consultants are sandburs

Monday, February 29, 2016

Chris Christie's Trump endorsement draws attention.

LA Times, here, asking a key question.

NY Times, here.

Atlantic, recent, here; source of the left-side screenshot of how the item's beginning appears in the Opera browser, my PC - it being unclear where to cut "beginning" from "body" of the item, so it was done somewhat arbitrarily, top third of the screen capture (hit original for full item and active links - click the image to enlarge and read).

Meg Whitman too, per NY Times; yes, that Meg Whitman re opportunism; e.g., here, here, here and here. Meg Whitman in line with the ending review of the directly below post.

Politicians and CEO's present/past of HP; what a bunch. An overlapping pair of sets, that bunch.

UPDATE: Besides Gov. Christie, Trump has a Senator who's endorsed him; Jeff Sessions of Alabama. That's one more Senator's backing than Ted Cruz has, aside of course, from Sen. Cruz himself.

FURTHER: Sore losers lack class.

FURTHER: Breitbart News reports Sen. Sessions support reaches to opposition to TPP secret trade shenanigans. Does anyone care whether Meg Whitman feels Trump is unfit to be President, given how voters of California decided she was not super-fit to be their Governor? Meg Whitman, other than eBay, what's to say?



Sunday, February 28, 2016

With Sarah Palin and Chris Christie having endorsed Donald Trump, which do you suppose might have a place in a Trump cabinet?

No followup to the headline. It stands alone. Yes, Clinton did win South Carolina. Yes, it might end up a Trump vs Clinton final. Yes, Mainstream Marco is marketed; but if as it looks he will trail Trump in Florida, lights out.


Wapo: "Rubio, Cruz release past five years of tax returns"

Okay, lady, add that to the public's right to see your frigging Goldman-Sachs and other speech transcripts. Be as open and above board, as Ted Cruz. How badly bought and owned; beyond what you and Brian Fallon say? It's obscene to stonewall. Pure and simple. Obscene. Meaning disclosure likely would be more obscene?

Regardless of where delegate nose counts stand by the Ides of March: Why don't we keep asking?

FURTHER: Simply saying the equivalent of "Madelaine Albright also enriched herself big-time on the post-cabinet speech circuit, and I am no different," will not get it done.

FURTHER: Beyond Trump being the target of the Cruz/Rubio [coordinated?] tax return release; there is Trump University. Did John Kline get Trump campaign money while in Congress, and is he on record one way or the other on Trump University as part of the for-profits he's endorsed?

Bernie seems the only above reproach candidate in terms of money corrupting or at least influencing things; and curiously, he's getting plowed under by the establishment. A victim of the John Klines of this world, the Citizens United beneficiaries. The established way of doing things in our current US of A.

Bless Strib and their editorial endorsement; (a process apart from Glen Taylor's ownership of the outlet?).


"Powerful case." Wanna bet?

An expectation, buyer's remorse this cycle for Norman Braman equal to that of Nasser Kazeminy. Rubio at least is well positioned next cycle, for mayor of Miami.

WaPo, here, click to read names
Remember that Trump is suing TV outlet Univision. May the circles be unbroken unraveled.

Extortion in the eye of the beholder? Huh? What's happening?

One big Gordian Knot?

FURTHER: End with a hoot. Our Utah friend, Orrin Hatch, in discussing the Rubio candidacy had his senior moment, forgetting the Quayle - Benson exchange, Hatch quoted by Newsmax:

"Democrats can run a younger person like John F. Kennedy because the media is with them," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who has endorsed Bush. "Republicans will have a more difficult time because if somebody's young, they're going to get beaten up like never before by this biased media."

It was either a senior moment, or Orrin as a Bush backer was more subtle than I'd have ever imagined, in deliberately trashing Rubio's aura, but so indirectly. Yes, and despite the neocon posing business, Kennedy was somewhat more a war hero than Rubio, there is that.

FURTHER: Was it collusive litigation from the start; an indirect way a Trump campaign might be financed outside of donations and campaign finance law? Trump self finances, then settles the Univision suit after the anti-Latino commentary made it appear as a real case and controversy? Terms of settlement? Not publicly announced. Links saying that and little of substance beyond "we settled;" here, here and here.

That's Entertainment.

It has a miasma to it, filed back when, settled before Super Tuesday. The name Haim Saban is interesting, as to Univision, also, politics.

Art of the Deal?

FURTHER: Supporting an earlier WaPo link. But look at the opening image. Youngsters, like Rubio now, looking for what comes along.

Names here, for those liking to sift through a haystack, looking for a needle. But short of that; lots of names. First page, Bronfman booze participates. What else?

FURTHER: Opinions can differ on the BDS proposals for containing Israel and reforming some of that nation's greater abuses against Palestinian occupants of it and occupied territory; and with that preface, there is Alternet on the Clinton position, tied to money; via linking to Clinton affiliated PAC cash, here and to a Clinton letter to Haim Saben. That letter was written on Clinton campaign letterhead, footed as it is (the letter itself stating it was soliciting only "thoughts and recommendations" as well as "perspective and advice").

There is a Feb. 2016 item to like effect, Salon, here. This websearch with regard to Trump on Israel-BDS questions. Same websearch, substituting Rubio for Trump. Two "first ten return" items, here and here. First return item from the Rubio search; Norman Braman mentioned. This item in first ten returned items; Rubio search. Last, same websearch, "Ted Cruz" substituted for Rubio.

Interestingly, that websearch with "Bernie Sanders" substituted for "Ted Cruz" seems to return top hits with a common theme of concern being a common thread. That about raps up front runner search; and now, who cares what the search with "JEB!" would yield?

Truthdig juxtaposes two items, here and here (the latter citing the Alternet item on Clinton-Saban matters), the former quoting and linking to a Guardian item.

Some judge Middle East interventionist wars in our recent history as failures; others might, sub voce, be itching for more of the same. In Marco Rubio's case, sub voce is not the governing term.

It is almost an obligation, given the headline and beginning of the post: same websearch per "Chris Christie," and per "Sarah Palin." That said, returning to the Guardian item, absent its links, it begins:

As Bernie Sanders has risen in the polls, he has been taking increasing heat for some of his apparently vague foreign policy positions and the fact that his campaign does not have a team of establishment foreign policy advisers, unlike typical front-running candidates.

Instead of just questioning Sanders’ choice, we should really be questioning why any of the candidates of either party are employing the same old foreign policy advisers – many of whom not only supported the Iraq war but every disastrous military intervention since. These are the same people who now think that yet another regional war will somehow fix the chaos in the Middle East.

After a series of disastrous wars overseas, we should be looking for someone who has better “judgment” rather than candidates who have “experience” but are calling for more of the same policies in the Middle East that have led us into the mess we’re in now in the first place.

Nothing exemplifies this more than Hillary Clinton seemingly bragging about her foreign policy credentials at Thursday’s Democratic debate by citing her friendship with Henry Kissinger, who Christopher Hitchens called a war criminal. The former Nixon and Ford administration national security advisor and secretary of state is revered in DC foreign policy establishment circles but reviled just about everywhere else for his role in building or perpetuating multiple atrocities in east Asia during the late 1960s and 70s.

As Gawker editor Alex Pareene remarked during the debate: “Never say ‘I was flattered when Henry Kissinger said I…’ unless the end of that sentence is ‘finally made him pay for his crimes.’”

[10:15 AM 2/29/2016: All for now, this post, anything else shall be via a new starting headline-post (except after writing that, the screenshots of the Clinton-Saban letter were taken and then inserted above)]

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Leo Foley obit in Strib online.

Dated Feb. 27, this link.

While never having met Foley, my sister knew him and highly respected him as a person and for his work in the legislature.

One thing she said, and it continues in mind, Foley after three decades or so in the Minnesota Highway Patrol was a strong seat belt supporter, his quote being, "In all my years in the patrol I never unbuckled a dead person."

That is a very graphic way of saying "They work."

Probably many in the Coon Rapids, north metro, and Anoka County area knew Foley and regret his death. I regret it greatly despite only having second-hand knowledge of the man and his life's work.

Ghostwriters in the sky. Or, how to pay off a hundred grand in student loans, finally, in one easy $800,000 book advance lesson. The easy way. The Marco Rubio way.

Here, here, and here. Read them in any order. Here's a hoot:

Marco Rubio’s Campaign Doesn’t Know Why His Law Firm Bio Says He Lobbied Congress - Rubio has denied lobbying the federal government while in the Florida legislature.
by: Andrew Kaczynski, BuzzFeed News Reporter

In the mid-2000s, Marco Rubio was described as having “represented local governments before Congress” — meaning that he was a lobbyist — for a prestigious Florida law firm.

Officials for the Florida senator’s presidential campaign have said in recent days that Rubio wasn’t a lobbyist.

The Washington Post first reported that Rubio had registered as a federal lobbyist in the 2003 for the law firm Becker & Poliakoff. His campaign said the senator had no recollection of filing out the registration form, and a former associate who worked with Rubio at the law firm said that he could not recall Rubio lobbying the federal government. The associate described Rubio’s role to the Post as more of a coordinator and facilitator, but not a lobbyist.

A 2005 biography found by BuzzFeed News also describes Rubio’s role as more in line with traditional lobbying. That biography is for a second, different law firm, Broad and Cassel, to which Rubio had moved. One of the bullet points reads that Rubio, then the majority leader of the Florida House of Representatives, represented local governments before Congress.

Todd Harris, a Rubio campaign operative, told BuzzFeed News he didn’t know how the detail made onto Rubio’s page. “You can talk to every firm he’s every worked for and they will tell you he never lobbied the federal government,” Harris said.

[WaPo link in original] Aside from such early-career actual practice of law [such as it was; in the lobby?] the man's a career politician and nothing short of a career politician; an establishment figure, posing otherwise.

As vanilla establishment centric DC entrenched as to having endorsed Mitt Romney because he thinks a convention floor fight, (a/k/a a brokered convention), is inherently bad for the Republican party.

Really, that's him saying, "floor fight" = bad; for the party. As in party first, personal ambition second. Rubio. Marco Rubio. On YouTube. You can watch it again.

The WaPo item linked to from the Buzzfeed story begins:

Marco Rubio was 28 when he was elected to the Florida legislature. He was about to become a father and was struggling to balance the financial demands of a growing family with his political aspirations.

About a year and a half after taking his seat in Florida’s part-time legislature, Rubio got a financial boost, accepting a job at the Miami law firm Becker & Poliakoff for $93,000 a year. Although Rubio was a lawyer by training, his colleagues quickly recognized the advantage of having a charismatic, high-energy politician in the office.

“It was as simple as saying, ‘Marco, who should I call in this place about this issue?’ ” recalled Perry Adair, a real estate lawyer in charge of the firm’s Miami office, where Rubio worked from 2001 to 2004. “Marco knew the staff everywhere. He had been in politics all his life.”

During nine years in Tallahassee, as Rubio rose in prominence and ascended to the state House speakership, he became increasingly well compensated as he walked a narrow line between his work as a lawmaker and an employee of outside firms with interests before the state government.

Although he began his legislative career as a man of modest means, Rubio in 2008 reached an income level that placed him in the top 1 percent of American earners.

Whoa. The dude's a 1%'er. That, and posturing to Tea Party regulars, who are being taken for a ride, by the 1%.

Who in the world can take Marco Rubio seriously beyond viewing him as a wealthy-from-politics overly ambitious limited career politician appearing as if possibly a shade more likable as a person than Ted Cruz, (were you to get to know either)? No wonder the handlers program him tightly to scripted soundbites he can deliver in rapid gunfire-like fashion. Fashion without passion. Empty suit. Stuffed shirt. Chris Christie exposed that, and then in the latest "debate" going mean. Going nasty to taint Trump.

There's nothing there of substance, beyond that.

As presidential as a phone pole. But shorter.

Norman Braman, photo.

photo credit, this link - check it out

Women who could end up President. Which would you buy a used car speech transcript from?

Photo credit, and story, HuffPo, here.

Well. Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem may pile on me for looking at the picture and saying, Oz, the good witch and the wicked witch, but some things are hard to resist. Not that Albright's and Steinem's piling on has been proto-effective, in recent months. They seem exited, stage right, for the duration.

UPDATE: Warren is the candidate many wanted, first choice. Bernie entered when Warren demurred. Trump is leading; and the two-party jackasses are offering and touting distasteful establishment fare; Clinton from the one, Rubio from the other. Lesser, more purchased and owned beings than Bernie and Trump. It makes you somewhat upset with the two-party jackasses. They upset me, at least. What do you suppose the general mood of the populace is about that, and about how mainstream media as well as party pundits address Rubio as a Republican savior figure? Unrest seems to exist. Unrest is good. And best if it can alter things.

FURTHER: As to the used speech transcript, how it might currently best be priced is in flux. But new, the proof seems to be one costs fairly more than a tricked out brand new McLauren. It must be higher in horsepower. Or better in mileage. Or in lasting value to the buyer.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Asked whether she could assure U.S. voters that the speeches would not undermine her calls to rein in the financial industry, Clinton told MSNBC: "Absolutely."

Absolutely, yes, if she releases undoctored full transcripts and they back up what she says. Words alone are cheap.

This Feb. 26 Reuters link. Source of the Crabgrass headline-quote.

UPDATE: NY Times in a Feb. 25 oped, stated in part [links in original] -

On Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton further complained, “Why is there one standard for me, and not for everybody else?”

The only different standard here is the one Mrs. Clinton set for herself, by personally earning $11 million in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 for 51 speeches to banks and other groups and industries.

Voters have every right to know what Mrs. Clinton told these groups. In July, her spokesman Nick Merrill said that though most speeches were private, the Clinton operation “always opened speeches when asked to.” Transcripts of speeches that have been leaked have been pretty innocuous. By refusing to release them all, especially the bank speeches, Mrs. Clinton fuels speculation about why she’s stonewalling.

I would say one standard for anyone having eleven million dollars of secret slush, another standard being fine for those not so.

Money for nothing? Then release. Money for something? Then what, exactly? Interesting wording by NY Times staff, "earning" all that loot, not "receiving," as in active voice vs passive voice.

What done, to "earn?" Just doing her, "Walk of Life?" What?

FURTHER: With the knives being sharpened, it is troublesome to see the stonewalling, for anyone wanting Dem down ticket wins in November. It is not just Bernie being peverse; it is a big festering sore - a boil better lanced sooner than later.

Release. If it is not a ticking timebomb, then defuse it now and move on. If it is a ticking timebomb, then move aside.

FURTHER: The NY Times oped ends [again, links are from the original]:

The hazards of Mrs. Clinton, a presidential hopeful, earning more than $200,000 each for dozens of speeches to industry groups were clear from the start. Mrs. Clinton was making paid speeches when she hired consultants to vet her own background in preparation for a run. If they didn’t flag this, they weren’t doing their jobs.

Well, come on, they flagged it. Nobody could miss it. These are not local Iowa town volunteers; but paid operatives on a national stage. They flagged it. No two ways. They did. They had to have.

Nothing for her to fear in releasing transcripts, but fear itself? Unlikely. The decision to feed the people bullshit while stonewalling is a major insult. And a larger insult with having early self-vetting, showing stonewalling was a decision made from the get-go. Stonewall pure and simple. It is expressing a disdain for the mood of voters who are Democrats. Again; Democrats wanting wins, down ballot.

FURTHER: Here is one where reader help is needed, since I have seen nothing on the web. How many speeches have the Clintons given to Big Pharma, and at what price per? And -- transcripts, are there transcripts, can we see them?

The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker.

image from The Guardian

If you find the caption text fuzzy, click the image to enlarge it full size and defuzz the wording. Image is from the debate's high point.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My word, she goes on the campaign trail and gives town hall's for nothing. Her money mojo. Is she losing it?

"$153 million in Bill and Hillary Clinton speaking fees, documented,"
By Robert Yoon, CNN - Updated 1:15 PM ET, Sat February 6, 2016

This link.

(CNN)Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, combined to earn more than $153 million in paid speeches from 2001 until Hillary Clinton launched her presidential campaign last spring, a CNN analysis shows.

In total, the two gave 729 speeches from February 2001 until May, receiving an average payday of $210,795 for each address. The two also reported at least $7.7 million for at least 39 speeches to big banks, including Goldman Sachs and UBS, with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic 2016 front-runner, collecting at least $1.8 million for at least eight speeches to big banks.

The analysis was made at a time when Hillary Clinton has been under scrutiny for her ties to Wall Street, which has been a major focus of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail.

"What being part of the establishment is, is in the last quarter, having a super PAC that raised $15 million from Wall Street, that throughout one's life raised a whole lot of money from the drug companies and other special interests," Sanders said at Thursday's Democratic debate hosted by MSNBC.

Sanders: Clinton is 'funded by Wall Street'

The former secretary of state testily responded to Sanders' charges.

"Time and time again, by innuendo, by insinuation, there is this attack that he is putting forth which really comes down to, you know, anybody who ever took donations or speaking fees from any interest group has to be bought. And I just absolutely reject that, senator, and I really don't think these kinds of attacks by insinuation are worthy of you. And enough is enough," Clinton said.

Can the scold theater; release the transcripts. That righteous indignation ploy is as old as original sin. And cause too, to be cast out.

That one number per speech, "an average payday of $210,795 for each," is more than LeBron earns per basketball game; and he has to work up a sweat for his pay. AND - It's better money than playing the guitar on MTV.

And that 729 speeches number, how many games did Kobe or Gretzsky, or Babe Ruth play? Each of the Clintons should pray to Jesus that neither develops throat cancer.

The NY Times linked item about the speech transcripts stated:

Mrs. Clinton spoke at Goldman events twice: on Oct. 24, 2013, to its hedge fund and private equity clients, and again on Oct 29, at Goldman’s tech summit. Both were question-and-answer sessions, according to people who attended, and at the second, Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive and chairman of Goldman Sachs, was among her questioners. In June of that year she was also paid for an additional event that included Goldman and other groups. She was paid $225,000 for each.

Mrs. Clinton mainly offered what one attendee called “a tour of the world,” covering her observations on China, Iran, Egypt and Russia. This person said Mrs. Clinton also discussed the dysfunction in Washington, how to repair America’s standing in the world after the government shutdown and also talked a bit about the Affordable Care Act, which had had a difficult rollout.

There is always a defense, there was questioning of opinion, and opinions given in response as answers; where a judgmental voice was sought, and quesitoning was not about specific foreign investment opportunity, and factual knowlege of the same. That is possible, and with transcripts withheld as a strategy, one has to wonder what was actually said, by whom. Consider:

Under securities law a person inside a firm trading on inside information, or selling the information or having relatives trade is violating the law. But this is a more interesting thing. A State Department insider selling inside Department info into the investor community, whereby the info recipients can better tailor their portfolios of overseas stocks; based on the insider info that is not available to all in the market. It seems to be an insider trading violation to me; in that it jimmies the market in ways unfair to those not privy to the sold insider's story and facts. So, aside from promises made in anticipation of a Clinton family return to the White House; the main speculative worry without having transcript access; we see a possible insider trading violation of securities law. The FBI does have custody of that email server now, and likely has the skill set among its agents and employees to recover deleted but not overwritten hard drive email remnants. We can anticipate an October surprise as possible, and Bernie has none of that baggage nor threat levels with regard to October surprises.

Aside from that, a laugher in the NYT thing:

Joel Benenson, Mrs. Clinton’s pollster, gave little indication at a Wall Street Journal breakfast with reporters that the transcripts would be forthcoming.

“I don’t think voters are interested in the transcripts of her speeches,” he said.

If he doesn't think people would be interested, he doesn't think.

If sincere in that statement, a dubious proposition of course, how trustworthy would you weigh his polling skills? If insincere, does he poll a little here, a little there, and then tell the Clintons what they want to hear instead of what the public moods might be? Either way the guy is a brick. Trump would fire him.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
One can imagine Goldman or some hedge fund contemplating buying into a Caspian Sea banking venture; and questions about who regulates banks there and how would be valuable insider information, less opinion than information, and the range of thought experiment is boundless without transcript texts in hand or online to limit such speculative latitude. Produce them, Ms. Clinton, or have us all presume the worse. And apart from the transcripts, server deleted emails the FBI might (or might not) recover casts a pall of damaged goods or potential damage where an October surprise might be a disastrous outcome affecting the entire Dem ticket's opportunity. Bernie's closet appears to be free of actual current, or potential rattling skeletons. That is a positive thing not readily discounted, given the nagging uncertainties of Clintondom.

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
The galling arrogance of Clinton people, is it boundless? Same NYT item:

On Friday, Brian Fallon, Mrs. Clinton’s press secretary, told MSNBC that if anyone thought they were getting something in return for Mrs. Clinton’s speaking to their group, “they’ll probably be asking for their money back when she’s president.” He added that “no one will regulate Wall Street more strictly than her.”

In a statement later, Mr. Fallon said that “Bernie Sanders, like Karl Rove before him, is trying to impugn Hillary Clinton’s integrity without any basis in fact.” He labeled this “character assassination by insinuation” and said Mr. Sanders should either show his evidence that the money has influenced her or drop the subject.

What's your take on, "... without any basis in fact ..."? Is a ton of money conjecture, not fact?

A caveat for Sanders supporters intending to attend the March 1 SD35 DFL precinct caucuses.

Don't fall for any bait and switch: While not knowing how other precinct caucuses will be handled, the "presidential preference poll" in SD35 caucusing will be apart from the designation of delegates for the next convention - caucus levels.

If Feel the BERN folks show up, do the preference thing and boogie home, they will be short changed.

A Sanders preference victory, but with Clinton-committed delegates actually moving on, is a Pyrrhic victory, at best. Or no victory at all. Delegates at the final convention is what will matter. Delegate selection is APART FROM AND NOT BOUND BY any particular preference poll outcome.

So do not just touch first base. Stay to hit a home run.

If packing a caucus is the aim, keep it packed. If Clinton has the wherewithal to win the preference and the delegates, then "majority rule" will be how it is, end of story. Ditto if Sanders has both. But a split, Sanders "preferred," Clinton cleaning the table; that would be inner party "democracy" in action.


[Readers - If this analysis is flawed, please post a comment explaining why, or send an email. It is how I read the tea leaves, from a less than fully trusting view of two party politics at play. Saying "preference" is different from saying "binding preference" from where I was schooled.]

Trump, during his victory speech in Nevada, noted the voting blocs he won. "We won the evangelicals, we won with young, we won with old, we won with highly educated, we won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated," he said.

The headline is from a paragraph within online reporting by The Hill of the Nevada GOP caucus results from Tuesday.

While Mitt Romney has yet to endorse any candidate, and mutuality of favors is not much in politics, there is this paragraph from within a Feb. 2, 2012, NY Times report of a splash of a show in Nevada where Trump endorsed Mitt, apparently at a Trump-owned hotel:

When it was Mr. Romney’s turn to speak, Mr. Trump assumed his place next to Mrs. Romney, and they stood together as an adoring couple joined in the service of Mr. Romney. While the Trump default face is one of pure satisfaction, the maven looked every bit the proud father when the candidate lauded “Donald Trump’s magnificent hotel.” As always, Mr. Romney reminded everyone that he had spent his life in the private sector — but added the caveat that he was “not quite as successful as this guy,” and Mr. Trump nodded the slow nod of a great man for whom respect had been paid.

Apart from whether Trump's endorsement then really mattered, and whether a Romney endorsement of anyone this cycle would really matter; good theater is good theater, when the acting is good.

FURTHER: An interesting link. This mid-item paragraph, with embedded links omitted:

Well, that was then. Rubio is no more likely to escape the video of his catastrophic Saturday night massacre than Edmund Muskie did his (alleged) tearing up during the 1972 New Hampshire primary, Michael Dukakis did his photo op in a tank, Howard Dean did his scream, or Perry did “Oops!” The only stock that is rising for Rubio is his status as a national laughingstock. It was particularly ill-advised of him to attack Joe Biden at one point in the debate: America knows Joe Biden, and Rubio is no Joe Biden. He’s the new Dan Quayle.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has yet to endorse a candidate, playing his cards close to his vest for now, but his Vegas newspaper did send up a puff of white smoke, for what it was worth; this link.

The Feb. 5 Review Journal oped touting Rubio made no analogies to Dan Quayle; nor to Joe Biden either for that matter. And Trump stood them up:

When we began this process, we made it clear to candidates that they had to meet with us to gain consideration for our endorsement. We made many attempts to meet with businessman and Republican front-runner Donald Trump, but he could not work an interview into his schedule.

Anyone who declines a shot at Sheldon Adelson's favor puts backing behind a claim that he does not solicit money from others and wants no obligations pinned to him from accepting money. That remains in Trump's favor; but candidates such as Rubio are incapable of self-financing a presidential shot, and would be out of the game without taking such money.

At this point in time, the Clintons could self finance, but so far appear to decline doing so.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
While having stood up Adelson's newsmen, Trump has shared a bit of his sunshine, time being available for Rudy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sometimes civil service protections are a two edged sword, cutting the wrong way.

This link. Pruning dead wood aids the health of a tree. Diseased branches can be worse.

Reflect back and remember, Norm Coleman and Nassar Kazeminy?

A little help.

So now, is Norman Braman running for President?

[expect this post to be somewhat updated]

Quick update: Braman is not on this NYT scorecard.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Goodbye, JEB! But Marco is a clone endorsed by the head of the banking roundtable. A neocon banking poster child, never mind doubts about gravitas.

Gravitas. Trump has more than Rubio, and that need not be much.

Bush spent a ton of other people's money in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, bank-Wall Street money, and got consistent single digit approvals, showing that bankers sometimes make mistakes although never admitted ones, including the stuff arising from the Bush meltdown of September 2008. Can anyone say "Lehman Bros."? That which was, but is no more. Great job, W.

So, nobody wanted another Bush war, a failure that failed to be paid for except by further US debt to China, as with the George H.W. Bush item against Saddam, and the George W. Bush multi-front failures.

But neocon chicken-hawk Marco wants more war, and shows no propensity to say, let's tax so we can afford one.

And the Banks? This link. Banking Roundtable million-a-year bad former governor touts Rubio, per Strib:

Former Minnesota Gov, and GOP presidential hopeful, Tim Pawlenty endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio Monday after the former Florida governor ducked out of the race over the weekend.

"He's strong and he's also informed," Pawlenty said on CNN early. "I think he has the total package and I think he's going to bring forward the strongest voice and the strongest image."

Yeah, right. Pawlenty knows strong and informed, explaining why his presidential hopes fared so well in Iowa.

More Strib including the image:

Trump's resounding win in South Carolina's primary on Saturday gave the billionaire businessman's unconventional candidacy its strongest boost yet. With Jeb Bush out, second-place finisher Rubio needs to consolidate backing from Republicans unsettled by Trump's unconventional, anti-establishment candidacy.

Rubio's Minneapolis rally is set for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis. Ticket details are here.

Minnesota's caucus is March 1, a week to the day after Rubio's rally. In all, 11 states will hold primaries or caucuses that day. There's one Republican contest before that, Nevada's caucus this Tuesday.

A growing roster of prominent Minnesota Republicans are backing Rubio. The latest is former Sen. Norm Coleman, who was in Bush's camp. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whom Rubio just barely edged out in South Carolina, has also demonstrated significant support in Minnesota.

Trump's potential in Minnesota's GOP caucus has been harder to pin down.

[link in original - hopefully it's not a bad link - somebody besides me can check it]

Last sentence of that quote: Given the few electoral votes, Trump's appeal to Minnesota GOP "love that Tea and Jesus" Republicans is largely irrelevant. There is Cruz for the evangels, Rubio for the chicken hawks, and Trump for - - - Trump. May he prosper as the better of the three; faint praise being what it is. Marco in town, go, view the gravitas; canned soundbite monger that he is; expect little, and do not be disappointed. After all, look at Norm and Timmy endorsing Rubio, and quality can be judged by the company the candidate inspires and keeps.

Like Bush, Rubio and Cruz speak Spanish. Trump? When he speaks, one asks, how do you say, "Build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it," in Spanish?

________FURTHER UPDATE_________
Yet again, more Strib here, Emmer wants trade with Cuba to blossom, we sell them medical devices and agricultural products [Emmer does represent his constituency, Medtronic and Cargill], and they in turn export baseball players to us. What could work better? However, Dark Marco wants to dip his oar into the waters:

Rubio pressed Obama to reconsider his travel plans, saying in a letter it will cause "disastrous consequences" because the Castro regime has not undertaken "meaningful reforms."

"Having an American president go to Cuba simply for the sake of going there, without the United States getting anything in return, is both counterproductive and damaging to our national security interests," Rubio said.

Where exactly does that clown get off the bullshit train? Our national interests are apart from Marco's electability and clearly the latter is his major incentive to posture, but really, "damaging to our national security interests?"

Sure, since the Revolution and Eisenhower-Castro, there have been so many threats to national security that they cannot be counted; however, it must be that all of them got classified "Top Secret" so that they never made it in the news or on the Clinton email server even. Zippo. Nada. None. Marco is full of himself.

Image credit and deets on Rubio, here; see also here, here and here.

Friday, February 19, 2016

DFL caucus information, for SD35. [UPDATED - the three SD35 caucus sites plus more info].

Start with this Secretary of State precinct caucus info page; which is NOT party specific.

Key info at the top of that web page:

Minnesota's 2016 Precinct Caucuses - 2016 Caucus Date

The 2016 precinct caucuses will be on Tuesday, March 1 at 7:00 p.m.

Find your caucus location

For Democratic-Farmer-Labor and Republican party caucuses, use the online caucus finder.

[. . .]

(With Zach Phelps' history as an SD 35 Senate candidate, Legal Marijuana Now Party info might be of interest to some, but per that SoS page there is not much helpful info for the LMNP folks. One hopes that some who might be torn between the LMNP and one of the two major parties might decide what is best for them. And good luck.)

The expectation is with Sanders/Clinton on the Democratic Party side, and the odd crowd on the GOP side, caucusing crossover will be minimal.

Leaving Republicans to their own devices, per the above SoS link as a start for them; the DFL caucus finder page is:

Sample output from that caucus-finder, using my zipcode/county, then my address:

click thumbnail to read it

That location, the Ramsey Elementary School, is to be the caucus site for ALL of the SD35 precincts in Ramsey:

click map image to read

From past DFL precinct caucusing practices the expectation would be a general meeting for speeches, etc., and then some form of individualization into like-minded groupings; such as "SINGLE PAYER," "tax reform, everyone paying a fair share," etc.; or some candidate related groupings, with nose counts.

Allocation of delegate advancement to the next caucusing level, would then be worked out, based on such special groupings and their nosecount support levels. Usually there is an extra cycle or two of such groupings/shopping/settling before the next delegate determination is finalized.

That has been a past practice, but party leadership might spring a new set of procedures, hopefully without any rancor or feelings of something jiggered to favor some particular candidacy, for example. Knowing organizers from the past, and presuming continuity, worry over any unfairness of procedures should not be a factor.

Again, from past practice, suggestions for platform planks bottom up from the precinct level would also happen during the caucusing. Those unsure of things should note that the formal starting time of 7:00 pm is preceded by "caucus registration" starting at 6:30 pm, so there will be time to ask questions.

___________IMPORTANT UPDATE____________
Caucus procedures are yet to be finalized, per this SD35 DFL Facebook page screen capture

Once that event is held specifics of caucus procedures to be employed March 1 likely will be set, so this post may be updated accordingly, after the event.

____________FURTHER UPDATE______________
Wes Volkenant has informed me:

There are three caucus sites, depending on voter home address:

All Anoka precincts will meet at Anoka High School [click maps to enlarge and read]

All Ramsey precincts will meet at Ramsey Elementary School [map given in original post]

All Andover and Coon Rapids precincts in HD 35B will meet at Andover High School (that's Andover precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and Coon Rapids precincts Ward 1 Precinct 1, Ward 1 Precinct 2, and Ward 2 Precinct 1)

Presidential Preference process
: Everyone attending a caucus shall be able to express a written Presidential preference. It is separate from the caucusing, but in the same room. Presidential preference will be a vote by persons appearing at the DFL precinct meetings, and the result will be shared with the attendees who stay. But no one who votes has to stay to caucus. They can continue to come into the rooms until 8:00 pm, to vote (beginning at 6:30, prior to the actual start of the caucus).

Upon arriving, each attendee needs to register/sign-in at their caucus precinct table itself. A table will be set aside just for the preference voting. After 8:00 preference ballots get tabulated and reported to the precinct then reported to the site coordinator. The three caucus locations will then connect in order to report totals to the State DFL.

Additional caucusing info: Those caucusing shall be voting on possible DFL platform planks, and on delegates for the next convention level. No special rules exist for choosing SD delegates and alternatives. The caucusing managers shall seek equal male-female convention delegate divisions if possible, which would come into play only when the number of attendees wanting to be delegates to the Senate District convention exceeds the number allocated to the precinct. In SD 35 the delegate numbers range from 8 - 24, with about 15-16 on average per precinct.

Those caucusing may choose delegates based on indicated presidential choice of would-be delegates, or based on whatever other criteria the delegate candidates choose to emphasize. There will be a process where caucusing attendees can move about to familiarize themselves with the candidates for the Senate District convention, as a part of the process. The process is, or in the past has been somewhat informally managed.

In terms of DFL SD35 precinct caucusing, apart from informational posting:

click this link

Those who "feel the BERN" should be certain to feel it at precinct caucusing. As in, be there or be square.

Otherwise, it will be only heartburn you feel when learning the precinct and SD went Clinton.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

No need to reinvent the wheel. LeftMN endorses Sanders, with a more tightly written rationale than would have been written here.

LeftMN's item speaks for itself.

I would add trust as an issue. The key issue. The saying used to be from whom would you buy the used car - modernize it, from whom would you buy the used email server. Would you pay either Clinton or Sanders a quarter of a million dollars for a speech? If so, what besides a speech would you anticipate you are buying? Do you suppose Wall Street operators gamble foolishly with their own money? That's what they paid to Clinton. Would they want her to speak without any expectation of some rate of return; perhaps a massive one?

The chart LeftMN uses is from here; the specific readable chart being at this online link.

Besides reinstituting Glass-Steagall, other fairly simple Wall Street reform steps might make sense, and might be anticipated as policy detail from a Sanders presidency (ideally two terms). One such step, a "too failed to be big" breakup of concentrated financial power.

Also, an interesting web search; yielding evidence/exposition online here, here and here. Last item linking to the online NBER item, here. Market concentration was not absent in the market structure involved there. Regulatory conservatism differed.

A loose end on the trust theme; beyond Wall Street; Boeing - arms deal; money flow. Death merchandised three good ways; good for business, good for America, good for Clinton Foundation. The second one there is arguable.

Videos that will enhance your sense of trust in the process and the people who hold our economy in their regulatory, policy, and financial hands. You have to trust Goldman Sachs, or else who can you trust? If not Goldman, then foundations, the people who have them set up and who utilize them? Who?

Here, here, here and here. Last item, Art of The Deal?

A repeat video from yesterday, short and yet so ironic in a context of political words painting Wall Street wants and satisfaction.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


This link. Describing her campaigning, Ms. Clinton is quoted there:

I’m out here every day saying I’m going to shut them down, I’m going after them. I’m going to jail them if they should be jailed. I’m going to break them up.

Okay. Likely true that she is saying that. Possibly "every day," while campaigning.

So, those Goldman Sachs speech transcripts, let's get them out so we can see her going to Goldman Sachs for a quarter of a million per speech, telling Goldmand Sachs top management, "I’m going to shut you down, I’m going after you. I’m going to jail you if you should be jailed. I’m going to break you up."

Pigs fly. I'll say that more than once. Pigs fly. So believe? Hey, I'm not asking you to vote for me, so add that to the equation, pigs fly.

An interesting analysis, here. Beyond that:

Somebody has to say it. Hillary Clinton is as genuinely likable as Ted Cruz. As genuine as Marco Rubio. As mean spirited as a junk yard dog. Two out of three, in the Ted Cruz column. Smarter than Fiorina; faint praise such as it is. Full of herself, with Madeline Albright saying, "Bravo." A dumpster load of incrementalism, an open account Foundation.

_______FURTHER UPDATE_______
A video. I believe the guy. His words hang together and he has a history of always saying consistent things, without any contradictory actions. He has believability. Another video for our day's believability theme. Words and an image. Short. Direct. An image you should believe. Kindred souls.

Monday, February 15, 2016

A thought experiment.

What do you suppose Hillary Clinton told Goldman Sachs at a quarter of a million a pop?

If it was, "You guys are dirt," if that was anywhere in the message, it likely was put into far more delicate language, and wrapped with accolades. At a guess, that conceptual construct is not in any of the several transcripts that are said to exist, as the intellectual property of Hillary Clinton; not owned by Wall Street, (the transcripts that is).

Today is Amy Goodman video day.

A suggested order for viewing, here, here and here. Juggle the order, if you get into any of the fairly short videos, the second being longest, try another if you wish, but the last shall be first - somebody said that, back then.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Of course . . . Now why did I not think of that?

This link, the fabric of logic, intact with other signs. And folks in Minnesota understand.

My first thought was Cheney in the hunting party, with his shotgun, and they were hushing it up.

Quail hunting they say. So the Cheney theory fits.

Myocardial infarction they say. We have heard that story before. And "natural causes," more recently. Heart attack.

Urgent calls for an autopsy. That, if not a mere whitewash, could prove or disprove the Cheney theory. I think they should do it. No hand waving this and that, and quickly cremate the body.

Do an autopsy, disprove the Cheney theory. Or just shut up.

Growing legs, with no real body of substance to place them onto, e.g., here, here and here; each to the same effect. It is painful to read facts, and in light of them having to give up the Cheney theory, because it was so nice a conjecture. Like the guy Cheney did shoot in the face, that was a warm-up for the big thing, etc., all that destroyed by what, mere facts? Any replacement short of Ted Cruz being nominated and taking the job, would be an upgrade. Scalia was bad, but aside from hyperbole in the prior sentence, John Roberts is breathing proof that worse than Scalia is not only imaginable, but actual. Start with a Roberts clone, mix in a pinch of Alito, Thomas, and it becomes downright frightening.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Friday, February 12, 2016

Another video.

A two-for. Here and here. Moyers conversations, each on economic sadness, on it being time for change.

A bonus, here.

NOTE: On the first link it's a doubled item; first Drone War coverage; second, TPP.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Another day. Another video.

Here, the "name one thing" challenge of the Clinton campaign.

That video, or a substantially similar cut of the Moyers-Warren interview was embedded in this item. Similar YouTube posts use the Moyers-Warren bankruptcy about face interview, e.g., here. That item with the embedded video, among other links, linked over to here, which has its own set of links.

Yesterday's video dealt with the question of Clinton reticence over releasing transcripts of her quarter-million dollars per pop "presentations" to Wall Street, proof being in the pudding.

To date, no Clinton tax returns, no six-figure-speech transcripts, and yesterday's video indicates proof has been uncovered that transcripts exist (at least for some speaking engagements), and the transcripts by contract are "intellectual property" of the Clintons.

Not owned or constrained by those paying the piper. Owned by the one singing the tune. So, quit the evasiveness and produce.

As with Nixon's tapes where the evidence then spoke for itself, with these transcripts, when released, the evidence again will speak for itself.

Bernie is not bought. Bernie is not paid for. Not as sharp a dresser as Newt Gingrich, not the perfect Gingrich-like every hair in place coiffure, but unlike Newt, Bernie is a legitimate and decent human being.

Appeasement as an outlook? You decide.

Would such a position make Neville Chamberlain proud? If the Clintons prevail, would it represent a greater peace in our times than a GOP alternative? Something to really wrestle with, if/when.

If we get a Clinton cramdown, which we in fairness should not, will the judicial appointments situation be enough of a consideration to hold one's nose and vote DEM? Imagine Trump appointing Supreme Court justices. Or Cruz doing it. Worse as simply a quality control thing, Rubio appointees to the Court of a comparable quality to Rubio himself?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A video. Simple logic. Not rocket science. Not even climate science, or that oxymoron, political science.

This link. Watch the entire thing. Laugh a little, at points it earns the laughs, but it's sad. And it's only a bit over fifteen minutes of your life. You've already wasted much more than that sitting through Budweiser commercials during football halftimes, or between hockey periods.

Flaherty, in home state Indiana, encounters contamination problems akin to the lead shot contamination at the St. Anthony Gun Club on Variolite, from before it was switched over to housing.

For the Flaherty situation, contamination was from industrial lead, vs lead shot contamination arising from sport shooting at the St. Anthony site in Ramsey.

SD35 special election - Abeler wins decisively; Anoka precinct turnout mostly was over 10%, under 10% in most other precincts. BIG QUESTION: Without DFL primary crossover, might Aplikowski have been in Abeler's final vote shoes?

Two screen capture thumbnails; overall numbers, and my precinct's detailed voting.

Phelps did better in my precinct than otherwise, unless he elsewhere topped his W2P1 Ramsey percentage/total votes. Also, in my precinct Abeler did below average, but quite well.

(For precinct by precinct vote-count data click this link to see your precinct's detailed voting.)

It appears Aplikowski supporters who bothered to turnout for the final vote all transitioned to Abeler (who got more total final votes than primary voters without, however, any of the DFL crossover Abeler primary vote support).

In the primary Abeler had a closer contest; with about a 10% turnout each election, and with it appearing DFL crossover helped Abeler substantially, primary time, when Johnson ran unopposed.

Playing with numbers, GOP primary votes: Abeler = 2818 --- Aplikowski = 1807 (Johnson, 282; total, 4907)

Final SD35 special election: Abeler = 3237 -- Johnson = 947 -- Phelps = 180 (29 write-ins; total, 4393)

Turnout for the GOP primary exceeded final turnout by 514 votes; suggesting that many Aplikowski (ultra extremist) Republicans stayed home after Andy lost the primary; and suggesting district demographics being as pitiful as they are, the GOP primary and candidate diversity of the pair generated more interest/uncertainty than once Abeler cleared the primary hurdle.

Phelps+Johnson+write-ins; final election = 1156, so subtract the primary 282 pro forma Johnson votes (he was unopposed) yields 874 non-Abeler votes, in the final election. Presume for sake of argument, those 874 voters (perhaps more to make the greater primary total) were Abeler primary crossover votes. Subtract that supposed 874 crossovers from Abeler's primary total of 2818, getting 1944 non-crossover votes (GOP Abeler loyalists), and the non-crossover margin Abeler had was quite thinner, that 1944 - Aplikowski's 1807 giving a 137 vote swing which can arguably be attributed to the obscene dump that Freedom Club took in its first and most striking mailing against Abeler, and dislike of that "style of things" representing the bulk of the swing count; so that absent crossover and absent Freedom Club meddling from outside of the district, Aplikowski might narrowly have won the primary contest.

Yes there is speculation built into any such number crunching, but it is clear Abeler in the final did take some disgruntled but loyal GOP votes that went to Aplikowski, while many (perhaps a majority) of disgruntled Aplikowski supporters simply stayed home. And the implication that if Freedom Club had not meddled and if DFL voters had not crossed over in the primary, Aplikowski might have won both the primary and [shudder] the final; instead of Jim.

Abeler closely [including multiple ballots] barely lost a GOP endorsement, but the popular vote in the GOP primary was the opposite. Strongly so. That also is undeniable.

While it is guessing, one rational view is that DFL crossover together with the outrageous meddling of Freedom Club [something that only landed after the GOP endorsement contest, not before] sunk Aplikowski.

That has implications for November, because with presumed Presidential uncertainty in November balloting there will likely be less to no DFL crossover [Bern Baby, Bern!].

As noted before, those people who instigated and/or fueled the Aplikowski fires owe him a follow-up fundraiser so that things do not appear that Andy was hung out to dry after the primary defeat. Especially so if they want Andy to run against Abeler yet again, in November. (Feed the beast or the beast retires.)

For myself: While favoring Roger Johnson generally on policy grounds, and Abeler highly in crossing over for the GOP primary, was an easy choice. Abeler representing the district will differ substantially from what one might guess Aplikowski representing it would be.

BOTTOM LINE: One hopes Abeler, being bright, weighs the numbers and events similarly to above analysis. I.e., that he appreciates the potential benefits he attained via crossover during his primary, and that he remembers Freedom Club and its insider provocateurs, if/when it is payback time.

Ditto Mr. WoofWoof, of the Taxpayer League and his henchperson John K.

However, Jim does not seem to be a person who'd be highly motivated by payback thoughts. More likely he has a "move on from the election to the duty to govern" temperment, i.e., with a far more open mind than too many of his locked-mind ideologue GOP legislative colleagues; especially the ideological ignoramus legislative twit faction wanting the heavy boot of government mandate to stand heavily in conquest of family liberty of choice and in opposition to medical science's sensible progress.

Bless them, those idelogues Abeler will have to mix with.


A few unclear things in the post were edited for clarity, and a few (including a sentence fragment) were allowed to stand where confusion was absent. Wanting to move on from that which is yesterday's news is cause to not edit any further than was done for clarity in a place or two.

The upshot of crossover being important to the Abeler primary margin's size is qualitatively certain, whether any quantitative argument detail above is accepted or rejected as too conjectural.

Moving on . . .

Monday, February 08, 2016

ABC Newspapers has candidate Question responses, from the three on the Tuesday, Feb. 9, special election ballot.

This link. Think about reading it before you vote.

Note, the studied questions our paper's editor aptly chose dealt respectively with infrastructure, education, and spending. What government is supposed to be concentrating upon; along with taxation since grandiose spending priority setting absent revenue constraint attention is not a sound formula.

Contrast that with the absurdity of ignoring government function at the state and local level to mess around with Christian socialism; the trying to preempt questions of private sector expertise, medical research priorities, by ill-skilled individuals with great and irrational prejudices in their hearts and minds; but empty heads; this link.

Don't blame me, I voted for Perovich. Those that voted Whelan, please let the HD 35A rep know that the ABC paper understands government funciton - infrastructure, education and tax-and-spend wisdom; which is not the prejudicial monkeying around where expertise is lacking but opinion is over-represented.

Tell Whelan: Let the private sector - medical researchers - make decisions proper to it.

The hope is each of the three SD35 special election candidates has the wisdom to be restrained in matters of private sector expertise; and to be wise in clear governmental matters. And that each understands the difference between healthcare accessibility policy, a government matter; and determination of productive medical research avenues, a matter of scientific skill and expertise apart from legislators.