consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Conventional beltway lobbyist, media, donor, consultancy, and career-politician wisdom: Moneycrats' consultancies "know how to win" and can Pontificate endlessly about it, often making a good living. At its worse terrible as well as stupid advice can be given. E.g. Mook/Podesta/handler overscripting Clinton moves and mannerisms, making the woman look even less genuine and more like a walking, talking ventriloquist's machine via overrehersing enough to kill any possible chance of pleasant spontaniety arising. Conventional beltway wisdom, conventionally practiced, can appear stupid to regular people, but do these inbred beltway types know or care if the paycheck pays the bills with something left over until next election's need for punditry arrives? Bad punditry, of all places, at Politico? You read. You decide: Is there heft to any beltway punditry summed up as, "Lie to the evangelicals or at least tone it down?"

Just because something has been done does not make it right. Lying to evangelical folks in order to entice their vote is a conventional corporatist GOP approach (standing analogous to the corporate Democrat candidates' lying every election to progressives).

Lying to the fundies is in fact the chute George W. Bush (with Billy Graham's blessing) exploited in his reaching the White House, but that by itself does not make it a good thing, or a sharp tactical step for every candidate, every contest, either party. Yet, the fundies have been used, every time there's been an election ever since the Gipper succeeded via that shallow route of ends and means.

Dominionists on both sides of the lie are the worse, giving prompt false witness and accepting it all too readily even when common sense cautions otherwise. Dominionists serve corporate voting aims (and corporatist/Doninionist candidates such as Greg Gianforte in Montana) via their herd instinct which arguably sacrifices good sense to working as a major "in the GOP bag" constituency for GOTV purposes despite neither party's top management, both parties, thinking the evangelicals are much besides brain-wearied kooks who if reasonable should expect nothing but near-election lying of the worse false-promising kind to move the grunting beast to do its seemingly perpetual task of showing up on election day in droves and voting Republican. Then to be ignored until needed again, next election, when they get promised to, same way, yet again.

opening of a Politico op-ed item which gives free advice


Given that things are as they are, some beltway punditry goes afoul of good, plain, common sense, if suggesting it believes itself. Is the message to be false and lie, or to tone down a message where you may not win any fundie votes, but you try not to incite greater droves of them being driven to vote? Is it necessary to say don't deliberately molest a hornets' nest if it can be quietly sidestepped? Is that actual punditry? From late in the item to its ending:

In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim employee of an Abercrombie & Fitch store who was told her hijab did not align with the companies “aesthetic,” and she would have to remove it or be fired.

And therein lies a possible path forward for Jones. Moore promises to be a champion for evangelicals, but there are few things that would be deadlier to evangelicals’ politics than to be represented in the United States Senate by a bomb-thrower like Moore. The religious freedom of Christian employees to follow their faith, or of Christian institutions to organize around their beliefs, is inextricably tied to the right of Muslims, Sikhs, Jewish Americans and other faiths to do the same. At what point has Moore proven successful in defending religious freedom? He has cynically used the issue to advance his own career, and constantly undermines it with his attacks on non-Christians. Jones should tell Alabamians that he, unlike Moore, understands that religious freedom is either going to be protected for everyone or it will fail to exist for anyone, and he should commit to applying the same skill and passion to the issue he employed in prosecuting the KKK.

Moore looks like a prophet to some, because he’s warned all along that Washington would force its values on places like Alabama. In 2006, 81 percent of Alabama voters supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and fewer than 10 years later their vote was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States. Jones should be able to affirm that decision, while also making clear that he does not think it mandates the government to exert pressure to change the teachings of Alabama’s churches or faithful. This may sound obvious, and it is, but that is exactly why Jones should say it: Demogogues like Moore prey on the fears of evangelical voters, relying on Democrats’ unwillingness to even make basic attempts to speak their language or appeal for their votes.

None of this would require Jones to compromise his integrity, though national Democrats and some activists might get queasy if, say, he does promise to vote “present” on abortion. If that happens, they should remember: Jones would represent another key vote on protecting Obamacare, the social safety net, voting rights and criminal justice reform. It would also mean that Alabama would no longer be sending two pro-life votes to the Senate, which would be extraordinary in itself, and could play a deciding factor in key votes. And even more importantly, a morally repugnant candidate would be kept out of the world’s greatest deliberative body and denied a national platform to spread his noxious, divisive views.

In scripture, the phrase “stumbling block” refers to actions that might give reason for a Christian to not do what they ought to do anyways. Doug Jones appears to be a good man, with a sterling reputation and a history of fighting for justice. But to win, he’s going to have to remove obstacles that are preventing evangelical voters from embracing him. Being a better person than Roy Moore is not enough: He’s going to have to do everything he can, within the bounds of his own conscience, to reasssure Alabamians that he won’t be pushing an agenda on social issues that’s out of step with their values. We’re counting on him. As Jesus said in Luke 17:1, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come!”

Is this berating the obvious; is it anything beyond "Try to leave sleeping dogs lie;" or is it suggesting an upwind action more likely than not to get Doug Jones very wet, should he take it as good advice? Or should Jones honestly and boldly set out an agenda aimed at causing a progressive GOTV rather than trying to sneak away from what the Roy Moore supporters will be hammering on in their GOTV effort?

Ossoff in the Georgia special election played "avoid the questions," and lost. Rob Quist in the Montana special election differentiated himself, even inviting Bernie to help campaign, and lost. Each of those two special elections cost a ton of money on both sides, and this one likely will be similar.

Does that mean those consultancy answers of wheedle the rich bozo donor bloc for money are the only or best feasible ways and means of progressives' needs being recognized and met?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

"Sidelined by scandal, Sen. Al Franken faces questions about ability to do his job -- A once-bright political career now hangs in the balance. By Jennifer Brooks, Star Tribune, November 19, 2017 — 8:00am"

The headline above is from Strib, a local content item and not a news service feed, the item being online here.

Roy Moore losing in Alabama would be fine. Not because he chased teenagers while in his thirties and a prosecutor; but because he's a Dominionist and an ass. He should stay home with his Judaeo-Christian rock. It is his Rock-of-Gibraltar comfort toy in life so let his good times roll. Just not in DC.

As to Franken, his problem is not Leeann Tweeden and he should not stand aside over that.

Franken's problem is he's been in DC in the Wellstone seat for a few years and has not done jack for single payer healthcare as a right, nor for student debt relief, nor for income inequality reform, nor for campaign finance reform.

He's been there. He's not committed to a progressive agenda, and should stand aside over that, so somebody who cares can then occupy the Wellstone seat; somebody who would do right by it.

Were Al to have a "road to Damascus" sudden progressive epiphany, and then to get productive on things that matter; then Al, feel welcome to stay. You'd be earning it.

But if little substance emerges, Al still stands the better of Paulsen or Jason Lewis, indeed for that matter, the better of Timmy P. by any unbiased measure. The clear better of Norm Coleman even while needing a recount to oust Norm from DC. Better in the seat than any the GOP may advance, but in the way of a more progressive activist having a shot at doing good from holding the Wellstone seat.

And while Amy's not claimed to have harassed or pestered anybody, she surely could use a fine shot of progressivism to leaven her demeanor and worldview. Were Amy on policy the way Elizabeth Warren is, now that surely would upgrade the product. If you wait for that, fine, but don't expect it.

That said, is Al getting "the treatment" as payback over his opposition to this schmuck as Supreme Court material, fit to sit along with the able jurist for whom he clerked out of law school?

That Strass and Thomas belong in the same league is clear. Equally clear, it is not major league, neither being major leaguers in capability or worldview.
The days of Justice Douglas and Justice Brennen are being dishonored by the likes of John Roberts. Usually the dregs precipitate out while the cream rises, but current DC personalities and trends have turned that topsy-turvy.

Last, if you do not see that Strib headlining which was reposted verbatim to headline this blog post as being over the top sensationalism, then we disagree.

UPDATE: The question for Al Franken both before and after the Tweeden business hit the fan was and remains willingness to do the job, not ability, the job being commensurate with it being the Wellstone seat.

Willingness to be decent when in DC it seems indecency pays better, has Bernie and Warren as its poster children, and others as less willing; less able.

Friday, November 10, 2017

God, NO!

Neither in the image are Presidential. Yet one seems to think otherwise.

An early-item quote:

For the first time in what would be the sixth presidential campaign that he’s either seriously flirted with or launched, Biden sees an argument for a candidacy for which he is the only answer: An elder statesman who can help repair the damage and divisions in the country and around the world, unite the competing wings of the Democratic Party, and appeal to traditional Democratic voters who fled last year for Trump.

The man has drunk Clinton Balloon Drop koolaid and it's addled his head. He'd loose. Bernie would win, just as he would have . . .

Easy appeasers, line up. Biden wants you. No real and honest progressive, after Obama's two terms and the Perez/Ellison back stab at DNC would want Biden. Fatally flawed is as it is.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

A party hijacked by a pair of grifter spouses cannot do well without reform, pronto.

STRONGER TOGETHER relates to
togetherness within a family Foundation,
with little relation to winning anything.

And Donna says Debbie mismanaged; this link.

This sorrow.

1- BERNIE WOULD HAVE WON.

2- BERNIE GOT SCREWED.

3- TRUMP WON.

NO AMOUNT OF DUMB SINGING OR EXCESSIVE EGO TRIPPING BALLOON DROPPING WILL ALTER THOSE THREE CLEAR FACTS. SO ASK YOURSELVES, HOW CAN AN ENTIRE PARTY ELITE BE SO TOTALLY CLUELESS AND STUPID? IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO BE THAT INEPT. AT LEAST THE SONG SAID "BETTER DAYS TO COME" BUT THE FOUNDATION SPOUSES HAD A DIFFERENT SCENARIO IN MIND; AS IF BETTER DAYS - FOR THEM - WERE IMMINENT.

UPDATE: Rather than leave some people confused, this stuff is rehashed because of Donna disclosures, per the first cite above, source of the image used already and saying in part:

Right around the time of the convention, the leaked emails revealed Hillary’s campaign was grabbing money from the state parties for its own purposes, leaving the states with very little to support down-ballot races. A Politico story published on May 2, 2016, described the big fund-raising vehicle she had launched through the states the summer before, quoting a vow she had made to rebuild “the party from the ground up … when our state parties are strong, we win. That’s what will happen.”

Yet the states kept less than half of 1 percent of the $82 million they had amassed from the extravagant fund-raisers Hillary’s campaign was holding, just as Gary had described to me when he and I talked in August. When the Politico story described this arrangement as “essentially … money laundering” for the Clinton campaign, Hillary’s people were outraged at being accused of doing something shady. Bernie’s people were angry for their own reasons, saying this was part of a calculated strategy to throw the nomination to Hillary.

I wanted to believe Hillary, who made campaign finance reform part of her platform, but I had made this pledge to Bernie and did not want to disappoint him. I kept asking the party lawyers and the DNC staff to show me the agreements that the party had made for sharing the money they raised, but there was a lot of shuffling of feet and looking the other way.

When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.

The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

I had been wondering why it was that I couldn’t write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.

When the party chooses the nominee, the custom is that the candidate’s team starts to exercise more control over the party. If the party has an incumbent candidate, as was the case with Clinton in 1996 or Obama in 2012, this kind of arrangement is seamless because the party already is under the control of the president. When you have an open contest without an incumbent and competitive primaries, the party comes under the candidate’s control only after the nominee is certain. When I was manager of Al Gore’s campaign in 2000, we started inserting our people into the DNC in June. This victory fund agreement, however, had been signed in August 2015, just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination.

I had tried to search out any other evidence of internal corruption that would show that the DNC was rigging the system to throw the primary to Hillary, but I could not find any in party affairs or among the staff. I had gone department by department, investigating individual conduct for evidence of skewed decisions, and I was happy to see that I had found none. Then I found this agreement.

The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.

[link in original] That linked Politico item noted:

According to the agreements signed by the participating committees, which were obtained by POLITICO, the money is required to be distributed, at least initially, based on a formula set forth in joint fundraising agreements signed by the participants. The first $2,700 goes to the Clinton campaign, the next $33,400 goes to the DNC, and any remaining funds are to be distributed among the state parties.

But what happens to the cash after that initial distribution is left almost entirely to the discretion of the Clinton campaign. Its chief operating officer, Beth Jones, is the treasurer of the victory fund. And FEC filings show that within a day of most transfers from the victory fund to the state parties, identical sums were transferred from the state party accounts to the DNC, which Sanders’ supporters have accused of functioning as an adjunct of the Clinton campaign.

For example, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party received $43,500 from the victory fund on Nov. 2, only to transfer the same amount to the DNC that same day. The pattern repeated itself after the Minnesota party received transfers from the victory fund of $20,600 on Dec. 1 (the party sent the same amount to the DNC the next day) and $150,000 on Jan. 4 (it transferred the same amount to the DNC that day).

That means that Minnesota’s net gain from its participation in the victory fund was precisely $0 through the end of March. Meanwhile, the DNC pocketed an extra $214,100 in cash routed through Minnesota — much of which the DNC wouldn’t have been able to accept directly, since it came from donors who had mostly had already maxed out to the national party committee.

Down ballot, that centralized greed hurt Minnesota Democrats; shamefully so. Donna and Debbie fail to impress. Misuse of money is vexing, and also unimpressive.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Transgender election milestones; and 44 Minnesota troglodytes.

Election wins by transgender candidates is reported by WaPo, here and here.

That each of the two candidates was transgender, and won, is proof that issues and sound policies can trump hate in current US politics.

Thansgender haters idenfied here, are:

Minnesota Republican Reps. Glenn Gruenhagen of Glencoe, Tim Miller of Prinsburg, Abigail Whelan of Anoka, Cindy Pugh of Chanhassen, Peggy Scott of Andover, Kathy Lohmer of Stillwater, Bruce Vogel of Elko-New Market, Dennis Smith of Maple Grove, Jim Knoblach of St. Cloud, Bud Nornes of Fergus Falls, Mary Franson of Alexandria, Jeff Backer of Browns Valley, Mark Uglem of Champlin, Joe McDonald of Delano, Brian Daniels of Faribault, Matt Dean of Dellwood, Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa, Josh Heintzman of Nisswa, Linda Runbeck of Circle Pines, Jim Newberger of Becker, Ron Kresha of Little Falls, Jim Nash of Waconia, Dave Baker of Willmar, Bob Barrett of Taylor’s Falls, Chris Swedzinski of Ghent, Eric Lucero of Dayton, Dave Hancock of Bemidji, Bob Dettmer of Forest Lake, Debra Keil of Crookston, Bob Gunther of Fairmont, Tony Albright of Prior Lake, Mark Anderson of Lake Shore, Tony Cornish of Vernon Center, Dan Fabian of Roseau, Jerry Hertaus of Greenfield, Jason Rarick of Pine City, Paul Anderson of Starbuck, Greg Davids of Preston, Joyce Peppin of Rogers, Kelly Fenton of Woodbury, Tim Sanders of Blaine, Jon Koznick of Lakeville, Sarah Anderson of Plymouth, and Jeff Howe of Rickville.

Why such hatreds exist is a dark psychological question; but clearly there are people judging others by bogus and biased standards. People wanting to stigmatize others on illogical bases; the mentality being close to what might be needed to burn a witch. And to do so in an ever most pious and self-satisfied manner.

There should be no tolerance of falsely grounded hateful attitudes toward others, and seeing two transgender persons overcome the odds this election cycle is reassuring.

The sooner, the better. Cleaning the Minnesota legislature of its divisive and intolerant blowhards,44 of them, is next at hand. This link. It is time the 21st century reached Anoka County where I live, and reached its HD 35A, the House district in which my home lies. Get those people out of there so that government might work better, on actual and not falsely trumpeted matters of importance.

UPDATE: There is coordination; this link.

Useful medical science has its haters too. And there is overlap; rigid personalities biting into their pattern of divisive positions with pitbull jaw locks. So far, it's worked for the troglodytes at the ballot box. Failure that way will be the most prompt way of sidetracking the misdirected individuals so that progress may happen. They start losing, they start finding reason and good sense are not beyond their skill sets. Demagoguery of any kind only grows when it works.

Friday, November 03, 2017

And are there Haim Saban fingerprints upon the DNC's and Clinton canmpaign's secret arrangement?

Coverage appears to be Strib carrying DC-based feeds; but here the reporting is about Trump suggesting the Clinton campaign should be target of an investigation. Then there is damning news, when viewed from the standpoint of disillusioned and disappointed progressives, re the question of DNC biases vs. trustworthiness; this, source of the below screencapture:


Debbie Wasserman Schultz flat-out lied to the world about the pre-installed Clintonian ownership of DNC. Interesting "for example" links, here and here. That DNC stable still needs to be mucked; yet Tom Perez apparently sees no such tasking on the job description he's defined for himself.

Remember the lesson of 2016.

UPDATE: Daily Caller suggests two years passed and owning up to the disgraced DNC - Clinton deal only happened in exchange for a cofmortable book deal where something new had to be expected to move copies off shelves and out of Amazon inventory. The suggestion is troubling; money ran the deal into existence; money caused disclosure of the deal to surface; but in each instance money motivated; patriotism and public trust having lesser roles.

The worse part of the shenanigans - it was a ton of money behind an individual who failed to defeat the most unpopular Presidential candidate in the nation's history, because of being equally unpopular, and a lazy and ineffective campaigner to boot. What were people doing and thinking. Bernie WOULD have won. Blowing a shot at the spoils that way was not only corrupt, but ineffectively corrupt in a context where corruption is a usual norm that usually works. Inept corruption, the nutshell description of DWS leeadership at DNC.

AND BERNIE WOULD HAVE WON. That is the sadness to all of the story. President Sanders, sidetracked for Trump/Pence, a victim of venal bad judgments by ones who would do the same damned thing over again, if holding onto that chance.

Remember the lesson of 2016. But go beyond remembering it. Show an upward sloping learning curve, and beyond that, move to relevance for encompassing mature long-term good judgment and willingness to sincerely and fundamentally restructure. Specifically, restructure Away from Clintonian-Gingrich outlooks of disregard toward fair needs of the disadvantaged majority of the people in the nation. Bernie clearly gained and held on to the mood and will of people. His crowds were not intolerant, except toward government tendencies to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to actual majority thought among the people.

Vin Weber, Tony Podesta. The ugly underside of lobbying and why lobbyist should be scorned, shunned, and horse-whipped.

Vin Weber getting a possible comeuppance is not bad news. Real news. Real nice?

Excerpt, mid-item:

Representatives for Weber's firm and Podesta said they are cooperating with the special counsel's investigation. Podesta, whose brother was the chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign, has resigned from his firm.

FBI agents working for Mueller are asking witnesses about meetings among Gates, Podesta and Weber to discuss the lobbying work in detail and any communication with representatives of a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party, according to two people familiar with the interviews who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.

"There were questions about how much Podesta and Vin Weber were involved. There was a lot of interest there," one of them said.

FBI agents also expressed interest in the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, which produced a 2012 report used to justify the jailing of an opposition politician in Ukraine.

Both people said that investigators on Mueller's team have asked about what the lobbyists knew about the source of the funding and who was directing the work in 2012 - long before Manafort became Trump's campaign chairman in 2016.

Local Minnesota Strib coverage; a year and some months ago::

Vin Weber linked to ex-Trump strategist's Ukrainian lobbying effort -- The former Minnesota Republican faces uncertainty as to whether he will be part of any federal inquiry into the lobbying. By Allison Sherry Star Tribune - August 25, 2016 — 9:39pm

Between 2012 and 2014, Weber received almost $700,000 to lobby for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, an organization that advocated for the country to join the European Union. Weber, along with the Podesta Group, received the contract from Paul Manafort and another Trump strategist, Rick Gates.

Manafort could face a federal inquiry for his lobbying ties to the Russian government. At the same time, Ukrainian investigators are examining a corruption network allegedly used to influence elections during the administration of former President Viktor Yanukovych, one of Manafort’s main clients.

After the new Ukrainian revelations, Manafort abruptly resigned from the Trump campaign, and now Weber faces uncertainty as to whether he will be part of a federal inquiry.

“Our purpose was to keep [the Ukrainians] away from Moscow,” said Weber, a former Republican congressman who left office in 1993. “Our goal as Americans and Westerners was to bring Ukraine into the E.U. Our explicit work was anti-Russian.”

Controversy surrounding potentially illegal lobbying contracts with Ukraine emerged after the New York Times reported earlier in August about a secret ledger that detailed more than $12 million in alleged cash payments to Manafort from Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party. Manafort has denied receiving any money.

In an interview, Weber said Manafort might have misled him about who was funding the Centre for a Modern Ukraine.

With the high eight-figure amounts mentiolned in press accounts as adventure proceeds which Manafort and Gates appear to have stashed multiple places for their tax-free luxurious benefit, it appears that at $700,000 Weber was bought cheap.

Vin Weber in a slammer might make some Minnesotans smile, but bet at best, a few days in a country-club federal facility with inmate treatment a few cuts better than Gitmo. Beyond hypotheticals, Strib carried the AP feed from days ago. What a possibility; Vin Weber and Tony Podesta as cell mates.

Yes, we can. But - will we?

UPDATE: The one thing missing so far; Ollie North with serious face on, testifying in his marine uniform. Do you suppose Flynn, when the time comes, goes into uniform to explain his money trail?

Thursday, November 02, 2017

The shame. The horror. The reverberating reprecussions throughout the press and leading electronic media: A Presidential candidate and his candidacy effort to have a visit and bonding with a foreign head of state with efforts afoot by that foreign power to have influence on a Presidential election outcome; during the year of those efforts. Surely a federal crime is at hand.

E.g., This link. Source of this image.
With AIPAC, is there doubt it is a foreign-influenced
operation aimed at impacting election outcomes?

The Logan Act, where should its reach be adjudged?

Gen. Flynn met an ambassador as a private citizen discussing matters of state in a Presidential election year and while attached to a candidacy campaign. Romney, the candidate himself flew to, visited with, and held private discussions with Bibi which were possibly related to international policy. In a Presidential year. On Bibi's turf.

And the press shows consistency in reporting emphasis, slant and judgments?

UPDATE: https://www.franken.senate.gov/files/letter/171102_SessionsLetter.pdf

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Sniping. Uranium. Podesta. Cease and desist?

Two items, sequentially, here, then here. That last item, in its closing something curious which, presumably, only a lawyer would think to include in a cease and desist letter:


That has to be a joke, right? Copyright assertion over a cease and desist letter seems downright dumb.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"It is impossible to run a public affairs firm while you are under attack by Fox News and the right wing media,” [Tony] Podesta told employees at the Podesta Group offices on Monday, according to a person familiar with his remarks.

The headline is a mid-paragraph from WaPo, here.

Calling Podesta Brothers operation "a public affairs firm" is an extreme euphemism for what it really is. Both of the Podesta brothers should resign from DC, go somewhere else, and learn to earn a productive income via value added to the locale and nation.

At any rate, the WaPo item, in opening, explains:

Powerful lobbyist Tony Podesta steps down amid Mueller’s Russia probe
By Marc Fisher and Carol D. Leonnig October 30 at 9:54 PM


[...] On Monday, hours after the first indictments in the investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, Podesta abruptly quit his post atop the Podesta Group, the capital’s eighth-wealthiest lobbying firm.

Podesta’s departure came as the indictments of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort and his business partner, Rick Gates, raised questions about the work Podesta’s firm did with Manafort to buff the image of the Ukrainian government. Podesta, 74, said he was quitting because of the barrage of criticism he’s been getting as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III pursues the investigation.

Calling what Tony Podesta did against the public interest, for money, "a public affairs firm" is like calling a stinking gull-infested garbage dump "an environmental adaptation location."

And not just "for money." Most often, for lots of money. Obscene amounts of money. "For sale" does not mean for sale cheap.

So --- Is it, "Watch the doorknob, Tony;" or is there a golden parachute with a stay out of jail free card appended?

If sincere, he should disband the firm, burn his shares at the Lincoln Memorial, and then go into the wilderness to do grave penance.

Brother John being Tony's companion for that mea culpa and penance pilgrimage is a warming thought. A hypothetical, clearly, but it is the thought that counts.

What do you figure the guy who got the plea might have, to testify against Tony Podesta? And that is aside from the bigger question, what may be testimonial and documentary evidence against Donald Jr. and Jarad?

A separate WaPo item, this link, states in regard to a possible campaign-Kremlin get-together:

"Make the trip, if it is feasible,” Sam Clovis wrote in an August email to George Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulos was in contact with several senior Trump campaign aides about his efforts to broker a relationship between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the court papers show. In addition to Clovis, who now serves as senior White House adviser to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Papadopoulos wrote to campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and campaign chairman Paul Manafort, the newly released documents show.

The campaign officials are not identified in court documents, but [...]

In a statement, Papadopoulos’s attorneys Thomas Breen and Robert Stanley said they would refrain from commenting on the case.

“We will have the opportunity to comment on George’s involvement when called upon by the Court at a later date,” they said. “We look forward to telling all of the details of George’s story at that time.”

Can it touch Mike Pence, and if so, is he tefloned against any of it sticking? It appears much of the fan loading up as described in court papers happened after Pence was selected. That selection process might have been a real hoot to have observed as if the proverbial fly on the wall. Reporting much like The Wrap, here, was widespread enough to raise questions and to make that fly-on-the-wall hypothetical appealing in terms of knowing rather than conjecturing who said what to whom?.

Mike Pence seems to have shown a Chauncey Garderner career trajectory, out of Being There. But a narrow and ill-tempered one where his actual gardening skills would raise questions.

_____________UPDATE_______________
Two web searches, here and here, indicate Podesta Group and Mercury, of which Vin Weber is a principle, had substantial income from Ukraine government lobbying work without disclosure of such foreign government services as required by law. If the Mueller effort can bring down the Podesta brothers and Vin Weber in one big net of slime, much good may result from any such stable mucking. Example coverage, here, here, here and here, (noting that some pre-indictment coverage is included).

From The Hill; link in original:

In the wake of Podesta’s departure, a new firm will be formed without his name, CNN reported, citing an unnamed source. The Hill has confirmed that there will be a new entity, with a source familiar with the developments saying that the roll out will likely take place before the end of the week.

"They've been thinking about it and planning it for awhile; it'll be quick," the source told The Hill, asking for anonymity to discuss the events.

A source at the firm told The Hill that a small group is "now working to salvage as much of our current business as possible," saying that the response has been positive thus far. The person asked for anonymity in order to discuss the sensitive topic.

"There are a bunch of people here who just want to get back to doing what we do best," the person from Podesta Group told The Hill.

"... what we do best ..." is nothing to be proud of; but it pays well and somebody would do it, so why not Podesta Redux? A lot of DC inner-beltway types with knives and forks on the table, gotta eat something ...

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Politico ended an Oct. 30 report:

Podesta Group did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Podesta has long been a larger than life figure on K Street, growing his business from a boutique firm into a massive lobbying and public relations operation. He is well known for his flashy dressing, vast art collection, generous campaign donations across all levels of Democratic politics and, of course, for his brother John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

Podesta Group has struggled in the wake of the Mueller investigation. More than a dozen of its lobbying clients have cut ties with the firm this year, according to lobbying filings. Revenues have also declined: The firm brought in an estimated $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $5.2 million in the second quarter of 2017 and from $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2016.

Attitudes may differ but I find it hard to tear up over a lobbying megalith losing clients. The lobbyists, the clients, the influenced officials all could be cast adrift mid-Pacific in a dinghy with short rations, and tearing up over that might be equally difficult. Other lobbyists, when Podesta loses clients, would they tear up for Tony? Would the Clintons?

Monday, October 30, 2017

National Review, this month, publishes about Uranium One. Clintons are mentioned.

This link. A plea bargain is mentioned in the report. UPDATE: The report links to The Hill, here.

Not yet to the heart of the beast; two Mueller indictments revealed. Unfortunately, nothing yet touching Mike Pence.

WaPo, this Monday morning:

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime business partner Rick Gates have been charged in a 12-count indictment with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money and making false statements.

The indictment marked the first criminal allegations to come from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election.

The charges did not reference the Trump campaign but instead focused on Manafort’s and Gates’s work advising a Russia-friendly political party in Ukraine.

[...] Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016, and Trump tapped him to serve as campaign chairman in May of that year. He left in August 2016, but Gates, his business partner and protege, continued to play an important role with the campaign even after Manafort’s departure. After the election Gates directed the inauguration plans, including fundraising, under Tom Barrack, Trump’s close friend and adviser.

Manafort's tenure on the Trump effort spanned the convention and the naming of Pence for the VP spot. Hopefully something, somewhere along the line sticks to Pence.

The other Mike: So far, it's two indictments independent of anything Mike Flynn did, so the question of what Flynn knew and when did he know it still remains publicly unanswered. There is no hint of any plea bargaining in reporting known to Dev Crabgrass.

_______________UPDATE___________________
Well, there was a plea bargain, and how it fits other Mueller musings is unclear, with a different WaPo item stating:

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Monday revealed charges against three former Trump campaign officials — former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his longtime business partner Rick Gates and former Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos — marking the first criminal allegations to come from probes into possible Russian influence in U.S. political affairs.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty earlier this month to making a false statement to FBI investigators who asked about his contacts with a foreigner connected to Russian officials, and the agreement was unsealed Monday. The foreigner was described as a London-based professor and Papadopoulos claimed the professor introduced him to Putin’s niece and the Russian ambassador in London, according to the indictment.

The reporting makes no link between Gates and Manafort and this third perp, which does not mean a connection may or may not exist, only that reporting is as it is. Thus far. That being said absent a reading of court filings, which reader search can find online.

NY Times, here.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

There are things you get a personal resonance with, on YouTube, that reading does not fully transcribe.

Sanders on foreign policy - the guns and butter juxtaposition of Econ. 101 and all - this link.

Under an hour.

Watch it.

Indeed, commit to the first ten minutes and then watch more into the policy commentary as you may choose.

screen capture from within the first ten minutes

What do the CIA and FBI have to hide?

WaPo, here. Covering up for the Dulles brothers?

As a bet, without taking the time to wade through the censored document release in the last few days, the contention here is that the word "Dulles" was fully redacted and never appears. Readers with evidence in the documents to the contrary are urged to submit links via a comment.

UPDATE: Interestingly, word searching this WaPo page for "Dulles" yielded no hits. Reader help: any mention, Rafael Cruz - Mexico in the recently declassified publicly released stuff?

NOTE: No "Cruz" mention foound by word search on that WaPo page; one "Mexico" item noted there. Trump's suggestion Rafael Cruz met Oswald in Mexico City was a bold assertion, one yet to be proven or disproved. Whatever the truth, it sure seemed to light Ted Cruz's fuse. And for that Trump deserves due notice.


Friday, October 27, 2017

RT - Not for twits.

This RT link.

Ghost town death rattles? If you pack enough money into a deep deep hole, you can fill it to the top, but it's still a big hole with costly stuffing.

This link.

"Trump Invited ‘Fox & Friends’ Co-Host Pete Hegseth to Private Dinner at White House"

The post headline is the headline used by The Wrap, with this image:


With his FOX job is Hegseth anything of a present presence in Minnesota? He gets a tout from local Republican mavens, but is it more than a visit/chat? And why does nobody ask the guy what his precise job duties were when serving at the Gitmo detention camp? That service has to be a part of making Hegseth who he is today. So what did he do there?

UPDATE: Hegseth, In the twin cities, apparently briefly, per this link. Do you suppose he merits a Clinton/Goldman speaking fee for such an appearance, or was there more to Clinton/Goldman affairs? Despite it all, and besides being a hell of a bad aim throwing an axe, Hegseth has seemed to me to have feet of clay. Despite a range of touting, what's truth and what's fiction?

FURTHER:Bio, at Premier Speakers Bureau. Minnesota not mentioned. Nor Hegseth's candidacy history as noted online:

Pete Hegseth for Senate was a Senate campaign committee during the 2012 election based in Minnesota. As of June 30, 2012, the committee raised a total of $203k and spent a total of $203k.

[...]

Receipts Amount
Contributions $202,059 US
.............
Individual Contributions $198,459 USD
PAC Contributions $3,600 USD
Offsets to Operating Expenditures $495 USD
Total Receipts $202,554 USD

[...]

Expenditures Amount
Administrative/Salary $191,365 USD
Advertising $9,261 USD
Campaigning $9,484 USD
Contribution Refunds $15,000 USD
Fundraising $2,015 USD
Polling $692 USD
Travel $6,283 USD
Unclassifiable $44,110 USD
[...]

Campaign Headquarters Address
Pete Hegseth for Senate
Po Box 270726
Vadnais Heights, Minnesota 55127

A bit over two hundred grand taken in; $190 grand of it going to "Administrative/Salary" - questions may exist.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Two Gentlemen from Verona Whitefish, Montana.

After the unfortunate Montana special election outcome took Montana from the national spotlight it held as election day neared, attention from here has not sufficiently been paid to the Montana Cowgirl websight until now. An item titled, "Drip. Drip. Drip."

Whitefish Energy received the government contract to restore Puerto Rico’s power.

The whole story is worth a read, particularly because of the absurdity that a company with two full-time employees could be the best option for a $300 million contract to bring back power to Puerto Rico, [...]

Whitefish Energy is based in Whitefish, Mont., the home town of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Its chief executive, Andy Techmanski, and Zinke acknowledge knowing one another — but only, Zinke’s office said in an email, because Whitefish is a small town where “everybody knows everybody.” One of Zinke’s sons “joined a friend who worked a summer job” at one of Techmanski’s construction sites, the email said. Whitefish said he worked as a “flagger.”

Zinke’s office said he had no role in Whitefish securing the contract for work in Puerto Rico. Techmanski also said Zinke was not involved.

Here at the Cowgirl blog, we started to receive tips and comments about this story five days ago, when Montana Public Radio ran a story on it.

Apparently, Techmanski likes to brag around town about how connected he is with Zinke. As reported in the Post’s story, Zinke’s son used to draw a paycheck from the company. I am sure that had nothing to do with this company, of two people, securing a ginormous government contract.

[bolded links are from original]

Local coverage from Montana might be the best news to follow. Moreover, the comment streams to posts at Cowgirl merit attention.


COWGIRL BONUS:

John Heenan, Grant Kier, Tom Woods, and whatever other Democrat joins this primary are not going to be able to outspend Greg Gianforte. But if Greg continues to be an asshole, they might not have to.

(Follow the BONUS link for context suggesting on first reading that "continues" is the properly used word.)

UPDATE: Gianforte getting Cowgirl tough love.

FURTHER: Politico riffs on Montana's Zinke and the who-dat "Virgin Island GOP," a tale without a hero.

FURTHER: Daily Beast.

FURTHER: BuzzFeed. Which followed up on the energy firm's business address: see it; believe it.

FURTHER: More local Montana viewpoints; John Heenan - this news item and this; also, this websearch, and candidacy pages - here and here.

FURTHER: http://www.standwithmontanans.org/

FURTHER: WaPo, Oct. 29, mid-day reporting.

Impatience can be criticized, but soon we will have 2018 elections so is there time to tolerate appeasement?

This link, focused on Bernie and Liz and their out-of-the-wilderness leadership insightfulness, but mid-item, this:

With polling indicating that support for a universal healthcare system in the US is growing, a number of progressive activists have declared the issue will be a “litmus test” for Democrats, threatening candidates who don’t support Sanders’s “single-payer” plan with a primary challenge.

Warren rejects that kind of aggressive approach. “I don’t believe in litmus tests for Democrats,” she told reporters after the event. “I’m not voting anybody off the island.”

[...] “The political energy has migrated to the polar extremes on both sides and it has left a large swath of the population feeling homeless,” said Will Marshall, one of the leading intellectual architects of the neoliberal “New Democrat” movement embraced by Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the 1990s.

Worried that pragmatism will be relegated to the past, Marshall formed New Democracy, an organization that aims to “expand the party’s appeal across middle America and make Democrats competitive everywhere”. The group is looking to fight back against progressives’ attacks on their brand of market-friendly liberalism.

“When you’re in the minority party, you can’t bet everything on one theory or voter group. You’ve got to expand in every direction,” Marshall said. “We need to win in a bunch of places and there isn’t one single message.”

The ideological rift in the party is not new, but tensions between the liberals dreaming of healthcare reform and the moderates trying to win re-election in states where Trump dominated has only grown since the election.

At a conference earlier this month, Warren declared progressives the “heart and soul of today’s Democratic party” and promised the party would not retreat to the centrist economic policies that dominated party orthodoxy for more than two decades.

Will Marshall seems an idiot, or worse, a wolf in wolf's clothing. A GOP attitude belongs in the GOP, so Will, take Tom Perez over there with you, please. And take the Podesta brothers too, since they're wholly in it for the gelt.

______________UPDATE_______________
Then there are snakes in snake skins, hiding snake deeds in the weeds.


usnews.com picked this image to go with its report. Not me.
Not me this time flagging the tiebreaker in the grass..

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Eveleth death.

NEOM conceptual branding without any "Trump" cobranding appearing as sought or envisioned.

Saudi news, here and here. With a half-trillion dollar price tag, as currently envisioned, it's bigger than the NFL. Bigger than Goldman Sachs. Perhaps having less reach and gravitas than Goldman being for the future to disclose. Goldman is not known for embracing a limited reach.

Uranium One. Is it old news with a new twist; or questionably deep-sixed things floating to today's surface?

Links here and here were found giving initial notice. In addition, WaPo, and LA Times, reporting links were found in the return list of this web search.

There always was an air of some skulduggery going under media attention and scrutiny. Now if there is substance, it should be uncovered, or the matter dismissed as potentially lurid, but without sufficient evidence of wrong doing.

Either way, a more refined PUBLIC airing atarting with examination of FBI investigation results (and following the money where it may lead) should benefit national discourse while satisfying the public's need to know. Always following the money helps. If criminality was avoided, there might still be a veneer of sleaze reaching multiple culprits. Sunlight on the entire business of Uranium One dealings, and political and fiscal interactions cannot be anything but helpful. Money and power and American uranium reserves make good reading once someone formulates a story to tell with proof backing it up.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Ramsey Town Center putsch has not been quelled. ABC Newspapers report.

This link. Crabgrass is growing strong. Subsidizing its prosperity seems a never-ceasing Ramsey Town exercise in government over Ramsey's resident taxpayers.

How convincing to you, that entrenchment knows best?

Superdelegate DNC opinion - what's justified, what's poisoning the well so that progressives cannot in conscience take part? Not wanting to hear about recent 2016 superdelegate history is a fault, in the minds of some who believe noses need to be rubbed in it. Rubbed in it in order to get the attention of entrenched comfort off the dime in needed good ways and in productive directions of actual CHANGE. Deny such a need, then perish by intransigence of the we-know-best self seekers' dismissal of popular intelligence. Bernie resonated for a reason and it was not among superdelegates, who favored defeat over victory on newer wiser terms.

UPDATE: Nina Turnder has HOPE. Whether DNC December decisions will be hopeful and helpful remains to be seen. Nina Turner is a realist, but will wait. A claim of a purge is being leveled by a TYT reporter. A more vocal critique, same basis, in another TYT segment.

FURTHER UPDATE: A third TYT exegesis - on the same basis. Should progressives be angered? Should primary challenges proliferate?

Superdelegates have been sub-super and that is unlikely to CHANGE. Fewer is better than many, none is best. Do you expect CHANGE? HOPE? Same old losing stuff? Money corrupting chances for the people to be recognized and served by the party using "Democratic" in its name?

FURTHER: Registered lobbyists mucking around DNC positions of influence? What's happening? Is it for the best of the nation? For the best of the peoples' interests being served?