consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

For all the incompetence of the 2016 Democratic Party, with all the DNC money spent; where did the money go? Who took it, doing what?

If you do not want your money wasted down a rat hole called DC beltway consultants, or for all we know stolen by masked bandits, then do not give any of it to the DNC unless/until they open up their books.

Two recently posted YouTube items: here and here. Please do watch them; and the first is the shorter of the two if time is limited.

If the DNC really wants Keith Ellison's help, and will play fair with him in return, he is not a small person, and would work for grassroots support; but then the DNC would have to support grassroots - words being cheap, but money gets spent, and if not on the grassroots, back to the beginning of the post. On what? Crony consultants? Podesta? Robby Mook?

Wow. What a return on investment!

Either Ellison will be utilized in a way to be effective, or will dissociate himself one way or another from the DNC's apparent present direction. Which is its past direction, Wasserman Schultz and Perez not looking too similar, but what's the new guy's conduct going to look like?

It will take time to determine what's what, but there is time between now and November 2018, November 2020.

And the notion that corporate Democrats may hold, it's Trump after all, anybody who can fog a mirror will be able to unseat him, well anybody did not even win with the seat open. So anybody will not be able to unseat where the trend recently has been two terms for any president: Clinton, Bush II, Obama; without regard to quality. (In fairness to Ms. Clinton, she could fog a mirror. As could Cory Booker. Or Tom Perez. Or Tim Kaine. Even Podesta, if he could write and read emails, he could fog a mirror.)

Trumpcare.

While the parameters of system improvement to be expected from Trumpcare are in planning and yet to be specified, one thing is certain.

A president who ran successfully on touting his negotiating skills will prove capable of bending down the cost curve so that there will be more bang for the buck. More people covered, with better coverage, at lower costs; and the 2018 election will be either a mandate or critique of Trumpcare, which by that time will be fully implemented with Trump's party in control of all three branches of the federal government.

After Trump campaign criticizing dumb deals out of the Obama administration, often voiced by the candidate himself, criticizing repeatedly and at length but without equal specificity.

Despite awaiting details, what else should we anticipate from Trumpcare beyond great, impressive improvement in transitioning from Obamacare to Trumpcare?

Better for all is better for Trump. Regardless of boosting the defense spending as Trump proposed, we should expect net savings while getting better service; or else "negotiating skill" will have failed as just another election cycle lie.

But from Trump, we do not expect lies, we expect peak-power negotiation with all the healthcare players getting their Trump negotiation experience whether it hurts their pride or finances.

It will be Trump at the best of his true negotiation powers; where less than much better would be a disappointment.

Trumpcare will be the Trump administration's defining achievement.

One way or the other.

We can barely wait to see details. The details of the negotiation moving every corner of the healthcare provisioning industry to give more, for less.

___________UPDATE____________
Perhaps in anticipation of detail to emerge we should look to the Russian ways and means of healthcare provisioning. Effectiveness and costs. How Putin gets bang for the buck. Has anyone in the press yet looked that way? It could be a WWPD thing, in Trump's place, What Would Putin Do?

Monday, February 27, 2017

They don't seem like a close family.

This link. Not fake news. Okay, and if you think the story's fake news, than you tell me, who orchestrated it, the Easter Bunny? Very strange militant people north of the Korean DMZ. In need of a solid clopping upside the head? Would that be China's responsibility, Russia's, or ours? Chinese regional hegemony is, after all, at stake. Either they want the job and will do it, or they will have to defer.

It takes one to know one? [UPDATED on a related secondary topic]

This websearch, note the thread of self righteous name-calling/finger-pointing.

This link.

You might think law school professors might know when it is best to bite the lip and shut up. In many cases that would be true.

Super important news item, "Pot calls kettle black?" You decide.

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

While on the topic of Keith Ellison and apart from law school nattering nabobs of negativism, the man is bright, and experienced enough to not be wrongly used; Strib reporting in its own locally authored post:

In an interview Sunday, Perez said he had big plans for Ellison as his deputy, including letting him run point on the party's grass-roots organizing efforts.

Perez also noted he wanted to make Ellison the "face of the Democratic Party."

While serving as DNC deputy, Ellison will keep his Fifth Congressional District seat. This forces Ellison into a potentially awkward position in his home district of Minneapolis, where he will have to rebuild a local platform and repledge to serve his loyal constituents, who have re-elected him to Congress six times.

"If anything, he's helped himself," said state Sen. Scott Dibble, who lives in Ellison's district and was mulling a run for his seat if Ellison had resigned. "His work has always been about energizing folks and energizing people at the grass roots. That's why people support him so strongly in this district."

He noted that there was a welcome home party for Ellison at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sunday.

I doubt Ellison will go out all the time hither and yon doing Perez's job for him. Sitting in a beltway chair collecting a paycheck and schmoozing beltway denizens does not seem to be the mandate a majority of the 447 voting savants had in mind in picking Perez over Ellison. (Or was it?)

Ellison has to set priorities that best serve Ellison's career and policy aims, starting with continuing to serve his district with distinction; continuing to be a major voice in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Ellison has to do that independent of any Perez intent to use Ellison.

Marley and Clapton each sang the same song of who is sheriff and who is deputy. Perez should listen.

Hopefully Minnesota's Congressional Democrats from rural districts, Walz and Nolan, will be helpful toward efforts to energize a nation's rural segments to progressive thought, to being answerable to the people and not big money influence/access buyers, despite or in addition to their own potential gubernatorial ambitions.

Exposure nation-wide within party ranks might help advance Ellison to a spot on a 2020 national ticket, and there would always be able people to take over the Congressional seat if Ellison has any such opportunity. So there would be pluses and minuses to Ellison working the hustings. He appears to have the energy to handle that and legislative duty; while Perez does come across as low energy by comparison.

_____________UPDATE______________
On reflection, the Perez - Ellison split of duties might make very good sense. Ellison has fire in the belly and can motivate canvassing and phone bank scut workers. He can rely on Dayton's history, a successful Senate run with disatisfaction over DC being "a cesspool" and then with Mark and the two dogs going county to county in Minnesota to see who the local key people were in getting positive results, and seeing what issues troubled each county Democratic Party leadership the most. He did the work, Collin Peterson is close to Cargill and agricultural issues and needs, with Walz and Nolan successful in diverse out-state jurisdicitons. In effect Ellison has a brain-trust he can exploit, for the benefit of the people and the party, because he is a people first person.

Perez is connected with funding, which is a DNC historical strong point, but Perez clearly has acknowledged that DNC must be more hustings centric, and the DC consultants have to adapt. It should prove interesting if Perez makes them adapt. He cuts the checks, and there is the golden rule.

Perez could get funds without putting his soul in hock, or his Party's soul, simply by a suggestion that being on the winning team bests being otherwise. Any recaltritant Democrat would be convinced to see the big picture, a/k/a the spoils. Populists/progressives would see the basic advantage, the hangers-on would see a shot again at the spoils. They would have to take a back seat, but Perez would be at DNC signing or not signing checks. It could work. Pence and Paul Ryan would be easy strawmen to kick over, they are so egregious that Ellision would only need to say the word. Shoe fitting, that pair would have to wear them. And the VP spot on a ticket is usually the pitbull with top spot above the fray, but on the Trump-Pence side, Pence is REALLY low energy, back room. Trump would have to take the offensive, offend, and be drawn beyond dumb tweets.

It could be win-win. It could be disaster too, which is what the status quo is, and all but fools in the Democratic Party, in private, admit it.

A national ticket with Ellison in second spot would have diversity, and Ellison would be a refreshing voice if Warren is top ticket and Trump pulls his Pocahontas bullshit. Ellison would be able to drive him into the ground, given the fraud called Trump Universint, the fleecing of the inexperienced, vulnerable and unprotected in all that. Ellison could not shut Trump up, but as a practical man with good instincts, he could make Trump sorry for over extending his mouth.

We might have an interesting people first national ticket, and Lord, that would be a refreshing alteration of a sordid and sick status quo.

And the Clintons could be convinced working their Foundation has merit. Quietly so, better.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
A Warren-Ellison ticket would be geo-balanced; coastal atop, flyover second. Exactly as the Trump-Pence ticket balanced, geographically. To any complaint of "too progressive" the answer would be the opposite sure fell with a thundering thud; so, why not try - of all things - a new way and one the for which the people, the Bernie crowds, yearn? It would hang together, and if it means having to pull some recalcitrant superdelegate teeth, is there a dentist in the house?

If needed, Schumer and Saban could put Dershowitz on a short leash. Shove a rag in his mouth, whatever's needed. And they would. Trust me, they would. It is about winning with minimal compromise, something the Clintons too willingly gave up at the start of the unfortunate Hillary experiment.

"As a result of the vacuum left by Clinton’s defeat, many more Democrats than usual are taking a look at running, calling media consultants, political strategists, and organizing operatives around Washington to sound out ideas for what a campaign starting in just over two years might look like. The early behind-closed-doors moves to court the relatively small group of top-level, battle-tested campaign operatives reflect the widely-held belief that the primary field is likely to be larger than any other in years."

WHO WANTS MORE OF THAT SLEAZE?

The headline is a mid item paragraph from Politico, here.

Politico is inside the beltway and thinks accordingly. Those savants it deems essential are the same ones Clinton had; unable to make a silk purse of a sow's ear. So, clearly, try them again since it was not at all their fault; just, well, you know, . . .

Justice Democrats, hopefully, will find an ideal 2020 candidate to back, and there will be a host of people, hopefully, to get in line and push for the better person among hopefuls. The more, the merrier, as to entrants into the fray since Justice Democrats will only be backing only one.

And there is the chance for a breakthrough on the glass ceiling; Elizabeth Warren as the first female U.S. of A. head of state; one deserving to be the breakthrough person. High quality is best.

"I want an investigation," said Owens, a retired Fort Lauderdale police detective and veteran. "The government owes my son an investigation."

AP story is the headline source, a mid-item paragraph. If you follow the link, how do you feel drone strike victims' families feel?

Pinch their access even a little, in times of failing print media, and they start garbage mongering.

This link. Talk about thin-skinned over-reaction. This item is it, at length.

Andrew Higgins is a hit man with a word processor, and there is this footer to the online item:

Julie Hirschfeld Davis contributed reporting from Washington.

A version of this article appears in print on February 27, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Phrase With a Venomous Past Now Rattles American Politics.

Page A1 stuff. Wow. Where the most important news is placed. All that's fit to print.

Whining is not impressive. Especially when Trump's EPA guy is on the move. Which is real news. Go figure.

The EPA thing? Strib carries a Bloomberg feed. Read it online. Either version. At least N.Y. Times did report on the Pruitt emails. Pruitt is an owned tool of fossil fuel moguls, but what else is to be expected of Trump/Bannon/the Mercers? Good people? Come on.

So, who nominated this hatchet man, who in the Senate voted his approval, and why was Pence not forced to a tie-breaker vote on this creep?

Reporting of that would be reporting news.

Do you suppose the Koch brothers are gleeful these days? Real news: pollution prevails, earth suffers. Only an enemy of the people would prioritize things differently in reporting what is happening in a nation. N.Y. Times is at least on the fossil fuel putsch story; but apparently not with the zeal attached to their ox having been mildly scratched while the earth is being gored.

______________UPDATE_____________
The Pruitt confirmation vote allowing the man to take over the EPA was widely reported. The press was not negligent about that, although whether it was print edition of the N.Y. Times page A1 with an inflamatory headline is unclear from online research. From that linked web search the first three items in the search return list were opened, and each, including the N.Y. Times did report on the vote being 52-46 along party lines - the Republicans collectively holding that smoking guns - and it was reported that the Republicans also did a cramdown vote before the emails of the man's industry toady status were available to parade in advance of the Republicans kissing the ring of the fossil fuel moguls, can you say David and Charles?

Do you not believe David and Charles each had as wide a smile as this?

Readers are urged to review those first three search returns on the Pruitt disgrace of a nation; here, here and here. (Last item source of the image link above.)

A nation could focus its industrial reinvigoration on clean energy. There would be jobs installing solar and wind power, building transmission lines from big wind to big populations, managing the grid with intermittent sources more prevalant, and maintaining the solar panels clean and the wind trubines operative despite storm damage likelihoods. There would be a host of jobs; green energy probably being a bit more labor intensive to create and maintain than big coal fired plants, but, so what? Marginally higher labor costs might not appeal to David and Charles, which is but one reason they don't want to be regulated in their profit maximizing zeal, but more is at stake than keeping David and Charles super rich and happy. Like the future of a nation and a planet, for instance. But unbridled capitalism, no brakes allowed much less ever applied, is the rule of Trumpism, and those expecting something else in casting ballots for him deluded themselves if they believed "Great Again." Admittedly it is a fine and neatly crafted slogan, as good that way as "CHANGE" and "HOPE" and as much a deceit on the people. Who, sentient, expected anything different from Trump; and in passing, it needs to be said that expecting the same thing from Clinton would have been correctly playing the odds.

Justice Democrats are now, given a lost DNC, more important than otherwise. And otherwise, without justice, look at the mess we have.

Any European readers may also identify with this or not. But, Trump has changed the Republican Party in the populist direction, nativist too, xenophobic too, intolerant too, but changed. Now a true non-corporatist alternative is needed. (In passing, were Trump to strangle the life out of Paul Ryan I would reassess my outlook, and even regret not voting for Trump -- but unlikelihoods deserve short attention.)

The people who pushed Tom Perez, with some admittedly basically good but wrong-headed people among them, include far too many sciopathic, narcissistic, greedy and flat out mean power mongers who want to seize power and use it to advantage themselves and then - to feel most happy with themselves, to beggar damn near everyone else so that the gap is bigger than otherwise and they can then feel more special by having that gap.

I did say sciopathic.

They now control the media and intelligence mechanisms and the government contractors, be they consultant/think tank, or death merchandise manufacturers owning the Pentagon in league with the senior officer corps. They need to be pushed aside. If anyone envisions Tom Perez pushing aside such a bunch from his DNC post, try instead a dose of reality. Tom Perez is their toady, or at best, Tom Perez has to PROVE he is not; having served under toadies Holder and Obama.

The likelihood of Justice Democrats and the My Revolution people gaining change is not great; but that likelihood lessens the greater the degree of indifferent "moral support" Justice Democrats gain when they need others to stand up with them, even when the brute force of a propaganda press and a militarized police are brought against them as with the Occupy effort and the Ferguson example of having to take disgust to the streets. The sixties were killed at Kent State and Jackson State, and this time success would - with the proof in intervening years - be a far better outcome for humanity and humane people the world over.

TPP and globalization are pitched as leveling things because all folks are as human as we are, their needs and hopes being the same; but then the pattern is to beggar the better-off general populations while the international deals are rigged crap so that the wealthy financiers on Wall Street, in London, in Hong Kong, and in Europe can be assured of international law under which they can own everything even outside of their own nations of residence.

It should be fought. It is morally wrong. It is inhumanity ruling. It is capitalism without brakes. It is sick mind, no heart.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Young people just do not understand.

Ask Tom Perez, the Clintons, the Trumps, Jarad, Bannon, Conway, Podesta. Ask those who, in effect by contrast do completely understand. Green money talks. End of story. No complexities. We only babble and distract and dissemble as if there were complexities. As if great grounds aside from economic hosing exist for fragmentation of opposition to that ol' green money chatting away again and again. Chatting: To office holders. To "informed" office seekers. To "key" donors. To Wall Street. To Hiam's Hollywood. To the Mercers, father and daughter, Bob and Rebekah.

You want the product, you have to buy it. Understand?

Why cannot the young understand?

Lack of understanding seems to be easily identified, so join an understanding effort. With Marxism dead we can retool a slogan:

Decent people of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but indecent government.

Some just do not understand that such a slogan CAN be made real, and we can cleanse a taint. We can vote out the failures at understanding.

A good start, fix a party that rigs elections a/k/a superdelegates. They are not super and should EARN being delegates. Until that is fixed the Democratic Party is just one king sized sham. And they know it. And they worry about losing their thing. They circle the wagons and Perez us.

If eliminating superdelegates is not a litmus test of sincerity and proof of existence of a learning curve, what would be? Tom Perez?

If he leads a sincere and successful effort at removing the superdelegate Democratic Party hoax; ask me again, I might view him in a better light.

Expect less but hope time yields a surprise. Meanwhile, Justice Democrats.

Sign up, and do it now.

And - in addition to Act Blue, they have a snail mail address for paper checks.

6230 Wilshire Blvd, #1209
Los Angeles, CA 90048

There is the famous Will Rogers quote, "I am not a member of any organized party. I'm a Democrat."

This link. Keystone Cops without badges or arrest powers. Party hacks are nobody's blessing. And should stop.

Identify this glad-handing politician, and win a downloaded image of same [or just click on the image and then download one].

After removal of identifying indicia to present the bare image, (but with the core message retained as a footer), who dat?


Hint: The tilting building and child are not a hint. They are an artifact of photograpic image cropping intended to have the politician appear uprignt, and not tilting to his right.

ACTUAL HINT: For pharmaceuticals, Buy American.

Henry R. Munoz III

sourcehttp://www.henrymunoz.com/ 

Follow it, it leads to true paths of understanding.

A religion? No, the money.

While not a Developer, a "design firm" boss of whom mysanantonio.com at this link, notes:

As CEO of Kell Muñoz Architects Inc., a local firm flush with public contracts, Muñoz over three decades has transformed the company into one of the city’s most prominent and influential.

Not an architect, Muñoz, 51, has described himself as a “very good salesperson.” He cultivates the image of a stylish maven in Latino culture and design and has made his name by donating prolifically to politicians, serving on an array of civic boards and staging flashy presentations in fights for lucrative public projects.

The latest: a bid to manage construction work for nearly all of the San Antonio Independent School District’s $515 million bond. Muñoz won the contract, along with $12.5 million in fees. But critics say he doesn’t fight fair and his over-the-top tactics can go over the line when he plays politics with taxpayer funds.

“The sad part of it is that he’s so talented that he doesn’t have to cross the line,” said one City Hall insider who requested anonymity. “That’s the problem with Henry. He pushes it to the limits.”

The son of a labor organizer, Muñoz was plugged into political circles from birth and since has grown into a heavyweight in Democratic fundraising.

[...] Such fundraising talent discourages some from criticizing Muñoz publicly. Said one former elected official: “I would certainly count on him for support in the future if I ever ran.”

What’s clear is that Muñoz’s long career blending public service and private enterprise has been bruised by controversy from the beginning; his lofty ambitions for himself and the region at times have soared above what’s possible; and his appetites for status and success at times have clouded his judgment. Muñoz betrays little regret.

“I’m not going to change who I am,” he said. “The democratic process or politics, maybe we have a bad feeling about it in the world today, but I wasn’t raised that way. My father and my mother raised me to believe that democracy was beautiful and that’s what made this country different.”

He added, “Realistically, there are things that everybody brings to the table. You have votes, you have dollars, and you have influence. I have my voice, and I have a right to that.”

He's a Democrat. Raising his profile by raising money. "No peso, no say so." In today's Podesta-Clinton Democratic Party, he talks not walks. How today is. In 2013, no surprise - DNC head financing honcho. No surprises today, Perez day, either.

Having a say so in 2012. Ongoing.

________________UPDATE_______________
"WE ARE. THE FUTURE." They say from the beltway. This footer:

Paid for by Latino Victory Project, 700 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Behind a paywall, unfortunately, but a killer headline

Muñoz would be disastrous as DNC chair
By Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News
November 15, 2016 Updated: November 15, 2016 9:36pm

With the paywall we cannot know if the item author was writing of Munoz personally, or of the status via a surrogacy.

____________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Not an easy person to categorize, getting a feel for who the real Henry R. Munoz III is may require a span of reading, e.g., here, here and the already linked item here. Not being familiar with San Antonio, those three items are deferred to as painting a complicated, possibly conflicting picture. An advocate for Hispanic culture, certainly that, and his firm's projects, however attained, have NOT been criticized as either ugly or less than structurally top flight buildings when completed.

Seeking Alpha on Greek finances. RT on Brexit financial fallout possibilities. Links without quotes.

Seeking Alpha, here. RT, here and here.

It's follow the money day.

Syrian airspace coordination dating to later years of the Obama administration.

RT, here. Apparently not fake news:

Russian Tu-95 bombers have struck Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) targets in Syria's Raqqa region using X-101 cruise missiles, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that it informed the US about the operation.

[...]The ministry also said it notified Washington about the strikes in advance using the “de-confliction” hotline. In October 2015, Russia and the US agreed to a flight safety memorandum which regulates flight paths and to inform each other of an emergency situation in Syria establishing the hotline to avoid dangerous aerial incidents in Syrian airspace.

Colonel John Dorrian, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force, confirmed it received the notification via the hotline.

Where is Trump to bellow, "America First?"

RT reports on Daimler's plan.

The Trumpster, MIA. And it's a thousand jobs. More than Carrier in Indiana? As many jobs saved in Indiana as crowd attendees at the Trump inauguration?

The DNC. As it has been it shall be.

Lobbyist money, fine. Big donor money, fine. Wall Street friendships, fine. Beltway centric, fine. Consultacies on the take. Give them a share.

To the extent I can afford to give it will be to individual candidates.

I will not contribute to any party organ, especially one that rebates money in any amount to the DNC.

Corporatist centric before. Corporatist centric in the future.

The people have no party. A majority of 447 individuals determined that. Full of themselves, their loyalties, their way.

If there is an alternative, I shall endorse and contribute.

At this point the hope is for Justice Democrats and Our Revolution. Keith Ellison shall be remaining in the House, in its Progressive Caucus. He will have a titie at DNC. For show. He will not be a belonging person in what it pretends, now on, but he made no big fuss.

Bernie, you have your contributor list. Bernie, please hold it tightly, as yours. You earned it against those now wanting it. They scorned. It is your turn to scorn.

Scorn for Progress. It could be a slogan, better than Stronger Together, which was a big baggage truck.

Podesta smiles. DWS builds more Congressional seniority; continues getting her regular paycheck. Does as told.

Made of plastic. On sale, Nationwide.
447 distinct models.
Your kids will love them. Durable. Lasting. 

___________UPDATE___________
Other online reports might detail thinking/actions on the second vote which went for Perez; but this, from The Hill, states mid-item:

The campaigns were supposed to get lists of candidates everyone had voted, for but the DNC had to abandon its digital voting tools over fears the Wi-Fi would give out.

They would go to the back-up plan of hand-counting paper ballots instead. That meant there wouldn’t be a master list of who voted for who.

“Total chaos,” one Democrat fumed.

Still, the campaigns had their own lists of people they thought might be susceptible to flipping.

On the Perez side, South Carolina Democratic chairman Jaime Harrison, Texas Democratic chairman Gilberto Hinojosa and DNC finance chairman Henry Muñoz III went to work whipping.

The Perez campaign was thrilled to have Harrison drop out of the race and join their side on Thursday, believing he brought at least a dozen votes.

They think Muñoz might have put them over the top. The finance chairman, who spends his weeks jetting across the country and raising millions of dollars from wealthy donors and celebrities from Miami to San Francisco, is among the most connected people at the DNC.

The opportunity presents itself, hard to turn down especially for this bunch, so - that final paragraph is "the money paragraph."

Well, should we call it progress and reform, to switch from electronically recorded ballot methods, naming names, to a paper secret ballot, first round of voting to second? Call it what you think best.

With Perez from Buffalo, or the Buffalo area, is Joe Crangle, Boss Crangle, still alive and active? This item reads a bit like a retrospective obit. Is Perez a Crangle protoge? A Crangle Democrat? Reader help via a comment and link would be appreciated.

Is Perez gaining DNC head honcho status to be a novel plot; The Revenge of Joe Crangle? A revenge of Crangle ways and means within his party? Not a continuance?

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Less focused on ins and outs of the voting process, noting instead outcome after the decisive vote-count, (Munoz of San Antonio unmentioned for example), mysanantonio.com carried an AP feed on the fallout, viewpoints, and likely consequences of Perez winning by a narrow margin, with extensive linking, here. Readers may find it an interesting report, quickly after the fact, but time is needed to see if Perez can bridge a sea of distrust, from his corporatist-beltway background where money for influence has been the rule during and after the Bill Clinton presidency. Unlikely is the best immediate guess, with the auxiliary question, does the man despite his words really want CHANGE? Believe what you see. Not today's words. There is time to tell. HOPE and CHANGE have had their sloganeering day, cynically so, and there is to be either movement or stagnation.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

One of the best "what it is all about" items online, the thumb on the scale, the dirty tricks narrative, it's all there.

Will a dirty tricks narrative spin-master be a leopard changing spots, or a same later, as has been?

Published on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 by Common Dreams
The Stakes in the Race for Democratic National Committee Chair
by Tom Gallagher


One leading candidate for Democratic National Committee Chair recently said, "We heard loudly and clearly yesterday from Bernie supporters that the process was rigged and it was. And you've got to be honest about it. That's why we need a chair who is transparent." In a contest as hotly contested as the race for DNC Chair currently is, you expect this sort of talk. Only thing is, the statement didn’t come from Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, the DNC candidate who supported Sanders in the presidential nomination race. This was actually Thomas Perez talking – who supported Hillary Clinton, served as Secretary of Labor in Barack Obama’s cabinet and has been endorsed by former Vice President Joe Biden.

[...] An active Clinton campaigner himself, he told Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, in a WikiLeaks-published email, of warning audiences that "people don’t (sic) have the time to wait for Senator Sanders to complete his quest for the perfect health care system." And he further offered spin advice, suggesting to Podesta that if Clinton did well among minority voters in the Nevada caucuses, "the narrative changes from Bernie kicks ass among young voters to Bernie does well only among young white liberals." And hey, let’s give credit where credit is due here—the job Perez and other spin-meisters did on divorcing Sanders’s image from a fifty year plus history of civil rights support, dating back to a 1963 arrest at a pro-Chicago school integration demonstration—was a major contributor to denying him the nomination.

But in the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that the opening quote in this story is contested. Not that there’s any dispute as to whether Perez actually spoke the words in a public forum. It’s apparently more a question of whether he was in his right mind when he did, as the very next day he was tweeting that "I mispoke" and that "Hillary became our nominee fair and square." [...]

[... A] Perez win in this race will make a lot of people conclude that the Democratic Party just can’t change its stripes. It will take the wind out of the sails of a lot of people the Democratic Party can’t afford to lose—the 70 percent of the under-30 voters who went with Sanders in the primaries. This may not be exactly the future that a lot of people in the DNC might have preferred. It may not be one they even understand. But the Democratic Party absolutely must engage that bloc. Tom Perez may do some very useful things in his future political career. But he is not man for this race.

[italics emphasis added] That is the barebones gist of truth in the item, but please link over and read the entire thing. There are sinews connecting barebones together.


BOTTOM LINE: How many ways to Sunday can you spin, the Nevada narrative, the tell-'em now what they want to hear, and then the "I mispoke?"

It is not some hot words spoken back in college, since recanted and discounted by passage of time. It suggests a very recent willingness of character to bend far too much with a wind. And then to bend back quickly, to a crosswind!

It casts doubt where doubt is poison. With the young who are impatient. With old folks like me also, rooted in the '60s, who are impatient.

Spin, and spin, and spin, surely can be done, but don't ask many outside of inner party interests to buy into spins.

That brand is patent medicine that will not sell. It will not heal, and should not be used.

_________________UPDATE_________________
Readers may recall how Nevada Democratic Party events ramping up to the convention were contentious. Having an instigating role in that, this email exchange published online by Wikileaks - emailing between Tom Perez and John Podesta, "from the road" months before the actual fireworks.

Is it a smoking gun? You decide, it is the one suggesting false spin about Bernie, as noted in the above reporting. Read it for yourself.

This was a part of the sabotage effort against Bernie from the Clinton faction; as bad as anything out of the DNC for which Wasserman-Schultz was cashiered. It is saying, in different words, "Here's a way to lie about the Sanders' popularity, why not do it?"

Tom Perez.

The Party needs unity. He now says. He is the man to unite. He now says. Publicly.

Wikileaks apparently does not have current emailing exchanges which might contradict or prove any true current unifying intent. We are asked to trust what the man says now, publicly. Except when he "mispeakes" and recants. Sure. Why not?

"What is wrong with a system that allows the person who gets the most votes to win the primary?" Brazile said. "What's wrong with a system that allows people to vote their conscience? What's wrong with a system that allows elected officials, party activists and others to participate? There's nothing wrong with a system like that."

The headline is a mid-item paragraph from a Feb. 24, 2017, Business Insider report on Donna Brazile, covering her experience as acting DNC head after the email publications at Wikileaks showing she'd fed the Clintons "debate" questions, one at least, in advance of the event. The headline is where she opines about it was all okay and for the best anyway.

She phrases that sentiment via a rhetorical "What's wrong . . ." question.

Accepting the challenged, the what's wrong rhetoric, in a word, an easy and all too apparent an answer

SUPERDELEGATES

Yes, SUPERDELEGATES, who wield the big time super-heavy thumb on the scale allowing established inner party operatives, owned hacks in too many cases, slaves to prejudgments in other cases, to aim their machine against the will of the people as and when the big money folks - the Podestas being poster children in addition to Wall Streeters and Hiam Saban's hollywood checkbook cronies - tell them where to aim it. Those to whom inner party stranglehold is an imperative reaching in importance beyond running the clear presidential candidate with the best chance to win an election via resonance with voter wants and needs.

Which in turn reflects the "chosen ones" attitude among the self-satisfied bunch, the 447, who have the fate of the nation in their hands and cannot admit Tom Perez is a status quo stalking horse (despite his commentary of unity) while Keith Ellison is in tune with VOTERS if not inner party functionaries of the status quo and big money influence seekers, also of the status quo.

These 447, if not an absolute congruence, ARE the superdelegates, who want to keep "the big say" with little regard for grassroots reality. They are the Clinton-Podesta folks, in spirit, if not entirely among themselves, each and all, having uncontested superdelegate status.

If in doubt, review THE TELLING VIDEO; one having been linked to before; one atop the sidebar,which  encapsulates THE OVERARCHING GLARING PROBLEM WITH THAT MINORITY PARTY. THE WHY AND WHEREFORE OF PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENTS EXISTING IN SUCH COMPELLING NUMBERS.

There has to be movement from Republican-lite to echoing and honoring the will of the people.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Bless the nurses, for they are civilized human beings.

This link.

They are experienced, by their jobs. And they are truthful. They identify the liers, the con men, the enemies of good sense and fair play.

They identify and uncloak the enemies of decency to a nation's people. Bless them for their voice. May they be heard!

The DNC chair: What about polling? Why has there been no polling?

The voting among the 447 savants is not a test of Ellison nor Perez. It is a test of 447 individuals, some, likely, full of themselves.

NOBODY has asked if there is a popular opinion favorite. The DNC is full of political science graduates and they know little but polling.

Why have they, and the outside "specialists" in polling not looked at their home state registered Democratic VOTERS, and sought information?

BECAUSE THEY DON'T CARE A RAT'S ASS WHAT PEOPLE THINK AND THAT AUGERS POORLY FOR THE INNER PARTY'S RELEVANCE, REGARDLESS OF WHICH FACTION PREVAILS, WHICH OUTCOME RESULTS. IT IS AGAINST THIS BLOCK OF STONE COLD GRANITE SELF-CENTEREDNESS THAT ELLISON IS TRYING TO EDUCATE. THEY SEE IT AS A HORSE TRADING GAME, OR A WE HOLD THE FUTURE GAME; BUT AS TO WHETHER THERE IS A PUBLIC CONSENSUS THEY SIMPLY DO NOT SUFFICIENTLY CARE TO ASK.

____________UPDATE____________
Flat learning curve. This link. From that background . . .

Pettiness personified.

This N.Y. Times feed, carried by Strib, who are these crudely brazen clowns and by their barring the door, what have they in mind beyond making a mockery of themselves?

Moreover, what about Univision?

Yes, that Univision. This is not new stuff. This is a festering disgrace, was then, worse now. What next? Sports Illustrated, Seattle Times, barred for running a Nordstrom ad or several?

A real press secretary would have resigned after having refused to pull that stunt. This Spicer guy is a Bork.

Next the format will be changed. No more press conference. A steady diet of Tweet conferences, for four years.

Reader help request: Who besides Biden in the Obama administration "encouraged" Tom Perez to run for DNC chair?

This web search. The language "encouraged by Obama administration officials" seems a litany.

Who, specifically? Name names, please. Biden, clearly. Beyond that? Obama himself? Former Obama administration officials; e.g., at State Department?

This is important to know; and it is dereliction of press duty to not be naming names, or otherwise are they just blowing smoke?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Corporatist Democrat wingman Tom Perez comes across as phony as a three dollar bill. [UPDATED: Our way or the beltway?]

This video link. The DNC chair candidates speak. You should watch.

The young need to be listened to; this video.

_______________UPDATE_______________
The above may be an oversimplificaton, and this too, but without links given an impression is that central planning DC consultancies are the driving force behind Tom Perez, and they suck all the money out in "research" and ad buy contracting, with all that run out of the beltway so that the hustings see everything sucked dry.

To the extent DNC raises funds it should be for grassroots effort in the hustings, precinct by precinct across the nation, to first learn who the key people are, what they think is most needed locally, and how they see goals are best to be met. The policy thinking locally, coupled with a platform of low wage worker help, income distribution fairness, higher education cost containment/availability, influence buying curtailed, superdelegate reform, prioritizing spending to maximize the multiplier effect as consumers buy locally thus boosting small private sector business vs. big pharma, big death merchants, so that healthcare reform moves positively and the overbearing reliance on force as a foreign policy is ended. In Econ 101 it is the guns and butter presentation, stripped to that level of simplicity, along with making a party responsive and not a club of insiders guarding the walls and gate. Ellison seems best for that task.

In a sense it is parallel to problems with the intelligence community being beltway centered with too many easy desk jobs while the need is to know wtf is the mood and needs in the field to win a conflict. And too many sandburs that attach. Think tanks of the lowest denominator are parking lots for the out party's spoils crowd; the Podesta brothers being the poster children. Also, what's the Perez job title now, while he runs after the spoils he foresees if atop the DNC?

Ellison represents and works to continue his party's health in a primarily urban Congressional district, attuned to local considerations.

Go to the Wikipedia page: Tom Perez. Lots of text about past roles. What does it say he's doing for a paycheck these days? If with a consultancy, the Wikipedia authors decline to identify which one? Is he with a think tank in the DC area? Given an academic post; some board position?

At the end, after describing the Labor Department stint under Obama, the Tom Perez Wikipedia entry states:

Democratic politics
During the 2016 presidential election, Perez was mentioned as a possible running mate on the Democratic ticket with Hillary Clinton,[157] but was ultimately not selected. Perez later campaigned for the Clinton-Kaine ticket.

Perez announced his candidacy for Chair of the Democratic National Committee on December 15, 2016.[158] He believes the party needs to go to the suburbs, the exburbs and rural America, and talk to people.[159]

Perez promised not to take money from federal lobbyists, foreign nationals, or current Labor Department employees on his webpage.[160]

Perez gave the keynote speech for the Maryland Democratic Party annual legislative luncheon on January 10, 2017, in Annapolis.[161]

If elected to the Chair, Perez would become the first Dominican-American to chair the Democratic National Committee.[162]

Personal life
Perez lives in Takoma Park, Maryland with his wife Ann Marie Staudenmaier, an attorney with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and their three children.

Perez is Catholic, and recalls that his parents told him, “In order to get to heaven, you have to have letters of reference from poor people.”[163]

Awards
In 2014 Perez received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Brown University.[164]

On May 21, 2014, Perez received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Drexel University School of Law.[165]

In May 2014, Perez was given an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Oberlin College.[166]

Staying in the beltway. Doing what? Besides seeking the stay-in-the-beltway with chums DNC role he appears to envision.

A websearch. So, after seeing the hits, what's his job?

On unemployment?

This is not to criticize as much as to point out Wasserman-Schultz was beltway anchored, and along with personality, she mismanaged. Somebody willing to put up with the airports and hustings visits, all that entails, is what the DNC leadership requires rather than familiarity with the DC area consultancies that have been expensed in the past from DNC funds.

De-centralization: The grassroots of Omaha are not within 50 miles of Langley, nor within 50 miles of the DNC headquarters site.

Less of the Podesta wing of the Democratic party would fulfill the adage, "Less is More."


______________FURTHER UPDATE_______________

Fact-checking a few of those last Wikipedia footnoted links; in particular ## 159 and 160:

First: This link, this ending quote:

"Donald Trump and his billionaire boys club, you know, their vision of America is not our vision of America," Perez added. "And I don't think it's the vision of the majority of Americans."

That totally sidesteps the Clinton Wealth and the Goldman Sachs speeches for which Clinton took in-pocket cash; while also sidestepping the congruent super-heavy Goldman Sachs flavor of the Trump cabinet. What's that Perez quote really worth, in context?

Next, this Wikipedia linked item, headlined: "Perez won’t take lobbyists' money for DNC election" with this noted therein:

Ellison’s campaign website says he won’t accept contributions from federal contractors.

That Perez-focused item in The Hill links to the Perez Act Blue solicitation page; which does not forestall contributions from federal contractors; e.g., no bar on money from folks at consultancies that have had Justice Department or Labor Department dealings; and Perez likely would welcome contributions from people at consultancies that have previously been hired and paid by DNC under Wasserman-Schultz leadership, among others.


Last, Perez news page, https://www.tomperez.org/news/ has this lead item stating in opening:

Jaime Harrison Endorses Tom Perez for DNC Chair -- February 23, 2017

Today, ahead of the DNC vote in Atlanta, Jaime Harrison endorsed Tom Perez citing that Tom can bring progressive change and is committed to helping state parties. Tom issued the statement statement below following Jaime's letter to DNC members, which is included in full below.

"Every person who knows Jaime Harrison will say he is one of the smartest, most dedicated, and genuine leaders we know," said Tom Perez. "Simply put, he's one of a kind. [...]

Actually, having Podesta Group past employment ties, as Jamie Harrison has, is not all that "one of a kind" unique; but as a Podesta inner group associate, that does define "a kind" of which the current Democratic Party presently has too many.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Ellison is not a slash and burn person. He knows how to build voting MAJORITIES. To energize and KEEP people who've been marginalized or not had sufficient real attention to needs and wants. He is not going to turn his back on the beltway. He simply is going to take the keys to the car away from them, for us, not for beltway funding special interests. There will be a place for Tom Perez in an Ellison DNC; but is it likely vice versa?

The House Democratic Progressive Caucus is not made up of dumb ideologues. It is made up of people who've grown tired of how the beltway runs; what Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton after his one Senate term called "a cesspool." More emphatic than "Drain the Swamp," perhaps a phrase, "Sewer the Cesspool." Flow that stuff to treatment, by making things better, more cordial to the actual needs of a nation.

But the beltway and the constituency the Clintons-Podesta brothers embody really has been the cess in the pool. That has to be realized.

Democrats are self-delusional if saying to themselves in the privacy of their homes, "Trump will prove to be so bad we could run a child molester against him after four years and win, we've no need for any real CHANGE." That would be thinking leading to eight years of Trump and colleagues managing the spoils, of which Perez has had his share. So Perez understands that level of risk too, but he's got that beltway anchor that he cares not to really cast away. It's troublesome. We are a nation, not an appendage to the greater DC metro area.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Quintessential beltway think:

This Salon item, do the same word search I did = grassroots.

Or wordsearch = hustings.

It is nothing but beltway centric; we are atop opposition to Trump; look at how we've dragged feet the way Republicans in the beltway did during the Obama years. It is quite simply, at its best, at its worse, MORE OF THE SAME.

FURTHER: Does Howard Dean understand "Our way or the Beltway?" Yes, Howard Dean understands. Beyond giving lip-service to "gotta grassroot" he picks a non-lightning rod wannabe, FROM THE HUSTINGS, SUCCESSFUL IN THE HUSTINGS, UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT TAKES IN THE HUSTINGS. Not my first choice, surely, but Perez is not my second choice, Buttigieg would be. No lobbyist/consultancy taint. South Bend, Indiana; a college town, is NOT beltway-first-last-and-always. Buttigieg is okay. Ellison is better.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sam Ronan.

At the DNC candidate convention to start the ball rolling. Than, a productive "aggressive progressive" conversation.

Substance. Less rant than other YouTube. More substance. At the tail end of the presentation - Ronan does not say it this way exactly - but what about a general strike? Three days. Four. Make a point. It can be done. A good old fashion stop working effort. It was why Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis. The sanitation workers' strike. Unfortunately, why he got shot. There was also killing at Kent State and Jackson State. Sad, but shooting people who speak up works. Nobody went to jail for Kent State, Jackson State. They put up a marker. Big deal. This link; word search = Kent State, down list, as if someone's afterthought. That is Hallowed Ground. People have to awaken.

This video.

Leave me and MY PARTY alone, say some Dem savants.

YouTube, here.

Grassroots, you need round-up all over you, if you voice a choice? Father knows best.

Face looks funny, spited, by the nose cut off.

Another YouTube rant; same person, but truth can be ranted. It may be necessary to rant it. Some fools are downright deaf; or play so, and need to be exposed like wizards behind a curtain.

More.

Corporatism - was it the failing problem in the 2016 presidential election -- Democrat effort?

Young Turks, here.

Can you smear me now?

Young Turks, here.

A view of why Gen. Flynn got cashiered; not the more popular narrative of phone error with a Russian.

Discordant message? Kill the messenger. Gen. Flynn as the lead Afghanistan-based on the ground military intelligence officer coauthored a report highlighted and described by CFR, here, and ultimately found, online still, at the pdf download link, included here:

https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/fixing-intel-a-blueprint-for-making-intelligence-relevant-in-afghanistan

In the downloaded pdf document itself, p.9, et seq., the authors opine:

The most salient problems are attitudinal, cultural, and human. The intelligence community’s standard mode of operation is surprisingly passive about aggregating information that is not enemy-related and relaying it to decision-makers or fellow analysts further up the chain. It is a culture that is strangely oblivious of how little its analytical products, as they now exist, actually influence commanders.

It is also a culture that is emphatic about secrecy but regrettably less concerned about mission effectiveness. To quote General McChrystal in a recent meeting, “Our senior leaders – the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, Congress, the President of the United States – are not getting the right information to make decisions with. We must get this right. The media is driving the issues. We need to build a process from the sensor all the way to the political decision makers.”

This document is the blueprint for such a process.

The authors of this document outline changes that must occur throughout the intelligence hierarchy. Its contents should be considered as a directive by the senior author, who is the top intelligence officer in Afghanistan. We chose to embody it in this unconventional report, and are taking the steps to have it published by a respected think tank, in order to broaden its reach to commanders, intelligence professionals and schoolhouse instructors outside, as well as inside, Afghanistan. Some of what is presented here reinforces existing top-level orders that are being actedon too slowly. Other initiatives in this paper are new, requiring a shift in emphasis and a departure from the comfort zone of many in the intelligence community.

We will illuminate examples of superb intelligence work being done at various levels by people who are, indeed, “getting it right.” We will explain what civilian analysts and military intelligence officers back in the U.S. must do in order to prepare, and what organizational changes they should anticipate. (As an example, some civilian analysts who deploy to Afghanistan will be empowered to move between field elements in order to personally visit the collectors of information at the grassroots level and carry that information back with them. Analysts’ Cold War habit of sitting back and waiting for information to fall into their laps does not work in today’s warfare and must end.)

[...] In addition to reflecting the thinking of the war’s senior intelligence officer, this memorandum combines the perspectives of a company-grade officer and a senior executive with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) who have consulted the views of hundreds of people inside and outside the intelligence community before putting pen to paper.

This memorandum is aimed at commanders as well as intelligence professionals. If intelligence is to help us succeed in the conduct of the war, the commanders of companies, battalions, brigades, and regions must clearly prioritize the questions they need answered in support of our counterinsurgency strategy, direct intelligence officials to answer them, and hold accountable those who fail.

Too often, the secretiveness of the intelligence community has allowed it to escape the scrutiny of customers and the supervision of commanders. Too often, when an S-2 officer fails to deliver, he is merely ignored rather than fired. It is hard to imagine a battalion or regimental commander tolerating an operations officer, communications officer, logistics officer, or adjutant who fails to perform his or her job. But, except in rare cases, ineffective intel officers are allowed to stick around. American military doctrine established long before this war began could hardly be clearer on this point: “Creating effective intelligence is an inherent and essential responsibility of command. Intelligence failures are failures of command – [just] as operations failures are command failures.”

Nowhere does our group suggest that there is not a significant role for intelligence to play in finding, fixing, and finishing off enemy leaders. What we conclude is there must be a concurrent effort under the ISAF commander’s strategy to acquire and provide knowledge about the population, the economy, the government, and other aspects of the dynamic environment we are trying to shape, secure, and successfully leave behind. Until now, intelligence efforts in this area have been token and ineffectual, particularly at the regional command level. Simply put, the stakes are too high for the stability of Afghanistan and Pakistan, for NATO’s credibility, and for U.S. national security for us to fail in our intelligence mission. The urgent task before us is to make our intelligence community not only stronger but, in a word, “relevant.”

All POlITICS IS LOCAl: TACTICAL INTEL EQUAlS STRATEGIC INTEL

Why would four-star generals, and even the Secretary General of NATO and the President of the United States, require detailed district-level information and assessments on Afghanistan? For many in the intelligence chain of command, the answer, regrettably, is “they don’t.” Intelligence officers at the regional commands and below contend that the focus of higher echelons should be limited to Afghanistan’s large provinces and the nation as a whole – the “operational and strategic levels” – and not wander “into the weeds” of Afghan districts at the “tactical level.” In fact, top decision-makers and their staffs emphatically do need to understand the sub-national situation down to the district level. For the most part, this is precisely where we are fighting the war, which means, inevitably, this is where it will be won or lost.

One of the peculiarities of guerrilla warfare is that tactical-level information is laden with strategic significance far more than in conventional conflicts. This blurring of the line between strategic and tactical is already widely appreciated by infantrymen. They use the term “strategic corporal” to describe how the actions of one soldier can have broader implications – for example, when the accidental killing of civilians sparks anti-government riots in multiple cities.

[...] To understand the dynamics of this process, it is useful to think of the Afghanistan war as a political campaign, albeit a violent one. If an election campaign spent all of its effort attacking the opposition and none figuring out which districts were undecided, which were most worthy of competing for, and what specific messages were necessary to sway them, the campaign would be destined to fail. No serious contender for the American presidency ever confined himself or herself solely to the “strategic” level of a campaign, telling the staff to worry only about the national and regional picture and to leave individual counties and election districts entirely in the hands of local party organizers, disconnected from the overall direction of the campaign. In order to succeed, a candidate’s pollsters and strategists (the equivalent of a J-2 staff) must constantly explore the local levels, including voters’ grievances, leanings, loyalties, and activities. Experienced campaign strategists understand that losing even one or two key districts can mean overall defeat. (Recall, for example, the defining impact of two Florida counties – Miami-Dade and Palm Beach – on the national outcome of the 2000 presidential election.) To paraphrase former Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill’s famous quote, “all counterinsurgency is local.”

Information gathering in a counterinsurgency differs from information gathering in a conventional war in another important respect. In a conventional conflict, ground units depend heavily on intelligence from higher commands to help them navigate the fog of war. Satellites, spy planes, and more arcane assets controlled by people far from the battlefield inform ground units about the strength, location, and activity of the enemy before the ground unit even arrives. Information flows largely from the top down.

In a counterinsurgency, the flow is (or should be) reversed. The soldier or development worker on the ground is usually the person best informed about the environment and the enemy. Moving up through levels of hierarchy is normally a journey into greater degrees of cluelessness. This is why ground units, PRTs, and everyone close to the grassroots bears a double burden in a counterinsurgency; they are at once the most important consumers and suppliers of information. It is little wonder, then, given the flow and content of today’s intelligence, that they are seriously frustrated with higher commands. For them, the relationship feels like all “give” with little or nothing in return.

In short: How you gonna get 'em out in the field - in sufficient numbers watching the correct things - after they've seen Langley desks? It is not just Langley. Political parties face the grassroots bottom-up frustration of top-down "father knows best" folks, say, e.g., at the DNC and at conventioneering superdelegate levels of vexing irrelevance.

Apart from that divergence, back to the intel community: Those told they were doing the wrong job, with "never getting fired" language included there at one point, did not get mad.

They got even. They leaked and Gen. Flynn, under whatever explanation of the several offered by the Trump insiders including Trump himself, was sacrificed rather than changes made in "the way we've done things, the way we do things, the way we intend the future to be."

This IS NOT to say Flynn's report was correct, incorrect, or part of both. The knowledge of a senior military officer with 33 years of service clearly entails dimensions a non-veteran can only read and quote. (With analogy to imminent political processes thrown in to flavor the soup.)

This IS to say not liking what they saw, the knives in secret got sharpened, and then used to cut. No thousand cuts needed, this was a more efficient chop-chop effort.

The general was saying this is not a game, not cold war think tank musing to imagine thinking like the Russians think, this is a war and the military needs help on information it believes is needed to fight the war by knowing the nature of the combat place and people, the mood of things, on the ground in the national milieu and culture where the war exists.

(Ending on that tone and thought, with more to the report for readers who are interested, let's give a passing hello to Ellison and Perez and the 447 inner party Democrat savants about to do something that could be blundered, big time.)

With the CPACers convening today to do their annual thing, a retrospective look, and a tie-in to rural Minnesota.

Readers are urged to websearch CPAC, or use this search return.

It is ancillary to the gist of this post, and will not be mentioned below. Except, with the convening upon us it is proper to look elsewhere for sincerity of differing viewpoints -

A retrospective can focus on an individual, in this case, Angela Davis; who has a Wikipedia page, and who outlived two of her key defense lawyers, who were older than her at time of trial; see: here re attorney Branton, and here re attorney Walker (NOT a Texas Ranger, fictional or otherwise).

Each having reached 90, thereby proving not all of the good die young.

As the two Davis links show, her current activism is aimed at undoing "the prison industrial complex."

Which brings us to Appleton, Minnesota, which absent the big house of privitized confinement is moribund, with good reason to let it fend or go under without reopening the big house. See: coverage, here, here, here, and most recently by Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie, e.g., here, here and earlier, here.


It is interesting that the ol' Gipper fired Davis from a California University teaching position in 1969 for being a Communist and then fired Communism in cahoots with Gorbachev, two decades later; his having died since.

This closing image, Branton and Davis at time of the trial.

N.Y. Times image

Well, backtracking on an earlier promise, that Appleton site would be a peachy location for the CPACers to gather, each and every.

Rediscovering an online mix - Gin and Tacos.

Any site that uses a montage from a single image as its background image, like this one, has promise:

Bookmark this site
http://www.ginandtacos.com/

While it is best not telling a reader what to read on a site such as this one, but encouraging sampling, nonetheless this post got 89 comments.

It stands on its own, but is a part, and not wholly representative, so do not read only it, and then stop.

For some reason, thinking of the site, forgetting the name but knowing it unique, a search of older bookmarks found it.

For some reason of fleeting mental movement, it caused a though of Camus; and web trolling found NPR having a book review on point.

Many including myself can fall into a pattern of blunt reading habits, the web encourages it by overwhelming prevalence of content, so this shout out seemed due.

With one last minute agenda change, starting today, crazies convene.

The sunglass brigade. Doin' the CPAC shuffle.
image credit - New Yorker

Lost in the CPAC shuffle, the guy who got Bannon-Citizen United treatment worthy of that hallowed production, Hillary the Movie. But so many, it surprises that one agenda change gained any press attention at all. Quality, such as it is, will be unimpacted by one singular change. Dreck before. Dreck after, one less dumb hate-laced speech; but a hate-fist in a velvet glove.

A turnaround is fair play is an old southern phrase I heard in childhood. Among others -

That nice Mr. Bannon having a dose of his own medicine, as a kick-off to such a stellar bunch; it is just such a tearful shame that a hoist in his own petard happened to a Bannon hench-person. That's just unfair.

Somebody ought to get that gentleman O'Keefe to do his ACORN bashing best to do an alternate, real news, item on the Bannon hench-person's being demonized by edited footage and perhaps some form of set-up, whatever the need and aim required.

Check that opening  CPAC shuffle link, O'Keefe may be a booked speaker. Fake floozy in tow. The entire dog/pony extravaganza. Or not. I did not take time to verify, but he'd make a fine last minute backup for the disinfranchised Bannon person. Of a feather; real news folks to the core.

There's rumor Andrew himself will be channeled, so pay attention, it's a prize winner for certain. The big mystery - which of the throng of presenters will be honored to do Andrew channeling; where he/she and all the others join hands around a table with a lit candle, and wait.

UPDATE: What would it be without Santorum? Don't worry. Be happy. He'll be there, not square.

FURTHER: Did a word search on that persenters page. O'Keefe not listed. No hit on word searching "Duke" either.

FURTHER: Carly Fiorina is booked. Her topic? Touched by an embryo part? Trump himself touted; he can be there to comment on the Fiorina appearance. (Again.)

Perez is Podesta, with one less syllable. But, business as it's been is Perez in a nutshell. Losses in elections are losses, but core elite survival on top the Democratic Party is his peoples' essentiality.

The headline is personal opinion. New Yorker publishes online (in a Feb. 27, 2017 print edition pre-release) a quite good item on Ellison/DNC, here. It is a focus piece on Ellison, but gentle in tone toward Perez; where headlining here need not be gentle, with truth trumping gentility.

To fully understand the Ellison conscience, and something that the New Yorker item briefly addressed, understand this:


That line of integrity (and campaigning enlightenment) is why people of integrity and impatience with the status quo embrace Ellison as the next DNC leader; Warren and Sanders being but two, along with pragmatists knowing "CHANGE" has to be more than a politician's slogan - e.g. Schumer and Harry Ried.

Perez, giving him some due credit, is likely brighter than Wasserman-Schultz is/was/ever will be, more like a Tim Kaine when he headed DNC, being there, moderate, ineffectual but bright and self assured. An allay of all the money and the Clinton "Third Way" disaster that put the party into tatters as Republican-lite. Less bad at that than the Clintons, probably now more careful in his emailing than Podesta; but basically Podesta-like in spirit, with a Hispanic name.

It failed. Eight Clinton years, NAFTA, all that stuff and the Podesta campaign for the second Clinton - think - either Perez and more of the same, or a broom shall be the 447 savants' decision; and with the decision making hinging upon obscurity vs reinvigoration. Ellison being the latter possibility. Ellison being a chance to capture and keep allegiance and activism of the young and suffering. Something the Democratic Party establishment has been tepid in approaching.

Ellison is sincere. That counts.

Ellison did not serve under that U.S. Attorney General who declined to put a single Wall Street crook in the slammer.

Nor did Ellison serve a cabinet position in the Obama-Biden administration, which declined to put a single Wall Street crook in the slammer.

Ellison is a core progressive. Bona fide in the Wellstone tradition.

Perez is status quo redux - with a half-hearted attempt at a veneer.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Trump has gotten insufficient positive recognition for a reform effort regarding administration member future lobbying curtailments.

Think John Podesta, and the Podesta brothers.

Trump's steps outlined: here, here, here, here, here, here.

This image, from second to last of the above linked items, shows one distinct individual not touched, unfortunately, by any executive branch lobbying reform. He should be. Members of both houses of Congress should be likewise banned/curtailed from lobbying revolving door usage; as well as Congressional staff persons.

The revolving door - it's swamp to be drained.

And nobody at the bureau gets fired.

This Strib link. Title, "Exurbs seek relief after sewer facilities built for growth come up short -- An idea by the Metropolitan Council 15 years ago to rein in sprawl by offering wastewater service to rural mini-cities hasn't panned out. It spent upward of $40 million building the sewer pipe for Elko New Market and a wastewater plant in East Bethel that the communities now can't afford.
By Eric Roper Star Tribune - February 20, 2017 — 7:19am."

Readers of that item will discover a key concern: Who has to pay and suffer and sacrifice for Met Council faulty practice and judgment? Nobody at the bureau gets fired; so clearly others pay.

Met Council has too many planners; one being too many given the way they pull outrageous growth projection numbers out of dark places, impose them while denying they impose anything, and jerk towns around by their Comp Plans. Met Council has gone so far as to litigate a wrongly-decided growth cramdown where it was unwanted; case online, reporting from then, here and here and with images, by MPR.

Met Council's Comp Plan periodic game has created a consultancy cottage industry of itinerant planners and forced towns to have staff planners in otherwise unneeded numbers. Boondoggle is but one term that comes to mind, along with the shorter word, "stupid"

Ramsey, where I live, had the CAB pipeline cramdown in the mid 1970's a big pipe run under the Mississippi River to connect an otherwise placid Anoka County with the Pigs Eye STP run by Met Council, CAB standing for Champlin, Anoka, Brooklyn Park. That pipe dream led local land speculators to gain a town council seat and push Ramsey Towne Centre, (as one of the promoter spouses wrote it = Ramsey Town Center, when spelled without pretense), which was a bad idea from the start and stands now as a lesson project that still is as much open land as built, a decade and a half after the unsound move by the politics of the then mayor/council, and James Norman as City Administrator - who later got his comeuppance while being himself in Albert Lea.

Statue dubbed on this blog
"Ben Dover, The Ramsey Taxpayer,"  
located across the street
from Ramsey's decade old
$19 million City Hall; which was
to be the anchor "catalyst" for
Ramsey Town Center prosperity.
The blog title "Developers are Crabgrass" notes the issue. It was begun as a forum of complaint because of the Ramsey Town Center bad judgments, and the name was chosen to reflect how Met Council has or appears to have been captured by developer interests to where the outrageous growth projections force towns to authorize more growth than they'd in wisdom ever permit; with developers then being able to cherry pick the land sites that suit their profit lusts best.

Crabgrass is unwanted, but it spreads if watered. Money and TIF being the water for this particular Crabgrass variant. And that consultancy brigade fed by Met Council; sandburs, the blog sub-title added after a particularly bad consultant was hired by Ramsey for one of its many sequentially required Comp Plans. A friend and former Ramsey council member characterized Met Council as "selling flushes" and dealing with Met Council's ever escalating demands as "arm wrestling with a ratchet." Since deceased, may the gentleman rest in peace. He nailed truth with apt wording.

This post is, of course, but one view of Met Council: Unneeded, heavy-handed, meddlesome, and costly without justification. Opinions can differ.

_______________UPDATE______________
Dreck put online - paid from tax dollars: The manner of galling propaganda the Mondale-led Met Council was churning out at taxpayer expense, to tout their existence and planning finesse, such as it was, is mirrored in these screen captures from the time - since scrubbed from the bureau's website, but archived:






Subsidized parking ramp - taxpayer money:



Reality Intervenes:

----------------------------snip----------------------------------




While some of that text, when images are clicked to enlarge and read, is fine print; the upshot after the last item, three officials at the loan originating bank pled guilty to criminal charges related to how they handled things. Then, after a period of bank foreclosure limbo, no developer takers for the mess; City of Ramsey "bought the farm" in that millions were paid to get the remaining distressed RAMSEY TOWN CENTER land out of foreclosure. City of Ramsey still has land there for sale, now, over a decade after the ill-fated, downright dumb thing was hatched. About a decate after it went SPLAT!

And nobody at the bureau gets fired.

________________FURTHER UPDATE______________
All that Smart Growth folly was spawned and advanced during Ted Mondale's watch as head honcho at Met Council.

So, after being responsible, as boss, for all mistakes; he got regarded with a six-figure paycheck to involve himself in the Wilfare situation; the billion dollar football stadium built for Vikings team owners, the Wilfs of New York. They put some money into it, and had the market value of their team franchise increase by far more; while welfare for the rich; a/k/a Wilfare, was done with Ted Mondale at the "stadium authority" helm. Until he resigned. Crony politics in all that double-dip saga, Met Council, then the Stadium helm? You decide.

______________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
As a post mortem, the entity Bruce Nedegaard used, Ramsey Town Center, LLC, inactive now, when last registered with the Secretary of State had Nedegaard's daughter, Christy Dahlberg as registered agent. The situation with the bankers/originating bank for the consortium loan is noted in this still online item. A helpful partial timeline of Ramsey Town Center events up to 2007 remains online, here.

A screencapture from the Dorsey firm indicates Ramsey Town Center, LLC, was a Dorsey client in some of its negotiations (no online indication found of any Dorsey involvement in financing arrangements which led to the banker indictments, however): see 2-page screen images, here and here. (Ramsey Town Center info is on the second page). It appears unclear online, datewise, when attorney Jay Lindgren left his position at Met Council and when he began representation of Ramsey Town Center, LLC on a project that had received Met Council grant assistance.

Again, despite all the slop, it appears nobody at the bureau got fired. If any reader is aware of online contrary evidence, a helpful comment to the post with a link would be appreciated.

FURTHER: One additional link, from adjudication that the bank lending consortium suffered no actual loss from the insiders bridge lending roughly $6 million, and paying themselves back first, before and rather than amortizing the $35 million consortium loan. Yes, they did front run the other debt, but they'd have never loaned the $6 million, without wanting it repaid, so they put in 6 and took out 6, before the consortium knew it was happening; this link. It is not unlike an extension of credit in a bankruptcy after the filing having a priority; except there was no bankruptcy filing at the time, that being so whether the promoter LLC was actually solvent or insolvent at the time. Had the bridge lenders forced a bankruptcy and then, with notice to all advanced $6 million with court approval, a priority as a matter of law would have been attained; presuming that any objection of any other creditor would have been heard and resolved before release of the cash. But it did not happen that way. The consortium on the hook for $35 million had no notice of the front running loan arrangement. It bought time based on hope, where the hope failed, and then there was dispute.

Strange. The court saw an analysis others might not have seen. A binding analysis.

FURTHER: The camel's nose under the tent. For historical completeness, this City of Ramsey resolution is the earliest item in city online records that I could find on the commitment to bring CAB Met Council sewer service - the connection to Met Council's Pigs Eye STP receptor network, across the Mississippi to where Anoka had its own STP and Ramsey had been developed via private well and septic systems to that point.



And once Met Council made that cross-river transit, it wanted to sell flushes, hence it promoted dense shared wall housing in what had been a detached single family large-lot housing town/area.