U.S. House Of Representatives (District 8) Race
Kirsten Kennedy DFL
Michelle D. Lee DFL
Jason Metsa DFL
Joe Radinovich DFL
Ray “Skip” Sandman Independent
Soren Christian Sorensen DFL
Pete Stauber Republican
Harry Robb Welty Republican
I have more than accomplished what I set out to do when I filed for Congress seven weeks ago… Continue reading
The story today was a clawback from the suggestion that Joe Radinovich had sided with Nolan’s attempts to rehabilitate his butt groper buddy. The women who formerly worked for Nolan all said Joe had done the right thing and fired the lout. But back when Leah Pipher (hope I spelled that right) Radinovich was blamed for undermining her endorsement at the last minute bringing in a Twin Cities group representing latinos to complain that Phifer was too closely allied with the border guards enforcing Trump’s anti border crossing initiatives. In politics as in life grievances do not die easily and plenty of DFL women will remember the Latino bean-bag.
I’ve just been reading about the Meuse Argonne offensive in WW I and surrendering troops being shot so as not to become a nuisance. Bean-bag is pretty tame compared to that. If Radinovich shot Pipher’s campaign dead it could also be described as successful politics.
Nolan is now a burden on Attorney General, Lori Swanson’s campaign and she has so far steadfastly stood by him. The story in in MinnPost made Nolan look silly. A nice old guy who was prepared to shrug off the grabby side of an old friend from his first time in Congress back in the 1970’s. By 1970’s standards that was pretty tame. What was less winsome was Nolan’s fond reminiscing of the legislators of his Era blind folding themselves to grope the secretarial pool to see if they could identify them by touch. I was in college back then and that sounds creepy to me. Legislators, even if they are in their 20’s have power beyond their years. Laughing it off is cheap.
The great irony is that the real adversaries for the “me too” movement are not DFLers but Trump supporters. A recent poll says that 79% of Republicans are rabid Trump supporters. I’m part of a rump one-fifth that find the man a disgrace.
I guess these folks are the “deplorables” made famous by Hillary Clinton’s ill thought out words. They feel as poorly treated by big shots as women do about men in positions of power. Both are exacting revenge on the powerful. I sympathize….. but sadly the steam I had this morning to talk about tribal politics has expired. I don’t feel philosophical at the moment and I kinda regret starting a post that I’ve lost interest in fully explaining.
Unless I come back tonight or tomorrow that may be about all I have to say on the subject. I don’t even feel like proof reading this post.
My hypocrisy detector is on full alert after this story about a groper in Congressman Nolan’s Office made the Duluth News Tribune. Evidently Republican candidate Pete Stauber’s staff is in a tizzy over it:
Radinovich’s DFL primary opponents seemed to be keeping mum about the report on Thursday, but the Republican Party was not. Pete Stauber’s campaign spokesperson, Caroline Tarwid, tweeted that Radinovich “took no action in protecting the employees” on the Nolan campaign, and National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Maddie Anderson said Radinovich “enthusiastically agreed to let someone fired for sexual harassment join his team.”
I wonder if Pete’s campaign is indignant about the man who’s breast pocket Pete is peaking out from?
Also, what’s up with your party affiliation? You were a Republican. Then, the party abandoned you, so then you’re a Democrat. But now you’re running as a Republican. ARE you a Republican again now? Why should I, Jane Q. Voter, vote for you when your party affiliation is prone to such cussedly diametrical opposites? I’m a Democrat/Republican—c’mon, I want to vote for someone I know is on the team for real!
I am an American first and foremost. That is my primary affiliation. And I’ve always cast my vote with America not a mere political party in mind. That has meant my votes for candidates from both parties as well as a few independent candidates. And Remember that George Washington, a model of humility, fidelity and honesty as well as the first President of our nation, was worried for good reason about political parties. He called them “factions”. He imagined that like in France during the Revolution such factions could cause much mischief and he was right. They damn near tore the nation apart leading up to the Civil War. They seem to be trying to replicate that experiment now.
I’m sure you have read many of my posts on Good Republicans or God’s Own Party or the Bush Leagues Those are nothing if not a lament for a very different Republican Party. I’ve been struggling for a quarter century trying to reconcile a great party’s history with what it has become.
As I have written before. I like Democrats. I tried being one for five or six years. I’d simply prefer liking them as my fellow Americans rather than as a cheap imitation of the good things that Democrats stand for.
Are you a traitor to American values too?
And this morning I also interviewed for thirty minutes with the Editorial Board of the Duluth News Tribune. Of five members only two were present to grill me. One stepped down today and the other two were out of town.
My 65 second riff last night on Trump’s unhealthy admiration for murderous tyrants and threats to democracy could become soul crushing should it get stuck on repeat. I’m more inclined to take a philosophical view of Trump’s machinations. He is a wake up call to people about Democracy’s vulnerability. Its rather like the image taken of Earth by the Apollo crews from the Moon. From far away the Earth looks like what it is, a fragile place at the mercy of any wayward asteroid. Our Democracy may seem scrappy because it has survived civil war, one particularly nasty Republican spawned depression, the rise of Dictators in the 1940’s and the Cold War. It seems like after all that it should be able to weather an empty, narcissist like Donald Trump.
How did Donald Trump get elected? Continue reading
I got a question from WDIO today on the case which guts public employee unions. I returned one email reaction. Then I returned a second email with additional comments.
Email from WDIO:
Just checking if you want to weigh in with your thoughts on the Supreme Court Janus v. AFSCME ruling. I’m trying to get all the CD08 candidates in our story on the Web.
Let me know if you can pass along a statement.
MY FIRST RESPONSE:
This decision threatens to eviscerate public employee unions by treating even legitimate negotiation expenses as speech. It violates fair play and past compromises and demonstrates that the Republican Party has succeeded in making the Supreme Court a partisan branch of the federal government.
MY SECOND RESPONSE:
BTW my father was the president of the Mankato State college faculty union and taught contract negotiation in their business school. I wrote about it once in the Reader. It has a pretty accurate prediction in it.
AND ONE MORE THING I FORGOT TO TELL WDIO:
My Dad was a life long Republican.
My computer just died so I am composing this on my cell phone. I hate doing this.
I attended a fascinating debate in Hibbing last night at which all the congressional candidates sans one appeared. Trump’s toadie.
From what people told me afterward I made an impression…a good one.
Two people caught my attention. One was a former union man who spent 3 years taking his corrupt union to court in a court system weighted heavily Democrat and pro union. We both patted each other on the back for our valiant if fruitless battles.
The other was a Hibbing teacher who had taken my father’s contract law class and who told me my Dad was beloved in the business school. If it wasn’t for my dead computer I would write more. HOWEVER. Check out my next post. It’s about Abood…….
Limbos, of course, refers to the Limbaugh listeners who have become as mindless in their enthusiasm for Donald Trump as they have been for the man from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. With that has his hometown I can’t help but wonder if he imagined himself to be a super hero when he was a kid.
I just learned that William F. Buckley’s intellectual heir, George Will, has left the Republican Party and urged all voters to vote against Republicans.
Better late than never George. I hope he would consider me an exception especially as I had the foresight to see what was happening to The Party of Lincoln thirty years ago and tried to do something about it over and over again. I began threatening to return to it a couple years ago for the party’s redemption not for revenge. I found a reminiscence about how I became a Republican written a few years ago in the blog. As with the Red Plan I find a gallant battle hard to stop fighting.
…to lower taxes…in the name of killing welfare.
And I love the New Yorker’s latest cover:
A lot of the folks recruited to work in the mines on the Iron Range were once considered a bunch of dirty, expoloitable immigrants. Have they finally advanced to become persecuted white people now?
After a day spent far away from Donald Trump’s ego boosting rally at the arena (that one insider gives me credit for talking Duluth into voting for) I woke thinking about something unifying and faithful to the Minnesota I moved to in the Era of Hubert Humphrey. You might have heard of him. In 1948 he helped drive the Dixiecrats out of the Democratic Party at his party’s national convention. He had the temerity to cry out for an end to “state’s rights” and new future of Civil Rights:
“To those who say — My friends, to those who say that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them we are 172 years late. To those who say — To those who say that this civil-rights program is an infringement on states’ rights, I say this: The time has arrived in America for the Democratic party to get out of the shadow of states’ rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.”
I woke trying to recall the names of the young Minnesota brothers who walked around the world not long after I moved to Minnesota. Thank goodness for Wikipedia. Their entry is short.
They were the Kunst Brothers. I don’t know when I’ve seen a remembrance of them in a newspaper – maybe not for thirty years. However, when David and his brother John set out from tiny Caledonia, Minnesota in Minnesota’s southwestern corner of Minnesota (see map above) in 1970 with a mule they called “Willie Makeit” in the middle of the Vietnam War to walk around the world they caught a lot of attention. That only doubled when they got halfway around Earth to Afghanistan and John was murdered by mountain bandits. After four months recovering from the gunshot to his chest Dave continued his trek with a third brother Pete from the spot in Afghanistan where they were ambushed. John ended his trip solo in October 1974 a few weeks after I’d married and moved to Duluth, after Richard Nixon’s helicopter flight out of the Presidency and half a year before the end of America’s debacle in Vietnam.
Remembering this small shard of history when a couple young American’s went out in search of the world rather than trek to an Arena in Duluth to hear a man preen before an audience of folks who follow him like pimple faced kids at a professional wrestling match was a reminder that greatness is not measured in mouth. It is measured in deed.
A short note before I share the letter.
I was alive when “back alley” abortions took the lives of women. I formed my opinions on the subject of abortion in 1960’s and 70’s as a then liberal Republican. my thinking aligned with the Republican Supreme Court justices who ruled on Roe vs. Wade. My opinion hasn’t changed nearly as much as our society has where sex is concerned. I always wanted to make contraceptives available rather than rely on abortions. I was appalled that “pro lifers” of that era were more anti premarital sex than they were anti fetus killing. As you will see in my letter to the MCCL I haven’t changed my mind.
I have always felt that abortions, like guns and traffic and food production was a legitimate area for sensible regulation. I have always sympathized with the folks who felt that human life, even before birth, was sacred. But I’ve grown impatient with such people when they fail to act as though the life that follows birth is also sacred and have cemented themselves to a political party that makes a virtue of the poor being forced to “fend for themselves.”
The Pro-Life movement is woefully ignorant about what will result should Roe vs. Wade be overturned. They think that it will be the end of all abortions in America. That’s obviously wrong. If Roe is struck down it will take the passage of a pro life amendment with by a 3/4ths majority of states to make it illegal in all fifty states. That will not happen in my lifetime. Abortions will always be available to the well-to-do even in states that would outlaw it. All they will have to do is travel to a state where its legal. When I was in high school such folks had to have the money to fly to Sweden.
Here’s that letter I sent to the MCCL
MCCL stands for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life: Continue reading
Minnesota’s Republicans are gathering this weekend in our fair city by Lake Superior. Welcome to you all and thank you for contributing to our tourist sales taxes.
I remember the 1994 State Republican Convention I attended as a delegate to support our Governor, Arne Carlson, for re-nomination. I remember seeing Tim Pawlenty at the Convention supporting his former Republican leader in the House of Representatives fight off a challenge from a Anti-abortion zealot Allen Quist. Quist won the endorsement over the seated Governor Carlson who then won in the primary because lots of Democrats were scared wittless about Quist voted in the Republican primary, not to screw up the Republicans, but to insure that Carlson would be on the ballot for the General election. They gladly helped reelect our sensible, fiscally conservative, but moderate Republican candidate. 1994 was my best year as a Republican narrowly edging out the Republican’s “Minnesota Massacre” election of 1978.
This weekend it is Tim Pawlenty who is giving the Party the cold shoulder. Like Donald Trump who called for Korean Talks and then pulled out of them, Pawlenty is sending the world a message……one that harks back to the 1994 State Republican Convention.
By the way, I recently reread one of my columns on abortion from the Duluth Reader published back in 2004. Where have all the Fetuses Gone? Its still a pretty concise explanation of my thinking.
As for my relations with the folks who took my old party away from me. I’m still smarting from the time they told me that I was a worse mass murderer than Mao tse-tung, Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler put together.
I spent a lot more time writing and thinking about that speech I gave at Duluth’s Radisson Hotel to the Republican convention than I did to yesterday’s column about impeachment. I was proud enough of it to put it on my old website. You can read it in its entirety here.
I just read my latest column for the Duluth Reader. I write about the recent “2017” presidential election. I was only off by a year.
I’m still pleased with it. Its called Impeachment and Removal of a President
I have always considered myself the most reasonable person. I am far more inclined to begin most arguments by putting the other fellow’s or gal’s shoes and walking around in them till I get blisters. I have a reputation ( at least I suspect I do ) for being an off-the-wall bull-in-a-china-shop. As for being off-the-wall its true that, unlike most people, I’ve gotten into the habit of challenging the adage: “the nail that stands out will be pounded down.” Politically it caused me to become:
1. a Republican (a Nixon opponent) during the wave of college anti-Nixon marches
2. a apostle of moderate Republican values in the most Democratic legislative District in America
3. a staunch critic of the Republican Party from within and then a challenger to the Party in an “independent” race for Congress in 1992
4. a School Board candidate who lost three elections before finally prevailing on a fourth attempt
5. a ENOUGH FOR NOW!!!…..I just paused to fold the laundry and Claudia showed me Trevor Noah’s latest commentary about America’s Ongoing S***storm.
The point of the list above is simple. Against the odds as a grown up I’ve become the little kid who shouted at the Emperor that he has no clothes on during the parade surrounded by the king’s secret police. I once wrote an ending to that story. But dear Readerss, this is not a kingdom. It is, or at least once was, the most formidable democracy on Earth. And yet the gatekeepers of our Democracy kept their mouths shut as the party I once belonged to (with some attitude I might add), allowed themselves to be pushed silently into a corner. Then they put duct tape over their own mouths.
The great irony is that millions of these gatekeepers who once said they were voting for “the lesser of two evils” in the 2016 election are now preparing to reelect a Congress full of the folks that put them in the corner while handing them duct tape. Well, I may run jackass, impossible campaigns but I will not support candidates who champion a minute by minute liar.
I have tried to fit in with Democrats. I agree with them on much of their social agenda. My chief differences with them are nit picky but serious. For instance, the idea that humans don’t have the ability to extract copper and nickle from fresh water rich northern Minnesota without poisoning our great grandchildren bother’s me. It bothers me more that its an issue that may very well elect Pete Stauber to Congress. It wouldn’t be the first time such a debate killed the prospects for Minnesota Democrats. The last time was called the Minnesota Massacre. I was a Republican then and it was the second or third most gratifying political event of my 67 years on Earth.
I like Pete. In any election prior to 2012 I would have gladly cast a vote for him. But recent years and this year especially, have changed America. Pete Stauber is a Trump supporter because the people who will vote in both the primary and the general elections detest Trump’s well intentioned critics…..like Trevor Noah.
Here’s a thumb nail of the plan percolating in my head.
I will not run for Congress for the third time. At least I won’t file for election. The possibility of my winning is exceptionally remote, Doing it would require me to bend over backwards to complete campaign data releases that I would have to fill out myself. I’ve done it before in 2006 and they make filling out taxes look like child’s play. More importantly I have no interest in serving in today’s ineffectual Congress where every day is consumed with raising money for the next election and there is no time to read books and be reflective. This has turned our Congress into one of the most ignorant collections of leaders imaginable.
I will encourage both Democrats and Republicans to write my name in for both the Democratic and Republican primaries and, despite being in France all September, for the November General election.
In the meantime I will cobble a book together explaining how America became a scorpion intent on stinging itself into paralysis. I have thousands of posts already written about that. I simply need to select the best and tidy them up a bit while putting them into some kind of linear order. I will begin offering the as yet unwritten book for sale. Any money raised will be sent to me and I’ll have to declare it for taxes as income. Therefore I will keep some small portion of the proceeds to pay for what the “earnings” cost me in taxes so as not to lose money in the process. Someday I’d like to earn money on book sales but not this year. I’m well enough fixed that any; book royalties would be more for my vanity than for creature comforts.
The rest of the money I will likely donate to some of the better candidates running to remove the taint of Donald Trump from our government even though he cannot be removed from our history any more than we can expunge 300 years of slavery. When the history of Trump is written I hope my descendants read the books to find out what the hell happened and make sure its not repeated.
I don’t plan to post all that much until I’m back from France in six months. I’m still working hard to learn French and read French history. I’ll just stick the occasional post to keep my eight loyal readers from falling asleep. The rest of my time will be devoted to selecting past posts that explain how America trumped itself.
Despite the impossibly compelling news items today about our unraveling Presidency I have only one item to mention in the blog today.
It comes from the NPR interview with the author of the soon to be released novel “Varina.” It is about the wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
In real life Varina Davis left the South and took up life in New York City for the years following the war. I can’t vouch for the book but the author mentioned an anecdote that accords with other accounts I’ve heard about the leaders of the Civil War who were more interested in plow shares than swords in its aftermath. These included such luminaries as Robert E. Lee.
Here’s the sentance about Varina’s post war view of slavery that caught my attention:
“She, in later age, said very clearly: The right side won the war. “
Civil Rights in my lifetime came close to nailing the corpse of racism in a transylvanian coffin. Republicans, beginning in the era of George Wallace, did their best to use racism-lite to win over white southern voters with soft core appeals to their racist heritage until eventually they swamped the Party of Lincoln with the descendants of recalcitrant confederate loving, black vote suppressing, chip-on-the-shoulder types. I lived through a lot of this with Nixon, Reagan and most recently Donald Trump. There hasn’t been much room for Lincoln lovers like me in the Party since its ugly transformation. Lincoln lovers are tolerated if we shut up and sit outside the party’s windows on the ledge while the party defers to Rush Limbaugh and his ilk to prevent us from climbing back in. Our only choices are self defenestration or groveling debasement. Most have chosen the later. What’s their rationale? The think it would be terrible to lose control of America by arguing with Donald Trump’s cheerleaders. They are channeling Bashir – Gas my enemies – el Assad.
Me. Think of me as Wylie Coyote standing just beyond the ledge in mid air prior to a great fall. I’ve been levitating for the past 25 years.
I listened to an interview on MPR today that raised my hackles. It was not this story from two days ago. Instead it was an interview with Forest Lake Republican, Mark Koran, pushing a law to forbid any ranked choice voting in Minnesota even where the local voters have put it into affect. In other words local control is good but only when Republicans agree with it.
When Koran was interviewed by the Star Tribune he told them that ranked choice confuses people. On his interview today he added more thought but first pointed out that while he lives outside the Twin Cities he’s really not against the big city since he grew up in the Metro area. Yeah sure.
I don’t have much sympathy for ranked choice as evidenced by my previous posts on the subject. But I do have some thoughts about “local control.” However, awkward I find it some voters have put it into effect. The tyrant Koran wishes to take it away from them rather than let them change their own system.
He squawked that some voters felt “disenfranchised” because some of the ballots cast didn’t get people elected. Hell. That’s like my saying I was disenfranchised every time my candidate lost because my vote didn’t count. Its like complaining when your teacher gives you a multiple choice test because you prefer true/false questions.
Koran, as a Republican, has a lot of nerve talking about disenfranchisement because his party has taken the old Dixiecrat talent for preventing black people from voting and found dozens of new methods to discourage people likely to vote Democratic from casting ballots. That has been a common complaint of many of my posts about God’s Own Party over the past decade. Now, suddenly, Koran wants to protect people who didn’t bother to vote in the Ranked Choice referendum or who aren’t smart enough to understand how the damned method works.
I’m particularly bitter about his ignoring the Republican’s old faithful talking point – “local control.” When Duluth voters were deprived of the right to vote on the ruinous Red Plan our then Governor, Tim Pawlenty, explained his reluctance to let Duluth have a referendum on it based on the big shots from Duluth and Johnson Control’s lobbyists guaranteeing him that everybody in Duluth wanted to skip a “wasteful” election. As a result, today Duluth’s Public Schools are in tatters.
Ironically, I see no advantage for Republicans in ending St. Paul’s experiment with Ranked Choice Voting. Republicans have always had a hard time getting elected to the City Council in either of the Twin Cities or, for that matter, in Duluth. Killing Ranked Choice won’t end that. Naw! I think its just the same sort of “nanny state” crap that Republicans complain Democrats are guilty of. Thank you Rep. Koran. Your a good Big Brother.