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Chip Cravaack

Actual flag of the United States: note the size and position of the blue square relative to the stripes; note the number of rows of stars and the pattern of stars in alternating rows; note the number and width of the stripes.

Conservatives are angry all the time.  The further to the extreme right, the higher the sustained anger level.


Fact and reason have nothing to do with this anger level.  The anger is real; the causes are not.


The condition of perpetual free-floating rage on the right is the result of careful and deliberate priming – read LYING – by the right wing propaganda machine.  They tell their gullible little stooges that things are BAD BAD BAD, and without a thought to fact checking a word of it, the right wingers fall into line and foam at the mouth on command.


You tend not to see these stories in the mainstream media, because they don’t survive the fact checking process.  Tell the truth about these ginned up incidents, no one gets angry.   It takes lies to anger the base.  It takes lies to unite the base in support of bad candidates as well.  There is so much of this propaganda, that the right cannot fully identify why they are so angry –  they just know they ARE.


To move on to the latest of these manipulated anger political dramas, specifically about the flag (there are entire separate persistent right wing propaganda themes, memes, or genres, although they do sometimes overlap – black people are thugs, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc.), here are a couple of the more recent ones.  The flag propaganda series posts illustrate qualities common to all of the different propaganda themes.


Nothing says patriotism like cars made in Korea……..or not.  Hey, I’m all for trade, so long as we have an even playing field to compete, but it is an issue in the TPP that we are suffering from some bad provisions of past trade agreements with South Korea, and Kia is just one of the imports that contribute to those problems of lost jobs and trade imbalance.


So in that larger world economics context, I was equal parts angry and amused at the latest two examples of right wing propaganda that usurps legitimate patriotism and hijacks the flag for purposes of propaganda.  Both take place in Florida, one in Sunrise, one in West Palm Beach.


Note that there is no upper  (viewers) left hand corner of blue (technically a canton) with 50 stars representing 50 states, but rather the blue takes up slightly less than half of the flag.   The number of stars in each row, and the arrangement of stars in each row also appear to be incorrect.


photo of the so-called ‘American Flags’ being flown at the Kia dealership in West Palm Beach.

Moving on to the ‘stripes’ of the flag, they are the wrong width, and there are more than the 13, representing the original colonies, that appear on our American flag.




This is a form of bunting, which is prohibited by local ordinance, apparently intended to keep dealerships from unduly junking up the municipality.


Ebola Political Ad  Large 1The Hagedorn campaign for CD-1 against Tim Walz has taken a hard right turn for the nastier foolish propaganda as the date for the election nears.  This is intended to appeal to the right wing neo-con hatriots, the ones who are the most science illiterate on the right, and who never met a war they didn’t like (so long as someone else fought it, and paid for it).


Not only does it fear monger to the anti-immigrant bigots, reaching for the broadest possible appeal among that ugly, wilfully ignorant demographic, but it reflects the attempt by the right to turn Ebola into a big dumb stick with which to try to beat Obama, in the hopes that it might at least indirectly damage any and every Democrat in the country running for office through guilt by association.


I’ve been watching this trend of right wing propaganda for a few weeks now.  It includes the usual suspects in the right wing propaganda machine, beginning with Alex Jones and his silly info-wars, claiming that the President and the CDC are LYING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ABOUT EBOLA!


In support of that red meat for the conspiracy theory crowd, they offer a publication in the Lancet, cited in the New York Times back in 2000 to argue that people riding the bus with you could appear perfectly healthy, not having any Ebola symptoms (you know, like bleeding from every orifice, looking like a Zombie), not even feeling ill, AND STILL SPREAD THE DISEASE TO EVERY AMERICAN (especially the right-wing red-blooded ones).  They don’t even have to eat your brain, or bite you (wait…that’s vampires, not zombies), all they have to do is breathe or sneeze on you!  You can get it like flu, from doorknobs, even if they don’t bite you or eat your brain!


Of course, the righties don’t actually READ these studies that gin them up and send them to the polls, but I do.  That 14 year old study appears to be an outlier, doesn’t appear to have been replicated anywhere; while another  referring to a few pig farmers in the Philippines who never showed any symptoms of having ‘the Ebola’, but who did register a weak immune response to it, suggesting they had been infected by it at some point in time.  Apart from the fact that it appears you can be infected and not be symptomatic, from the two different reports, it does NOT appear you can actually infect someone while asymptomatic, as no documented case of doing so appears anywhere.

from the original 2000 Lancet article:

The Lancet study does not warn of an apocalyptic scenario where any casual contact could cause infection. It is more focused on contagion through sex or blood transfusions.


It should be noted that NEITHER study claims that Ebola can be transmitted by asymptomatic individuals, or that anyone, anywhere, EVER, caught ‘the Ebola’ from asymptomatic individuals.  But part of the fear being generated by fliers like the one above, of ISIS suicide terrorists infected with Ebola is that they might not LOOK or FEEL sick enough to be identifiable, and if they lose their obvious terrorist outfits, they could walk among us — like ZOMBIES AND VAMPIRES!– infecting us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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DFL state convention live blog

by Eric Ferguson on June 1, 2014 · 8 comments

I’m at the DFL state convention, and I’ll be live blogging it, which means I’ll be posting updates below. The video above is an introduction similar to this, just for kicks. Feel free to subscribe to my channel. I may post video updates if opportunity arises, but I’ll generally be where people are trying to talk or people are trying to hear, so no promises, but I’ll see if I can show some of what goes on at a convention. Otherwise I’ll be posting what’s happening, maybe with an opinion since I’m allowed to do that. It’s a blog you know, and I’m not pretending to be a reporter or to be without biases. Jump to a preview of what’s going to happen.
Late Saturday update: The Saturday portion of this live blog got very long and made the front page a long scroll, and there are other posts worth reading. So I’m putting the “read more” below this paragraph, and the time stamped updates start on the jump. As expected, life required my presence at home, but I plan to live blog Sunday too, if I can get The Uptake’s stream working for me (quickie update: it worked). I suppose it depends on traffic, but I should have a better connection anyway. The mining resolution is expected to be the controversial part of the platform debates. Guess we’ll watch and see. Some things, like the constitution changes, might be inside baseball, but leave a question in the comments and I’ll try to answer.


Redistricting: Partisan numbers for proposed maps

by TonyAngelo on November 21, 2011 · 0 comments

Redistricting MinnesotaI tried to resist the urge to break this up into multiple posts and instead just do one big post comparing all the proposals. That post quickly grew to unmanageable proportions though, so I’m going to go ahead and break it up anyway.

So, today I’m going to go over the partisan numbers of the proposed districts and tomorrow I’ll start breaking down the districts themselves.

The three proposals are from the Britton, Hippert (GOP) and Martin (DFL) intervenors. The Hippert map is old news, as it is the same map that passed through the GOP controlled legislature earlier this year and was vetoed by Governor Dayton. The two other maps are interesting in their similarities and their differences; drawing rural Minnesota almost exactly the same but taking completely different approaches in the metro area.

Cutting to the chase though; here are the Obama percentages for the three maps:

Obama % for proposed maps
CD Britton Hippert Martin Old
1 52% 51% 52% 51%
2 45% 49% 45% 48%
3 50% 50% 55% 52%
4 64% 64% 62% 64%
5 72% 74% 73% 74%
6 48% 45% 43% 45%
7 47% 45% 48% 47%
8 53% 56% 54% 53%

Here is the same table with the Average Democratic vote numbers instead of the Obama numbers:

Ave Dem % for proposed maps
CD Britton Hippert Martin Old
1 52% 51% 52% 51%
2 45% 48% 44% 47%
3 48% 47% 53% 50%
4 62% 63% 61% 64%
5 71% 73% 73% 74%
6 48% 45% 44% 45%
7 48% 47% 49% 49%
8 57% 58% 57% 57%

What follows now are two tables showing the differences between the proposed map and the existing map by subtracting the partisan numbers of the old map from the new one. What this will tell us is if a district is made more Democratic or more Republican (positive numbers mean more Democratic, negative more Republican):

New Obama % minus Old
CD Britton Hippert Martin
1 1.1% -0.3% 0.7%
2 -3.4% 0.6% -2.9%
3 -2.1% -2.6% 2.9%
4 -0.9% -0.7% -2.4%
5 -2.2% -0.2% -0.7%
6 3.7% 0.1% -1.8%
7 -0.4% -2.5% 0.1%
8 -0.1% 2.8% 0.9%

And here’s the table for the Ave Dem vote:

Ave Dem % for proposed maps
CD Britton Hippert Martin
1 1.1% -0.3% 0.8%
2 -2.8% 1.0% -3.4%
3 -1.6% -2.8% 2.9%
4 -1.1% -0.7% -2.5%
5 -2.7% -0.3% -0.8%
6 3.4% 0.3% -0.7%
7 -0.4% -1.3% 0.0%
8 0.0% 1.5% 0.6%

Getting to incumbent pairings; the Martin map draws Michele Bachmann’s residence into CD4, and Chip Cravaack’s residence into CD6, while keeping the vast majority of their constituents in their previous districts. As the Martin intervernor’s point out in their brief though, there is almost no chance that either of these Representatives would run in their new districts.

If you look at the numbers above though you can see what the different maps are trying to do. The Hippert map is clearly attempting to maximize Republican advantages, the Martin map is attempting to maximize DFL advantages and the Britton map, well, I don’t really know what that map is trying to do other than get rid of Michele Bachmann.

The Hippert Map

This map tries to keep the status quo in the metro area, with all of the metro districts retaining the majority of their constituents. It’s northern Minnesota that this map seeks to change the most, dramatically changing the makeup of CDs 7 and 8. I’ve already been over this map though.

The Britton Map

This map shores up Tim Walz in CD1 a bit and shifts a bunch of Democratic voters into CD6, in an apparent attempt to make it a competitive district. But in the process of doing so this map makes CD’s 2 and 3 redder and for the most part unattainable by Democrats for another ten years.

The Martin Map

Which brings us to the Martin map. I’ll try and tamper my excitement a little, but there’s a lot  for Democrats to like in this map. Tim Walz gets a little help in CD1, and CD8 loses it’s southern conservative counties, making it a point bluer. But the real prize of this map is CD3, which becomes winnable for Democrats, not only in partisan leanings, but the district incorporates lot’s of new constituents who have never before voted for Eric Paulsen.

If you’re a Democrat, there is nothing about the Martin map that should upset you. I’ll repeat that for those who may have read that line a little too quickly, the Martin map is a good map for Democrats.

So why is it then that some Democrats are complaining about this map?

Perhaps they’re just really big Johnny Depp fans.

Cause They're Cry Babies