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MN-02: Rep. Lewis is a pig, all right

by Dan Burns on July 19, 2018 · 1 comment

lewisI suppose it’s a good thing that outlets like CNN are looking like maybe, just maybe, they’ll be perhaps a little more honest and reality-based in talking about Republican pols, incumbents and otherwise, this time around. Even “maybe, a little” would be a big improvement over 2016.
 

A Republican congressman from Minnesota has a long history of making deeply misogynistic comments on the radio, including lamenting that women can no longer be called “sluts.”
 
CNN’s KFile reviewed several months of audio from Rep. Jason Lewis on the “Jason Lewis Show,” a syndicated radio program Lewis hosted from 2009 until 2014 with the tagline “America’s Mr. Right.” In one instance, while arguing that “young single women” vote based on coverage of birth control pills, Lewis said those women were not human beings and were without brains…
 
“Well, the thing is, can we call anybody a slut? This is what begs the question. Take this woman out of it, take Rush out of it for a moment,” Lewis said in a March 2012 episode. “Does a woman now have the right to behave — and I know there’s a double standard between the way men chase women and running and running around — you know, I’m not going to get there, but you know what I’m talking about. But it used to be that women were held to a little bit of a higher standard. We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can’t call her a slut?”
(CNN)

As far as his campaign, so far Lewis seems to be essentially playing a sort of prevent defense, not saying much in public and not doing anything too high-profile as a legislator. That could well change, at least as far as him running his mouth goes, if his seat continues to look like a fairly likely flip. Or perhaps he’s already just pretty much given up. It doesn’t appear to me that he likes being in Congress as much as he did his previous gigs.
 

And that was followed up on June 14th, when Congressman Lewis tweeted after his taking part in the “Can opioids save the GOP from losing the midterms?“ event.
 
Gosh, a new “Advisory Committee” ?
 
Does President Trump think he needs another “Advisory Committee” ?
 
Let us remember that President Trump already issued an executive order on March 29, 2017, establishing the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. As such, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs has begun instituting procedures aimed at monitoring and managing opioid prescription usage but Congressman Lewis wants a “Advisory Committee” to provide them guidance.
(MN Political Roundtable)

Comment below fold.
 
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Berniecrats Anonymous 12-Step Program

by Invenium Viam on July 17, 2018 · 0 comments

1. We admitted we were powerless over PC – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that an Independent Vermonter greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to Bernie as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of Hillary Democrats and other non-Bernie Democrats.
5. Admitted to Bernie, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of their moral inferiority.
6. Were entirely ready to have Our Revolution remove Boomers’ and Centrists’ defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Bernie to remove all their shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons who had harmed us and became willing to let them all make amends. Except for DWS. Not her.
9. Let such people make direct amends wherever possible, except when to do so would further injure our fragile self-esteem.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and, when other Democrats were wrong, promptly said so.
11. Sought through Instagram and Snapchat to improve our consciousness of Our Revolution, as we understood It, praying only for a Blue Wave for us and its power to carry our candidates.
12. Having had a Political Correctness Reawakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other Democrats and to force them to practice our principles in all their affairs. Still, if we lose the mid-terms, we’re all gonna go home and sulk.

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Farm Bill keeps crawling along

by Dan Burns on July 17, 2018 · 0 comments

corn“Next week” in the article means this week, now. It still seems likely that something very much like the Senate version of the bill – that is, no SNAP cuts or “work requirements”, about the same or even in a few cases slightly higher spending on conservation programs overall, etc. – is what will ultimately get through Congress. I don’t know whether Trump would sign that. My guess at this time is that he will, with little if any fuss, because he just doesn’t care about it beyond just wanting it out of the way.
 

The House could take an important step in moving farm bill talks forward next week by voting on a motion to proceed to conference — but Thursday (July 12) provided the latest indication that bad blood between House ag leaders is one of the many issues yet to be sorted out in the coming weeks.
 
House Ag Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) met Wednesday for the first time in eight weeks, according to Peterson…
 
Peterson indicated to reporters that the face-to-face got heated. “I was not easy on him, and I told him bluntly what I think, which I always do,” he said. “He didn’t like it, but I said I’m just telling what I think and I’m trying to be helpful.”
 
“We get this thing into conference next week and if people become sensible it won’t take long to do this,” Peterson said in a jab at House Republicans.
(Politico)

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trump34I happen to think there is some value in trying to get to the bottom of what motivates Trump supporters, from an objective, scientific viewpoint grounded in what we know about human psychology. Meaning, how their cognitive biases operate, and so forth. (In fact, my personal take, though with plenty of qualifications, on the deal with right-wingers in general is that when you get right down to it they truly, honestly just do not know any better.) The essay I’m blockquoting, linking, and highly recommending here kind of trashes that. But it kicks so much a** that I’m sharing it anyway.
 

You want to find good people, look for the people who are just as poor but care for others anyway, or who are under just as much economic stress but do not use it as excuse for cheating and stealing their way through it — or offering up eager praise for those that do. Good people don’t claim to have family values and then discard those values at the drop of a hat when a rich, shouting hatebag they saw on their television set tells them to ignore all that. Good people don’t soak themselves in transparent lies about immigrants or minorities, then declare everyone else to be “elites” arrayed against them in “elite”-minded conspiracy when some newspaper, somewhere, points out that those things were, in fact, cheap and tawdry lies.
 
The more we hear from Trump defenders, the more transparent it is that they are indeed, well, bad. It’s terribly rude to say, and the press cannot say it, but the rest of us can. If you still support Trump at this late date, you are a terrible human being. You should, in fact, feel bad about yourself.
 
Yes, the rest of us do indeed look down on these people. Those of us with actual family values do; those of us who care about honesty in government do; those of us who are not furious bulging-eyed racists do; those of us who believe thousands of years of scientific discoveries are worth more than the dribbling pronouncements of a street-corner charlatan do; those of us with actual religious convictions do; those of us who are actual patriots do.
(Daily Kos)

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Where are Minnesota soybean farmers at?

by Dan Burns on July 12, 2018 · 0 comments

soybeansFrom last week:
 

So far, (Bill Doyscher) said, his elevator’s export business is good, but he’s seeing signs of a slowdown. Orders for future delivery have already begun to lag.
 
Some Minnesota farmers fear these ongoing trade issues will make it impossible for them to stay in business: That the new tariff will hurt U.S. soybean exports to China, reduce what they’re paid for the soybeans they sell and, ultimately, reduce their profits.
 
Some of those fears have already become reality: Because the market tends to respond ahead of changes, prices have already been dropping for several weeks in anticipation of the move.
(MPR)

The article goes on to suggest that plenty of farmers are po’d already. But I’ve seen anecdotal indications in other places that staunchly conservative farmers will blame a crash on anybody but Trump, no matter what. All it will take is for some in farm country, though, to reboot on how and if they vote, for us to flip plenty of state house districts. And to easily hold some tight federal ones.
 

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Sports betting & jet set preachers

by JeffStrate on July 10, 2018 · 0 comments


 
This segment from the upcoming August 2018 edition of Democratic Visions stands on its own with no explanatory copy needed about Mike “Stretch” Gelfand or his ruminations about sports betting and of the private jet preachers sucking big bucks from Christian evangelical faith communities to spread their version of The Gospel.  Mike splashes tart vinegar on two of these popular pulpit scammers.
 
We do these programs with lefty volunteers and no budget through Southwest Community Television at Bloomington Community Access Television, BCAT. Democratic Visions is carried by community access channels in Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, Richfield, Bloomington, Champlin, Anoka, Andover, Ramsey, St. Paul, Minneapolis and, soon, St. Louis Park.

 

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Righteous lawsuits galore vs. Twin Metals

by Dan Burns on July 6, 2018 · 0 comments

sulfideWhatever it takes, to crush the Twin Metals proposal, is justified, from any and all environmental, economic, and ethical perspectives.
 

A group of nine northeastern Minnesota businesses and an environmental group sued the U.S. Department of the Interior (June 21), seeking to overturn the reinstatement last month of two federal mineral leases to a company seeking to build a copper-nickel mine near the border of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
 
The plaintiffs, which include a number of canoe outfitters and a resort around the wilderness, argue that the reinstatement of the leases to Twin Metals Minnesota was unlawful, and poses an immediate threat to their businesses, the outdoor recreation economy and the environment.
(MPR)

In addition to galvanizing our members to contact their members of Congress, The Wilderness Society filed a lawsuit June 25 challenging the Interior Department’s recent push to open the area’s fragile ecosystem to sulfide-ore copper mining.
 
We were joined by 2 other conservation groups opposed to the Interior Department’s reinstatement of two expired mineral leases held by Twin Metals Minnesota, a foreign-owned mining company, on Superior National Forest lands.
(The Wilderness Society)

On June 25, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from the sulfide-ore mine proposed by Twin Metals, a subsidiary of the Chilean-owned mining conglomerate Antofagasta.
(Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness)

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A Second American Civil War for Independence Day

by Eric Ferguson on July 3, 2018 · 1 comment

Artist's conception. Not actually an Alex Jones listener

Artist’s conception. Not actually an Alex Jones listener

I first heard verbally that the nutcase right had a new conspiracy theory that liberals are going to start a civil war on July 4th, which as I write this, is tomorrow. Damn, I haven’t even dug out my musket and bayonet yet! Anyway, I found the source, the source of so many tinfoil hat conservative conspiracy theories, Alex Jones (hat tip Johnny Wendell at Daily Kos).

 
Sane people know not to believe any of the craziness Alex Jones spews, but many trumpers believe him, including the Russian President of the United States, Trump. I don’t know what is more disturbing, that Trump and other bigoted lunatics believe him no matter how many times he’s proven to be making it up, or that some of them seem to want a new civil war. There’s an element of the extreme right that doesn’t want to start it, not because they don’t want it, but rather because everyone is the hero in his own story, which means they want us to start it. Mocking them is much more fun and much less deadly, so no. Hey guys, how are we going to start a war when you have all the guns? Could you share? Just to make the odds more even?

 
Of course, the Confederacy did get impatient waiting for the Union to invade and just went ahead and started the first civil war, so maybe best not to encourage them.

 
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trump33I know, “good one!” But a guy can dream.

 

All of that points to one conclusion: North Korea lied about its nuclear program — and its intentions to dismantle it — to keep extracting concessions from the US. “Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles,” an unnamed senior intelligence official told NBC News.
 
That plan may have already worked. Last month, Trump canceled a key military exercise with South Korea, one of America’s top allies. Pyongyang certainly liked that since it claims the joint drills are both a pretext and rehearsal for a US-led invasion of North Korea. After Trump met with Kim in Singapore on June 12, the president decided he wanted to stop what he calls “war games” in order to lower the tension…
 
What makes the decision even more surprising is that US intelligence agencies are pretty unanimous on one crucial point: North Korea will not give up its nuclear weapons program.
(Vox)

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2018: Year of the Post-postfeminist DFL

by Invenium Viam on June 29, 2018 · 0 comments

Where the boys are
Someone waits for me,
A smiling face, a warm embrace,
Two arms to hold me tenderly…
Connie Francis, 1960

 

In early February of 2016, Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright told young women that it was “their duty to support Hillary Clinton” in her presidential campaign.

 

“We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done,” Ms. Albright, the first female Secretary of State in US history, said of the broader fight for women’s equality. “It’s not done. There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

 

A day earlier, Ms. Steinem had stumbled badly on the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher when she suggested in an Overtime segment that younger women were backing Mr. Sanders just so they could meet young men. “When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’ ” she said.

 

Those remarks drew an immediate, widespread and hostile reaction from young women across the country.

 

“Shame on Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright for implying that we as women should be voting for a candidate based solely on gender,” Zoe Trimboli, a 23-year-old from Vermont who supports Mr. Sanders and describes herself as a feminist, wrote on Facebook. “I can tell you that shaming me and essentially calling me misinformed and stupid is NOT the way to win my vote.”

 

Word. Keeping it real myself, I have to admit to a brief moment of schadenfreude. Having gotten an earful a time or two for insensitivity to the challenges facing women in a patriarchal society, most recently from my wife and daughter over the recent revisiting of the Bill Clinton / Monica Lewinsky scandal, I was kind of happy to see a feminist leader of the stature of Steinem get flamed. If anyone should get a pass for saying or doing something stupid, she should. They’re probably going to erect statues of Steinem in campus quadrangles around the country. Books and plays will be written about her life and leadership. They’ll name high schools after her. And after she passes, a movie will be made of her life and struggles entitled simply, ‘Gloria.’

 

The most I’ll ever get is an epitaph on a headstone that reads, ‘He tried hard not to be an sh*thead.’ Unless I outlive my wife and daughter, that is. Not likely.

 

As a political junkie, I noted this kerfuffle at the time as a potentially significant event demographically. After all, young women among the Mil-Gen′s who were voting for the first time in 2008 supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. Later, in 2016, polls showed they strongly supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton, prompting the reaction from Albright and Steinem and the counter-reaction just described. I began to wonder if these facts were a bellwether of an attitudinal change in gender relations; hence, a change in gender politics. I wondered if they weren’t early evidence of a post-postfeminist ethos forming among young Democrats.

 

Then came the revelations about Trump the pussy-grabber and serial womanizer. Then came the Women’s March. Then came Cosby, Weinstein, Lauer, Roy Moore, Louis CK, and dozens of others. Somewhere in there came the accusations locally against Rep. Tony Cornish, State Senator Dan Schoen, and US Senator Al Franken. All of which fit perfectly with the focus of Fourth-Wave feminism as defined by feminist writer Prudence Chamberlain: economic and social justice for women and opposition to sexual violence and sexual harassment. Nope, I thought, 2008 and 2016 were just the anomaly of two charismatic male candidates opposed by a uninspiring female candidate with a militant sense of entitlement and a caustic demeanor on the stump.

 

But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

 

Getcha Mojo Below the Fold, Moe

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