Recent Posts

stewartheadbandTwo items. This first one does require some context. Rich candidates in both major parties often loan their own campaigns money. Win or lose, they usually do get it back, with interest. But the practice is often seen as an acknowledgment that anticipated funding sources aren’t coming through as hoped.
 

Federal Election Commission filings for the second quarter show the Mills campaign’s principal committee, Friends of Stewart Mills, took in $794,001 compared to the Nolan for Congress Volunteer Committee’s $428,178. However, Mills loaned his own campaign $500,000, the first time he has loaned the committee money so far this election cycle. Mills also had less than a fourth of Nolan’s cash on hand going into the third quarter, and had spent about five times as much.
(Brainerd Dispatch)

This next one gets no softening “context.” If one campaign manager after another isn’t willing to stay aboard…
 

The campaign of Stewart Mills III recently had John Eloranta take over the helm as manager.
 
Originally, Charlie Szold was announced as the manager in March for Mills’ GOP campaign to unseat Democrat U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. In May, Szold left the Mills campaign to instead manage the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. David Young, R-Iowa. Szold was replaced by Mike Lukach, who previously served as Mills’ campaign manager during his 2014 bid for the 8th District.
(Brainerd Dispatch)

{ 0 comments }

Donald_TrumpThat cooked “scandals” about e-mail are being treated as far more important than the likes of this, says it all about the degraded nadir to which American corporate “journalism” has fallen. Hillary Clinton will likely wipe her bottom with Donald Trump anyway, come Election Day, but it still sucks.
 

And in all honesty a big factor in how pissed off I continually am about this is my own sense of helplessness. I cannot for the life of me figure out an effective way to force c. media to shape up. People have been showing for decades now what bulls*it it is. Many millions nonetheless still watch/read/listen, and believe the plutocratic, war pig propaganda that they are shamelessly fed.
 

This article is comprehensive, brutal, and undeniable. Click and read.
 

Over the last year there has been a recurrent refrain about the seeming bromance between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. More seriously, but relatedly, many believe Trump is an admirer and would-be emulator of Putin’s increasingly autocratic and illiberal rule. But there’s quite a bit more to the story. At a minimum, Trump appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin. And this is matched to a conspicuous solicitousness to Russian foreign policy interests where they come into conflict with US policies which go back decades through administrations of both parties. There is also something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of evidence suggesting Putin-backed financial support for Trump or a non-tacit alliance between the two men.
(TPM)

Additional material, from DKos this morning, here.
 

{ 0 comments }

trump silhouette

Trump spokesman John Miller speaks on condition of anonymity.

Minneapolis, MN ~ Sources inside the Trump for President campaign have confirmed in an exclusive interview with Minnesota Progressive Project that the newly-minted GOP nominee for president has acquired the power to disappear people.

 

“Look, he’s already disappeared hundreds and hundreds of people, that I can tell you, okay?” confirmed Trump campaign spokesman John Miller, speaking on the condition that his name not be used and his remarks be kept strictly off the record. “These were bad people, really bad guys that nobody wants around. I mean, look around you. Try to find any of the people he’s disappeared. They’re nowhere to be seen, right? Gone! He disappeared them.”

 

Miller was asked how Mr. Trump acquired the amazing power to disappear people. “Mr. Trump has never revealed the source of his amazing power,” Miller said. “But I can tell you that he knows, and has working for him in secret laboratories funded by the Trump organization, hundreds maybe thousands of the top scientists in the world. These are the top guys you can find anywhere in the world, the greatest scientists in the world, believe me. It was probably them who developed the power to disappear people. Sort of like cold fusion or something.”

 

When asked what Mr. Trump intended to do with the power to disappear people, spokesman Miller explained. “Oh, that should be obvious. He’ll use the power to disappear people to solve America’s problems both here and around the world. He’ll disappear the illegal aliens who are living in our country illegally. He’ll disappear suspected Muslims and Latino’s — basically anybody who’s skin tone is darker than Beyonce’s will go first. He’ll disappear all of ISIS. Assad, Putin and the Ayatollah Khameineh all will be disappeared.

 

“He’ll disappear flat-chested women and flamboyant gay men. Criminals also will get disappeared. Think of the tax savings if we no longer have to maintain prisons! Teenage girls with acne. U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, of course. Ariana Huffington will get disappeared; her first, maybe. And jobless people! He’ll disappear jobless people, because the unemployment rate will plummet and his numbers will look great. Basically, Trump is gonna solve all of our problems by disappearing our enemies and people who aren’t real Americans or aren’t with the program in some way. Poof! Gone! Think of it!”

{ 0 comments }

The Brexit recession begins

by Dog Gone on July 23, 2016 · 0 comments

It has been one month since the UK voted to ‘Brexit’, Britain exiting the European Union.

 

The results are not good.  The numbers reflect a severe contraction of historic proportions; the definition of a recession is two quarters of contraction.  The numbers from the first month makes it likely there will be a recession, with continuing contraction.

 

The UK was previously the country which had made the most economic gains after joining the EU.  Prior to joining the EU the UK economy was somewhat anemic at best.

 

As noted in this article from the BBC news, this is a disaster brought on the Brits entirely by their own actions.  Brexit was a stupid mistake by the same conservative crowd that ignores informed opinion in rejecting anthropogenic global warming.

 

Brexit causes dramatic drop in UK economy, data suggests

Britain’s decision to leave the EU
has led to a “dramatic deterioration” in economic activity, not seen
since the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Data from IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, shows a fall to 47.7 in July, the lowest level since April in 2009. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.
Both manufacturing and service sectors saw a decline in output and orders.
…The report surveyed more than 650 services companies, from sectors including transport, business services, computing and restaurants.
It asked them: “Is the level of business activity at your company higher, the same or lower than one month ago?”
It also asked manufacturers whether production had gone up or down.
The PMI is the first significant set of data measuring business reaction to the result of the UK referendum.
…”The only other times we have seen this index fall to these low levels, was the global financial crisis in 2008/9, the bursting of the dot com bubble, and the 1998 Asian financial crisis,” Mr Williamson told the BBC.
“The difference this time is that it is entirely home-grown, which suggest the impact could be greater on the UK economy than before. “
“This is exactly what most economists were saying would happen.”
‘Heading for recession’
Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the figures provided the “first major evidence that the UK is entering a sharp downturn”.

Neil Wilson, markets analyst at ETX Capital, said he thought the UK was “heading for a recession again”, and that the data would almost certainly prompt the Bank of England to roll out further stimulus.

While IHS Markit’s reading on the UK economy was worse than most analysts expected, its verdict on the wider eurozone economy was more cheery.
Although business confidence dropped to an 18-month low, the overall pace of economic growth was in line with pre-Brexit trends, and employment across the eurozone rose.

Conservative voters voted against their economic interests, including voting where their jobs were going to be lost, over the issue of hatred and fear of immigrants.  This continues to be the propaganda manipulation of conservative low-information / emotional thinking potential voters.  They vote stupidly.  Then they suffer.  Then they blame other people.

 

The agreement among economists about Brexit being a disaster is similar to the consensus about global warming among other scientists.

{ 0 comments }

A Crooked Family Affair?

by Dog Gone on July 23, 2016 · 0 comments


Trump and his immediate family appear to be a bunch of bad apples, although that cannot necessarily be said of his siblings. It does appear to be true that his paternal grandfather ran a brothel. Behaving badly seems to be more of a nuclear family affair, rather than an extended one.

 

We know that Donald Trump used a fake identity to deal with PR issues, a character he named John Barron. His son with Melania Trump is now named Barron William, same spelling. I suppose it is a measure of some small impulse of originality that the son is not named Barron John. At least Trump appears to have been aware that Prince William was a name and title that were already taken.

 

A conspiracy theory circulated briefly that the woman who took the fall for Melania Trump was a fake, like the John Barron persona; good investigating by Snopes shows that to be incorrect. The woman, is real, but there is no independent verification that she was really responsible for the plagiarism, given an absence of evidence for that as a pattern of behavior. She appears more competent than that. However the original speech, per investigation by NBC, did not include the plagiarized paragraphs. Those appear to be inserted by the campaign; McIver is not part of the campaign. If she did contribute to the speech, as a paid corporate employee, that would be an inappropriate use of corporate resources by the campaign. Which is to say that there may be an investigation into what she did and did not do in terms of the plagiarism at some future point.

 

In the same vein, daughter Ivanka, aka Yael (the name she took upon converting to Judaism) has been sued for theft of shoe designs. (The suit is for one design, but the allegations are that she stole an entire line of shoe designs.) This is on top of the recall of 20,000 of her scarves for violating the US Federal Flammability Standard earlier this year. No surprise that daddy dearest wants to undo regulation; they don’t give a damn if the customers are burned by the products they sell.  They can make them on the cheap, put people at risk, and illegally profit from it.

 

Throughout the convention and at the opening of his campaign, Trump has been plagued by artists who are appalled at the use and abuse of their music to sell Trump, whom they appear to pretty universally despise and with whom they deeply disagree. It began with Neil Young, and continued with the opening night use of We are the Champions by Queen and throughout the convention. The George Harrison estate objects to Ivanka Trump using Here Comes the Sun without permission, although they indicated they would hve approved Beware the Darkness for Trump. Apparently there are no conservative song writers and musicians with music worth playing. Given the accusation of child rape against Trump, although more plausible as a claim against a friend of Trump, Cat Scratch Fever would have had a certain appeal, and no doubt Ted Nugent would be agreeable.

 

It does not bode well for the GOP that they have nominated a crook, married to another dishonest person, with dishonest offspring. But good on the so-called liberal media, like the Huff Po, that they quickly and effectively debunked a conspiracy theory about the alleged plagiarist.

{ 0 comments }

Vikings stadium ribbon-cutting today

by Dan Burns on July 22, 2016 · 0 comments

minneapolis-aerial-530I have a couple of items to pass along, to mark the, uh, joyous occasion.
 

About $20 million annually was used to breath life anew into Minneapolis neighborhoods. Today, that program struggles to cobble together around $4 million.
 

That’s because payments on the city’s spending bender are now coming due.
 
According to the city Finance Department, Minneapolis is on the hook for about $1.6 billion in debt and operational costs for the convention center, the Vikings stadium, and the Timberwolves arena over the next 20 years.
 
Broken down, that’s an annual three checks adding up to $80 million, money that’s off the table for paving East Franklin Avenue, fixing swings at Kenwood Park, or financing low-interest business loans on West Broadway.
(City Pages)

If you’re a member of Minneapolis’ creative industry, you helped contribute $4.5 billion to the local economy last year.
 
That’s the finding of a report into the value of the city’s arts and culture workers released (in June). It shows creative jobs grew by 10.4 percent in 2015 – ahead of the 7.2 percent rise seen across all jobs in Minneapolis.
 
And despite Minneapolis being home to the Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves and Lynx, the $4.5 billion revenue generated by the creative sector dwarfs that made by the sports industry by eight times.
(Bring Me The News)

{ 0 comments }

Twilight Sparkle

Melania Trump plagiarized First Lady Michele Obama. She never owned that she copied the words of the first lady.

 

Melania Trump, as represented by the campaign, tried to deny that any plagiarism took place in spite of the obvious. We are left to believe that the first-lady-wannabe is either incapable of honesty or is too controlled by her husband to function in the White House. First ladies have to have a mind, one that works, not be a slutty puppet.

 

Then Melania Trump and the campaign to which she belonged tried a couple of other dodgy moves; Snopes busted one, the claim that Michele Obama had been the plagiarist, from a book that does not contain the words she wrote.

 

I suppose when you are either too lazy and dishonest, or too incompetent, you don’t know or care about checking to see if you are stealing the intellectual property of someone else, for your own purpose. I would classify making false claims about a dead author as an example.

 

Then there was the rubbish line that the content of Michele Obama’s speech was derived from and of the same caliber and substance as My Little Pony, — except when the stolen words were uttered by Melania Trump.

 

Do we really want a woman who supposedly relies on a cartoon character for the content of a major speech to be in any position of responsibility? Does anyone believe that a woman who worked her way through college, including Harvard Law, rely on plagiarizing My Little Pony for the substance of her speech? Hint — the Michele Obama speech was made in 2008; the latest My Little Pony series, in which the words in question occurred, debuted in 2010.

 

Who knows what kind of person Melania Trump is when not in the shadow of her asshole husband; having married him does not reflect well on her abilities, nor does her past as a soft-core porn model, nor does her LYING at the RNC convention and elsewhere about her background. The woman dropped out of an eastern European college of dubious quality without completing her freshman year. But she claimed – and still apparently claims – to have a degree in Architecture and Design, from an unspecified institution of higher education.

 

And now the GOP and RNC are complicit in trying to lie to the American electorate, because there appears to be no lie for which the right will require accountability even for the most deliberate falsehood. From the HuffPo:

Melania Trump’s professional biography says the wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump began modeling at age 16, but she only began working full-time after obtaining a degree. She graduated “in design and architecture at University in Slovenia,” according to the bio as of Monday night

Also from the HuffPo, but a story carried by some right wing media as well about the deliberate and calculated nature of the lies:

Slovenian journalists Bojan Pozar and Igor Omerza wrote in their biography on the former fashion model that she “became ― and remained ― a college dropout” after leaving the University of Ljubljana’s architecture school following her freshman year.

…Later, in America, after meeting Donald Trump and officially becoming his partner, Melania Knauss told the media that she got her degree in architecture and design. This was almost certainly done in consultation with Trump and his advisors, as they were desperate to give off the impression that the Slovenian model was not just beautiful, but also smart and well-educated.

It is no accident that conservatives believe lies, lies they know to be falsehoods, but which cater to their sad, sick, disconnected world view that hates and deceives and fails. It fails because lies don’t work, lies never succeed in the long run.

 

It is not so much that the egregious lies from Melania Trump disqualify her from the ranks of women like Michele Obama or Jackie Kennedy. It is that there are far worse lies told and lived by Donald Trump and the Republican party, welcomed and consumed, embraced by the dishonest right wingers who endanger our country with their failed values and dishonesty, bigotry, and hypocrisy.

 

The right should be ashamed, but that would require honesty and morality. They have neither, and apparently they have repudiated any semblance of intellect as well.

{ 0 comments }

two-faced-man“Welcome back my friends,
To the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend
Come inside! Come inside!”
Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Karn Evil 9

 

I’m not the first guy to compare The Donald® to a carnival barker. In fact, it’s now become cliché. But I may be the first guy to draw the link between the carnival barker that is Donald Trump and what has now clearly become a GOP Freak Show in Cleveland.

 

Trump promised us a GOP Convention unlike any other and in fact he delivered — just not in the way he said he would. Hmmmmm, do I see a pattern emerging?

 

He promised us a “showbiz convention,” which I expect would include bright lights and colored smoke, exotic music from the Orient; a pageant of beautiful women in engineered silks and satins; and rings of dancing elephants and acrobatic monkeys in festive costumes.

 

What we got was a tawdry freak show of human oddities and unfortunates put on public display.

 

Other than a single appearance in a shadowy tableau of tungsten light and blue smoke — a schtick he clearly ripped off from Elvis — just before introducing his latest trophy wife, Melania, to a life of hideous shame, we got nothing of either spectacle or pageantry from Trump. Although there is delicious irony in a plagiarized speech about integrity, values, respect for others, and working hard to succeed.

 

Instead, he provided a pathetic series of gut-churning, soul-sickening geeks and grotesques paraded in front of the podium in all their horror for the perverse amusement of morons, low-brows, and the unrefined.

 

Although it’s not yet over, Trump’s “showbiz convention” hasn’t yet risen above the sophistication and entertainment value of a Tijuana donkey show or a cage of capybara posing as ‘Malaysian Man-eating Rats’ at a county fair.

 

Trump Sells Cheap SuitsOnce again, Trump has sold the unwary and the unschooled what he never intended to deliver. He might just as well have offered chrome-plated tin Ginsu Knives at 2-for-20-bucks or Eversharp Ray-Zors that never need blades. It’s the simplest scam used by common street hucksters since Roman times: take a low-quality item, price it at the market mid-point, then sell the hell out of it. Pocket the dough and if anyone complains before you hit the rails, threaten to sue. Then blow town fast.

 

When the freak show is over, when the rubes have all been fleeced and most of the village virgins sullied, Trump will move on with the rest of his kind.

 

And all that will remain is the sadness, the stories, and the lore from the last time the freak show came to town.

 

{ 0 comments }

MN-08: More embarrassment for Mills

by Dan Burns on July 20, 2016 · 3 comments

millspartying2What with the effort at a political image makeover, some may have been left wondering what the “real” Stewart Mills III is all about. This is telling. The article has numerous specific examples.
 

The Mills Fleet Farm scion, who’s challenging DFL U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan a second time for Minnesota’s Iron Range seat, cranked out his brand of conservative bro-humor on Facebook pretty regularly back before he was running for political office. A review of old posts on social media finds Mills making flippant references to battered women, his own laziness, and the health benefits of women swallowing after oral sex, among other topics most politicians would happily avoid.
(City Pages)

So behind all of the contrived crap, what we’re dealing with is a “bro.” No wonder he’s endorsed Donald Trump for president.
 
Here is Rep. Nolan’s website.
 

I’ve been psychologically burned before by taking generic congressional ballots too literally, months before the election. That being said, right now things aren’t looking good for the likes of Mills.
 
Comment below fold.
 
…READ MORE

{ 3 comments }

The RNC national convention is working overtime to make people feel afraid; it is some of the worst fear mongering, the most inaccurate passel of lies I have seen in a long time.  Outside of the convention it is an armed camp of paramilitary-armed people, despite the protests of Cleveland law enforcement who does not want them there because they pose a danger.

 

I recently read a discussion with someone who was intellectually dishonest, yet this person expected, one might say DEMANDED that he be regarded with trust and confidence from the rest of us when he carries a firearm in public.

 

I don’t have a lot of respect for the judgment or the integrity of someone who demonstrates both poor logical reasoning and intellectual dishonesty, including a willingness to engage in ad hominem attacks.  If your thinking is so flawed you think airbags are like guns, you need remedial education in how to think.  How you reach conclusions and the soundness of those conclusions matters, particularly if you are using the same mechanisms of judgment when you decide to use lethal force.  Carrying firearms in public without a pressing specific reason, such as working in the transfer of large amounts of money in an armored car, appeals to emotion, at the expense of critical thinking.  Emotion is a poor way to make decisions, particularly when it suppresses those critical thinking functions.  I would argue that carrying a gun does that, and there is scientific evidence to support that.  Science matters in separating fact from fiction, logic from emotion.  It enables us to make better decisions.

 

Just one of the failed arguments proffered was that there was no difference in protecting oneself and one’s family from intentional or accidental injury by having airbags in one’s car, and carrying a firearm to shoot someone to protect oneself and family.  Airbags make us all safer; firearms widely carried in public locations endanger us, making us all less safe, even the gun carrier, ESPECIALLY the gun carrier,  and they particularly endanger law enforcement.  There is no ambiguity in the numbers.  More guns invariably go hand in hand with more gun violence.  The difference in the numbers of guns, especially in public places, matters.

 

We were also told by the gun carrier that no matter how poorly reasoned, no matter how factually unfounded his conclusions or flawed his judgement, that his opinion was equal to the opposition opinion.  All opinions are not equal; some are sound opinions, and others are not.  The difference matters.

 

Here is a partial list of reasons why that is a faulty comparison:

1. Airbags are a passive defense against injury, triggered independently of individual choice or judgment; firearms are not.
2. Airbags are subject to extensive study, recall, and other consumer protections, including liability suits; firearms are not.
3. Airbags are required by law; firearms are not.
4. Airbags don’t accidentally injure innocent bystanders; firearms do.
5. Airbags are not a means to commit suicide; firearms are.
6. In the event of an airbag injury, nearly always there is only one victim; firearms frequently have multiple victims.
7. No one creates anything remotely like an arsenal of airbags, while firearms are stockpiled.
8. No one uses airbags to overthrow or attempt to overthrow government; the same is not true of airbags.
9. Airbags only work in close proximity; the same is not true for firearms.
10.Airbags are not essential for national defense, firearms are.
11. Airbags are not mentioned anywhere, directly or indirectly, in the U.S. Constitution; Arms are.
12.  Airbags have a single use after which they are discarded; this is not true of firearms.

Please feel free to add comments with any other ways in which airbags are NOT a legitimate comparison to firearms and personal safety.

{ 0 comments }