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by Dog Gone on October 25, 2016 · 0 comments

We’ve heard Donald Trump claim that Hillary shouldn’t be president because Bill Clinton had infidelities.  To be specific, Trump claims Bill Clinton was a sexual predator, the worst in the history of the presidency.  Specifically per the AP, Trump said this:


 “But Bill Clinton has sexually assaulted innocent women and Hillary Clinton was attacking those women viciously.”
“Bill Clinton was the worst abuser of women to ever sit in the Oval Office. He was a predator,”

There is no credible evidence that Hillary ever attacked these women, much less viciously.  She did stand by Bill through rough going, but that is arguably evidence commitment to traditional marriage, not of abuse of anyone else.  Trump in contrast has not only demeaned and vilified his accusers, he has threatened them with law suits.  (Prediction, I expect counter suits, and that Trump will drop his suits, and pay these women to settle theirs.)


But as to the claims against Bill Clinton, I would argue that as sexual escapades in the White House go, he’s been among the less egregious, not the worst.  More on that below, but first an examination of the allegations against “President Bubba”.


To get specific, Bill Clinton had five formal allegations of sexual misconduct; the claims of Juanita Broadderick, Kathleen Willey, and Paula Jones, have not been established.  They exist as accusations of dubious authenticity, given Broadderick and Willey both testified under oath that Clinton never made unwanted advances.  Further Willey had a history of false accusations, which included telling a boyfriend she was pregnant, when she was not, and then claiming a miscarriage that she didn’t have.  Linda Tripp of Monica Lewinsky scandal fame claimed it was Willey who was obsessed from day 1 with seducing the President.


Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky both appeared to have had some kind of sexual relationships but not apparently coitus with Lewinsky.  Bill Clinton admitted to a one time sexual relationship with Flowers. She couldn’t prove otherwise, and offered up what appeared to be doctored phone calls that did not prove a long term sexual relationship.


Gennifer Flowers used her notoriety for profit, to the tune of $500,000.  All of the women who have appeared with Donald Trump prior to his second debate, both alleged victims of Bill Clinton, and a very questionable rape victim, were paid to do so, to the tune of $2,5000 each, and their stories conflict with prior accounts of events, including Grand Jury testimony under oath.


Hillary has also been accused of laughing at the alleged victim of a rape case, presumably thereby abusing HER,  where she had no option out of defending the accused rapist, whom she got a plea deal.  She did laugh at the botched case of the prosecution, and she was recorded laughing at the unreliability of polygraph testing, which showed the accused rapist to be innocent.  But she did NOT laugh at the victim.  Further complicating the rape case, the 12 year old victim had consensual sex with a 15 year old boy prior to the accused rape, and had previously made false accusations of bodily attacks.


Hillary Clinton tried to get out of defending her client, but she got a good outcome for her client (a plea deal, not an acquittal)  because he passed a polygraph test, and because of lack of evidence and mishandling of evidence by the prosecution.  It was her duty as a defense attorney to do so; she did her job. The victim previously supported the defense role of Hillary before it became profitable to object to her.


In contrast so far as can be established, there are more women who have credibly come forward to make accusations against Trump, and NONE of them have been paid to do so, and none of them have been credibly contradicted by others in defense of Trump, except by Trump himself who makes a highly suspect denial, much less contradicted themselves.


In contrast Bill Clinton, who turned 70 this past August,  has had no sex scandals since Monica Lewinsky back in the 1990s.  Trump, who also turned 70 this past June, has had sex scandals pretty much right up until he decided to run for President, which he announced in 2015.  These include a law suit for multiple violent rapes of a 13 year old, to other accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment.  Trump’s accusations are distinctive in how consistently they are not consensual – although he has had consensual affairs as well.  He admits to having cheated on Ivana, his first wife, with Marla Maples, his second wife, and to having cheated on Maples with multiple women, including his third wife.  He has been recorded multiple times admitting to have at least attempted to cheat on Melania Trump, his third wife.


Putting Bill Clinton’s conduct in context, and at the same time putting the claims that Hillary Clinton jeopardized the security of the country with her email problems, I offer you a few examples of bad presidential conduct. Richard Nixon – yes, Tricky Dicky – had an ongoing affair with a Communist Chinese woman with close ties to Chinese Generals.  MI-6 recorded his sex-capades and head of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover got his own dirt on Dick, and used it to blackmail him.  Trump campaign staffer and key adviser to Donald Trump was in the Nixon White House and is one of those who confirm the story.  Both JFK and Gerald Ford had affairs with an East German Communist spy, by the name of Ellen Rometsch, with both being allegedly blackmailed, again by J. Edgar Hoover. Ford was not president at the time, but allegedly was blackmailed for information from the Warren Commission on the JFK assassination.  JFK was far more of a sexual predator and serial philanderer than Bill Clinton, including alleged sexual impropriety with interns. Ronald Reagan had a credible accusation of rape while president as well – but that was while he was Screen Actors Guild president, not US president.


Arguably black mail of the president is a far greater danger to the security of the United States than a private email server with very low level information on it.  And if one takes a look at the totality of presidential history when it comes to inappropriate sexual conduct, there are few who pass scrutiny.  George Washington has been credibly accused of having a long term sexual relationship with a slave named Venus and a speculative one with a certain Mrs. Fairfax.  Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemmings has been established by DNA evidence, and possibly began when she was as young as 16.  This is not unique to recent presidents.  The founding fathers had more than their fair share of bastards.


Looking at presidents from WW II forward, the only apparent cases where there were no credible accusations of infidelity or sexual misconduct, before, during or after their presidency were Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter and Harry Truman.  Both Bushes appear to have had affairs – more than one, and Dubya was accused of rape. Looking back before WW II across the 19th century, there were not only heterosexual affairs, some with presidential bastard offspring, there were rumors of homosexual relationships attributed (at different times in history) to both presidents Abraham Lincoln and James Buchanan.


So, no, Bill Clinton is FAR from the worst president in terms of keeping himself safely in his pants, and he seems considerably less bad in that regard than the conduct of Donald Trump, past and recent past if not present.  That is IF you look at factual histories of our presidents and their most private conduct.  Just a word to the wise, before you take a look at our unsanitized history – you will NOT be able to look at Mount Rushmore, or stamps with presidents on them, or money, quite the same way again afterwards.


MN-08: Hooting at that KSTP poll

by Dan Burns on October 24, 2016 · 2 comments

stewartjobHey, it’s possible that it’s right. Part of scientific thinking is that technically anything is “possible.” But when you’ve been following elections and polling for quite a while now, it’s OK to apply some experience-based common sense to the proceedings. That’s what I’m looking to do, here.
The polling was actually done by Survey USA, commissioned by KSTP. KSTP’s news is the closest local approximation to what Fox “News” is nationally, and the brand is owned by the extremely conservative and also extremely wealthy Stanley Hubbard.

In a rematch of one of the closest congressional races in the country two years ago, Republican Stewart Mills leads Democratic incumbent Rick Nolan by four points in Minnesota’s 8th District, 45 percent to 41 percent, in our exclusive KSTP/SurveyUSA poll…
However, even a superior get-out-the-vote operation might be more difficult in 2016 because the top of the Democratic ticket, Hillary Clinton, appears to be very unpopular in the 8th District. Our poll shows Republican Donald Trump with a 12-point lead over Clinton, 47 percent to 35 percent.

The Lake Superior-sized red flag is immediately apparent. President Obama won this district in 2012 by 5.5%, and we’re supposed to believe that this time it’s going to go for Trump by 12, at a time when Donald could well be looking at a double-digit landslide loss, nationally. While for all I know such a four-year swing in a congressional district anywhere would not be unprecedented, it is certainly extremely rare and would require extraordinary circumstances.
A far more likely explanation is that you get a number like that by massively overpolling Trump’s base of conservative old people. Which if you look at the polling internals you will see is exactly what they did.


Minneapolis school board election 2016

by Dan Burns on October 23, 2016 · 0 comments

minneapolis_skyline__heroMinneapolis has been, and remains, far and away the biggest pro-public schools vs. deformers stage in the state. This excellent article from Southwest Journal has candidate profiles and links to websites.

Four of the nine seats on the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education are up for general election on November 8, 2016. Incumbent Kim Ellison is running for the at-large seat, leaving her District 2 seat open for a newcomer. She faces challenger Doug Mann. The race for the open District 2 seat features candidates Kimberly Caprini and Kerry Jo Felder. In District 4, incumbent Josh Reimnitz is running against challenger Bob Walser. In her bid for re-election in District 6, incumbent Tracine Asberry faces challenger Ira Jourdain. In addition to choosing which candidates to add to the board, citizens of the district will vote on an operating referendum.

If you click that Ballotpedia link and scroll down some, you will also see information on the operating referendum question.
Ellison, Felder, Walser, and Jourdain are endorsed by the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, and the DFL. According to the SW Journal article, they “see eye-to-eye on the issues and are running as a team.”
All that I can tell you for sure is that Reimnitz is a deformer. I don’t know who all may be getting deformer “dark” money in this election; I couldn’t find a convenient source for that, and I have neither the time nor the expertise to pore through individual campaign reports. Anyone who knows more is more than welcome to comment here or on our Facebook page. From their website it appears that Minnesota Comeback, the new face of the deformer movement in this state, hasn’t endorsed anybody. They just might realize that doing so could well be an electoral liability for any “favored” candidate(s).


Using the courts to screw working people

by Dan Burns on October 21, 2016 · 0 comments

greed2It’s long been a favored right-wing tactic, and it’s successful all too often. Though I’m reasonably confident that neither of these will be backed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, when they get that far.

Minneapolis small business owners are speaking out against a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce lawsuit challenging the city’s new earned sick and safe time ordinance.
“The ordinance that was passed represents a compromise that was negotiated and supported by a vast majority of our community, including small businesses like us,” said Andy Pappacosta, events coordinator at Gandhi Mahal and Main Street Alliance of Minnesota member. “This lawsuit is being led by a select number of businesses, and does not represent many small business owners who have deep roots in our community.”
On Friday, the Chamber announced it had filed suit in Hennepin County District Court to challenge the ordinance on the grounds it conflicts with state law.
In May, the Minneapolis City Council made history by passing the state’s first ordinance requiring employers to provide earned sick and safe time.
(Workday Minnesota)

A yearslong battle over unionization of personal care attendants continued Wednesday as a handful of them sued three state agencies, asserting state government has illegally withheld information they need in their drive to decertify the union that represents them.
The attendants trying to decertify the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) must produce thousands of signatures by December to force a vote on decertification. In their lawsuit, they claim that state agencies have refused to hand over the most recent and accurate lists of workers. Without it, they have been unable to find PCAs who might sign their petition to break up the union…
Myron Frans, Minnesota Management and Budget commissioner, said state officials are not allowed to turn over the data.
(Star Tribune)

Lest anyone think that second one is really just a few regular folks, without corporate backing and manipulation (from the same article):

Doug Seaton, an attorney who represents employers and has litigated against PCA unionization for several years, is representing the plaintiffs. The news conference on their behalf was organized by the Center of the American Experiment, a conservative think tank.


Hann Meets Cwod

by JeffStrate on October 20, 2016 · 1 comment

Minnesota Senate Minority Leader David Hann is seeking a fifth consecutive term in the Minnesota Senate. He represents Senate District 48, southern Minnetonka and all of Eden Prairie.


Challenger and first time canididate Steve Cwodzinski has recently been endorsed by former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson (R) and former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale (DFL).   I have met the recently retired Eden Prairie High School teacher and debut candidate several times this year, most recently for the taping of a discussion with DFL elder Tim O’Brien for Democratic Visions.


‘Cwod’ (pronounced ‘swod’ – a nickname that his students long ago attached to him), seems to be energized by the same progressive, populist currents that propelled Paul and Shiela Wellstone. Cwod, however, has a more engaging sense of humor then the Wellstones, who are among Steve’s heros. Cwodzinski is from a Superior, Wisconsin working class family and says that he will fight to get Minnesotans paid medical and family leaves and equal pay for equal work.


Steve says he will also work to close loopholes in gun laws that continue to enable criminals and domestic abusers to acquire guns. He will work to ease the severe, statewide shortage of school counselors and to get more 4-year olds into pre-school programs to fix what he calls “the opportunity gap.” Although Southwest Light Rail has found local funding to qualify for a federal matching grant and is moving forward, Cwodzinski has been aligned with local Chambers of Commerce and the elected City Councils of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka in support of the project. David Hann, the buttoned-down obstructionist, has not.


Senate District 48 is seen as a can win opportunity by the DFL and the left of center PACs. Cwod’s campaign itself, has been infused with an unusually high number of un-paid volunteers; former students who are energized and social media savvy.

Comment below fold.

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I have long contended that unless and until we have consensus by proof of what is and is not factual, we won’t have any functional unity.  I don’t want to see us continue to become increasingly dysfunctional as a nation.


Lies fuel extremism.  Lies fuel fears.


I fact checked the graphic above after finding it on the FB page of someone who expressed an alarming degree of hatred for Hillary, before, during, and after the debate.  I am confident that the reasons this person has for his emotions are ALL as false as the image above, which I took from his FB page.


Images like this keep popping up on right wing posts on social media.


It is false. But it goes a long way towards explaining the poorly informed right wing response of boos when Hillary CORRECTLY stated her FACTUAL position on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — a document she knows well and understands thoroughly.


We have a serious problem with gun violence; our rates are 25 times higher, especially gun violence involving either child victims and/or child shooters.  So long as one side of the issue refuses to be factually accurate, we can’t do anything to successfully resolve this public health issue.


Here is what is wrong with the above image; it is entirely FAKE, both parts. Because conservatives LIE when the facts are not on their side; and this is one more example of it. …READ MORE


mn_capitolWes Volkenant is running in 35B, in the north metro. It’s R+9, but certainly doable this year.

If elected, Wes Volkenant will work to strengthen the public employee union process in Minnesota, fight for a stronger PERA and TRA, and vigorously oppose any Republican efforts to diminish teacher rights in the classroom and through the seniority process.

I wrote about this one late last year, when Volkenant declared. You can click to find out more about why Bachmannite Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) doesn’t belong in political office. Click on this one, from Developers are Crabgrass, also.

Also in the north metro, Rep. Jerry Newton (DFL-Coon Rapids) is running for the open Senate seat in district 37, which goes D+1. This is not actually a “pickup opportunity,” as the race is to replace retiring Sen. Alice Johnson (DFL-Spring Lake Park), but I’m noting it anyway.

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Disney’s Dumbo, with elephant, mouse and crows

Tonight’s debate has something in common with not one, but two, very dissimilar movies, and with a circus.  Pop yourself some popcorn, and settle in.


The fantasy animation feature about a circus, “Dumbo the Elephant”, was released by Disney Studios in 1941, and included a character with the unfortunate name of Jim Crow (voiced by Cliff Edwards, who earlier in 1940 did the voice of Jiminy Cricket in the animated classic Pinnochio).


In 2015, the Academy Award winning movie Spotlight, about the Boston Globe’s efforts to expose serial sexual predator pedophile priest  was released.


Tonight we can expect some of the circus style entertainment from substance challenged candidate Donald  Trump, who has prepared for this evening’s debate, much as he prepared for the second debate, by attempting to distract with ugly spectacle, or what one might term a circus.


Trump’s circus will feature a mother who lost her son in the Benghazi attack, who wrongly blames Hillary Clinton.  While I feel great sympathy for this woman’s loss, I feel far less sympathy that she is attempting to victimize someone else with a false attribution of blame.


The other feature of tonight’s Trump Circus will be the half-brother of President Obama, a pathetic individual reminiscent of Billy Carter, President Carter’s feckless brother, in his lack of intellect or success. For some inexplicable reason, Malik Obama holds dual Kenyan and US citizenship, and has been voting since 1980.  His reasoning for supporting Trump are pretty thin:


“This Trump guy is a really cool guy and I like him because he speaks from his heart and he is so down to earth,” said the older Obama then. The wire service reported he held dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Kenya and that he has voted in American elections since the 1980s.

Trump may soon have something in common with Malik Obama: HuffPost Pollster shows it’s likely the magnate will lose by significant margins come Election Day, much like when Malik Obama lost a bid for a Kenyan governorship in 2013, also by big margins.

From other reporting, in the UK, quoting Malik, who admits to 3 current wives.  One of the few things Malik has in common with Trump is a lack of monogamy, and alleged domestic violence.:


“There have been 12 wives since my first marriage in 1981, when Barack was my best man. I have done my best with all of them, along with the children.”

And: “I don’t beat my wives, as has been alleged. It’s all b******t. I categorically deny the allegations said to have come from my wife.”

And while we are on the subject of bad causes supported by Malik Obama, he apparently knew and liked horrific dictator Moamar Kaddaffi, and lobbied Barack Obama to keep him in power.  What Trump has proposed while campaigning and his notion of how government works generally is fascist and authoritarian, which would appeal to someone who likes dictators.


Malik Obama is notoriously pro-Islamic terrorists; sadly part of the incompetence of Trump is his failure to vet his supporters.  This certainly argues he is incapable of effective so-called extreme vetting.  From Winning Democrats:

Now, there’s a reason President Obama doesn’t associate with his Kenyan half-brother, and Trump may not be aware of it — Malik Obama supports Hamas, and was photographed in 2012 wearing one of the terror group’s scarves with the slogans “Jerusalem is ours – we are coming” and “From the river to the sea,” a statement that asserts Israel doesn’t exist at all.



Why I think the rural/urban divide is drivel

by Dan Burns on October 19, 2016 · 0 comments

farmhouseOK, not entirely “drivel.” It must be acknowledged that on the whole city and country residents have tended to vote differently. (It’s been that way for a long time, though one could well get the impression from establishment punditry that the “divide” has only become really fundamental to Minnesota politics pretty recently, just as things are really starting to look demographically bleak for conservatism. Coincidence, no doubt.) But the phrase “rural/urban divide” is primarily a misleading construct being used politically, especially by corporate media, to help continue to con people into voting for conservatives.
(It actually should be “rural/metro divide.” The idea is to keep outstate residents angry at the Twin Cities metro, which supposedly gets all of the political attention and goodies, and not at places like St. Cloud and Red Wing. But since “rural/urban” has been established as the standard, albeit a (probably deliberately) misleading one, it’s what I’m using here.)
My parents grew up on farms, which stayed in the families and where close relatives still live. I’ve sometimes lived in densely populated settings, but mostly in small-town ones. I suppose that this background helps fuel my take (which, as always, is just my take, not some pretense to complete, final, and absolute truth). Which is that when you get right down to it, people – people with families in particular – pretty much have the same problems and concerns, wherever they live. And they share the same kinds of frustrations when those are not being addressed. It’s not just inner-city public school infrastructure that needs a big upgrade. And plenty of metro streets and roads also drive like something out of Wagon Train. And everyone wants good jobs, wherever they live. And so on.


Going into the final debate

by Dog Gone on October 18, 2016 · 0 comments

I predict Trump will lose, lose the debate, lose the election.


I predict Trump will continue to embarrass himself.


I predict Trump will continue his failed attempt to focus NOT on his opponent Hillary but on still-popular former President Bill Clinton and President Obama.


I predict Trump will be consistently, persistently factually inaccurate to an extreme degree.


I predict Trump will continue to claim the election is rigged and to promote conspiracy theories, and to whine whine whine whine whine about how he is a victim. He is a victim of no one but himself.


I predict Trump will NOT be focusing on his ‘proof’ that his accuser of sexual assault in the first class of an airline, reported by the New York Times, was false. His proof turned out to be a proven serial liar and self-professed pedophile pimp from the UK, who does not appear to have been in the US at the time, who has never had the funds to fly first class, and who would have been only 17 or 18 when the attack occurred and who had no legitimate business or other purpose to be in the US at that time.


It is worth noting that President Obama may be the most popular president in history, as he concludes his second term. As of multiple polling from October 6 through October 17th , Real Clear Politics shows him with a polling average of 52.7 approval.


Breaking it down by individual polls listed over at RCP, the approval numbers for Obama are:

Gallup 54

Rasmussen 51


Fox News 57

GWU/ Battleground 53

Economist/Yougov 49

Reuters/Ipsos 52

During the previous election, it was harder to get a ticket to an event where Bill Clinton was appearing than it was to get in to see the President. There aren’t a lot of current stats for Bill Clinton, but his second term average, per this Gallup poll, was 61% for his second term, with a high point of 73% approval. Polling had President Bubba’s approval rating for early to mid-August of this year at 53%, with his prior recent approvals running 57% to 60%.


So, as a strategy, attacking EITHER Bill Clinton or Barack Obama is not a particularly clever idea, and the notion of attacking Bill’s infidelities, from 20 years ago, when there haven’t been any new scandals, and when he was hitting some of his highest approval ratings back during the Monica Lewinsky days……….again, not likely to …READ MORE