consultants are sandburs

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Drazkowski rhymes with "hemorrhoid symptoms."

Well, not exactly a true rhyme, but in the cosmic sense of things, call it a congruence.

UPDATE: Neither MPR nor Burns at MPP give a bill link. The Draz be-a-hemorrhoid-to-unions bill this session is HF 3585, and at present no Senate parallel bill link is given. Draz might have gotten a Koch brothers audience, in return for his hearing their dog whistle. My district rep, Abigale Whelan, is up to her own mischief this session, readers can guess about what, but that is grist for its own separate post on how she differs from Jim Abeler in that Abeler is an adult, acting like one.

FURTHER: Not a short bill, not as long as the end of session sausage bills; one can say the Draz is in the details.

FURTHER: At the time/date stamp for this post, the bill was that of Draz alone; no co-sponsors having signed on. Reader help is requested: If any reader has a bill link by another author or authoring/sponsoring group; please in a comment give a link. It would astound if only Draz can hear the Koch-ALEC dog whistle. (What's the Kiffer doing these days to stay who she is?)

FURTHER: A further bit of legislative online record search: Again with no Senate cognate bill, but with one equally reprehensible co-author on this one; HF 2103 is aimed at impacting every public employee in the entire State; not merely employees of the State itself.

Isn't it a wonder how the small government contingent can surprisingly want to mandate all kinds of heavy planting of the central planning boot onto others, in what, unique circumstances?

It goes to show, one man's central planning is okay; if it's the Draz's; others', well no and case-by-case need not even be followed?

Or is this reading things wrongly?

It says, "Your message has been sent." Hopefully, it has been received.

The image and link is given in case you've any message for Al. I called attention to the new top sidebar item, in my contacting the Senator's office staff via that convenient web page. Message sent. That's been confirmed.

Message received? Perhaps readers can add a voice?

UPDATE: LeftMN, here, here and here. There is no mystery to good sense. Aside from its all too frequent absence.

FURTHER: Bluestem Prairie, here, saying something akin to let them know - more - they already are feeling something.

FURTHER: Kos here. While not pretending to have studied Nietzsche's "Of Men and Supermen," but having read Ayn Rand (really all 8177 pages of Atlas), the thought intrudes that somehow both would have difficult, troublesome thoughts for us on our DFL delegates and superdelegates, where We The People might feel a cold breeze. One smelling of Wall Street. Of cash. That old "bull market."

FURTHER: Where I'd first read of it, but not then decided to post, Salon here where I retraced steps to find the item again:

Rep. Collin Peterson told Forum News Service that his superdelegate vote will reflect the will of voters in his state who voted for Sanders 62 percent to 38 percent for Clinton.

“I’m voting my district,” Peterson said. “I’m going to vote for Bernie.”

While the founding member of Democrat’s Blue Dog Coalition, formed to promote fiscal conservatism, rarely attends the DNC, he said that if his superdelegate vote would make a difference, he would make the trip to Philadelphia to cast a vote for the Democratic Socialist despite their obvious differences on tax policy. “He’s got something going,” Peterson said of Sanders’s support with young voters. “He’s tapped into something.”

[link in original] Old Blue Dogs can learn new tricks.

We got dogs in the Senate and the Guv mansion too; in CD8, etc. (even R.T.); and each seems to require suitable conditioning.

More from that Salon item:

After Sanders won the Alaska caucuses by commanding margins over the weekend, Democratic Party vice chairman Larry Murakami officially pledged his superdelegate vote to Sanders.

“I think it’s totally appropriate if we’re over 80 percent for one of us to step forward and say, ‘yeah, I’m voting for Sanders like everyone in my district, like most of the people in my district and most of the people in Alaska,'” Murakami told Politico.

Democratic Party chairman Bert Marley echoed Murakami and the Sanders campaign, telling Politico that, “I felt like super delegates should reflect for lack of a better term the will of the people so when the results were so overwhelming in Idaho it was the natural thing to do,” and pledging his vote to Sanders, who won Idhao’s caucus. Utah Democratic Party chairman Peter Corroon also pledged his superdelegate vote to Sanders after his state picked the Vermont senator 79.3 percent to Clinton with 20.3 percent.

All superdelegates committing to Sanders in recent days come from caucus states that have overwhelming favored Sanders. This still leaves Sanders, who trails Clinton by more than 400 superdelegates, at a clear disadvantage.

[links in Salon excerpts are from the original item]

FURTHER: In haste, only noted above is the link to the latest Bluestem Prairie item giving mention to Collin Peterson's recognition of how Sanders has captured the imagination of many wanting better; with this being Sorensen's original post on topic. Please follow that link, she has other sourcing for the coverage besides the links already given here. That includes a link here, to a story of merit that has grown its own legs.

It being a slow morning, over coffee, a speculative websearch . . .

Search = ted cruz repulsive

A search that for clear reasons suggested itself.

With the search engine used, this return.

That the top return item, per whatever search algorithm was used, turned out to be a Salon item was not surprising.

Linking to that item, the sidebar was interesting with a number of silly seeming things listed.

Before getting into sidebar commentary, it seems noteworthy that the "Ted Cruz Repulsive" theme's first item dates back to Dec. 2013; with repulsiveness to some growing with prominence of popular "news" commentary as the individual seeks to convince people he should be chief executive of the federal government. Dissing Raul Castro seemed a theme of the item, but it took paragraphs to get to that; however, highlighting allowed scanning to the gist of the thing. Did not read it. It seemed stupid.

A sidebar item that was of salacious interest, " Why Ted Cruz’s sex life matters: The GOP’s toxic 'family values' charade deserves continued scrutiny - - Yes, privacy is important—but not as important as exposing hypocrisy from those whose policies harm the vulnerable". The gist there, if the National Enquirer thing has truth to it, then Cruz deserves scrutiny. Fair enough to say that, but the way it was said seemed to ring a bit artificial. As if presuming a fact not truly in evidence, a questionable allegation from a questionable source not identified that way up front, a spin of gossamer, and a late paragraph with the "if true" caveat.

Bad writing? You decide. Did the item meet its apparent purpose, and was that purpose legitimate?

Salon should do better, but all of Mainstream Media should, and compared to FOX Salon is like a gold standard.

Compared to FOX anything is better. FOX sets the dross standard that all else online proves to better.

FOX makes Salon's approach look "high road." Is that good? Are we well served or ill served by the mainstream? By potentially (possibly, likely?) Faustian contracts to one-up the opposition?

A suggestion is that Crabgrass readers take time to peruse the Salon sidebar stuff; with the further suggestion being the most compelling of the items is this one, " We must smash the Clinton machine: Democratic elites and the media sold out to Hillary this time, but change is coming - - Neoliberals, D.C. careerists and the pundits lined up this time. They won't be able to rig contests moving forward".

From my personal perspective, which is of course biased, that single item was the one I wanted to access and agree with, since the thought had already set itself in my mind. Readers might favor other items, or be repulsed by all of Salon and how it presents itself online. However, the thought that sustained itself through more than the first cup of morning coffee: How absolutely ill served the public is by those "thought leaders" in our media. They really to a large measure are a clown show. Offering a buffet of stuff, where you can gravitate to whatever online resonates with your existing biases; that seems to be the gist of web offerings in our U.S. of A. And, with Google doing user profiling to tailor return lists to user past search histories; use of that search engine over others, with profiling as done by Google by default, is arguably a wrong practice not doing for you a maximum good service. Arguably: An unhelpful thing. A bad thing for minds that already may be like a steel trap; once sprung never letting go, never to be sprung to other prey.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Not a want, but a need.

Yes, the base is unequivocal, the petition undeniable.


Kill joys would intrude. Who are such bureaucrats, to deny the will of We The People? The inalienable right of We The People. The cherished entrenched tradition of We The People.

We The People, having Our The Priorities.

SO: Oppose bureaucratic intrusions. Sign the petition.

And if you go there, go there fully Constitutional, and carry!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

So, without really trying previously the federal government simply wanted to cram through a forced easy-access backdoor to all communication of citizens, against citizen privacy interests, and when the effort encountered due resistance, they disarmed it, for now; but wait and see.

Reuters, here, stating:

The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday it had succeeded in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters and dropped its legal case against Apple, ending a high-stakes legal battle but leaving the broader struggle over encryption unresolved.

The abrupt end to a confrontation that had transfixed the tech industry was a victory for Apple, which vehemently opposed a court order obtained by the Justice Department that would have required it to write new software to get into the iPhone.

"From the beginning, we objected to the FBI's demand that Apple build a back door into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent," Apple said in a statement late on Monday. "As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought."

But the larger fight over law enforcement access to encrypted information is by no means over. The technology industry is adamant that anything that helps authorities bypass the security features of tech products will undermine security for everyone.

Nit picking: The last paragraph's use of "security" might better be phrased, "privacy."

The government's argument for an easy-access backdoor threatening everyone was "national security," having to learn what these proven bad actors were up to, etc., when without that easy forced backdoor cram down, they, surprisingly at this late date, found out what these bad actors were up to, as far as that knowledge was memorialized in the contested iPhone.

What we don't know - was it worth any effort at all, and how was the hack done. Was it so actually easy that we all are in peril? That Russians or Eastern European identity theft hackers can do it? Or so abstruse and difficult that the government each time must bring in costly highly-skilled consultants to do each hack?

Case dismissed. Questions left hanging. How secure in your privacy does it make you feel?

Last, Strib carrying parallel AP feeds, here and here.

It's both.

Comparable story, Politico, source of image.
Both? How so, both? Give a context?



If there’s one thing that supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton agree on, it’s this: When it comes to her work as chair of the Democratic National Committee, a position she’s held since 2011, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is bad and should feel bad. Consensus holds that she’s either in the tank for Clinton, incompetent — or both.

[link in origial] So; both. Train wreck.

More context, same item, [links omitted - use original for more detail; e.g., each "against" is documented]:

And when it comes to her work as a member of Congress, where she’s lately distinguished herself as a strong defender of the generally odious payday loan industry, her record is even worse. She’s against pot decriminalization, against an “open” Internet, against Edward Snowden, against refusing donations from corporate lobbyists, and skeptical (at the least) of President Obama’s recent nuclear agreement with Iran.

She doesn’t seem to be so great with people on an interpersonal level, either:

Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Tulsi Gabbard resigned from her post on Sunday to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, following months of rising tensions within the group.

“I think it’s most important for us, as we look at our choices as to who our next commander in chief will be, is to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, who exercises good judgment,” Gabbard, a U.S. representative for Hawaii, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

There’s a reason she’s facing her first-ever primary challenge, in other words. Frankly, if you’re the kind of Democrat who worries that the party is too beholden to the wealthy when it comes to economics, and too terrified of Christian conservatives when it comes to social issues, there isn’t much about her to like.

TRAIN WRECK. That item gets into other things apart from: incompetent or in the tank or both. Leaving its digressions and turning to the image's source (parenthetical in original):

The perception of critics is that Wasserman Schultz spends more energy tending to her own political ambitions than helping Democrats win. This includes using meetings with DNC donors to solicit contributions for her own PAC and campaign committee, traveling to uncompetitive districts to court House colleagues for her potential leadership bid and having DNC-paid staff focus on her personal political agenda.

She’s become a liability to the DNC, and even to her own prospects, critics say.

(WATCH: Debbie Wasserman Schultz's greatest hits)

“I guess the best way to describe it is, it’s not that she’s losing a duel anywhere, it’s that she seems to keep shooting herself in the foot before she even gets the gun out of the holster,” said John Morgan, a major donor in Wasserman Schultz’s home state of Florida.

The stakes are high. Wasserman Schultz is a high-profile national figure who helped raise millions of dollars and served as a Democratic messenger to female voters during a presidential election in which Obama needed to exploit the gender gap to win, but November’s already difficult midterms are looming.

One example that sources point to as particularly troubling: Wasserman Schultz repeatedly trying to get the DNC to cover the costs of her wardrobe.

In 2012, Wasserman Schultz attempted to get the DNC to pay for her clothing at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, multiple sources say, but was blocked by staff in the committee’s Capitol Hill headquarters and at President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign headquarters in Chicago.

She asked again around Obama’s inauguration in 2013, pushing so hard that Obama senior adviser — and one-time Wasserman Schultz booster — Valerie Jarrett had to call her directly to get her to stop.

Leaving the remainder of that wardrobegate item for interested readers to follow-up; per the link from the opening excerpt The Observer reports:

Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has faced intense scrutiny over the past year, as Democrats have grown weary of her inability to recoup party losses in the House and Senate, and are tired of her blatant favoritism of Hillary Clinton.

This past week, a Democratic challenger to Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s congressional seat, Tim Canova, announced his candidacy. Mr. Canova, a Georgetown University Law Center graduate, served as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas. The New York-born Jewish-Italian is also a fervent Bernie Sanders supporter and according to his campaign website, in 2011 was “selected by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders to serve on an advisory committee on Federal Reserve reform.”

Calls for the resignation of Ms. Wasserman Schultz are rapidly increasing in both frequency and intensity. Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s most recent gaffe, accusing millennials of complacency on abortion rights, inspired progressive group Credo Action to petition for her resignation—reaching over 61,000 signatures so far.

That is not the entirety of The Observer item's text; only its beginning; yet seven in-text links were omitted, including one re the Credo petition. Two additional get-the-hell-out-yesterday anti-train wreck petitions are reported and then The Observer concludes:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s weak leadership brings nothing but negative attention to the Democratic Party. Democrats must stop delaying the inevitable, and either fire Ms. Wasserman Schultz or push her to resign. She has essentially bankrupted the DNC during her tenure, and is unreliable in helping Democrats win congressional and senate elections. It is in the best interests of the party to rid itself of Ms. Wasserman Schultz as quickly as possible.

[link in original] Having for time-benefit balancing reasons not followed all hyperlinks, while believing the gist of things has accurately been presented; post closed.

Readers are encouraged to read each of the excerpted items and to follow links as the mood dictates. If any particularly worthwhile but bypassed item is found that way, please add link information via a comment.

A caveat. The last excerpt links to a Breitbart item; where possibly the entire story is not told. However, deficit funding the national committee while (per above excerpting assertions) jollying donors to pony up into her PAC over the team's coffers, if true, is disturbing.

Inner party opponents likely know, but without going to the detailed FEC filings Brietbart links to, it is unclear if some of the team spending involves cronyism at inflated rates, on spec, so that when the cash ultimately comes in to balance the books then invoices will be paid.

While not able to say without combing over the evidence and knowing existing allegiances whether any kind of inflated invoicing - crony consultant game is being played with party funds, if it is it would not be the first time. Minnesota's GOP party had a deficit during Tony Sutton days and a new treasurer came in and looked into cash flows in and out. Always there can be a question or two over an item or two, but patterns beyond that either show up or they don't.

In any event there is "no I" in team. If as suggested in the excerpting self trumped committee, as to agenda policy and shepherding of funds, then it is clearly broom time - sweeping as needed.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
An attentive reader forwarded a DWS email, surprisingly not about the DNC, but about the real nitty gritty; what not only matters, but MATTERS!! (Click the image to enlarge and read and to sent that frigging check pronto, Tonto.)

Wow. Personalized. From "Debbie." You should be inflamed by the passion of the need, not a want but a need.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Why Bernie Sanders is less a radical in his suggestions than Trump.

Below is a representative image of Trump with his slogan on his head (online, Breitbart, here).

The image introduces the slogan, the point of the post. What does that slogan mean, and what does it presuppose?

Aside from how do you define "greatness" as apart from "powerful big mean military to cower others" was America ever great?

During the Civil War, killing each other in large numbers, conscripts forced into it?

When a bunch of rich slave owners saw the European continent in political disarray as an opportunity to decolonize and run their own show? Is that "greatness?"

When robber barons in 1913 created the "Creature from Jekyll Island?" Was that the key step to greatness?

When aboriginal populations were eliminated in a mass planned genocide?

One of the several times when a national government chief executive was murdered by somebody for some purpose(s)?

Next, the presumptiveness of "Make" in the slogan. Aside from the slipperiness of "great" then, for example, did the creation of the "Creature from Jekyll Island," "make" America great; and does that mean it was not great before the step?

"Make" a table or a chair out of wood, that is a manageable proposal. "Make" a nation great is nothing but vague hot air. Aren't Republicans the ones who say let the invisible hand of the market play its magic and all will be optimal? That's the opposite of "make." That's let chance and existing relative distributions of goods and power sort out your life. "Making" a nation "great" "again" sure sounds like central planning; one way or another; and nothing else but central planning. And isn't that what Republicans have traditionally, incessantly, over the last seven or more decades claimed to be evil? So much so it's been their mantra?

Does the cap slogan mean let's be evil and do central planning? What then, precisely; all bullshit aside, is the program, sir?

Back to "great." When, precisely, was America "great?" Ever, in your lifetime? Then why was your lifetime not super great too?

Now, Bernie, without a slogan is only really saying, make America okay.

That's less hubris, less chutzpah, less bullshit; as a goal.

If you're not richer than Trump, who sees America as not great, (else why suggest his slogan as logical), then is America great for you even if not great for Trump? Being well off is great, isn't it? Trump's well off, so why is he complaining?

Bernie is saying if you see how your life might be bettered if he were chief executive of the government, by specific things he says should be done to have a likelihood of bettering the fiscal lives of most people, elect him. It hangs together.

He suggests as a general roadmap look at leveling the distribution of the goodies and how such a concept alien to the interests of cap-wearing billionaires might better things for others, more others, and why not? If you can maximize the well being of more people, what's not to like in doing so? Don't hate anybody, just share and share alike.

That's apart from any handwaving about "great" this or "great" that; or "great" in a big abstract vacuum but where other people identifiable by labels can be hated and railed against because it resonates with people whose lives are not "great" to them by whatever measure makes them disgruntled and where they seek to blame others. Such mischief about other kinds of labeled people being bandied about abstractly without any actual proposals to change a status quo beyond a costly and questionable public works project, one not centralized, one you cannot drive an auto upon or float a boat or barge (as in a canal or through a system of locks in a river), one not aimed at flood control or bettering air and water quality; how is such a questionable public works project going to meet the vague goal "Make America Great Again?"

Near to the last point, what's the billionaire got to really complain against? He has a marriage he likes and successful adult children who admire what he's done and want to be a part of what he will be doing. He has a big airplane to fly hither and yon. What's he got to be complaining of? It seems America has been great for him, so why not shut up and enjoy it?

Bernie is much more practical. He says do specific things. He suggests they make sense for those less fiscally well off than billionaires such as the cap-wearer. There is sense to that.

Last, what's the cap-wearer pointing to? A fool?

My brother-in-law had some helpful thoughts.

If the slogan "Make America Great Again" means a goal, then the question of when was America great is answered: Before.

Otherwise "Again" would be inoperative and without referential meaning. Likewise, "now" has to mean: not great. Not as great as before, clearly, but not even great now at all. Otherwise the hat would say "Make America Greater, As Before."

It's the pits, not being great. What're all those Trump stage flags to mean every time he speaks, but not-great? That's a bad thing for a flag to stand for.

It brings a great sadness to reach understanding; but that is just part of the human existential dilemma.

Then, Trump is more a socialist and less a believing patriot than Sanders, since Sanders wants to make America okay, now. Trump wants "Great," as well as "Make Again." That implies a greater degree of wilful central government interference with the invisible optimizing hand of the free untrammeled market doing its thing to a pitiful not-great nation, as if central planning were better than free market; and Republicans, real ones, actual belief aside, never say that.

I forgot to ask my brother-in-law whether monetary policy and the Fed. represented socialism since monetary policy meddles with an otherwise free market in negotiable wealth. I also forgot to ask him whether if a border wall/fence were optimal, wouldn't free market action of an unimpeded private sector have already built one? Right size. Right length. Right voltage.

BOTTOM LINE: Per that "make ... great" vs make okay thing, yes, Trump must be more the central planner; the socialist; though short of wanting government ownership of all means of production. That latter point at least makes him closer to the more restrained upper class plain vanilla Republican propagandized mantra dogma than otherwise.

For which we all can be thankful, given his delegate count and polling.

A socialist but at least not a Marxist. Whew! That was close. But the nagging question, why all the flags if he does not think the nation they symbolize is a great one?

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Think of it this way: Sanders is offering modest cabbage, Trump, a splendid bed of roses.

Roses smell better but which makes the better soup?

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
An idiot writing an op-ed Strib elected to publish, showing she and Strib editors either fail to understand the difference between Marxist-Leninist communism and "socialism" with its broader and more relaxed meaning, or they deliberately wish to obscure, dissemble and mislead:

Millennials are the only age group in America in which a majority views socialism favorably. A national Reason-Rupe survey found that 53 percent of Americans under 30 have a favorable view of socialism compared with less than a third of those over 30. Moreover, Gallup has found that an astounding 69 percent of millennials say they’d be willing to vote for a “socialist” candidate for president — among their parents’ generation, only a third would do so. Indeed, national polls and exit polls reveal about 70 to 80 percent of young Democrats are casting their ballots for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a “democratic socialist.”

Yet millennials tend to reject the actual definition of socialism — government ownership of the means of production, or government running businesses. Only 32 percent of millennials favor “an economy managed by the government,” while, similar to older generations, 64 percent prefer a free-market economy. And as millennials age and begin to earn more, their socialistic ideals seem to slip away.

[italics added] What a dunce!

Having Social Security and a VA are socialism in action. Each is: Government making socially impacted decisions aimed at bettering the lives among some within the population, as a carried government expense. Great stuff, Social Security and the VA, so who's to complain?

Easy answer, dunces.

Uneasy answer. Strib editors and the author know better, but are doing straw-man propaganda.

Build the straw man, then blow him down. WTF says "the actual definition of socialism — government ownership of the means of production, or government running businesses" besides dunces or propagandists?

Only an ignoramus would accept that kind of either-or stuff; but we are talking Stirb editors, aren't we.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Black wives matter. WELL, among our GOP high office-seeking friends, ALL wives matter.

Middle school food fight; websearch: here and here.

2016 shall go down in history as the pre-primary National Enquirer Presidential Candidacy Year.

It is tiring. It obscures the fact that there's not a whit of difference between Trump and Cruz, both are outlandish, opportunistic Senator Jack S. Phogbound - pure Dogpatch caricatures; and in the process of their being so MSM is eating it up and spooning it out with coverage while Bernie's rectitude, sincerity and quality, (and in particular his not taking tainted Wall Street or lobbyist money); all that gets overgrown with weeds with crabgrass and other weeds.

Cause to enter the wife-insult fray, repeating what's been said before:

Marcus Bachmann's wife is pure unhinged crazy. And proud of it.

Wearing it like a flag.

Of course, however, confining her unhinged crazy current nature to her ever so discretely publishing opinion on current events in a fitting right of center outlet, source of the image at left.

How do you like that bottom caption; with the Republicans doing their present Trump-Cruz dueling banjo bit, there is chutzpah to saying, "A ONCE GREAT POLITICAL PARTY HAS MORPHED INTO MADNESS," about the other party, and not about Lincoln's troubled legacy children and their present wife-centric food fight? Might they simply settle it all now, not at their convention, but in a Burr-Hamilton manner and be done with their really sick theater act even before their peers convene?

Or is that expecting too much? Kasich is as bad, politically, but is sensibly staying out of the line of fire.

UPDATE: Larry agrees with Michele; stylistically distinctive but equally unhinged. How large of a segment of the people does that stuff inspire? Less than Romney's 47% number, at a guess. 5%? 10%? What?

FURTHER: Cruz can hate monger with the best of them. So?

Advice to Obama, and possibly good from Obama to the main actors in the Ted-Heidi dust up, turn the other cheek.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Pointing to the version of truth, not its substance.

Version per BBC autumn of 2015 reporting, (italics not in original):

"If you're looking for someone to go to Washington to go along to get along - to [...] get in bed with the lobbyists of special interests, then I ain't your guy," Mr Cruz said during the first Republican presidential debate in August.

Now Boehner is gone, and it seems Mr Cruz's brand of high-stakes brinkmanship is gaining favour in the US capital. While the senator himself didn't take credit for the change, Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine - who introduced Cruz at the Washington event - wasn't so demur.

"We're going to get new leadership in the House of Representative," he said. "It's happening because there's a newly elected senator that showed up and started articulating principles that were consistent with the Republican platform."

Look, up at version.
Not at substance.
Substance: How about substantial millions, and guess from where.

From here and here.

Fact dollars, over word fiction; in priority and in substance ringing true to historical Republican precedent, be it in-platform or out. Right in the top five high rank money takers behind, (popular in-their-home-state Republican figures), JEB! and Marco. Protruding a hand to power brokers, a hand outstretched towards two top donor factions, as with Hillary and Schumer but listen, a non-captive of wealth and the DC status quo. Yes, listen. Ignore the unctuous, supercilious smirk. It's the word and the Word. So for Christsakes, listen. Don't think. Just heed all that articulating . . .

It's why God gave him that microphone. For articulating. Testifying.

CLICHES. Or: Do not accuse me of being anti-semantic; some of my best friends are words.

Milo Beckman at site Five Thirty Eight; here and here, (items that are self explanatory, and you can do a tf-idf analysis of Milo's own writing if you've the time and inclination, Milo gives the link).

"Time and inclination." Is that cliche usage?

UPDATE: Have to say it this way -- If, politically, you're a hound for punishment, this link.

FURTHER: When it comes to cliches, all politics is local:

Covington City Commissioners were excited to see a developer come forward Tuesday.

"This will truly be transformative," said Commissioner Steve Frank.

What "truly transformative" developer can you name?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ugly. But, why not the endorsement? Cruz and Bush each took money from the same deep pocket operatives, and one was too low energy. The other, too repulsive.

TWO SUITS: Salon image, month old item, still relevant.

This WaPo link. The Atlantic. This websearch.

Trump's likely Tweet; "Two losers."

Likely correct. Hopefully so.

UPDATE: Sane WaPo editing. There is love in the current image choice WaPo used for the Bush/Cruz item linked above:

no suits - real folks - us and not them

FURTHER UPDATE: Boehner appears to have a somewhat better grasp of reality than the Jebster; if you're to believe Breitbart.

Faint praise, deservedly so, if you look to who Boehner favors. A hypothetical: How many empty suits can the GOP contain without appearing to be a rummage sale?

Do your own websearch, this major privacy litigation case is covered in the news. This image's source is the sole link provided here.

EFF, this link.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Trump hate groupings: UNIONS?

Right, he has repeated how he "loves the evangelicals," but he has said zippo about needs and hopes of sensible union members.

Why? Go figure.

Trump is, unless unequivocally disclaiming it - and then can you trust him - a dyed in the wool Koch union-hating right to work proponent.

It is how you have to figure things.

What's his history in the Trump Empire; on union friendliness? Or animosity? Or indifference, but perhaps wanting in his building urge to pay less than prevailing wages [can you say, "Anoka County"].

Rest assured. You are NOT going to see Trump challenged on the UNION QUESTION by the likes of Ted Cruz. Nor Kasich.

Ted Cruz, forget it.

So, all you Trumpster old white guys with a grudge, is Trump your answer if your UNION job's been shipped to China or, per NAFTA, to Mexico? Or because of "right to work" bias, to South Carolina?

What's in Trumpery for you? Judging from what he's done, as well as what he says?

Unions made America great fighting for worker rights throughout the 20th Century; so to "Make America Great Again," go figure that out for yourselves.

I do not know the Trump record on prevailing wage or union employment. I can guess, but it should be of record in mainstream media. Yet that unionization question is silently faced, largely, by mainstream outlets.

About all there is that is reported, is this.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hands moving pawns. PAWNS! Not major peices to any game.

Kos, here.

Pawn numero uno. Says "Will filibuster." Good. Call his bluff. Bring the turkey off the campaign trail and have him stand in the Senate well "filibustering" as promised, while Trump and Kasich campaign.

Sure, he will do that about when pigs fly to the moon.

What a piece of work. Indeed:

Cruz’s other advisers are nearly as alarming. His list includes three other employees of Gaffney’s think tank, along with former assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy, author of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America; Iran-Contra schemer Elliott Abrams; and Michael Ledeen, a former Reagan official who once said, “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business."

It’s a little surprising that Cruz has assembled this rogue's gallery of aggressive neoconservatives. Just a few months ago, the Texas senator told Bloomberg, “If you look at President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and for that matter some of the more aggressive Washington neocons, they have consistently mis-perceived the threat of radical Islamic terrorism and have advocated military adventurism that has had the effect of benefiting radical Islamic terrorists.”

UPDATE: This. Trump declines the FOX-Utah thing; Kasich cares little at all to share a stage with a pariah, and declines too. Cruz ready to debate himself, taking both sides of any FOX-fed question? Would he have moved from one podium to another, one spiel in English, the other in Spanish? It appears Trump and Kasich have one point of agreement.

FURTHER UPDATE: Trump should have offered Fox to send Sarah Palin in his place to debate with Cruz. It is the level of respect Cruz has earned.

FURTHER UPDATE: Trump sends Palin as his surrogate to FOX. Cruz in turn should send Frank Gafney and the two could have a dumb-in, with Kasich standing with his jaw dropped.

FOX in turn could bring in the other noteworthy Cruz consultant, Elliot Abrams, and debate sending Stinger missiles to Iran in exchange for cash for drug smuggling thugs in El Salvador.

Woo woo.

_______________FURTHER UPDATE_______________

Mister Smarmy
Press coverage has focused on Gaffney, e.g., this websearch, with naming Abrams, giving an incomplete flavor. The entire freak show is posted by Cruz himself, here. Crazy General Boykin, and Michael Ledeen, a Bushco neocon in the Cheney-Rumsfeld chicken hawk chicken coop, who had a major hand in ginning up lies to put our military into the Iraq fiasco. Remember the Niger "Yellow Cake" lie? Do YOU really want more of the same? A vote for Mr. Smarmy is a vote for Iraq War redux.

Give each in that crazy batch a Mr. Yuk sticker; supersize one for Mr. Smarmy. Netanyahu could not have picked a "better" team than that (presuming for the sake of argument that in this instance he did not pick nor recommend, but that Cruz went about lifting rocks and collecting specimens by himself).

The only question, where's Bolton? What's Bushco war mongering redux without Bolten?

Veterans should ask, Cruz, his list of war mongering disciples, ask who on that list served? Boykin, okay, him. One or two others, but it's Cheney-Rumsfeld-Iraq warmed over leftovers.

FURTHER: An even better question, which of the numerous "foreign policy" advisers not only served in the military, but which, if any, served with Cruz in the military?

Or with Cheney?

Or in the military with Richard Perle?

Cruz' chicken hawks. Rattling sabres while never having taken a sabre into battle. Battle voyeurs.

Not their own kids in the scenario either.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

More. About: as I say, as I do. Life as it is among the 1%.

Bloomberg, published online summer of 2014, i.e., from before the Clinton presidential run was announced.

Bill and Hillary Clinton have long supported an estate tax to prevent the U.S. from being dominated by inherited wealth. That doesn’t mean they want to pay it.

To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death.

[...] Without the estate tax, Hillary Clinton said, the country could become “dominated by inherited wealth.”

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, said in an e-mail that the couple’s finances are an “open book.” He didn’t answer additional questions about their finances or her current views on the estate tax.

Two estate-planning advisers are listed on the Westchester County documents, Linda Hirschson of Greenberg Traurig LLP in New York and Rorrie Gregorio of Marcum LLP in New York. Both specialize in estate and tax planning for high net-worth families; neither returned a call for comment.


Open book? How about open transcripts, ya betcha? What do 1%ers tell muck-a-mucks at Goldman Sachs at two hundred grand per hour? And if transcripts were to prove innocuous, then why else would savvy investors so invest? It is sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don't game, but still what was said to Goldman Sachs in private, vs pontifications in public, is newsworthy, and something that should be weighed in voting. As should reticence over such incisive fact questions.

Wikipedia, here. Like a listing of interlocking 1%ers all jolly well rich; and knowing one another.

To the best of my knowledge, Bernie Sanders and family do not have any fiscal foundation lurking in their backgrounds and lives. If the Sanders family make it to the 1% level, it would be barely; and likely not at all. Becoming filthy rich while being career politicians is a Clinton characteristic of note; and a concern. It appears to be such to State Department professionals, including the Inspector General. Two overlapping web searches, here and here. Wikipedka, here. This item, related to, Teneo, one of the multiple employment hats Abedin wore while a paid State Department employee. This websearch = Teneo. Reuters and HuffPo items in the search return list. Two online "Teneo" items, here and here, the latter item abstracting:

Our annual publication, Teneo Vision assesses many of the challenges our senior advisors believe will vie for CEO attention in 2014. The authors examine potential disruptors in three critical areas—financial markets, technological empowerment and social and political conflict. What is new is the interconnectedness of these issues and the speed of change. Information and unrest travel rapidly, expanded regulations complicate operational certainty and social media vastly increases the number of stakeholders who can influence business reputations.

Might that be the sort of information investment banking firms might weigh in setting tactics and strategy? Might it also be something where Department of State highly placed individuals might have unique perspectives and acquired information, while in office or after leaving office? Might such inside information be of monetary value to business CEOs? Teneo self touts:

Teneo is a global advisory firm that partners exclusively with the CEOs and senior leaders of many of the world’s largest and most complex companies and organizations. The firm is focused on working with clients to address a wide range of financial, reputational and transformational challenges and opportunities by combining the disciplines of strategic communications, investor relations, investment banking, financial analytics, executive recruiting, digital analytics, corporate governance, government affairs, business intelligence, management consulting and corporate restructuring on an integrated basis. Teneo’s clients include the CEOs of many Fortune 100 companies across a diverse range of industry sectors. The firm was founded in 2011 by Declan Kelly, Doug Band and Paul Keary.

Insider information often can lead to productive investment decisions, and avoidance of pitfalls.

A dime for your thoughts.

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
As a hypothetical, might who Cargill, Halliburton, or Bechtel should bribe in Egypt in order to obtain a favorable public works or supply contract or tax statute, or what was learned from tapping Angel Merkel's cellphone be a kind of information businessmen might value and pay to obtain? Might similar less or equally salacious insider knowledge also have trade value? Then, furthering the hypothetical, how high might you price an hour's download of such information, in private, and then would it come with a speech, generally innocuous in content and transcribed? Further, were such a hypothetical ever to be put into practice, what might be circumstantial evidence to weigh in the absence of direct admissions of participation in any such hypothetical drama? Might, again a hypothetical, forensic recovery of deleted content from a server hard drive by law enforcement authorities holding the hard drive in custody be helpful to an understanding of things, per such hypothetical deliberation? And if you cannot trust law enforcement integrity, impartiality and competence, who do you trust?

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
The belief is this link and excerpt were not posted previously, but much of the information online overlaps and a number of sources have previously been cited:

There’s no indication in Blumenthal’s emails whether Clinton read or replied to them before she left State on February 1, 2013, but he was clearly part of a select group with knowledge of the private address, which was unknown to the public until

Gawker published it this year. They do suggest that she interacted with Blumenthal using the account after she stepped down. “H: got your message a few days ago,” reads the subject line of one email from Blumenthal to Clinton on February 8, 2013; “H: fyi, will continue to send relevant intel,” reads another.

The memos cover a wide array of subjects in extreme detail, from German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s conversations with her finance minister about French president Francois Hollande–marked “THIS INFORMATION COMES FROM AN EXTREMELY SENSITIVE SOURCE”—to the composition of the newly elected South Korean president’s transition team. At least 10 of the memos deal in whole or in part with internal Libyan politics and the government’s fight against militants, including the status of the Libyan oil industry and the prospects for Western companies to participate.

[link in original, italics added] If, again a hypothetical, I were selling speeches to a savvy investment bank and my daughter's spouse ran a hedge fund after moving from that investment bank to do so, that kind of information might have a limited shelf life but for immediate transfer it could be of tactical/strategic value by permitting commercial or investment advantages to outsiders not previously privy to it.

If the Blumenthal intel was being privately paid for, it would not involve any compromise of State Department inside information if it alone, apart from any insider-only facts, were conveyed to third parties; however, if it was part of a larger painted picture permitting investment advantage, per weaving State and Blumenthal insights into a tapestry of truth, for sale, the conflict of interest situation would be murky, at best.

Monday, March 14, 2016

This is staggering to me, something grossly under reported in mainstream media. The Palin idiot is still being used by Trump and nobody is discrediting him over it.

Sledding together in 2007. Or posing as such.
This link, NY Post, where Palin participation in Trump campaigning might have continued under reported, had Todd Palin not put himself into a hospital (note, not the one who sledded into the Iditarod dog sled teams, some other bozo did that). Just being Alaskan Todd. The circus has not left town.

UPDATE: With Trump showing that level of discernment one has to ask, is he using Joe the Plumber yet? And if not, will he?

Is this a typo spell-check failed to catch, a Freudian slip, or an intended play on words?

Back in the summer of 2014, Ben White wrote for CNBC about the Clinton money and how it was aggregated, something not as frequent a press item these days when people are voting; and the item is a good read for anyone following the link; but the interesting side observation, middle of the thing:

My only question would be how will these poll numbers change following weeks and months of revelations about the sources of Clinton's wealth. And what if a challenger does emerge to Clinton's left? Will the former first lady, New York senator and Secretary of State manage to hold on to her aura of inevitability?

It may also be true that Clinton's money won't matter at all in a general election, certainly not the way Mitt Romney's did in 2012. Democrats roasted Romney for allegedly slashing jobs as a private equity executive and proposing tax policy that would benefit himself and other rich people. Clinton won't have these problems.

But she could still face scorching negative ads suggesting that while she talks about inequality and reigning in Wall Street and other hot-button issues for Democrats she also collected fat checks from Wall Street and occupies the top wrung of the economic ladder while crying poverty.

Such ads might not drive swing voters to an establishment Republican. But they could move rust belt voters toward a GOP populist in the mold of [...]

[emphasis added] Given the money ladled out for the brief speaking appearances, Ms. Clinton might be viewed in a sense as the Queen of Wall Street, reigning in that sense; but if the intent was the homonym as in, "Whoa, Bessie now slow down," that would involve tugging on the reins, etc.

But one can like that Queen of Wall Street sense of things, unless and until a few key transcripts are made public by the transcript owner seeking credibility as one caring for the 99% - or for Romney's 47% together with enough moderate independents to get to a majority.

" . . . reigning in Wall Street . . ." indeed. From the 2014 CNBC item:

UPDATE: More CNBC posting of interest, basically contemporaneous with the Ben White item, here. With this studied choice of image:

As Bernie runs on a single-payer Medicare for all policy to bring our nation into line with civilized European and Canadian thought and practice; others are afoot to sabotage the actually effective socialized medicine delivery of the VA, which does bargain with Big Pharma on pricing while Medicare by statute is foreclosed from doing so to help taxpayers. MoJo has a Mar. 13 online item about it, which mentions Koch influence at play along with mention of Andy Aplikowski's chum and former Minnesota Senate candidate, PETE HEGSETH, whose brief politician candidacy rivals the CD8 Cravaack ghost-tenure. MoJo paints Aplikowski's chum Hegseth as a core part of the Koch effort MoJo is reporting.

Readers hopefully will remember Republican CD8 temp worker Chip Cravaack; Phantom Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota's 8th district in office January 3, 2011 - January 3, 2013. Preceded by: Jim Oberstar, (who really lived here).

The Chipster -- So briefly touching Minnesota ground, so easily forgotten, as with the brief Senate campaign of former Guantanamo guard Pete Hegseth, who apparently has chosen a post-service stay on state soil - if you believe that speaker promo.

In any event Hegseth touched base long enough to initiate some form of a PAC that Andy Aplikowski at Residual Forces touted as if an innovative thing. Money for mischief is not innovative, likely, instead, predating the Roman Empire and Church.

In any event, the above Crabgrass headline tells the gist of the Mother Jones item, except this screen capture from the item's beginning shows it starts with a tight and neat image explaining why the right-wing establishment conspirators have targeted the VA instead of say food stamps or gasoline taxes (or "fees" on cigarettes that equate to taxes except in a tortured Pawlenty mind grasping for a fig leaf cover in the course of a sane abandonment of his pledge of governmental malaise and stupidity given to the state's Taxpayer League (currently headed by its board chief, the woofer of north metro)).

If any reader can define and document via online links exactly what Hegseth's job duties and tasking was at Gunantanamo, it might be of interest to other readers; so if such info exists a comment pointing to it would be appreciated. Was he the one flushing Quran pages down a toilet, or as a Princeton grad - officer corps type, the one giving the command to do so?

Likely not, but what exactly did the esteemed motivational speaker do there? (As an aside, do you think Pete's pulling down Clintonian fee amounts per speech? And if not, why not?) In contrast to the motivational speaker bio, another has written less favorably of soldier Hegseth, painting a picture of one expected to be allied to the Koch empire and allied with a long-standing and prominent Minnesota propaganda enterprise having a "Director of Operations [...] involved with the Center nearly from the beginning, joining the staff in 1993" who "studied Speech-Communications, History, and Business at the University of Minnesota and has been involved in the conservative movement in Minnesota for nearly 30 years." That long, huffing and puffing.

Does any reader know, is Hegseth allied with Freedom Club beyond this left-side image showing his PAC event's Sawalich overlap?

NEXT TO LAST: The MoJo item never mentioned Bernie. That's just a headline thing from Crabgrass to remind folks whose policies on the Dem side have always and consistently been in the public's interest. No Johnny-come-lately (nor Janey-come-lately neither, gender not being the point --- Bernie's been as consistent as Elizabeth Warren for the public's good, and that's the point).

LAST: We citizens do not know anything that really went on at Guantanamo detention areas, yet the jihadi recidivism among camp alums suggests something possibly akin to the School of the Americas - Zetas situation.

There is this intriguing online brief YouTube video.

BONUS: And you no longer can find it posted online at Residual Forces:

PALS. find the image here

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Larry Klayman wrote recently as if irritated by something several things.

This link. Medicine has identified an irritable bowel syndrome; but has no named syndrome for irritable characteristics of one end or the other of the digestive tract. Not that the thought relates in any way to Larry Klayman.

News of the "even a blind pig sometimes finds a truffle" ilk, here, where Klayman seems on track of something real. It is the occasional not over the top stuff that Klayman sometimes champions that makes his complexities more interesting than if he were totally askance. It is of the follow the money and then draw rational circumstantial conclusions nature; a conflict of interest appearance and an accompanying arguably bad decision by a trusted public official, favorable to the other outside personal family fiscal interest.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Without links, reader websearch should be easy, reporting suggests this Friday, today, Ben Carson will endorse Donald Trump.

Taking the headline as given truth, the question for readers, is a Carson endorsement one carrying more weight than the Chris Christie one? (Don't bother re gravitas of the Palin business; it was bad theater, Trump looked embarrassed sharing the stage with the bozo; and she got dropped like a hot potato.)

Would an opinion one way or the other hinge on what Carson says and how extensive he says it?

Carson is the one GOP candidate whose coverage never seemed to question his sincerity. Other dimensions were questioned, not sincerity; so does that matter in weighing the endorsement?

Do endorsements matter at all? Should they?

Usually it is not as much a popularity contest as cutting a deal, or taking one for the team. Do thirteen of fourteen female Dem Senators endorsing Clinton's candidacy ring a bell with you; or is the fourteenth shifted into a clearer focus of importance by absence from group action? Does an image of the Clinton candidate in an upraised arm foursome including as the other three Klobuchar, Dayton and Franken ring your bell, one way or another? (One thing I noticed, Clinton's the shortest of the four. Another thing, of the four, Franken looked most Presidential to me, and seems so to me from general knowledge.)

Can an early endorsement in a way you might find excessive cut against a candidacy?

Can a late endorsement ring as too little, too late?

Clinton email continues to be a subject of media attention; with some politicians keeping it so.

The Monitor, in a current online carried AP item titled, " Democratic lawmakers criticize Clinton email investigations," (by Michael Biesecker & Deb Riechmann, Associated Press March 10, 2016), fleshes out a politicians' letter laying groundwork for claims of inspector general bias on two fronts.

The subheadline the Monitor supplied, "By suggesting the investigations are unfair, they run the risk of providing fodder to GOP lawmakers calling for a special prosecutor to be assigned to the case."

This link. Same topic, WaPo, here.

With Leahy, interestingly a Dem Senator from Vermont, being a letter co-signator, he adds credibility to the letter content.

Neither item posts nor links to an online pdf of the actual letter at issue. Maninstream media, at its best.

If any reader discovers an online letter copy and takes time to post a comment with a link, it would be appreciated.

WaPo writes of a recent Sanders - Clinton debate after Michigan's vote.

This link. Unfavorable to Clinton, neutral and less focused on Sanders. Did not watch it, cannot say. At end of item WaPo links here, to a "full transcript." Professional punditry is not without fault; remember that.

Last, after ending that summary/editorial view with the full transcript link, the WaPo thing went hither and yon in ways readers may wish to follow (although I saw little cause to do so).

An appearance readers may dispute, the Republican debates attract more attention and Trump-mania, while on the Dem side most people who care already have viewpoints about the relative appeal of Clinton vs Sanders, and the relative desirability of one or the other to be party general election candidate and/or President. (Clearly here at Crabgrass the concept of a President Sanders is viewed as more appropriate and less conflicted; something that has not been unclear yet such disclosure is appropriate. Opinions differ.)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Speeches in exchange for money Bill Clinton did not give, but considered. Iran. Congo. North Korea.

WashExaminer, a rightwing outlet, here; ABC News, here; this websearch.

The ABC item stated in part:

While Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, Bill Clinton earned speaking fees around the globe totaling more than $48 million -- speeches that had to be vetted by the State Department to ensure there were no conflicts of interest with his wife's work as America's top diplomat. These newly revealed emails show speech requests that the State Department refused to approve.

[italics added, subject to dispute, "earned," vs "received" as proper wording] Many sources report many different numbers for money acceptance by one or the other of the Clinton spouses [apart from Chelsea's current speech giving for money]. In part, some speech fees went to Clinton pockets directly; some yielded cash for the foundation, and some reports do not distinguish one from the other.

The $48 million Bill Clinton haul noted in the above quote is staggering as a figure; but what was personal into-pocket take vs what was something less direct? The item does not present any breakdown of the gross figure.

Along the lines of the last paragraph, Atlantic; title and subtitle: "Hillary Clinton Makes It Hard to Follow the Money - Her family's foundation collects millions from foreign donors. As secretary of state, she benefited from pricey intelligence reports, but it's unknown who footed the bill. To whom is she beholden?"

Of interest.

This link. Not aimed at Norm Coleman fans.

Same outlet, related topic.

An under reported gross gender bias attempt to boost a presidential candidate's numbers in New Hampshire voting.

The Hill, here. If any other Mainstream Media outlet reported the story it has not been given the attention the Madeline Albright statement received. Yet it is bigger. And coarse. Gender bias is politically incorrect; all times; all ways.

It should have been front page, many outlets, and was not. Surprisingly the Albright and Steinem statements arguably were not under reported. One report correctly saw both Albright's and Steinem's commentary as counterproductive in advancing gender breakthrough. Perhaps that is the distinction between the Senatorial bus tour and the loud mouths. One arguably helped push gender as an issue (the bus tour The Hill reports, although insufficient to push progressivism to second place in New Hampshire); the other, not really as under the radar.

Playing the gender card is wrong, whether it is Rush being coarse; or a pack of female senators drum beating.

I'd rather follow the money.

Bless Elizabeth Warren for her current progressive integrity and unwillingness to bend to gender pressure as reported by The Hill.

HuffPo on point. It mentions Bill Clinton. Which reinforces, I'd rather follow the money


"We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you young women think it's done. It's not done," opined Madeline Albright, campaigning for Hillary in New Hampshire. "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other." Madeleine (Hillary, Bernie: first names, please) suffered great discrimination as a woman, at least as she tells it, and things remain awful.

Too bad that as Bill Clinton's United Nations Ambassador and then Secretary of State (Hillary was the third woman to hold the post), Madeleine did not confront Arab countries on their treatment of women. These same nations would later fund Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. Why rock the boat? Or the camel?

As for Madeleine, she was born in 1937 in Prague, Czechoslovakia to parents who, after fleeing Europe in 1941, then decided to convert from Judaism to Catholicism. They never told her about it until adulthood, the story goes, and she apparently never told others. Perhaps she thought being a Jew and a woman was too much to bear. Albright studied at Columbia University in the 1960s; by 1976 she was in the West Wing of the White House as the National Security Council's liaison with Congress. I guess if she were not a victim of gender bias, she would have advanced sooner.

Albright became involved with what Donald Trump would call "losers." At Columbia, she had been mentored by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who would later, as President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, urge Carter to replace the Iran's pro-Western reformist Shah with the Islamist Ayatollah. This move ushered in the Islamist revolution.

Reagan's "holy warriors" in Afghanistan (a.k.a. jihadists today, same agenda, etc.) were first ginned up against the Soviet incursion, by Zbigniew Brzezinski and with Clinton having boasted on the campaign trail of her ties to Henry Kissinger; the Albright-Clinton gender finger pointing alliance has very much to it to recommend Bernie Sanders, or Donald Trump even, since neither is so grossly tainted as to have been mentored by a clear devil.

UPDATE: Did I say, follow the money? The Atlantic:

In September, Bloomberg reported that the bidding for Kosovo's state-owned post and telecoms company "...has attracted interest from European and Turkish phone operators, as well as from an investment company headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was a major backer of Kosovo in its war against Serbia."

[italicized link in original]

FURTHER UPDATE: As to ZB during Carter times first pushing the jihadi agenda to bother the Russians; this item; this websearch returning the item as first on the return list.

FURTHER: Given updating including some quoting; a reemphasis is proper; the item in The Hill was not excerpted since by giving it, in context, at the outset, it was presumed intelligent readers would read it, especially since it was not excerpted. Excerpting that item would have implied there was a single gist to it; and instead the entire item is worth reading. It is both terse and well structured.

FURTHER: Good reading: 13 female Dem Senators onboard the Clinton bandwagon out of 14 being a priori insubsantial (in large measure) by the stature of the 1 in 14 not onboard; here and here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Strib carries AP feed blowing smoke big time about Bernie's taking Michigan.

The AP feed said in part - buried in the middle:

The economy ranked high on the list of concerns for voters in Michigan and Mississippi. At least 8 in 10 in each party's primary said they were worried about where the American economy is heading, according to exit polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

Among Democrats, 8 in 10 voters in both states said the country's economic system benefits the wealthy, not all Americans.

Sanders has sought to tap into that concern, energizing young people and white, blue-collar voters with his calls for breaking up Wall Street banks and making tuition free at public colleges and universities. Michigan, with big college towns and a sizeable population of working-class voters, was a good fit for him, though something of a surprise victory given that Clinton had led in polls heading into Tuesday's voting.

Still, Sanders has struggled mightily with black voters who are crucial to Democrats in the general election. In Mississippi, black voters comprised about two-thirds of the Democratic electorate and nearly 9 in 10 backed Clinton.

After Tuesday's results, Clinton has accumulated 1,214 delegates and Sanders 566, including superdelegates. Democrats need 2,383 delegates to win the nomination.

Well Bernie consistently over his career has been for helping the citizens of the nation against "the country's economic system" which "benefits the wealthy, not all Americans." And he does not take Wall Street nor Big Pharma money, and knowing his genuineness, Wall Street and Big Pharma have not even bothered offering. Clinton sacks get filled with outside money.

outside money = Clinton =Cruz, and that's not fiction

Also get specific. Look who's biggest on the take from lawyers/lobbyists. Readers, how many DC law firms and K-Street lobbyists are you funding so that your concerns are heard? Clinton and Cruz are the presidential wannabes getting top level Defense sugar. UnitedHealth and Big Pharma, who's their favorite? Their way ahead of anybody else favorite, and how does that square with the Affordable Health Act having been jiggered together to favor health insurance and pharmaceutical interests - who do fund big DC law firms and K-Street. And the money taker, she will tell you, Obamacare incrementalism, not universal healthcare, is the way to go for the U.S. of A. Bernie instead tells the truth.

The Goldman Sachs money-taker is a late arrival to the "Among Democrats, 8 in 10 voters in both states said the country's economic system benefits the wealthy, not all Americans" issue, and says the accumulated fortune via interested party offer/accept will not be a biasing factor in what she'd do if elected. Sure. 

Pigs fly. Goldman is in business making money off investments, and what do you figure the speech stipends - all $675,000 or so was? Charity? Unfocused judgment? An institutional brain fart? Get real.

And yes, the Clintons have southern black voters committed, and those states every election go Republican, so it's part of the stacked deck delegate counting charade the inner party imposes to frustrate popular nationwide populism.

And MSNBC had a big prime time slot given yesterday to the Clinton candidate over Mississippi, deep South and such, and Bernie took the popular majority in the populous state, our neighbor, and it is almost stuck into coverage edgewise.

It stinks, how the media is dumping on the Sanders candidacy and the Trump candidacy, yet the people have differing viewpoints; aside from deep Dixie Dem machines being for the money-taking candidate.

And the superdelegate thumb-on-the-scale stuff is obscene; there being no other more fitting word.

Party hacks vs. the people. What a party. Don't care a hoot about the young. That's the nation's "seed corn" and giving them a bad dose of screw-you-we-don't-care politics this cycle is both unwise and very inartful.

And blacks don't like Bernie? They feel no Bern? Ellison backs the populist, not the money taker, and what other black official in DC have we?

And unlike the South which in general presidential elections goes for the likes of George W. Bush, Minnesota caucus going DFL people seem to have felt the Bern.

So Strib, as headlined at the top of this post, is blowing smoke.

Voters in Michigan. Caucus turnout in Minnesota. Both favored Sanders. We ain't the South. End of story.

In fairness to Strib/AP, the item headline was: "Sanders is surprise victor in Michigan; Trump keeps winning."

That is not burying the gist, however: "Surprise" is a superfluous word to the story, "Sanders is victor ...".

To whatever extent polling was used to cast Sanders as less popular before voting than the money taker, it was unreliable polling and was given preelection hype as push polling. As if suggesting if you favor Sanders, don't bother, the other candidate will win, polls show that. The story was nearly universally played that way in anticipation of a vote; as if a widely held hope rather than much else.

Push polling should be given only the credibility it earns. Reporters are lazy when using it in place of finding real news fact. One has to ask how much of the Trump insurgency's success has been based on his and the press's constant saying, "Polls show ..."? Has it pushed people toward the result, or simply been a barometer of actual voter pressures?

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

EMMER DESERVES THIS: "To prove her point, Kern cites a Wenzel Strategies survey that found 32 percent of American Muslims are in favor of making Sharia law the supreme law of America. This happens to be the same pollster that claimed one in four Americans believed the U.S. would collapse within a decade after Obama’s re-election. Kern has also written that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights organization, is a terrorist organization. And she's dismissed St. Cloud's CreateCommUnity team, Mayor Dave Kleis' racial harmony program, as being driven by communist techniques."

That is from City Pages coverage of A.J. Kern, Tom Emmer's Bachmannesque GOP primary challenger, making the assertion that Emmer had to be opposed because he is insufficiently conservative.

May Emmer and Stanley Hubbard enjoy the situation.

Apart from that, legislatively, one hope might be that some bipartisan Constitutional Amendment, for Minnesota's Constitution and not a legislative resolution about the federal Constitution, might gain traction to subject credit card and other revolving account debt to regular usury limits; so that the credit card companies might no longer get away with usurious interest charges; with statutory safeguards that their conduct is not defined as usury; despite what it is.

It would be nice to see some bipartisanship; and it would be a popular thing among the citizenry if such an amendment were to grow legs.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Trump gets kiss of death? [UPDATED - all the way to the end]

Reuters reports, the Koch brothers say they will not spend heavily to oppose his nomination as GOP candidate.

That means he must be in cahoots. What else? That they've looked sensibly at Ted Cruz? That Rubio, RUBIO! is more of a threat to their empire?

It surely bodes ill for Trump. That is certain; an ALEC front man? Whoa. Now Trump must go out of his way to insult them. A caustic tweet is due for credibility. For gravitas. For his base.

Sustaining a livable planet and weaning Middle East oil dependency are important goals, with renewable energy, already in the wind sector heavy on GE and Siemens, i.e., multinational large firms, nonetheless offering employment opportunity in installation and maintenance contracting. That employment need not be linked to capital intensive western coal or foreign oil. We just need to change and Elon Musk with Tesla is leading an automobile evolution away from internal combustion. Carbon dioxide loading of the environment is not inevitable.

Yet the Koch bottom line is to exploit us, and exploit the environment so that their fossil fuel empire advances, damn the consequences.

Last night's televised Sanders-Clinton CNN debate had the one exchange where Sanders pointed out that among the other host of money Clinton has hustled for and gotten, there is fossil fuel money in Clinton campaign and related SuperPAC coffers.

So, here is the "fossil fuel money in politics story" in two charts and a listing from this online page.

First, money to buy influence comes into politics, 2016, as charted (click images to enlarge and read):

Second, money to buy influence goes to open handed politicians, 2016, as charted (for leading recipients):

Third, the listing of the top twenty "fill my sack" "Oil & Gas" fossil fuel money taking politicians:

And, lets not stop there. For those gentle readers for whom the word "Polymet" causes steam to stream from their ears: at this "Energy and Natural Resources" [including mining, obviously] page lists the top twenty open sacks, 2016, which that slush money sector in part fills:

There is a lot more follow-the-money factual truth at's web pages; and any reader wanting to be informed about who pays what to which political myth-maker wanting to snooker your vote; start learning at:

-- and do note that page has the site's top banner menu, where you can explore as much as you can stomach about money in politics: where you've got your one vote against billionaires, millionaires, propagandists, and lobbyists; so do your homework and learn.

The more you explore there, the better you might understand NOT seeing Sanders nor Trump in any of the open sack perp listings.

It means something to me; perhaps to you.

Last, the initial part of this post, the Koch-Trump question is both real and urgent, even if lightly phrased. If the Koch dirty environmentalism camp is satisfied with a likely Trump vs. Clinton situation; there is something big-time wrong with it, as with any likely situation the Kochs find cordial enough to sit back, watch, and enjoy.

So, if Trump is compromised by that Koch claimed disinterest; only Bernie is left unscathed.

Sensible reader comments are welcome. Especially the steam-from-the-ears Polymet opponent viewpoint, re Clinton taking anti-enviro cash, would be welcome to see added to the discourse.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
For all politics being local, check here where your zipcode based search gets specific:

Then, this websearch, for a sample search = clinton fossil fuel campaign contributions fundraisers

Among the return listings for the search, Mother Jones, republishing a HuffPo item; here.

If not caring to read that last item, perhaps a word-search might suffice, e.g., "Keystone XL" or try, "Bernie Sanders" to see what's said of him in the item. Pick your own key word for that item; or better, explore the search return list. You learn by reading, and if you limit what you read a focus on the material might be enough; or better, it might prove to be a good starting point for a more adventuresome research effort.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_______________'s exposing open sack politicians seems to show the open sacks are held by establishment figures.

For GOP friends, the frequent top item or near-top occurrence of "Ted Cruz" in cash-taking lists might suggest a posing anti-establishment knight having feet grounded in slush; a fact worth pondering.

Pondering in terms of who's establishment, who's not, who's legitimately what he/she says, and who's posturing one way, prospering another, and trying to pull the wool over your eyes. A link of interest to the extent healthcare for all is a concern, that item, among other content, stating -

"Ted is very much a visionary," Heidi Cruz Nelson told the Times. "He is very strategic, and he’s very practical, and he does what needs to be done, not what everybody wants him to do."

Yes, very practical. For a visionary. If you're out there depending on a National Guard income to make ends meet, remember the king of federal shutdown brinkmanship threatening your situation has his millionaire's "situation" covered, by Goldman Sachs.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Also, some seem to view the CFR, and trade negotiations grounding as "establishment," although some may think otherwise. "Building a North American Commuity," as a 2005 CFR report involving Heidi Cruz seems to channel thoughts of NAFTA, etc., especially with promo text

When the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States met in Texas recently they underscored the deep ties and shared principles of the three countries. The Council-sponsored Task Force applauds the announced “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,” but proposes a more ambitious vision of a new community by 2010 and specific recommendations on how to achieve it.

Anti-establishment knighthood is an interesting thing, when self-conferred.

It squares, somehow in ways readers in comments can explain to me, with Koch brothers' satisfaction, or apparent satisfaction, with Trump and then Cruz, as the current two GOP frontrunners when Koch political largess has been focused on the GOP in ways they consider best for their economic prosperity.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Back at the keyboard after a break. Let's study that last CFR committee membership list, first page: maverick self-starter Ted Cruz's spouse was, "Economic Director for the Western Hemisphere at the [Condoleezza Rice] National Security Council," and "Director of the Latin America Office at the U.S. Treasury Department," and "Special Assistant to Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative." All the time having spouse Ted, singing Sanatra style, "I Did It My Way?" Heidi even humming the tune while bouncing around the Wall Street banking elite firm-to-firm and using the green revolving door.

This guy, Heidi's boss in Bushco land, and again, which Wall Street firm? Click the image, and find out.

Bush Administration, the Republicans; but gee - isn't that the very same firm Secretary Clinton took down for over six hundred grand in speech fees?

And where was Robert Rubin before being a Clinton White House muck-a-muck in the '90s?

And where before being Treasury Secretary was Hank Paulson [Paulsen?], the Bushco Treasury Secretary who took the market down the BIG rabbit hole, Sept. 2008; his firm?

No links for the questions, kids, be your own ferret if you cannot guess.

One should wonder: How much Angst would exist in Goldman Sachs headquarters over the outcome of a Cruz-Clinton election scrap? Would they favor one Tweedle over the other? Guesswork. Clearly.

And with the Cruz spouse having served for one who was a trade negotiator and World Bank head? No wonder Ted Cruz is such an outspoken critic of establishment globalization. He's seen it from inside the very belly of the beast and how it can enrich insiders.

Did I say green revolving door? Meant to. Ya betcha. Surely anti-establishment knight errant Ted Cruz should speak at some point soon to the evils of such an established thing, in DC where he serves as "Senator Disagree" because he stands in opposition to a status quo he says is plain and simply wrong.

We await such rhetoric. On pins and needles. In breathless anticipation.

___________FURTHER UPDATE__________
At least the Republican far right wing (WND "news") shows unparalleled consistency; here and here. Distinguished authors; who would argue against that? Two part harmony.

___________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Well, there is that Cruz spousal trade situation; the Clinton history of NAFTA; and lo, Guardian publishes:

Last week, I decided to watch several hours of Trump speeches for myself. I saw the man ramble and boast and threaten and even seem to gloat when protesters were ejected from the arenas in which he spoke. I was disgusted by these things, as I have been disgusted by Trump for 20 years. But I also noticed something surprising. In each of the speeches I watched, Trump spent a good part of his time talking about an entirely legitimate issue, one that could even be called left-wing.

Yes, Donald Trump talked about trade. In fact, to judge by how much time he spent talking about it, trade may be his single biggest concern – not white supremacy. Not even his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, the issue that first won him political fame. He did it again during the debate on 3 March: asked about his political excommunication by Mitt Romney, he chose to pivot and talk about ... trade.

It seems to obsess him: the destructive free-trade deals our leaders have made, the many companies that have moved their production facilities to other lands, the phone calls he will make to those companies’ CEOs in order to threaten them with steep tariffs unless they move back to the US.

Trump embellished this vision with another favorite left-wing idea: under his leadership, the government would “start competitive bidding in the drug industry.” (“We don’t competitively bid!” he marveled – another true fact, a legendary boondoggle brought to you by the George W Bush administration.) Trump extended the critique to the military-industrial complex, describing how the government is forced to buy lousy but expensive airplanes thanks to the power of industry lobbyists.

[...] Trade is an issue that polarizes Americans by socio-economic status. To the professional class, which encompasses the vast majority of our media figures, economists, Washington officials and Democratic power brokers, what they call “free trade” is something so obviously good and noble it doesn’t require explanation or inquiry or even thought. Republican and Democratic leaders alike agree on this, and no amount of facts can move them from their Econ 101 dream.

To the remaining 80 or 90% of America, trade means something very different. There’s a video going around on the internet these days that shows a room full of workers at a Carrier air conditioning plant in Indiana being told by an officer of the company that the factory is being moved to Monterrey, Mexico and that they’re all going to lose their jobs.

As I watched it, I thought of all the arguments over trade that we’ve had in this country since the early 1990s, all the sweet words from our economists about the scientifically proven benevolence of free trade, all the ways in which our newspapers mock people who say that treaties like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement allow companies to move jobs to Mexico.

Well, here is a video of a company moving its jobs to Mexico, courtesy of Nafta. This is what it looks like. The Carrier executive talks in that familiar and highly professional HR language about the need to “stay competitive” and “the extremely price-sensitive marketplace.” A worker shouts “Fuck you!” at the executive. The executive asks people to please be quiet so he can “share” his “information”. His information about all of them losing their jobs.

[...] It is worth noting that Trump is making a point of assailing that Indiana air conditioning company from the video in his speeches. What this suggests is that he’s telling a tale as much about economic outrage as it is tale of racism on the march. Many of Trump’s followers are bigots, no doubt, but many more are probably excited by the prospect of a president who seems to mean it when he denounces our trade agreements and promises to bring the hammer down on the CEO that fired you and wrecked your town, unlike Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Here is the most salient supporting fact: when people talk to white, working-class Trump supporters, instead of simply imagining what they might say, they find that what most concerns these people is the economy and their place in it. I am referring to a study just published by Working America, a political-action auxiliary of the AFL-CIO, which interviewed some 1,600 white working-class voters in the suburbs of Cleveland and Pittsburgh in December and January.

Support for Donald Trump, the group found, ran strong among these people, even among self-identified Democrats, but not because they are all pining for a racist in the White House. Their favorite aspect of Trump was his “attitude,” the blunt and forthright way he talks. As far as issues are concerned, “immigration” placed third among the matters such voters care about, far behind their number one concern: “good jobs / the economy.”

“People are much more frightened than they are bigoted,” is how the findings were described to me by Karen Nussbaum, the executive director of Working America. The survey “confirmed what we heard all the time: people are fed up, people are hurting, they are very distressed about the fact that their kids don’t have a future” and that “there still hasn’t been a recovery from the recession, that every family still suffers from it in one way or another.”

Tom Lewandowski, the president of the Northeast Indiana Central Labor Council in Fort Wayne, puts it even more bluntly when I asked him about working-class Trump fans. “These people aren’t racist, not any more than anybody else is,” he says of Trump supporters he knows. “When Trump talks about trade, we think about the Clinton administration, first with Nafta and then with [Permanent Normal Trade Relations] China, and here in Northeast Indiana, we hemorrhaged jobs.”

“They look at that, and here’s Trump talking about trade, in a ham-handed way, but at least he’s representing emotionally. We’ve had all the political establishment standing behind every trade deal, and we endorsed some of these people, and then we’ve had to fight them to get them to represent us.”

Now, let us stop and smell the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America – one of our two monopoly parties – chose long ago to turn its back on these people’s concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a “creative class” that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps. The working people that the party used to care about, Democrats figured, had nowhere else to go, in the famous Clinton-era expression. The party just didn’t need to listen to them any longer.

What Lewandowski and Nussbaum are saying, then, should be obvious to anyone who’s dipped a toe outside the prosperous enclaves on the two coasts. Ill-considered trade deals and generous bank bailouts and guaranteed profits for insurance companies but no recovery for average people, ever – these policies have taken their toll. As Trump says, “we have rebuilt China and yet our country is falling apart. Our infrastructure is falling apart. . . . Our airports are, like, Third World.”

[links in original omitted, except the "video" one where emphasis was added]

The Clintons and/or the Cruz spouses, trust them to do something. They will do something. Either of them, given the chance. That would be TPP. To us. Not for us. For Wall Street, where Asian ownership opportunity would be opened to Wall Street in exchange for their getting the jobs. Neat exchange? For some, not for all.

Bernie knows it, and says it, and the two insurgencies - each of them in turn - within each of the hidebound "in control" parties, Trump/GOP and Sanders/Dems, are getting mainstream media garbage thrown at them or else the insurgencies are simply ignored as if people should love the status quo and the direction TPP would take us, and not know actual alternatives are being debated.

Bless the Clintons. Bless the Cruz spouses. Bless Goldman Sachs. Bless TPP. Bless mainstream media. To the extent a channel such as MSNBC now gives some early coverage, await the "economically infeasible" stuff to surface big time against Trump and Sanders, as needed to assure the Clinton candidacy and perhaps derail Trump also. "Economic infeasibility" as well as "political infeasibility" will surface to be hammered more and more regularly as we approach November balloting. This is the wealthiest nation in history, but private bankers control the money supply; that is the Fed's systemic nature; and unwillingness there differs from "infeasible."

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Young Turks and the Carrier video; here. A thought experiment; wouldn't it be a hoot for either a Sanders presidency, or a Trump one, to have Rand Paul appointed Secretary of the Treasury to interface with the Fed?

That would be business not as usual.

Do watch the Young Turks item. It's interesting.

Another hypothetical, that Young Turks news deliverer, he'd make a great presidential press secretary.