consultants are sandburs

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ben is back.

Rejoice. It appears Ben took a temporary hiatus, for a new mellow yellow paint job - face lift; and he is back smiling as cute as ever. One of the continuing Town Center bright spots, be happy we have Ben.

YES, YES, YES! A public panel in Cincinnati has a conscience. They tell Flaherty and Collins a design is too butt ugly to accept. Mincing a few words, that is the message.


Cincinnati Business Courier, dated June 29, 2016, "Panel: Fourth and Race project design should go back to the drawing board," this link. Read it and you decide, delicately saying too butt ugly to accept, or if not that, what?

This excerpt:

Architect John Senhauser, another member of the board, compared the building to a piece of writing.

“This is a case where there was a story where there was too much going on to even understand what the story was,” he said.

[...] “It’s one of the great downtown streets in America,” Muller said. “It’s a timeline from 1840 all the way up to 2013 (with Great American Tower). Each block is almost intact, in order. It’s an extraordinary chronology of architectural history.”

[...] Pogue’s Garage, which currently sits on the site, was an eyesore when it was built in the 1960s, Senhauser said, and it stifled activity. This project is an opportunity to correct what was done back then, he added.

“To my mind, that’s kind of the urban obligation and the civic obligation of what a developer might do there, particularly in light of the subsidies that developer is getting. It’s public money. We have to get something for our money,” he said. “If we look at what makes a good urban space … we probably wouldn’t pick a model of a parking garage that would create that sort of life or livelihood.

And the image leads this post. Please note. It's not as ugly as the thing that got hung onto the parking garage at Ramsey Town Center. Too bad Ramsey lacked the taste sensitivity shown in Cincinnati. Surely not shown by Darren Lazan, or Cronk, or any of their million dollar plus Landform buddies. But in fairness to Flaherty and to whoever does design work for them, pseudo-architects, whatever the term, pre-existing in Town Center was City Hall and then diagonally across the street, Jim Deal's office building with its multiplicity of facades. Not a main street with historic architectural integrity. There was the ramp, architecturally the best design there at the time, having integrity and not gingerbread tarting up, but it got covered. The rail stop, also clean in design.

The council back then was not architecturally astute; but nobody mentioned aesthetics. It was all about how massively Flaherty was to be subsidized, or not, with design being off the stove (i.e., not even back burner).

Finally somebody has had the taste and collective will to call that firm out over design faux quality and near-complete lack of any aesthetic integrity.

Bravo, Cincinnati. A late calling out in the Flaherty firm's history, but better that than never. Telling it like it is: " ... in light of the subsidies that developer is getting. It's public money. We have to get something for our money."

A notion unfortunately absent in Ramsey. The Flaherty rental will age in place looking over time as it looked when construction concluded and it was brand new for occupancy, always looking the same. Butt ugly.

_____________UPDATE______________
Kvetching over what could have been done cleaner and better in Ramsey Town Center aside, the Cincinnati situation is at the early stage where bad error can be forestalled. Another online report notes:

Sometimes less is more when it comes to building design.

That’s what members of Cincinnati’s Urban Design Review Board said Tuesday to architects of a more than $100 million development at Fourth and Race streets. The Atlanta-based Preston Partnership made an hour-long presentation with renderings and design plans for the more than $100 million downtown development project.

[...] However, board member and architect John Senhauser said the building’s design incorporates too many design elements and has a frenetic appearance.

[...] Edsel Arnold, design principal at the Preston Partnership, said designs presented Tuesday were early concepts and could be revised.

[...] The former Pogue's garage isn’t expected to be razed until late summer. But the garage's replacement is expected to rejuvenate a city block with new residents and commercial activity. Downtown business owners and design experts panned the garage's design when it opened in 1967.

The project development team is expected to return to the Urban Design Review Board later this summer. The five-member Urban Design Review Board advises the city manager on the appropriateness of major design projects around Downtown and the riverfront. The board's opinions are advisory only.

This Preston Partnership is apparently the design firm handed back its Cincinnati design. Whether that firm is responsible for other Flaherty designs, including the thing in Ramsey Town Center, is unclear from reporting. For all we can tell the thing in Ramsey may have been designed by Ryan Cronk on the back of a napkin; and finalized from that. In any event the rejected Cincinnati design, from the one published online rendering, appears more architecturally restrained than the Ramsey project; that being so despite the adjective "frenetic" used in characterizing it in the course of the advisory board's disapproval.

In Ramsey, Flaherty put up frenetic-plus, with a little salt water pool.

scale: compare the pool to a row of parking spaces

Bluestem Prairie per the headline - "A run for the money: Daudt headlined lobbyists' fundraiser for locally censured Tom Hackbarth" - is a must read item.

This link, and lobbyist sponsorship IS the story. Sorensen nails pure truth on that front. Daudt and Sivirajah in tow, attending fixtures on behalf of Hackbarth and his lobbyist event sponsos.

Read it.

Rumors. Baseless rumors? Are you shocked? SHOCKED?

Mindeman as Clinton family apologist; almost, but pulling punches, hedging, qualifying -

Left and Right Wing Conspiracies And Hillary Clinton
Category: Hillary Clinton -- Posted: 06/28/16 01:00


[...]
2) Laureate University.
Laureate is a for profit college company. Not one of my favorite businesses as you probably know from my Kline posts, but the ugly connections inferred to Hillary are a disservice to both Clinton and Laureate. I won't attest to Laureate's honor but the only connection with Laureate is with Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative.

The university system -- part of Laureate Education Inc., which according to Bloomberg is the world's largest for-profit college chain -- has been a seven-figure donor to the Clinton Foundation, giving between $1 million and $5 million, according to the foundation's website. Laureate has also made five commitments through the Clinton Global Initiative.

Reviews of Laureate have been mixed, but it is not considered among the worst offenders in the for-profit college industry. President Obama took action against the industry (not Laureate) in 2010 as criticism mounted that for-profit colleges encouraged students to take on burdensome levels of debt to pay for subpar educations. And Hillary Clinton herself denounced the predatory practices of for-profit colleges (the for-profit industry not just Laureate) during her first campaign swing through Iowa.

The connection with the Clinton Global Initiative is that education in developing countries were part of CGI's global plan to improve opportunity in the third world. A lot of government public education was not large enough to help the many who needed the education and Laureate was brought on to help with special projects. George Soros was involved with them as well. Bill Clinton was an honorary chancellor for Laureate - and he was paid well, but his name opened up areas to Laureate. Besides a salary to Bill, the company gave as much as $5 million to CGI.

In April of 2015, Bill Clinton resigned his position with Laureate. His staff said it had nothing to do with Hillary ramping up her campaign, but it is possible that she asked him to end the relationship as she worked on her positions for student debt.

Hillary, herself, was never involved with the company. Conspiracy people will never be satisfied, but nothing illegal was ever involved here. And again, Hillary herself, was not involved.

3. Donations from oil and gas companies.
I have talked about this one before, but the quick summary is that Clinton HAS received donations from oil and gas executives. And she has received money from oil and gas lobbyists. But those lobbyists are not paid exclusively by the petroleum industry - they have hundreds of clients. And, as stated previously, Hillary gets 0.2% of her contributions from oil and gas. Bernie gets a lot less but still gets 0.03% of his contributions that way. Paltry amounts when you consider that over 90% of all contributions from this industry goes to Republicans and their party.

4. Trade agreements.
While Hillary Clinton might have a tentative position on the TPP, she has publicly stated her opposition. Given her past history, it is understandable to be a little skeptical, but it is her public position.

However, I want to go back and talk about NAFTA. Bernie criticizes her for Bill's passage of this treaty, but Hillary herself was First Lady at the time and did not vote. And there is a story that David Gergen (White House staff with Clinton and GOP Presidents) recounts in which he had discussions with Mrs. Clinton at the time, where she stated her personal opposition to NAFTA and was troubled by how it might affect workers. She made no public statement at the time so as not to embarrass her husband. But the fact is, that she did not vote on NAFTA itself.

5. Goldman Sachs speeches.
Bernie has used these speeches as a rallying point for his campaign and his supporters. What is the story here? Let's go back to October of 2013. Goldman Sachs and CEO Lloyd Blankfein invited Hillary to participate in a Tech Expo for the company. They paid her the standard fee that she gets for speeches, $225,000 ...they paid twice for 2 appearances within a week. Yes, the average person could never hope to get paid that kind of money and the Roseau Chamber of Commerce isn't going to be inviting her any time soon at those rates. But, given her resume, obviously she can command that kind of money in the marketplace. I can't say that it is right, but it just is. Nothing sinister about it.

Now why doesn't she release the transcripts? If there is nothing there, just make them public? She does have transcripts. The people at those meetings know that she requested a recording and has a stenographer that goes with her. But she intentionally does not allow any other copies and for every speech she has a non-disclosure agreement in place.

Why is that? Is she hiding something? Is this a sinister plot between her and the banks?

I found some anecdotal accounts from people who were there and talked about her appearance. Most said that she talked in general terms about her travels as Secretary of State. [...]

This is just one more aspect of what a person does to protect her privacy after it has been invaded so many times, in so many ways.

6. The dreaded e-mails.
Lastly, just another note about the e-mail controversy. The GOP brought out their "breaking news"/fund raising e-mail to tell us about the lies that Hillary talked about today.....where she discussed her 25 year battle with the right wing conspiracies.

And they couldn't help but link up a story about e-mails "suddenly found in State Dept files"...

"These emails were not among the 55,000 pages of work-related messages that Clinton provided, including one where the then-secretary of state discusses how her official records would be kept. Clinton and her lawyers deleted tens of thousands of messages she claimed were clearly personal." (Michael Biesecker, "More Clinton Emails Released, Including Some She Deleted," The Associated Press , 6/27/16)

Lies. She is telling more lies.

Well, these e-mails were found in the e-mails of the people they were sent to. Personal e-mails to friends and co-workers. Nothing classified. Just personal. She said she deleted personal stuff - all work related material was handed over. No lies here. Just a person worried about protecting her privacy.

But, as every conspiracy theorist will tell you, it must mean that she has other things that she is hiding. Despite a year long investigation and 55,000 pages made public, we are still left with.....a conspiracy theory.

**********************************
So, there you have it. The Clinton dossier. I know that none of this will convince anyone that her intentions were honorable. Maybe some of it wasn't honorable, but I believe it was never dishonest. Hillary Clinton has been in a public crucible for 25 years. Experienced the most humiliating personal ugliness imaginable in a very public way. And has been villified [sic] over and over and over again.

But all the while, she keeps trying to seek out good public policy. To find ways to pass laws that help the most people. She will do what it takes and suffer personal costs, just to stand up for people who can't.

Yes, the Clintons are a "power" couple and wealth and fame are their reward and tribulation. I am not going to ever say that she did nothing wrong. [...]

[italics added] Re trade policy, she says now what she says, but trustworthiness is a perceived defect which has been noted repeatedly in polling.

Re "wealth and fame are their reward and tribulation" screw fame, wealth and power is the combo, and wealth especially since the family has piled it in from two parallel careers in politics and Chelsea's reaching out on her legacy. Whenever there's been money offered, and often with deals pending or just concluded, big amounts were hauled in shamelessly. Mindeman understates things, greatly so.

Well intentioned minds often differ. Nobody should question Mindeman's intentions. Nor his strong party loyalty. At a guess such loyalty colors his perspective, but being true to my own loyalties and beliefs, I cannot fault it too much in others wherever motives appear pure and true in trying to argue a point in order to convince others.

Last, do you buy into that "privacy" part of Mindeman's argument?

What is argued as " . . . protect her privacy" to some is simply "hide her tracks" to others.

Giving a speech for a ton of money to Goldman Sachs [and repeating the speech-for-big-money multiple times, with Goldman and others - all three of the Clintons doing it - involved a room full of people - hopefully full attendance given sponsor costs], so with an attending audience being spoken to where's privacy as a reason, in talking to a room full of people and requiring the speech sponsor pay to have the speech transcribed so that transcripts are in Clinton hands awaiting only Clinton release to the public, if there's no tracks being hidden?

Pure and simple: "Privacy" is a falsehood in the context of somebody wanting votes to be President and having given policy speeches to big groups of people for big-time cash.

Nobody should buy that line. Privacy is bunk, in that context, as an excuse, for that intransigence. It fails entirely as an acceptable explanation. It's hiding stuff. That is all it is. Saying otherwise just sharpens the focus of the truth.

Minneapolis Police full body cam policy released.

Liz Sawyer, Star Tribune in an item dated June 30, 2016, reports.

That Strib coverage is thorough. If readers discover other noteworthy reporting, comments with links would be appreciated.

Paul Ryan brings his lunch to Congress every day in a brown paper bag. Because it makes him feel loved. Makes him get tight with his soul. Makes his life settled and tidy and thoughtful in mind and in spirit.

This link. The man is so patently nasty and artificial that he makes me puke. With the Tea Party aiming to do a Cantor on him there is but one question? Would they? Please.

Folks to the east over there in Wisconsin CD1, vote Nehlen. Whoever Nehlen may be, it would be an upgrade.

_____________UPDATE______________
One wonders if his first words to his mother after birth were, "Doctor assisted birthing may be comforting and safe for the body, but what bad effects might it have encumbering the Soul?"

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SMOKE SCREEN? "But she carries on unscathed partly because few American elites want to talk about the US destruction of Libya and partly because her GOP adversaries continue to fixate on the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. The wayward probe allows her to depict herself, accurately, as the target of a partisan effort. A manufactured scandal clouds a real one."

The headline is a quote from here. With the Gowdy committee report out now, 800 pages, by one report; where in all that is there any explanation of what the CIA was doing in Benghazi at the time of the Sept. 11 Stevens slaying and earlier? Arming ISIS? Who can say? The mainstream press sees no questions there. Are they correct, or co-opted? Or fearful?

Does that 800 page expensively financed Gowdy report explain where in the world "Arab Spring" went without touching the Saudis? Does it explain the ins and outs of the McChrystal, Petreus, Broadwell situation landing; with Broadwell back with hubby and Dave and Stan handed their heads? Before the drone strike (accident) Michael Hastings did some interesting reporting and is on YouTube, but after the auto thing nobody else did much to follow up. Is Egypt better than before for the Egyptian in the street now, after Arab Spring, or is it same old stuff, redux?

Tinfoil hat? A generic websearch. After a bit of looking at that return list, links over in items, again - what were Stevens and the CIA up to and why has that question so far been suppressed? Another websearch.

Was Libya and its message to other Arab oil producing nation states discussed in the Clinton six-figure speeches? If only we could see those transcripts before being called on to cast an informed vote.

What's the harm in those transcripts being shared with the voting public?

Wow, do you suppose the Goldman Sachs speech transcripts would, on word search contain magic words? Words such as OIL, and SUPPLY/DEMAND and PRICES along with SAUDI OUTPUT? More likely, just musings about how the market making of some Wall Street firms is important to there being liquidity, about how cracker jack high speed trading with limit orders placed and withdrawn milliseconds later being good for the markets finding equilibrium; all that, right?

Where did the ARAB SUMMER go, precisely? North to beat the heat? After spring.

_______________UPDATE_______________
Of interest, was the CIA in that "annex" in early 2011 and earlier, during and after the so-called "Arab Spring" had led to regime change on both sides of Libya, i.e., in Tunisia and then Egypt, with the Muslim Brotherhood interim government in Egypt until the military re-took control? And if so were they, the CIA in "the annex" along with Stevens' State Department leadership, recruiting and arming mercenaries and/or jihadists and supplying satellite intelligence to such factions who were centered and operating the revolution out of Benghazi? Curiously, Wikipedia has a lengthy, "Libyan Civil War (2011)," entry where the letter sequence "cia" only appears as part of complete words and not as a reference to any player in that game. So - how long was that "annex" operational, and over the course of that period, what were the people there up to? Nobody seems to have asked Clinton or anybody else that question, in open session of the Gowdy inquiry, (and where the people are kept from knowledge of closed session discussions of mischief and inept planning and execution and blowback - ostensibly so, for the people's own good).

What role did oil play in the entire scenario? Rephrased, was anything besides oil really at play, was oil the only scenario? Oil priced in dollars, as a continuing international norm? Also absent from that nice Wikipedia item, "Stevens." No mention. Zippo. Solely a spectator, of no consequence during instigation and conduct of the ouster beyond watching and sending back email? Is that email thread in the public domain per FOIA and other disclosure law requirements, or has it been classified from the get go, and in its entirety?

We know the answer. Elect Hillary. That's all you need to know. If you needed to know more, we'd have told you, and wanting to know a cogent and complete story; that's a want, not a need; so please watch the doorknob when leaving . . .

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dan Burns at MPP writes of the State Auditor suit going to trial.

This link. It reports, and begins a link trail that interested readers might wish to follow. Readers are urged to do so.

Seemingly absent, links to the Minnesota Constitution itself, which is online here. It is in hypertext form, easily searched by keywords such as "Auditor" and "county" or "counties."

Without any contention of exhaustive study, a quick search of the document defines the auditor as an independent statewide elected office separate from the governor and appointed administrative functionaries; yet duties and powers appear to not be constitutionally defined. The office might do many things, or nothing, as far as specifications appear to exist in the Minnesota Constitution. That presents interesting grounds for litigation over duties and powers. If not defined legislatively, would the Auditor have self-defining powers, and might that not result is a silly result or two from some overreaching elected state auditor? Historical precedent obviously has importance.

Of interest, in the link trail, a PiPress item stating in part:

“I believe the Minnesota Legislature unwisely and improperly encroached upon the state auditor’s constitutional responsibilities to audit local governments, and I support the state auditor’s lawful efforts to regain that authority,” said Dayton, a former state auditor himself, in a statement.

Becker County Administrator Jack Ingstad said he’s “baffled” by the lawsuit.

“We actually think we get a better audit from a CPA firm, and it’s considerably cost-effective for us, a lot cheaper,” Ingstad said.

A review by the Office of the Legislative Auditor — a different agency than the state auditor — released Wednesday found that some counties save money by using private firms but couldn’t say whether those savings were justified. The review said the new law is an opportunity for Otto’s office to compare itself with external auditors and improve.

Ramsey County communications director John Siqveland said the county government is “surprised and disappointed” to be sued — because Ramsey County, unlike Becker County, is happy with the state auditor’s audits.

But Ramsey County wouldn’t sign a three-year contract Otto’s office distributed, citing worries that other counties opting for private audits would drive up their costs. According to the lawsuit, Ramsey County officials told Otto’s office they prefer “a year-by-year approach.”

That same review rejected Otto’s claim that it’s unconstitutional for the Legislature to change the auditor’s duties.

“The Legislature has always defined the duties and authority of the state auditor,” the OLA report found. “The Minnesota Constitution created the office of auditor in 1857, but the authors of the constitution left it for the Legislature to assign duties and authority to the auditor.”

Otto disagreed, saying that legal judgment was “inaccurate and incomplete” and outside of OLA’s purview. She said she believes she has a duty to audit county governments.

The fact that the State Auditor and Ramsey County are in contract negotiation appears to suggest that the Auditor has the power to enter into contracts with governmental subdivisions of the state, but aside from that, things are unclear.

"County" appears frequently in the Minnesota Constitution, but the question of how integrity of county fiscal affairs is to be assured is missing from the Minnesota Constitution, per cursory word search.

It is both interesting and frustrating to ask where precisely in statutory law or judicial precedent Auditor power is spelled out, if indeed not specified constitutionally. The question is inherently interesting, and the frustration is PiPress posted the Otto complaint in hateful Scribed format, not as an orderly pdf document.

Living with Scribed, very briefly by necessity, it appears the auditor's argument is that inherently since territorial times and before statehood, there were counties and the auditor audited them; i.e., that the power is inherent to the office once the office has been constitutionally defined as elective by statewide ballot and not appointive.

Without citing cases but linking to them online, the auditor relies on this case as to inherent power and historical precedent, and there the legislative attempt was to transfer statutory elective office powers to an appointed executive officer; not privatization as the Bakk-Daudt mischief did. Also the question of single issue legislation being a constitutional requirement has been raised; see, e.g., this online case, which reviews judicial precedent on single issue legislation as ad hoc and contorted. The two cases together show the earlier case duly made a decision rather than ducking one and doing the single issue shuffle.

I am informed and believe that because of the first linked case, the constitutional office of "treasurer" was eliminated by amendment of the Minnesota Constitution. I did not reside here back then. Apart from that, the auditor's present complaint as linked to above, (in hateful Scribed format), is 29 pages long and not all of it was studied. If the opening "executive summary" pages omitted something later of consequence, so be it. What was reviewed did not focus on the political dimension of the auditor's plight, namely that Tom Bakk is a menace and an a****le. (Complete that word as you choose. It encompasses quite a bit more than simply being an "Iron Ranger.") Dimensions such as the politics at play are known by the judges contemporaneous to their authoring opinions, but in time can be lost so that the earlier case of legislature -vs- state treasurer stands now apart from the politics of its time.

The office of auditor might be an anachronism, with greater efficiency attaching to private sector CPA auditing, but absent amendment of the Minnesota Constitution, that may be irrelevant to whether the legislature overstepped its powers (Bakk and Daudt, again, the overstep two-step).

___________UPDATE____________
The auditor's complaint does, at paragraph 33 et seq., discuss politics of the situation. However, with use of the hateful Scribed format, word search for "Bakk" or for "Daudt" is not feasible (at least under privacy and security settings of my browser which I have to weaken to show any Facebook/Scribed stuff at all).

Without naming names, something of the politics is missing.

The Fredrikson ad Byron firm represents the Auditor.

An excursionary look at a recent 107 page creation of our federal supreme court; most of it being obfuscation in dissent. [UPDATED]

First, Wikipedia, here, of an evolving nursery rhyme text notes:

By around 1830 the reference to maids was being removed from the versions printed in nursery books. In 1842 James Orchard Halliwell collected the following version:

Rub a dub dub,
Three fools in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker.
Turn them out, knaves all three.

This 107 page opinion conpendium, the majority opening opinion stating that the latest Texas assault upon abortion rights is bogus -- and unconstitutional.

A strong argument can be made for secure borders. If "back then" the Mexicans had secured their northern border better they'd have spared their army having to wipe out a hostile band of immigrant insurgents who gathered themselves armed to the teeth within a church; they'd have kept the land now known as Texas; and we'd not have that rogue pack of troublesome interventionists in our nation.

Aside from that, the "Turn them out, knaves all three," sophist troika is Alito, Thomas and Roberts.

A.k.a. "The DISSENT."

We know how the ghost who will not be named would have sided, (and at least a number of those believing in a soul after death may rejoice on his feeling eternal heat.)

The nub of the decision seems to be in the two page concurrence of Ginsburg; incredibly terse if considering how much of it was citation to briefing and precedent. With that conflation, it took two pages to say, figuratively, "This is pure unadulterated and untenable bullshit which never should have happened and once happening it should stop."

Good for Ginsburg.

What she in fact wrote, with all but two citations omitted to show a better flow of text, is a single paragraph:

The Texas law called H.B. 2 inevitably will reduce the number of clinics and doctors allowed to provide abortion services. Texas argues that H.B. 2’s restrictions are constitutional because they protect the health of women who experience complications from abortions. In truth, “complications from an abortion are both rare and rarely dangerous.” Many medical procedures, including childbirth, are far more dangerous to patients, yet are not subject to ambulatory-surgical-center or hospital admitting-privileges requirements. Given those realities, it is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law “would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions.” When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, faute de mieux, at great risk to their health and safety. So long as this Court adheres to Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833(1992), Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers laws like H.B. 2 that “do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion,” cannot survive judicial inspection.

One can quibble that the ending clause should have read "cannot [honestly] survive judicial inspection," but the clear drift of Ginsburg's writing is that the Court faced nothing but total dishonesty - a dishonest statute from the get-go.

Ginsburg's point is unless Roe and Casey are expressly rejected as binding precedent by a subsequent Court of different personnel than at present, the below image holds and governs as law of the nation:


Bleak possibilities do exist, and those rabidly intent, despite what they may publicly declare, to have a presidential contest elevate a monied Wall Street tool based more on gender than quality need to not disregard the progressives who dislike Wall Street and its bought tools; with a nod to progressives showing respect being a possible single-gender "good faith" ticket having a progressive as the lesser part, along with other real and not artificial concessions, such as putting a progressive into DNC leadership in place of the disgraceful present occupant of that position. Put another way, Trump has published his "Judge List," so dumping on progressives and again taking them for granted might backfire, big time, with the lesson to all but the most hardheaded or ill motivated being, this time be fair and not presumptive toward progressive persons who are appalled by Clinton as a presidential candidate - as the standard bearer of the second of two business-owned national political parties, each of which spurns progressives and progressive outlooks. We like the New Deal and want what is left of it to be respected and enhanced, and not gutted by the likes of Ms. Clinton in concert with Paul Ryan the way things were done by Mr. Clinton and Newt Gingrich.

The young are the future, and this past year the young have beyond doubt, in compelling numbers, shown they want progress and not the status quo. To ignore that is to cut off the nose to spite the face, and that's an old saying because it is graphically true. Yet we are talking of a major party of two owned by money, so without some good judgment, the nose may go. And with it, Roe. Rhyme time. Think about it.

____________UPDATE____________
Strib carries what appears to be local commentary not marked as an AP feed: "How Ruth Bader Ginsburg just won the next abortion fight -- In providing a separate opinion in a ruling she finds favorable, she was writing into law the factual finding that abortion is safe — By Linda Hirshman, June 28, 2016 — 12:17pm"

Focused on the short Ginsburg concurrence citing briefing more than precedent, the item suggests:

The justices didn’t believe Texas was just trying to help its poor, hapless women out. Instead, according to Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion: “In the face of no threat to women’s health, Texas seeks to force women to travel long distances to get abortions in crammed-to-capacity superfacilities.”

From now on, the court warned, it would no longer, as the White Queen said in “Through the Looking Glass,” believe “as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Not even about abortion. Not even, the court emphasized, when the impossible suggestions, like looking after women’s health, come from the legislative branch. You want to help women out, Breyer wrote? You gotta prove it to us.

The court’s opinion seems to be the death knell for two decades of antiabortion activism, which has cloaked itself in unsupported assertions that women need to be protected against abortion rights. The strategy of purporting to help women, which had, until Monday, been stunningly successful, started with the attack on so-called “partial birth abortion” in 1995. It reached its high-water mark with Justice Anthony Kennedy’s hotly contested 5-4 decision upholding the restrictions on such procedures in Gonzales vs. Carhart in 2007. Kennedy found medical disagreement about the safety advantages of the procedure. Importantly, he then deferred to the findings of the legislature that women would be safer and better off without partial birth abortion. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg devoted her dissent in Gonzales to eviscerating his decision to defer, with special emphasis on the way that Congress got to its findings about the safety of partial birth abortion and the findings themselves.

There is more, so read Strib online.

The focus here on quoting Ginsburg was less on what she chose to cite as grounding authority - much of it in briefing - but on her clearly saying either you pack the court and gut Roe and Casey, or you go away. That likely will prove more hope than actuality. The rats keep eating away at the rule of law, whatever bite they can get away with, then the next one; and Roe and Casey; for now, are the law. The further focus here was upon the need of progressive buy-in to better the chances of those Roe advocates who also have their gender bias about this next election - the Albright-Steinem syndrome we can call it, which amounts to a bunch of hooey that was put out primarily by Albright on stage with Clinton nodding away in hamony, (and preserved on Youtube), put out on spec, and that approach was found to have dropped with the resounding thud of a lead balloon.

Again: Earn the progressive joinder given that the Clintons are who they are - people made obscenely wealthy by others giving them money per highly questionable ways and means, intents and purposes. Elevated to a position among the 1% thusly, the Clintons, now two generations of them, are showing continual signs of a will to serve the interests of the 1% in return, first and foremost if not only that. A tepid or nonexistent progressive and youth buy-in can otherwise lead to a Trump presidency, with his judge list. Progressives left only with a boycott or total capitulation to a greatly flawed candidacy should boycott. There is a cost to that, but the cost of a yet-again-as-always-before capitulation is greater. Demand a good reason for a buy-in before buying-in, or there will be no good reason offered. Take it to the limit, if forced that way, or never be heard or respected.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
My mind is set that if the superdelegate situation is not undone in a permanent way and not by temporal fraud, I will not vote Clinton. I urge others to think it over, but if you do not follow your conscience, you risk being led by some with questionable agendas and duplicitous consciences. Which leads to the so-called "People's Summit," which either was what it said or a love-in for bouncing the rage Sanders' campaigning uncovered into Hillary votes; despite who Hillary is and how she'd likely govern.

Links, here, here and here, for a flavor of thoughts.

The "lesser evil" thing just has gotten too tiring to tolerate any longer. If the entrenched Democrat party wants to put Roe in peril by alienating the young and progressives, let them. It is their party to mess up however they choose. Otherwise, make us an offer we can't refuse. Hillary is easy to refuse. Add something real.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Short and sweet; and nothing there in the DWS video clip but strengthening for my position about superdelegate offensiveness.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Minnesota Democratic Party fundraising event.

Below is the emailed flyer. It might interest some readers. Click the image to enlarge it and read.


"Unity" is easy to say, but very hard to prove. I wonder if the Convention will entail the usual taking of progressives for granted, as the reliable toilet, they'd only get it worse from the other guys. That in essence is my view of the Clinton-Wall Street "third way." Opinions can differ.

Progressives could stay home in November or protest vote one of the minor parties top ballot, if wanting a down-ticket voice. Something real beyond voice-on-the-platform window dressing had better happen at that convention, or some might be disinclined to dutifully sing Kumbaya.

The same applies to environmentalists, the other reliable toilet under Clinton-Wall Street "third way" capture of the party. Add in labor too, with TPP opposition easy to promise. "Trust me" has not been a strong working factor in how the Obama administration has handled TPP authoring in the dark and away from sanitizing sunlight.

What tatters are left of the New Deal, and who is complicit in ripping it up more?

__________UPDATE___________
The Clinton-Gingrich pairing in the '90's yielded little for progressives to like. What is expected of a Clinton-Ryan pairing beyond more of the same? Is that more than a hypothetical question? Yes. It is a "whole world will be watching after Brexit" question, and 1968 convention redux would make Trump as happy as if Nixon. The garden has best be tended fairly; progressives not being weeds.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bringing dumb to a new dimension. Of the near countless ways you can criticize Paul Ryan, only a primary contestant of his own party could pick this one.

image credit; also this link

A sentinel. The Muslims are coming, The Muslims are coming. One if by land. Two if by sea.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Flaherty and Collins in the news, in a town that appears to be Springfield, IL, from context, and high-density planning is the news context. Residents in Ramsey should care, given the Faherty history, and the town being in the midst of yet another round of Comp Planning.

The Flaherty item is online here; and deals with Flaherty density lust and grandiose will and conviction; something Ramsey's seen per the massive building full of costly small sized apartment units hung off the Town Center's parking garage.

Comp Planning Questions in Ramsey will include:

1- Whether with the new Armstrong interchange, will that make Armstrong the growth corridor northward, or will plans still focus on a growth corridor along Nowthen Blvd, as per the most recently done Comp Plan to meet Met. Council Comp Plan requirements?

2- Will citizens throughout the town be taxed for another parking ramp and for a community center at Town Center, or will that experiment be written off as "let the developers have their way, density be as the developers choose, but minimize the further dumping of public money into Town Center?"

There may be more, such as does the available aquifer capacity and sustainability support levels of growth Met Council would impose with its made-up projections of regional growth distributions; and where, surprisingly, the last and currently governing Ramsey Comp Plan allotted greater numbers of possible growth absorption in town than Met Council had mandated. Or will we run out of water before we run out of Met Council lust for growth?

Overestimation of growth leads to town comp plans that allow developers to cherry pick among the places where higher density within the town has been designated.

Apparently the wise leaders of Ramsey have a citizen's part of an advisory panel already set, and are adding at least one person from each board and commission, and the EDA presumably, in order to have a large enough committee to make it less efficient and more pliant than a lesser sized body.

In any event, being on the Charter Commission, it appears we will have our annual meeting during the course of which a delegate to the advisory committee shall be named. So far I have come to believe Jim Bendtsen, a Charter Commissioner, might be interested in being that body's rep to the Comp Plan Advisory Committee, and he appears to be an ideal person to add in to leaven the outlooks that might be represented in advising city staff and the council. Another sound choice would be Charter Commission Chair Joe Field, if he has the time and is interested in taking part in the committee effort. Either Jim or Joe would be a good choice. I am unaware of any other person(s) on the commission who would seek the committee spot. There will be a Charter Commission meeting soon, yet at present the date is being finalized by city staff.

-------------------------------------------

[Note: this is a quickly written post, likely of narrow interest, and proof reading during morning coffee is never fault free. Any reader finding error in the post is invited to submit a corrective comment. Also, I've meant to look again, but readers might help; is Ben Dover sitll perched on his pedestal across the street from City Hall, or has Ben been shuffled into obscurity? It seems one time driving Sunwood I did not see Ben.]

____________UPDATE_____________
Some readers may find interest in nerdwallet.com, here, listing Ramsey in a "top ten," and while it might be a defect in my browser configuration and not their web design, there is the thought that any website that posts multiples of every comment from readers is suspect. In another sense, perhaps the site does comment multiplication because of the value it assigns to each thought which site readers care to add. Value added, as a complement to the theme of the posted commentary?

________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Reader comment is invited: Does the lack of challenge to incumbency evidenced on this city web page mean a general satisfaction with a status quo, or an indifference bred from the horse having already been stolen, so let someone else tend to the tedium of watching that the barn door gets/stays duly locked?

It makes it hard to post much about the city council contests going on this election cycle. Very hard. The upside is having an entire part of the November ballot you can completely ignore.

surgicalproductsmag.com carries an AP story, " Nearly 1 in 3 on Medicare Got Commonly Abused Opioids --- Wed, 06/22/2016 - 11:35am - by Carla K. Johnson, AP Medical Writer "

Middle of the thing-

Among all ages, there were nearly 19,000 fatal overdoses on prescription opioids in 2014, which was the most on record and the last year for which that data set was available.

So, our doctors are killing off people in greater numbers than "terrorists" are killing us off, so why all this surveillance of us along with tons of money wasted on TSA, Homeland Security, NSA, FBI, and the never-ending so-called "War on Terror?"

Why not have a war on doctors, given fatality numbers? They're easier to find than terrorists and spying on our public is not needed since each of them has a license and known location and m.o.

We'd not need a police state for such a program. And the giant cost of the medical part of the economy would be lowered, without doctors. All those clinics could be turned into community centers, with tiny meeting rooms.

Better, a gigantic war on Big Pharma. Where the heart of darkness is, and where a big time reform mop-up is both needed and long overdue.

The "War on Terror" is the dumbest waste of money we have going and it is an excuse being used to spy on the populace in order to enforce domestic social control. All else told you is a pack of official lies.

Pardon Snowden.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Newly recognized, the pumi. Lovable looking, they do not place themselves in politics.

That lack of political ambition only adds to lovability; this AP BigStory link. It sort of reminds me of Rand Paul.

UBI - universal business income.

Guardian, online here.

Related, GAINS in Ontario. HuffPo, Wikipedia, Globe and Mail here and here, CBC. A web search.

UPDATE: Who reads Crabgrass? Headline saying "universal business income," and the lead Guardian item is about "Universal Basic Income." Conceptually different. No comment calling me out? Come on folks.

From a few days ago; a post on the World Socialist website.

Published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI)


https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/06/18/sand-j18.html

Sanders calls for supporters to back Clinton, “transform” Democratic Party
By Tom Hall - 18 June 2016


On Thursday [June 16, 2016], Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders delivered a speech to his supporters live over the Internet in which he laid out the next stage of his “political revolution” in the aftermath of the Democratic Party primaries. The speech exposed the real political content of his campaign: channeling the leftward political radicalization of workers and youth into the Democratic Party, one of the two main parties of American capitalism.

The speech was doubtlessly coordinated closely with the highest levels of the Democratic Party establishment. It followed by barely a week Sanders’ closed-door meeting with President Barack Obama after the California primary, and by only two days Sanders’ meeting with Hillary Clinton, the party’s presumptive nominee.

Sanders began his speech by noting the widespread support for his campaign: 12 million votes including huge majorities among young voters, victories in 22 state primaries and caucuses, rallies and meetings that attracted 1.5 million people and contributions from 2.7 million people, averaging $27 a piece.

He also listed the political and social conditions in the country motivating those who backed his campaign: an electoral system dominated by billionaires, “the grotesque level of wealth and income inequality,” declining life expectancy, child poverty, soaring student debt, poverty wages, collapsing infrastructure, increasing homelessness and record corporate profits.

All the anger over these conditions, Sanders insisted, must now go into support for Hillary Clinton. [...]

Sanders also made no mention of the fact that Clinton is planning to run arguably the most right-wing campaign in her party’s history, directing her appeal to sections of the military and the Republican Party opposed to Trump’s candidacy on the grounds that she is the more reliable choice for “commander-in-chief.”

Sanders went on to say that “defeating Trump cannot be our only goal.” He sought to focus the attention of his supporters on the Democratic Party convention, saying he would be involved in “discussions between the two campaigns to make certain your voices are heard and that the Democratic Party passes the most progressive platform in its history and that Democrats actually fight for that agenda.”

As everyone who is knowledgeable about the functioning of the Democratic Party knows, the platform is a meaningless document that has played no role in the actual formulation of policy for decades.

Sanders continued, “I also look forward to working with Secretary Clinton to transform the Democratic Party so that it becomes a party of working people and young people, and not just wealthy campaign contributors: a party that has the courage to take on Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, the fossil fuel industry and the other powerful special interests that dominate our political and economic life.”

Sanders’ portrayal of Clinton as a “progressive” ally of working people to “take on Wall Street” is absurd. She is a time-tested defender of the status quo, a stooge of Wall Street and corporate America going back to her days in Arkansas, when she sat on the board of directors of Wal-Mart. As first lady, senator from New York and Obama’s secretary of state, Clinton has supported right-wing economic policies at home and war abroad.

Sanders did not try to explain the contradiction between his presentation of Clinton as a partner in “transforming the Democratic Party” and the campaign’s criticism, which the Vermont Senator has been downplaying in recent weeks, of Clinton’s incestuous financial ties to the banks and major corporations.

A major demand of his campaign, which Sanders repeated at debates and in his public appearances, was that Clinton release the transcripts of speeches she gave to private audiences of corporate executives and Wall Street bankers, for which she was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. These criticisms have been thrown down the memory hole.

Sanders makes no attempt to explain how he will accomplish the political alchemy of transforming the Democratic Party, which together with the Republican Party is the means through which the ruling elite asserts total political domination over every facet of American society, into “a party of working people and young people.” As he has done throughout his campaign, the Vermont senator also made no criticism of the Obama administration, which has overseen the largest transfer of wealth in US history and has helped create all the social ills that he listed in the beginning of his remarks.

[...] The winding down of Sanders’ campaign has forced some of the essential political content of his “political revolution” to extrude through his campaign’s fog of left-sounding rhetoric. No small number of people will begin to see through Sanders’ increasingly shopworn facade and view his pivot towards an open embrace of the Clinton campaign with contempt.

Viewing all that with contempt or not, as betrayal with a kiss or as something less, it is a phenomenon of our times, our status, and our quo that major media have not expressed any kindred view of the Sanders capitualtion to delegate numbers and to an intent to stay relevant.

If Sanders can have the effect of a permanent end to superdelegate insult to voting citizens, he will have stood for a degree of progress. Don't expect it. Hope for it but expect that we'll get that old status quo that we all love and know.

Keep an eye on Clinton as she does her version of the family's glide and slide toward "what they want to hear," apart from what is intended once in office, which is mystery as to detail but in large form can be anticipated to be consonant with massive Wall Street speech revenue and Big Pharma campaign money friendliness.

BOTTOM LINE: The Clintons know which side their bread is buttered on. They kiss the hand that feeds them, they do not bite.

A secondary bottom line: The money paragraph of that lengthy excerpt - the thing that rings with truth, is:

As everyone who is knowledgeable about the functioning of the Democratic Party knows, the platform is a meaningless document that has played no role in the actual formulation of policy for decades.

In light of that, a question arises as to Bernie's intent, beyond declaring a Trump victory might bring more distress to a troubled nation than a Clinton victory; as if there'd be much advantage to the people whose support he'd solicited for months of campaigning. In his heart he must know matters of degree differ from matters of polar opposites. But in the end Clinton had more delegate votes. He closes his book as he chooses; it being his to close.

The website from which the lengthy excerpt is taken, has a sidebar image noting there will be a socialist ticket on the ballot; should anybody want to register a protest vote. In that sense, each person must reach a personal decision, heart and mind, about how to go to the polls [or not] in November and once there, what in the world to do with the abysmal top ballot item. That Clinton - Trump choice is a cardinal insult to each and every American, and a message to the world that as a nation, we are and will continue to be a rudderless state in any true sense; one with a big army, but in search of a functioning guiding conscience.

___________UPDATE___________
As a pragmatist and a realist, if Bernie in sequential sessions with Obama and Ms. Clinton cut a deal where DWS would be out at DNC and Bernie in, to have a practical, sensible chance to put a progressive coalition together as he's said he'd like, and to move Dem establishment types toward it, that might, given delegate nose counts, be the best achievable outcome.

Let us hope to see such a scenario, since the young are the future, and workers have been the backbone of the real Democratic Party, prior to the Bill and Hillary Clinton "third way." Some things take time, more than the time to ramp up to an election, and may even, over time, fail. So hope progressives get some kind of a shot, at least. And not that tired old, "A hand in writing the platform." Make it a key to the DNC's offices, and be real.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Aside from a progressive putsch to take DNC control, is there a Congressional seat despair setting in, five buck solicitation and all? Hopefully -

click to enlarge and read
forwarded email solicitation

"I have fought the good progressive fight my entire career." It says so. Right there in the email. In bolded text proving words are cheap. Not worth five bucks to me, if not others.

Phelps absent in Trump batting order for Jesus.

Has Trump yet moved to name a panel of economic advisors?

Has Trump yet moved to name a panel of foreign policy advisors?

Wouldn't you project a candidate with only business sector experience to be keen to lock up cracker-jack help on such meaningful matters? Isn't that a logical expectation? Wouldn't that be really presidential?

Why, then, do you think he's keener to post his batting order for Jesus?

Right, because he is unquestionably a man of faith, and not because he wants the dumb bunny vote. Why even expect any ulterior motive from Trump University's Dean of Studies?

June 21, on the Trump website, Batting Order for Jesus co-announced with "Lying Crooked Hillary Website." Two announcements proving beyond doubt, June 21 marks the date the circus comes to town.

NEXT: Screen capture from major Trump website page - again one in place before economic or foreign policy advisory panels are in place; namely:

 http://shop.donaldjtrump.com/

click image to enlarge and BUY

So, the next logical question: in all the barking, where is the place for Pastor Phelps from Kansas? Isn't Trump inclusive of diversity viewpoints? What's up?

At any rate, put your faith in the faith of the man who posts that The Jesus Roster represents-

[...] Donald J. Trump’s endorsement of those diverse issues important to Evangelicals and other Christians, and his desire to have access to the wise counsel of such leaders as needed. Mr. Trump has received widespread support from Evangelical leaders, communities and voters, winning the majority of the Evangelical vote throughout the primaries.

Mr. Trump stated, “I have such tremendous respect and admiration for this group and I look forward to continuing to talk about the issues important to Evangelicals, and all Americans, and the common sense solutions I will implement when I am President.”

Are you impressed? Why wouldn't you and the entire World Order be impressed? Next, ask yourself: Are you an insider enough to look at the below roster, and determine who is the pitching staff; starters being harder to guess than bull pen?

click image to read and BELIEVE

_____________UPDATE_______________
Jesus loves us this we know,
For our wallets tell us so,
Yes Jesus loves us,
Yes Jesus loves us,
Our wallets tell us so.

______________FURTHER UPDATE_______________

The Rapture happened. You two got left behind.

Image originally posted at Crabgrass, here. Compare coverage, here vs here. Which source is credible to you?

FURTHER: A spectrum of coverage, here, here, here and here (giving some bio info for those unfamiliar with the names).

Try you own web searching.

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
WaPo reported, and USA Today republished a claim

Donald Trump won a standing ovation from hundreds of Christian conservatives who came to New York City on Tuesday with a somewhat skeptical but willing attitude toward a man who has divided their group with comments on women, immigrants and Islam. In his comments, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said he would end the decades-old ban on tax-exempt groups’ — including churches — politicking, called religious liberty “the No. 1 question,” and promised to appoint antiabortion Supreme Court justices.

There are multiple ways of looking at the phenomenon of political pandering, but tell 'em what they want to hear is going to become highly tedious over the remainder of this election cycle. Highly tedious, given that each of the two parties' top-ticket candidates will be trying to outdo the other in odious exercise of the tactic.

Would that the election were tomorrow, and that the money were taken out of politics so that a higher quality of choice would be offered. Not so, and another "lesser egregiousness" contest is foisted upon us. Yet again. Likely forever?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Privacy and Encryption - Politicizing gun violence for the wrong reasons - Not "Dems to take our guns," but Republicans to deny our privacy. [UPDATED]

This EFF item: "June 17, 2016 | By Shahid Buttar -- House Leaders Politicize a Tragedy to Block Bipartisan Surveillance Reforms."

EFF, again, a bit more than a year ago. More background, WaPo, Sept. 2015.

WaPo in 1997, and its posted log of Bubba's regime's Clipper Chip counter-encryption putsch. (The war on encryption is older than W's War on Terror, and indeed older than some readers of this blog. Dating to the early '90's.)

A recent ComputerWorld item reflecting back to Clipper Chip days, and noting that the encryption disabling aims of the FBI against Apple went well beyond the needs of the San Bernadino phone decryption situation. It was government wants far outstripping government needs; an assault on citizen privacy - the right to protection from intrusion upon who you are.

Is there any sense whatsoever that you must surrender your rightful security because of some bureaucratic notions of security of "the homeland." That position of the government is an absurdity. Worse, and insult. Little different than wanting the power to, without a warrent, enter your home and read your mail - in this case entry unneeded with a compliant web service provider's complicit remote enabling, as your email transits the provider's hardware.

Why would citizens want any such thing, and why have our elected officials done as they have, given sensible citizen moods and beliefs.

If your right to privacy is breached, what rights do you really have?

________________UPDATE______________
Mischief afoot, dateline June 22, in of all places, the houses of Congress.

Once time has rendered its more certain arrangements, remember you first saw this speculation on Crabgrass, this summer. Donald Trump will select Stuart Mills III as his vice presidential running mate.

Three factors come to mind. Each of the gentlemen is eqully qualified to be chief executive of the nation. Each is the child of inherited wealth. Mills III looks a lot like Dan Quayle and appears as astute; making him equally fit for the role as Quayle.

Remember, Crabgrass had the insight before any mainstream media recognized the possibilities.

An additional fact, one of likely less consequence, Trump and Mills III each has a hair thing going.

___________UPDATE___________
Digby has other ideas, this link. An idea mentioned earlier at Crabgrass without detail, but from a perspective similar to that supported well by the facts Digby musters.

It's possible, Jeff Sessions.

But Mills III is just such a better keener fit. Sessions could be given the Justice Department Civil Rights Division. Palin the Interior Department. Mills is the man for the veep spot.

Mills III, for Veep.

CFR chapter and verse "terrorism" stuff. Presume it is a front for some other agenda, and then, what other agenda would you suppose? Technology allows much data collection about regular citizens, and we regular citizens are not terrorists nor would we properly be subject to dragnet tactics under any false rubric.

The CFR writes online, here. Some minds may differ, but militarization of urban police is to me a far bigger threat to the nation than "terror." In fact, it invites a form of terror. One we'd be better without. In a nation where a surveillance act is mistermed a "Patriot Act" the plain truth is that spying on the homeland is unpatriotic. Dig up Jefferson and ask him.

FURTHER: This Snowden related item from over a year ago. The CFR item is about a half year older. These are not current event links. Should that matter?

Moore Unveils Tax Bill Leveling the Playing Field for Impoverished Americans . DRUG TEST THE RICH: 06/16/16 Washington, D.C. – In the wake of several nationwide efforts by Republicans to drug test social welfare recipients, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) introduced the Top 1% Accountability Act of 2016, requiring drug testing for all tax filers claiming itemized deductions in any year over $150,000.

When it comes to drug testing as a stigmatization, who deserves to be stigmatized more than the aggressively greedy rich? Make that the rich in general, since it's easier to create thresholds; "aggressively greedy" being both subjective and generally redundant with saying only, "the rich." This link (NPR reporting here also), the Moore press release stating:

“As a strong advocate for social programs aimed at combating poverty, it deeply offends me that there is such a deep stigma surrounding those who depend on government benefits, especially as a former welfare recipient. Sadly, Republicans across the country continue to implement discriminatory policies that criminalize the less fortunate and perpetuate false narratives about the most vulnerable among us. These laws serve only one purpose: stoking the most extreme sentiments and misguided notions of the conservative movement.

“Such baseless attacks against the poor inspired me to draft the Top 1% Accountability Act of 2016. My legislation would require taxpayers with itemized deductions of more than $150,000 to submit to the IRS a clear drug test, or take the much lower standard deduction when filing their taxes. It is my sincere hope that my bill will help eradicate the stigma associated with poverty and engage the American public in a substantive dialogue regarding the struggles of working- and middle-class families.

“As I’ve said time and time again, the notion that those battling poverty are somehow more susceptible to substance abuse is as absurd as it is offensive. If anything, our nation’s opioid crisis continues to underscore how substance addiction knows no social, racial, or economic distinctions. The time has come to stop vilifying vulnerable American families for being poor and start focusing on the policies that will help create an economy that works for everyone.”

The anticipated reaction, from the rich if not otherwise, would be "What a stupid waste of money that would be."

But then, what is drug testing of the poor?


"But many Republicans fear the White House is already lost and that the future of the party is at stake. They are aiming to stop Democrats winning back control of Congress, and to prevent Trump from tarnishing the party’s brand."

The above headline is a paragraph from within this Guardian item.

"Tarnishing the Republican brand?" Give me a break.

This is the party of George H.W. Bush after all, and his running mate Willie Horton.

Trump fits into that bunch, unchanged at heart since GHWB, indeed since Nixon left, as clearly a crook in denial.

Brand loyalty, that bunch, is often hard to comprehend.

Perhaps the "Dump Trump" movement may coalesce upon running Willie Horton again. Recall Willie's race; recall Lee Atwater.

Republicans remain Republicans and Trump fits in like a hand in the Bushco clan's glove. He just speaks more bluntly - singing that song with others clucking, "Too loud. One too many verses. And - my God, some verses in Spanish with 'Make Mexico pay for it' added."

Earlier linked videos are short and sweet. For those willing to take a bit more time viewing informative [a.k.a. judgmental, slanted, leftist, pure propaganda] videos; here and here.

They call it "the Base."

Creeping Trumpism, as a simple truth, resonates with the Base. As Tump would say, "Great people, really understanding what's been going on, I really love the Base."

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Superdelegate opposition from California Dems - specifically a resolution for eliminating the superdelegate blight at the upcoming convention.

This link. This excerpt:

"It's very exciting and healing for our party to be able to make a strong statement that we believe in democracy and that leaders should never trump the will of the voters," said Christine Pelosi, a California superdelegate.

Superdelegates have played a prominent role in the 2016 election, as Sanders has argued they play an unfair role in the nominating process.

Superdelegates, who are elected officials and party leaders, are not bound by the election results of the state they represent and can support any candidate they want. Sanders says they should support the winner their state's primary or caucuses.

The California resolution calls for Democratic governors and members of Congress to lose their status as superdelegates. They would instead attend the convention as nonvoting guests. Members of the Democratic National Committee would still be superdelegates, but would no longer have to say whom they intend to support before the convention.

The resolution also calls for replacing all state caucuses with state primaries. Critics say caucuses have low turnout and favor people who have the time to attend them.

FURTHER:

Krugman, a month ago wrote, per the headline, "Trump Didn’t Put the Con in Conservatism." As a hint, "con" is NOT a reference to Gingrich. So, honors go to . . .

Who else: The granny starver. This link.

Liberals have been jumping, rightly, on Ryan’s extraordinary dismissal of any attempt to look at the distribution of tax cuts as “ridiculous.” But conservative writers — even those who are relatively moderate, or at least try to seem that way — clearly still view Ryan as an almost saintly figure: serious, intellectually honest, and compassionate toward the poor.

He isn’t, of course. His various budgets all have the same basic outline: huge tax cuts for the rich combined with savage cuts in benefits for the poor, with the net effect being to increase, not reduce the budget deficit. But he pretends that they’re deficit-reduction proposals by claiming that he will raise trillions in revenue by closing unspecified loopholes and achieve trillions more in unspecified savings. In other words, Ryan has been playing a con game in which he uses magic asterisks to mask a reverse Robin Hood agenda — take from the poor, give to the rich — as deficit hawkery.

Well, hard to argue with that. Krugman ties a can to another tail -

Back in 2011, at the height of media Ryanolatry, the truth even became slightly mainstream, as reporters started to point out the absurdities of his assumptions.

But moderate Republican pundits can’t, won’t see the obvious. For them it’s all about affect — how he comes across — which is also why they saw tax-slashing, war-starting Marco Rubio as somehow a break from the failures of the Bush years.

So when these commentators lament the blindness of primary voters, [...] Is it really the con that bothers them, or just the vulgarity?

Ryan, not vulgar, that is a Trump reference. Snakes often shed their skin and get bigger. Ryan does not, being less a snake than a croc. A supersized croc headed to his lakeside Cleveland convention.

Krugman references this Paul Ryan Q and A tedium; and did I say, supersized? So not the amphibian in Krugman crosshairs, the croc.

Face up to The Police State.

Saving face? This Ars link.

More Ars.

Clinton (Bubba) in 2013 commenting on worse of world, no security, no privacy.

Privacy? His concern? This websearch = clinton clipper chip

Another websearch. Plus this one. Headlining the obvious.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

What troubles me more about the email thing is the 30,000 purged emails (a number even greater than given paid speeches), and not whether some munchkin in a bureau had stamped something "SECRET," since farting over what was left begs the more compelling question of what smoking gun(s) might have been among email winnowing.

Can you envision the woman in slippers and a robe sitting late in the night in the basement at a keyboard, typing in search terms for the emails such as "goldman," "sachs," "morgan," "stanley," "bank america," or "speaking speech fees?" And deleting?

Oh, those would have been "personal" right? Not State Department business. Business, yes, taking the money out of politics - as quickly as offered - but, well, not the thing to leave around during a presidential run.

30,000 "personal" emails now. In your entire lifetime, not a mere few years holding a job, have you generated thirty thousand personal emails? What time would you have left over for all the rest of your life if you had?

This is a big time big purge of one hell of a lot of stuff. What of a search, "clinton foundation cash arabs?"

Or "clinton foundation cash chinese?" The possibilities are endless, and the pattern's been money on the table, grab it, ask questions later; and answer questions much later if ever. That has been the Clinton Way.

Larry, here, rags on a bit over the top, but Larry is Larry. So look to N.Y. Post, an admittedly right-wing operation, but still, read what is there to consider (published online at the time of the release of the State Department's IG report):

As first lady, Hillary was embroiled in another scheme to bury sensitive White House emails, known internally as “Project X.”

In 1999, as investigators looked into Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate and other scandals involving the then-first lady, it was discovered that more than 1 million subpoenaed emails were mysteriously “lost” due to a “glitch” in a West Wing computer server.

The massive hole in White House archives covered a critical two-year period — 1996 to 1998 — when Republicans and special prosecutor Ken Starr were subpoenaing White House emails.

Despite separate congressional investigations and a federal lawsuit over Project X, high-level emails dealing with several scandals were never turned over. And the full scope of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s culpability in the parade of scandals was never known.

To those well-versed in Clinton shenanigans, this all sounds distressingly familiar.

Thanks to another server-related problem, Clinton so far has gotten away with withholding more than 30,000 emails from congressional committees investigating the Benghazi terrorism cover-up, Clinton Foundation foreign-influence peddling and other scandals.

“This Clinton email scandal is nothing new,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told me. “There were previous efforts to hide emails in the Clinton White House.”

[...] During the Project X email scandal, career White House staffers and contractors found that someone close to the first lady had basically turned off the White House’s automated email archiving system. They fingered White House “special assistant” Laura Crabtree Callahan, who was overseeing the computer contractors despite obtaining computer science degrees from diploma mills.

The State Department staffer who set up Clinton’s unsecured server in the basement of Clinton’s home in Chappaqua also lacked computer experience and qualifications.

That IT staffer, Bryan Pagliano, appears to be playing a similar role in this email caper as Callahan did in the White House — that of a lackey used to help thwart public requests to see information about the government-related business of the Clintons.

Despite having no computer security experience or even security clearance, Pagliano catapulted from a Clinton campaign worker to the secretary’s own “special adviser” dealing with the department’s classified email system.

On top of his $133,000-a-year State Department salary, Clinton personally paid Pagliano thousands of dollars between 2009 and 2013 to set up and run a private home-brew server for her, separate from the government system she was supposed to use, where she received and stored thousands of classified government emails. His work for the secretary was clearly a rogue operation, because the department’s inspector general found that his boss, the deputy chief information officer, was “unaware of his technical support of the secretary’s email system.”

[,,,] Pagliano took the Fifth when called to testify before Congress. (Judicial Watch will get a crack at him at a deposition set for June 6.)

When career staffers at State raised concerns that Clinton’s email records weren’t being properly captured and preserved, they were told to shut up, according to the IG’s report, instructed “never to speak of the secretary’s personal email system again.”

Likewise, career staffers and contractors at the White House were ordered to keep those earlier unarchived emails secret. In fact, they testified that Callahan personally threatened them with jail time if they disclosed the gap to prosecutors or lawmakers.

A 1998 contractor audit of the White House email accounts affected by the “snafu” shows that much of the omitted email was addressed to top Clinton officials — including then-deputy counsel Cheryl Mills and other aides close to Hillary. A federal judge “excoriated Mills” for failing to get to the bottom of the missing emails, Fitton pointed out.

Now Mills finds herself in the middle of another investigation into the whereabouts of thousands of emails germane to investigations involving Hillary Clinton that also have conveniently turned up missing. After following Clinton to State, where she served as her chief of staff and counsel, Mills joined Clinton in flouting federal records-management requirements by using personal email accounts to conduct official government business. It was Mills who helped her old boss delete some 32,000 emails from the server Pagliano set up, claiming they were irrelevant to investigations.

It is a long excerpt, but justifiably so. With the White House email situation as personal history, what is to be made of the "learning curve" effect at play with the present situation? Twice now. Email then went missing. Email now went missing. Email then was not affirmatively purged as "personal," or at least the N.Y. Post item gives no evidence that any such purge event happened. Currently, it is widely reported, thirty thousand emails deep-sixed.

If you want a thought experiment to wrap around this lost thirty thousand, HuffPo provides one, titled, "What if Dick Cheney, Not Hillary Clinton, Deleted 30,000 Emails from a Private Home Server?"

Chew on that hypothetical for awhile. Read the HuffPo item. In addition, HuffPo is NOT a right-wing outlet, a challenge that CAN be leveled at N.Y. Post. Likewise, Counterpunch is not right-wing, yet this was published by Counterpunch at the time the IG report was released this year:

May 31, 2016 -- Emailgate: the Clinton Spin Doctors In Action -- by Binoy Kampmark

Hillary Clinton’s email dilemma got somewhat sharper over the weekend, with Sunday programs heavy with the theme. Her use of a private email server during her stint as Secretary of State was given a new lease of life by the Office of the Inspector General’s report which took significant issue with her practices when in office.

[..] As for turning over the emails, there was no mitigating factor: she should surrendered them before leaving office, not 21 months after. “[S]he did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

Clinton has supreme form when it comes to imaginative, and careless “record keeping”. Her lax attitude to such details was evident during the course of her time as First Lady, when she and her husband presided over the fraying of the post-Cold War Republic.

In 1999, when special prosecutor Ken Starr and Republicans were busying themselves with filling files over an assortment of scandals, a million subpoenaed emails vanished in the Project X affair. The reason? A technical problem with a West Wing computer server. The unseen hand of technological error has often proven helpful to the Clinton cause.

Little wonder then that the latest weaving apologia fell flat in Republican circles, where fiction and fact are synonymous.

[italics emphasis added]

Business Insider in early March a year ago (well before release of the State Department IG report) published:

At the Tuesday afternoon news conference in which she attempted to dismiss concerns about her use of a private email system for official business, Clinton revealed she deleted about 30,000 messages.

She characterized the messages that were erased as personal correspondence and said she had "no reason to save them."

Would she have had reason to save Goldman Sachs related email? Or "no reason?" My vote is with the "no reason" possibility. Stated otherwise, a good reason for an urge to purge.

Business Insider, continuing -

"In going through the emails, there were over 60,000 in total, sent and received. About half were work-related and went to State Department, and about half were personal that were not in any way related to my work," Clinton said. "I had no reason to save them, but that was my decision because federal guidelines are clear ... For any government employee it is that government employees responsibility to determine what's personal and what's work related."

Clinton said she "chose not to keep" the messages and said she expected people would understand her need for "privacy."

"We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related emails and deliver them to the State Department," she said. "At the end, I chose not to keep my private, personal emails. Emails about planning Chelsea's wedding or my mother's funeral arrangements. Condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations: the other things you typically find in inboxes.

How about that "we?" Her and her tapeworm? Worse, her and her lawyer? Who is "we," and how besides "trust me" do we know any such "thorough process" happened or not? And "other things you typically find in inboxes" of those given $225,000 per speech just might differ from Crabgrass webmail. If I ever had anyone pay me $225,000 for a Wall Street humding, well, hey, it would be personal. Right? But Wall Street invests, it does not waste, and I've not been offered the fee any more than Bernie has. Same Business Insider item -

Even if all the emails that were erased were indeed personal, the deletion of those messages could have implications for potential investigations into Clinton's communications.

[...] The former secretary of state and her team have said her use of personal email for official business went above and beyond regulatory requirements. At the news conference Tuesday, Clinton said she and her team engaged in a "thorough process" to identify all work-related emails and turn them over to the State Department.

[...] In addition to closing off these potential investigations, Clinton's decision to delete her emails would also seem to eliminate the chance she could ever make these messages accessible to historians and archivists as many other major figures have.

Clinton hasn't really made her rationale for deleting the personal emails clear beyond saying she "chose" to do so and had "no reason to save them." Her team did not respond to multiple requests from Business Insider asking for clarification on why she deleted the messages. However, a written statement Clinton's office distributed after the news conference seemed to attribute the decision to a desire to "ensure the continued privacy" of the messages.

Good. Reassuring. "We" is spelled out as "she and her team." No problem at all then, right?

L.A. Times - again in early March of last year before the IG weighed in - noting the appearance of things being at best, suspect:

While she sought to quell a controversy that threatens to mar the debut of her expected presidential candidacy, Clinton may have only fueled it with a 20-minute news conference — her first in two years — that raised fresh questions about her actions.

Insisting that her approach was fully consistent with administration rules, she said she would not allow investigators from Congress to examine the private computer server that processed and stored the emails at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

The former senator from New York said the server had been installed to ensure digital security for her husband, former President Clinton. She said it was still guarded by the Secret Service and had never been hacked.

Nonetheless, she said that last fall she approved the destruction of slightly more than half of the emails she wrote or received as America’s top diplomat during President Obama’s first term — because they were “private and personal.” The remainder were forwarded to the State Department.

[...] Many were quick to dismiss the criticism as a stew of partisan smear and media hype, even as critics delighted in reviving her family’s mine-strewn political history and her penchant for secrecy and hunkering down.

Yet her comparatively laggard reaction to the storm, allowing more than a week to pass before she offered a substantive response, contributed to concerns among Democratic Party professionals that her political operation had gone rusty or was maladapted to the 24/7 demands of today’s campaign world.

Facing scores of clamoring reporters, her demeanor was crisply efficient, even if her smile sometimes seemed forced. She answered fewer than a dozen questions — several of them multi-part — before gathering her papers and leaving.

In her comments, Clinton said she now regretted relying on a private email account while in office, rather than a government account, as recommended in Obama administration policy guidance. She said she used the private account “as a convenience” so that she didn’t need to carry separate phones for personal and official communications.

“Looking back, it would have been better for me to use two separate phones,” she said.

“I thought one device would be simpler; obviously, it hasn’t worked out that way,” she added.

She said she had never sent any classified material on the private account, using other staffers’ government accounts for that.

According to a nine-page statement later put out by Clinton’s office, her private email account held 62,320 messages that she had sent or received between March 2009 and February 2013.

The statement said 30,490 of these were provided to the State Department, and 31,830 were private records that were destroyed.

Her use of a private email account “was widely known to the over 100 department and U.S. government colleagues she emailed, as her address was visible on every email she sent,” the statement said.

“During her time at State, she communicated with foreign officials in person, through correspondence, and by telephone. The review of all of her emails revealed only one email with a foreign (UK) official.”

Clinton said that her emails complied with government record-keeping and archiving regulations because she sent most of her work-related messages to government employees on their government accounts. Those emails would have been “captured and preserved” on the recipients’ systems, she said.

[..] Clinton said that when she and her staff reviewed the emails last year, she instructed her lawyer to err on the side of turning over anything that might be considered work-related. But that did not satisfy critics, because it meant that her team was the sole judge of what was released.

[emphasis added] Yeah, only one foreign-addressed email, eh? And in all that she can add her phone calls to Merklel would be in NSA archives along with phone meta data and "collect it all" on calls to foreigners. That's not, however, the point.

ABC News published a Clinton cabal claim that every one of the over sixty thousand emails were read (by whoever, the report is not clear) but sixty thousand emails is a massive amount to review one-by-one and read (and did such "readers" have proper security clearances, etc.), while a search by keyword and keep procedure was also described with it appearing that any item left after such keyword search (by the lawyers no less) was wiped off record from the server hardware. Believe it or not. If you check that item, decide for yourself whether it had an underlying mood of questioning and skepticism. Don't take my word on such "mood" inference. Further generally cumulative coverage, USA Today, "Clinton wipes server after handing over e-mails;" beforeitsnews.com "Clinton was scrubbing emails since she was first lady. Project X. Meet Laura Callahan;" webdaily.com; and Yahoo News, "Clinton has been burying emails since she was first lady -- May 29, 2016."


Might the term "coverup" apply? As an inference from the totality of circumstantial evidence? Guess at it.

BOTTOM LINE: She sits on a pile of six-figure-income-per-hour transcripts while effectively saying "Fuck you" to the clamor for disclosure; and she deleted a ton of email THIS TIME and AFTER a distinctively factually similar "learning curve" email experience years earlier, while the Clinton family occupied the White House.

Is there no limit to arrogance? Is there a blight to be removed? Is Pope Francis a Catholic?