack Kennedy was elected President. Its been stubbornly stuck there ever since.

Not a fan of Hillary

I can always count on my Buddy to dis my digs at the GOP: My Buddy thinks I’m “tribal.”

From: “Your Buddy”
To: “Harry Welty”

Sent: Fri, 9 Sep 2016 04:32:41 -0500
Subject: Mongering, Fish, War, Clinton, take your pick | lincolndemocrat.com

Yeah, Harry, take your pick.
Regarding http://lincolndemocrat.com/?p=17515, see Trump Aces Forum; Clinton Looks Pathetic, by Dick Morris, at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0916/morris090916.php3. But what does a former political advisor to Bill Clinton, know?

Who can pick ‘em?

[your Buddy]

To which I replied:

Buddy,

Dick Morris is a smart man but a little like Anthony Weiner. His petard got hoisted when he bragged to a prostitute or a girlfriend about his connections to President Clinton and the world found out about it. I don’t remember the details but it was something like that. Ah. Got to love Google. Here’s a sample: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/tours/scandal/morris.htm

In more recent years I’ve read his prognostications and read a lot of self serving spin in them. He was a GOP consultant before his fling with Clinton and now he’s back in the GOP fold – sort of.

In this case Morris’s analysis isn’t much different than mine. We each saw what we wanted to see. But in Morris’s case he has to make sure he impresses the folks who will hire him again to give them political advice. The people likely to hire him will be Trumpians, of course. If he was in the pay of Hillary he could turn the tables on Trump. I’d call that an AC-DC consultant – not all that different from an attorney for that matter.

Whatever my motives they are not mercenary. Its hard to be a fan of Hillary but she doesn’t scare the shit out of me or offend my intelligence – my scruples maybe – but not my intelligence. She worked hard to be worthy of the Oval Office. Trump has worked hard to polish up his crass to make it look like brass. Of course, if he was really a billionaire he would be gold and not just an amalgam of copper and zinc. We’ll just have to wait till he releases his taxes to see if he’s lied about his fortune.

Harry

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.

Republicans for Putin

I had heard the last of Robert Reich’s seven points but not the first six. The sixth is interesting because the GOP platform means nothing to Trump. After the conventioneers wrote in a plank wishing gay familial rights they cheered him when he wished them away in his windy convention speech. He was so surprised he thanked them. Their plank was one he had intended to ignore anyway and it turned out not to mean that much to the conventioneers either. However, Trump did weigh in on the platform to back away from defending the Ukraine against Russian military operations. I find it surreal that the GOP – the party of Joe McCarthy – is letting down its guard against a guy straight out of the Manchurian Candidate.

Here are the last two of Reich’s list of Russian/Trump entanglements:

6. The Trump Camp was totally indifferent to the Republican Party platform, with one exception: They changed the party platform to eliminate assistance to Ukraine against Russian military operations in eastern Ukraine. Not incidentally, this is the single most important issue to Putin.
7. Trump is also suggesting the US and thus NATO might not come to the defense of NATO member states in the Baltics in the case of a Russian invasion — another important issue to Putin.

I presume that the Clintonistas know all this and are sure it will turn voters away from Trump even while Putin (may have)
sicced Russia’s cyber security onto the Democratic Party to reveal the unsurprising information that its insiders were greasing the wheels for Hillary to thwart Bernie. Good thing this may have been Putin’s work. If an American President had authorized such an operation he/she might have been impeached and removed. Its much safer to get the intel from a source like the KGB or whatever Russia now calls it.

Here is the rest of Reich’s list not that it will dissuade Republicans tribally inclined to vote for their party’s candidate even if he has little but contempt for the religious convictions so many of them place above loyalty to nation.

PIG’S BLOOD

My Buddy sent me Andrew Sullivan’s long piece in the New York Magazine which mentioned this fascist libel on General Pershing which I found in a British newspaper’s webpage on You Tube.

I grew up with close family friends from the Philippines. I had a Muslim roommate in High School. Having seen this video I can state unequivocally that anyone who sees this and votes for Donald Trump for President of the United States is a traitor to everything the nation’s founders hoped for the United States.

If that means you………YOUR FIRED! Emigrate to Russia where you can have a leader who joins you in your admiration of this pig blood drenched huckster.

I had a few choice thoughts on Trump in a temporary blog I set up in January when this one went Kaflooey including my snow sculpture tribute to Ms. South Carolina.

My [Buddy] just won’t cut me any slack

From: “Your Buddy”
To:
Cc:
Sent: Mon, 23 May 2016 10:23:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Andrew Sullivan thinks Donald Trump may defeat Hillary Clinton.

Jeez, Harry:

“what Kennedy et al did re: Vietnam at least they didn’t have contempt for the system.” That isn’t even a half-assed attempted rationalization. The lives of more than 50,000 American military persons squandered in Vietnam, but the honchos “didn’t have contempt for the system”? Fuck the system. The venture was a disaster.

[Your Buddy

My Buddy thinks I’m prissy about language because I usually xxx out Fxxx or turn it into an “ef” or “effing.” I began cleaning up my act in fifth grade after I copied my Dad and spewed out lots of &#%@xx#()xx$%&. He told me no one would pay attention to me if I always cut loose and then added that swearing was a good way to get people’s attention if it was doled out in miserly portions. I think my Buddy’s “fuck” up there meets that test. Please excuse me if it exceeds your tolerance.

Here’s my reply to him:

[Buddy],

I think you have a point and a pretty good one. Lots of wars are started by folks who are simply following the conventional path which leads them to go to war. Barbara Tuchman made that point about World War 1 in her book Guns of August that JFK was reading at the outset of the Cuban Missile Crises. And yet despite bringing that powder keg to a sane solution he kept sending advisers to Vietnam. We had to stop the dominoes you know.

We will never know what Kennedy would have done. We only know that Johnson let himself be drawn down the primrose path to disaster for the 57,000 troops who died. My Grandfather felt the same way about Woodrow Wilson.

So, the question I should ask myself is will Donald Trump spare us another Vietnam? His ego gives me no comfort on that point even if Hillary has copied the Neo Cons to triangulate her way to the center.

Obama has done a pretty good job of trying to extricate us from the Bush Wars and he gets no credit for it. In fact, it may be true that Syria and Iraq and the US might all have been better off if Obama had been a little less passive.

I don’t have any love for Hillary and her pandering to the conventional so that she could keep her options open for future political advancement. On the other hand I am in awe of her success. Of course, that success is due in large part to the Republican Party and its self fulfilling prophecy that she could become President. Had they ignored her she would have likely faded into obscurity.

To me the most remarkable irony was the Limbaugh gambit in 2008 of telling the nation to vote for Barack Obama. [NOTE: in my email I originally told my Buddy that Rush was calling Obama a “fantastic candidate:” Not quite] Limbaugh was parroted by all sorts of Limbaugh wannabes. At the time I saw their endorsement as a crass way to saddle Democrats with a black candidate who according to convention would get slaughtered in the Presidential Race. Too bad for the Limbaughites that Bush had soured the public on his wars and was blamed with the mortgage mess and that the public actually took to heart all the supportive words for Obama from the Republican pundits. Combined with the desire of American voters to get over the Civil Rights Era in a single election America found itself with President Obama.

The GOP’s next job was to backpedal and discover that Obama was the most “ultra” liberal President of all time (not if you ask my son who thinks he’s a neocon) and a Muslim and a terrorist sympathizer and a desecrator of the Constitution and generally the most incompetent President of all time. Hell from the moment he took office he was to blame for the damned oil leak in the Gulf, his State of the Union speech was interrupted by a Republican Congressman shouting that he was a liar and Mitch McConnell telling America from Day one that the Republican’s first job was to see that Obama wasn’t reelected. I meet otherwise perfectly rational people who believe all this garbage.

And now I’m supposed to fall in line with these nimrods behind Donald Trump? Hell Putin supports him too. What a class act cheering section.

No, I’ll stick with a conventional candidate and hope that the Norwegians don’t saddle her with one of their damned Nobel Peace Prizes so that she feels the need to kick sand over it like a cat hiding its doodie in a litter box.

Harry

Unto the fifth generation – Not!

My children are as allergic to today’s GOP as though it was a toxic substance. If it had not become the party of God and the vulgarian, double talker, Donald Trump, they might have become fifth generation Republicans.

Using the best examples from my family’s history I’d like to talk about the preceding four generations.

The Grand Old Party began its life a few years before my Great Grandfather entered New York harbor from Ireland in 1860 one month after Lincoln’s election and two months before his inauguration. “What’s the news?” called a passenger on his ship as they passed an outward bound vessel. “South Carolina has seceded from the Union,” was the reply. Thomas Robb was twelve years old. It would be four years of war plus seven years of Reconstruction before he could cast his first vote as a naturalized citizen.

Thomas was the son of a protestant land manager who had threats made against his life by Irish Nationalists. The men who left that threat attached to a prize bull they killed were largely Catholics in Ireland and Democrats in America. It’s not surprising then that Thomas would vote Republican.

If he had any doubts about his party’s virtues one incident sealed his thinking. Continue reading

Hidden motivations behind some of my posts

I don’t get that many email comments about my blog posts so I do value my Buddy’s retorts even though he frequently beats me up.

I was taken to task over my comments relating to police relations with the black community in “Driving While Black.”

In addition to the crapweasel comments impugning 99% of all politicians he sent me a couple on the distressing execution of a Chicago teenager. This one came today as a simple link to the New York Times editorial on the subject. The events put Chicago’s “men in blue” in a very bad light which is a little surprising when it comes to my buddy. I sort of think he wanted me to see how President Obama’s old Chief of Staff, now Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has so shamefully conducted himself in this matter. If so, then the Men in Blue are only collateral damage. Its just one more way my Buddy can remind me that Democrats are not necessarily all angels.

My Buddy sent me this response to my Crapweasle post:

Of what relevance was the source “conservative”or “liberal” from which Michelle Malkin’s comment was pulled? Isn’t a (more or less) valid observation, a more or less valid observation? Further, are there more “conservative”pundits than “liberal”pundits, which justified your reference to the genesis of her comment as having been from a “legion”of “conservative”pundits?
You didn’t know that numerous Democrats apparently voted “to turn their backs on the Syrians during the Christmas Season? See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/house-democrats-refugee-bill_564e5101e4b0258edb30ca4e.

As for lawyer jokes, what do lawyers use for birth control? Their personalities.

[your Buddy]

My eight loyal readers who may often wonder what motivates me might find my reply to my Buddy informative. This is it:

Great joke.

As for the political orientation of Malkin it was not critical to her argument but it was a convenient data point for me to mention for my political ends. I suspect that I am distrusted, in particular, by local DFL activists. I enjoy confounding them with potshots directed against folks in the other party they consider villainous. I like the thought that they end up agreeing with me no matter how grudgingly. It’s even worth all the potshots I get from you about my not being even handed.

I am keen to telegraph my constant irritation with the GOP to this crowd because they pay a lot of attention to the public schools. They had a huge turnout in this last election and they are ardently anti- Art Johnston especially in my back yard.

Ironically, I don’t think my GOP bashing hurts me with Republicans because I don’t think they tend to read my blog but they give me some credit for being a skeptic about spending and taxation.

My suspicions may be way off and I don’t conduct polling to know the effect of my blog on readers. I write a little intuitively.

I don’t think I have ever put that motivation into words before but it has been a long standing goal of mine to keep the XXX XXXXXX crowd at bay. XX has a passel of pals that detest me and they always put up my foe’s lawnsigns. There is a line in the New Testament about showing kindness to your enemies to drive them nuts and set their hair on fire. I like that.

Harry

Note: My paraphrase of Romans 12:20 is a little off. Hair isn’t mentioned.

Crapweasels

More Un-Vetted Refugees Coming to Minnesota?

After ISIS terrorists killed 130 people and injured 352 more in Paris in coordinated attacks just this month, serious questions are being asked about Syrian refugees now being welcomed to the United States. One of the organizers of the Paris attacks entered the European Union under refugee status and another had fought with ISIS in Syria according to The London Telegraph.
President Obama has committed to resettle 10,000 more Syrian refugees in the United States, despite serious concerns about the vetting process of those being relocated.
FBI Director James Comey has said that it’s “impossible to vet every single Syrian Refugee.”
While 27 state governors have so-far voiced objection to resettling un-vetted (or poorly vetted) Syrian refugees in their home states, Governor Mark Dayton calls that “grandstanding” and appears prepared to welcome them to Minnesota with open arms. US Senators from Minnesota, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar agree.
At a recent NAACP event, Governor Dayton said to those attending who questioned bringing more Syrian Refugees to Minnesota at this time, “If you are that intolerant, that much of a racist and a bigot, then find another state, [you] really should go somewhere else.”
And Senator Franken said that we must “do part of our job like the rest of the international community to take in refugees.
Senator Klobuchar said, “I will say these are legally vetted, screened refugees that would come in. And they can actually fill some of the jobs that we have available in states like mine, where we have lower unemployment rates.”

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I can’t head into the Christmas season without thinking about the challenges to peace on Earth. I have avoided pleas to blog about the Duluth Schools in hopes of the dawning of a new Era but my mind is always roving over the news events of the day beyond Duluth’s borders. Sometimes, as with this unwelcome email request for me to donate to a Republican cause it comes right into my computer inbox.

My Buddy recently “twitted” me about politicians (which would also include elected school board members) being “crapweasels.” The comment was pulled from one of the legion of “conservative” pundits, Michelle Malkin, who said 99% of all politicians are “crapweasels.” I replied by asking if a pundit like Michelle, who bent over backward not to offend her readers by avoiding the whole truth, couldn’t be considered a crapweasel too. My Buddy agreed that a pundit, even one coining such an expressive pejorative, could be a crapweasel. I thanked my Buddy for his agreement and said we crapweasels wore Michelle’s designation with pride. (not unlike lawyers who like to tell lawyer jokes) Didja hear the one about why Lawyers never sue sharks? Professional courtesy.

I certainly think the Republicans grubbing for money to protect us from Syrian refugee/jihadists have earned Michelle’s appelation. Why, it was only a few weeks ago that Republican congressman were waving the picture of a drowned child, Aylan Kurdi, in front of television cameras to condemn President Obama. Now they want to turn their backs on the Syrians during the Christmas Season.

I googled for some of the pictures of the crapweasels who recently waved pictures of the drowned Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, in front of television cameras. I found this short note from the Albany Times Union showing how pols of both parties spoke out of both sides of their crapweasely mouths regarding Syrian refugees.

Here’s a Democratic politician being a crapweasel. I could have posted a picture of a Republican waving little Aylan Kurdi’s picture around but my Buddy might have accused me of being bigoted toward my old political party.

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Among Florida’s other exotic species

It was gratifying to get one last look at the Palm Beach Post before I spend the rest of my day in the air returning to Duluth. Among other things I read a revealing story from the Post about two of the Republicans top three polling candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Not only do they both live in Palm Beach County (Jeb Bush lives elsewhere in Florida) but the two of them are in the process of undermining each other. Carson is hurting “The Donald” in the humility and faith department and Trump is trying to take out the good Doctor, as he has all of the other GOP candidates, in his St. Valentines Day fashion. In this case its with the hot button issue of the moment – “fetal tissue research.”

One last unedited political reverie…

… before the Duluth Shool Board election season kicks off

When I get back to Duluth from my Florida sojourn I’ll stick to school board business but that’s a few days off yet. Getting away from it all doesn’t really put it out of mind but does offer distance which can give one a healthy sense of perspective.

For some folks in Duluth my reputation as a Republican, freighted as that is with so many associations – the NRA, State’s Rights, Union busting, Moral Majority, Anti-choice, has always left me suspect even though my Republicanism was the polar opposite of these associations. That’s not true of all of them. Mike Jaros, who Republicans considered the next door neighbor of a commie when I arrived here in 1974, has become a fan. Today he laments that the GOP doesn’t have more folks like me in it despite the fact I ran against him twice in 1976 and 1978. Not that politics wasn’t rough and tumble then. It just wasn’t quite like recent years crusade mentality. It didn’t hurt that I called him up in 1976, told him was going to run against him, and then asked if we could have a cup of coffee together. I’ve never forgotten our conversation. He had roomed as a freshman legislator with my next door neighbor in Mankato, Dave Cummiskey. He probably didn’t know what to make of me when I told him that I’d gone door to door for Democrat Dave in 1972. That was also the year I declared myself a Republican. The Republican Dave ran against was growing senile but even back then that didn’t necessarily undermine party loyalty.

Since I filed as an independent candidate for Congress in 1992 I’ve pretty much been a man without a party although after that brief heresy I came back into the Republican fold. It helps me understand the ties that keeps today’s Democrats and Republicans from straying. Straying feels almost like family disloyalty.

So, today I read the Palm Beach Post’s scathing criticism of Florida Governor Rick Scott’s administration. Scott was a controversial nominee of the party after his company was given the biggest fine by the Federal Government for medicare fraud – $1.7 billion dollars.

Bear that in mind when you read today’s PBP editorial. The editorial gives a thumbnail sketch of 5 major Scott Administration appointees who resigned under “a cloud.” I kept thinking about how appalled my Republican Dad would have been to think this fellow was a Republican when I read it.

Dad got the political bug in junior high. I don’t know why. He made up lists of candidates for his parents to vote for at election time. He took particular umbrage to Boss Pendergast of St. Louis who’s corrupt administration lay just beyond Dad’s Independence Missouri doorstep. This was the late 1930’s when the GOP was still populated by small town progressives who decried corruption. To get a good sense of the era that produced such people I recommend Doris Kerns Goodwin’s Bully Pulpit about Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. That was a generation before my Dad was born and it was interrupted by World War I, the Roaring Twenties and Prohibition but those events left a firm imprint on the Grand Old Party of my Father’s time.

My Dad’s father in law, George Robb was born two generations earlier. An escaped slave lived next door to his family home in Assaria, Kansas. When Larry Lapsley died George’s razor strapp Dad, Thomas Robb came back muttering darkly about the evils of slavery after having helped prepare the ex slave’s body for burial. Although my Grandfather never dared ask his father what affected him so he gave a speech about Lapsley to a bunch of business types in the 1940’s or 50’s in which he speculated that Lapsley might have been castrated which was a simple agricultural practice of the slave era when children were sold away from their mothers and their fathers were treated like steers. (Made eunuchs to control breeding) After the Civil War tens of thousands of freed slaves traveled the countryside searching out lost (sold) loved ones.

When my Grandfather Robb was a boy the GOP was very much the “Party of Lincoln.” It had calved into two portions one financed by the great plutocrats of the age and the other by small farmers and businessmen being bled dry by the depredations of monopolies like the Railroads. Sadly but not surprisingly neither of these interests much worried about the fate of freed slaves after Reconstruction came crashing to a halt in the aftermath of the 1876 election. Black interests were sold down the river again and the nail in the coffin followed with the big business Supreme Court’s 1896 ruling, two decades later, in Plessy vs. Fergusson.

I was born in 1950 four years before Plessy was overturned by the Supreme Court led by a liberal Republican Earl Warren whose picture I saw when I went to my swimming lessons. It was on an “Impeach Earl Warren” Billboard. My swimming teacher (and next door neighbor) built a pool in his backyard shortly after the Holiday Inn told him he couldn’t use their pool for Red Cross instruction anymore unless he barred black children from the lessons. That was the beginning of my era of Republicanism. It’s been several era’s actually as John Birchers’ and Dixiecrats flooded the party and then the “me” generation’s now aging cohort smoked doobies through the Vietnam War; latched onto the Moral Majority; then championed Reagan’s “big tent” Republicanism before the party was downsized by purging RINO’s like me in favor of the PTL Club of Pat Robertson and business leaders like Rick Scott who knew how to make a buck and spend them to win public office with all the official GOP talking points.

Even if the heirs of Mike Jaros look on me with suspicion I can’t help myself or my blog. I hate talking points whether they come from political operatives like Roger Ailes of Fox News or sore winners of the Red Plan who would rather assassinate the character of folks who question them rather than own up to the disappointments of their excessive spending. Remember that when you drive by one of our new temples to education over the crappiest streets in Minnesota.

Ohhh that persistant gadfly…..

A riposte:

Harry:

But the Koch Brothers are not unique in their “Advertisement buying”, relative to Democratic financial contributors. So, “more accurate”, would not make your such characterization fair. But partisans seek demons, don’t they?

[Your Buddy]

My Reply:

Buddy,

Fair and legal are often in opposition.

As for accuracy, it’s always relative whether it’s your accuracy or mine.

Harry

The gadfly’s gadfly bites my haunches again

From: [Harry’s Buddy]
Date: 05/04/2015 7:01 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: Harry Welty
Subject: A letter on my making an ass of myself at lincolndemocrat.com

Harry:

From http://lincolndemocrat.com/?p=13375#more-13375:

I’ve never had much truck for those would subvert our election processes through misinformation, vote rigging or vote buying on the scale of the Koch Brothers.

The Koch Brothers buy votes? Pray tell how that happens; and if it does, whether and how such behavior is peculiar to the Koch Brothers. And you complain that Art Johnston’s character is being assassinated?

I suggest that you damage your credibility when you resort to bullshit.

[Your Buddy]

My Reply:

Buddy,

That was an ill considered phrase. “Advertisement buying” would have been more accurate than vote buying.

I wrote this letter month’s ago to have an arch liberal critic of mine back off her attack on me. Altering my text after the fact would have been dishonest. I was pretty sure that she would have regarded the Koch boys much like I do – as multi billionaires with too much financial leverage in the ideological arena for the Nation’s well being. I should have said that but didn’t.

That, however, wasn’t the chief point of my letter. It was human frailty and foibles. I guess you could say my overstatement where the Koch’s are concerned is but another example of that.

Harry

Liberal Guilt

My Buddy sent me a link to a post in one of his favorite blog’s, the neoconservative Powerline. John HinderAching regularly praises all things conservative and speaks in (to use one of Attorney Mary Rice’s preferred words) “derogation” of all things liberal.

In this post on what I presume will be anchorman, Brian Williams, eventual downfall for grossly exaggerating the dangers he faced in a war zone HinderAching posits that William’s boasting was a symptom of “liberal guilt.”

Its an interesting post I recommend to anyone but I’m inclined to shrug off the “liberal” end of the guilt. You could call it “survivor’s guilt” without using the newsman’s transgressions as a weapon to beat up liberals. I could just as easily praise liberals for at least having some humility or guilt about their wealth versus the blase’ satisfaction of all too many rich conservatives who feel that their wealth proves their superiority and insulates them from any sense that their privileges leave them owing anything to anyone else. BTW- my Buddy would call both of these arguments “tendentious” (biased argumentation.) Then again, he’s the one who nettled me by sending me the Powerline post.

One of my favorite historians of the early founders, Joseph Ellis, committed the all too common crime of claiming to be a war veteran when he was no such thing. He’s not alone. I think such actions have led to laws like the Stolen Valor Act although I’m not sure falsely claiming veteran status is strictly illegal.

There is one passage of the Powerline Post that I was particularly interested in related to the persecution of my school board colleague Art Johnston:

Jurors are sometimes called upon to determine the implications of a witness giving false testimony. In the state where I practice, the standard jury instruction says that if the jury decides a witness has testified falsely about one matter, they may reject his testimony on that issue but give it credibility on some or all other matters, or they may choose to reject his testimony altogether. In this case, Williams’s false testimony on the helicopter doesn’t mean we should reject everything he ever said on NBC Nightly news. But if I am right in diagnosing the source of Williams’s fatal lies, we should evaluate with great care everything that he and his colleagues tell us on subjects that are touched by liberal guilt, which in today’s world, are most of them.

Readers of my blog know I’ve hinted darkly about the past of one of Art’s accusers. That I have not gone into detail, as of yet, is more a matter of timing than a reluctance to spill the beans. I need time to go over Attorney Mary Rice’s slanted discovery work before I go public. I also plan to find legal representation in advance for any possible legal repercussions which might ensue.

I asked Mary Rice about relying on the testimony of a liar when she testified before us and did my foolish pantomime dance after our chairman repeatedly gagged me during my questioning of Ms. Rice. I believe Ms. Rice dissembled when I put the question to her. She suggested that I told her my memories of these past events were fuzzy. Not quite.

At this point Art Johnston’s defense will rely far more on the protection afforded him by our First Amendment than on the unsavory past of one of his accusers. In fact, that past may be completely irrelevant to Art’s defense. It is not, however, irrelevant to Art’s defense where the court of public opinion is concerned.

To steal heavily from a familiar old saying: There are lies, damned lies, and the things that the Duluth School District tells you.

Heavens! What an illiberal thing for me to say.

Retiring Bloggers

My Buddy sent me an email recently that I took to be dancing on the grave of my only serious blog addiction. Andrew Sullivan is planning on retiring. I hope he hands the reigns over to his crew and keeps some sort of remote executive function because I’ll miss his blog if it retires with him.

My last post included a link to one of his posts on the loss of citizen participation that seems to follow the loss of local papers. (I had the wrong link for a while but just corrected it)

My Buddy asked me:

But will Harry’s blog ever end? Will he ever get tired?

To which I replied:

Harry gets distracted periodically but mine is a lot less high maintenance. [than Sullivan’s blog]

I find a lot of great things on the Daily Dish offered up by a host of smart people with all the lurkers and dim wits sidelined so that they don’t muck up a good conversation. Here’s a post one of them offered up on a subject I am quite keen on – the inanity of the GOP (not that lots of Democrats aren’t inane too Buddy. In fact I’ll have something to report on local leftish politics shortly regarding my meeting on Saturday)