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Berniecrats Anonymous 12-Step Program

by Invenium Viam on July 17, 2018 · 0 comments

1. We admitted we were powerless over PC – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that an Independent Vermonter greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to Bernie as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of Hillary Democrats and other non-Bernie Democrats.
5. Admitted to Bernie, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of their moral inferiority.
6. Were entirely ready to have Our Revolution remove Boomers’ and Centrists’ defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Bernie to remove all their shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons who had harmed us and became willing to let them all make amends. Except for DWS. Not her.
9. Let such people make direct amends wherever possible, except when to do so would further injure our fragile self-esteem.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and, when other Democrats were wrong, promptly said so.
11. Sought through Instagram and Snapchat to improve our consciousness of Our Revolution, as we understood It, praying only for a Blue Wave for us and its power to carry our candidates.
12. Having had a Political Correctness Reawakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other Democrats and to force them to practice our principles in all their affairs. Still, if we lose the mid-terms, we’re all gonna go home and sulk.

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Farm Bill keeps crawling along

by Dan Burns on July 17, 2018 · 0 comments

corn“Next week” in the article means this week, now. It still seems likely that something very much like the Senate version of the bill – that is, no SNAP cuts or “work requirements”, about the same or even in a few cases slightly higher spending on conservation programs overall, etc. – is what will ultimately get through Congress. I don’t know whether Trump would sign that. My guess at this time is that he will, with little if any fuss, because he just doesn’t care about it beyond just wanting it out of the way.
 

The House could take an important step in moving farm bill talks forward next week by voting on a motion to proceed to conference — but Thursday (July 12) provided the latest indication that bad blood between House ag leaders is one of the many issues yet to be sorted out in the coming weeks.
 
House Ag Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) met Wednesday for the first time in eight weeks, according to Peterson…
 
Peterson indicated to reporters that the face-to-face got heated. “I was not easy on him, and I told him bluntly what I think, which I always do,” he said. “He didn’t like it, but I said I’m just telling what I think and I’m trying to be helpful.”
 
“We get this thing into conference next week and if people become sensible it won’t take long to do this,” Peterson said in a jab at House Republicans.
(Politico)

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Sports betting & jet set preachers

by JeffStrate on July 10, 2018 · 0 comments


 
This segment from the upcoming August 2018 edition of Democratic Visions stands on its own with no explanatory copy needed about Mike “Stretch” Gelfand or his ruminations about sports betting and of the private jet preachers sucking big bucks from Christian evangelical faith communities to spread their version of The Gospel.  Mike splashes tart vinegar on two of these popular pulpit scammers.
 
We do these programs with lefty volunteers and no budget through Southwest Community Television at Bloomington Community Access Television, BCAT. Democratic Visions is carried by community access channels in Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, Richfield, Bloomington, Champlin, Anoka, Andover, Ramsey, St. Paul, Minneapolis and, soon, St. Louis Park.

 

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Righteous lawsuits galore vs. Twin Metals

by Dan Burns on July 6, 2018 · 0 comments

sulfideWhatever it takes, to crush the Twin Metals proposal, is justified, from any and all environmental, economic, and ethical perspectives.
 

A group of nine northeastern Minnesota businesses and an environmental group sued the U.S. Department of the Interior (June 21), seeking to overturn the reinstatement last month of two federal mineral leases to a company seeking to build a copper-nickel mine near the border of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
 
The plaintiffs, which include a number of canoe outfitters and a resort around the wilderness, argue that the reinstatement of the leases to Twin Metals Minnesota was unlawful, and poses an immediate threat to their businesses, the outdoor recreation economy and the environment.
(MPR)

In addition to galvanizing our members to contact their members of Congress, The Wilderness Society filed a lawsuit June 25 challenging the Interior Department’s recent push to open the area’s fragile ecosystem to sulfide-ore copper mining.
 
We were joined by 2 other conservation groups opposed to the Interior Department’s reinstatement of two expired mineral leases held by Twin Metals Minnesota, a foreign-owned mining company, on Superior National Forest lands.
(The Wilderness Society)

On June 25, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from the sulfide-ore mine proposed by Twin Metals, a subsidiary of the Chilean-owned mining conglomerate Antofagasta.
(Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness)

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A Second American Civil War for Independence Day

by Eric Ferguson on July 3, 2018 · 1 comment

Artist's conception. Not actually an Alex Jones listener

Artist’s conception. Not actually an Alex Jones listener

I first heard verbally that the nutcase right had a new conspiracy theory that liberals are going to start a civil war on July 4th, which as I write this, is tomorrow. Damn, I haven’t even dug out my musket and bayonet yet! Anyway, I found the source, the source of so many tinfoil hat conservative conspiracy theories, Alex Jones (hat tip Johnny Wendell at Daily Kos).

 
Sane people know not to believe any of the craziness Alex Jones spews, but many trumpers believe him, including the Russian President of the United States, Trump. I don’t know what is more disturbing, that Trump and other bigoted lunatics believe him no matter how many times he’s proven to be making it up, or that some of them seem to want a new civil war. There’s an element of the extreme right that doesn’t want to start it, not because they don’t want it, but rather because everyone is the hero in his own story, which means they want us to start it. Mocking them is much more fun and much less deadly, so no. Hey guys, how are we going to start a war when you have all the guns? Could you share? Just to make the odds more even?

 
Of course, the Confederacy did get impatient waiting for the Union to invade and just went ahead and started the first civil war, so maybe best not to encourage them.

 
…READ MORE

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2018: Year of the Post-postfeminist DFL

by Invenium Viam on June 29, 2018 · 0 comments

Where the boys are
Someone waits for me,
A smiling face, a warm embrace,
Two arms to hold me tenderly…
Connie Francis, 1960

 

In early February of 2016, Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright told young women that it was “their duty to support Hillary Clinton” in her presidential campaign.

 

“We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done,” Ms. Albright, the first female Secretary of State in US history, said of the broader fight for women’s equality. “It’s not done. There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

 

A day earlier, Ms. Steinem had stumbled badly on the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher when she suggested in an Overtime segment that younger women were backing Mr. Sanders just so they could meet young men. “When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’ ” she said.

 

Those remarks drew an immediate, widespread and hostile reaction from young women across the country.

 

“Shame on Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright for implying that we as women should be voting for a candidate based solely on gender,” Zoe Trimboli, a 23-year-old from Vermont who supports Mr. Sanders and describes herself as a feminist, wrote on Facebook. “I can tell you that shaming me and essentially calling me misinformed and stupid is NOT the way to win my vote.”

 

Word. Keeping it real myself, I have to admit to a brief moment of schadenfreude. Having gotten an earful a time or two for insensitivity to the challenges facing women in a patriarchal society, most recently from my wife and daughter over the recent revisiting of the Bill Clinton / Monica Lewinsky scandal, I was kind of happy to see a feminist leader of the stature of Steinem get flamed. If anyone should get a pass for saying or doing something stupid, she should. They’re probably going to erect statues of Steinem in campus quadrangles around the country. Books and plays will be written about her life and leadership. They’ll name high schools after her. And after she passes, a movie will be made of her life and struggles entitled simply, ‘Gloria.’

 

The most I’ll ever get is an epitaph on a headstone that reads, ‘He tried hard not to be an sh*thead.’ Unless I outlive my wife and daughter, that is. Not likely.

 

As a political junkie, I noted this kerfuffle at the time as a potentially significant event demographically. After all, young women among the Mil-Gen′s who were voting for the first time in 2008 supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. Later, in 2016, polls showed they strongly supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton, prompting the reaction from Albright and Steinem and the counter-reaction just described. I began to wonder if these facts were a bellwether of an attitudinal change in gender relations; hence, a change in gender politics. I wondered if they weren’t early evidence of a post-postfeminist ethos forming among young Democrats.

 

Then came the revelations about Trump the pussy-grabber and serial womanizer. Then came the Women’s March. Then came Cosby, Weinstein, Lauer, Roy Moore, Louis CK, and dozens of others. Somewhere in there came the accusations locally against Rep. Tony Cornish, State Senator Dan Schoen, and US Senator Al Franken. All of which fit perfectly with the focus of Fourth-Wave feminism as defined by feminist writer Prudence Chamberlain: economic and social justice for women and opposition to sexual violence and sexual harassment. Nope, I thought, 2008 and 2016 were just the anomaly of two charismatic male candidates opposed by a uninspiring female candidate with a militant sense of entitlement and a caustic demeanor on the stump.

 

But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

 

Getcha Mojo Below the Fold, Moe

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trump13According to this, yeah, he might. And I for one certainly don’t put any insanely stupid thing beyond him.
 

President Trump has repeatedly told top White House officials he wants to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization, a move that would throw global trade into wild disarray, people involved in the talks tell Axios…
 
Why this matters: A U.S. withdrawal from the WTO would send global markets into a spiral and cast trillions of dollars of trade into doubt.
 
– It would also blow up an institution that for 70-plus years has been a pillar of global economic and political stability.
 
– The consequences of a U.S. withdrawal are so profound that, like Trump’s senior advisers, the trade community hasn’t seriously entertained the possibility that Trump would try to withdraw.
 
-A top trade lawyer in Washington said: “We think he’s nuts, but not that nuts.”
(Axios)

The article does note that withdrawal would also require approval from Congress. But you know as well as I do about how prone they’ve been to standing up to Trump on matters like these (until next January, anyway, we hope).
 
Regarding the photo, how can anyone not pick up on the overwhelming fear, greed, and corruption in that face, whatever its expression at any given moment?
 

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About the Janus ruling

by Dan Burns on June 28, 2018 · 2 comments

scotus2A couple of items:
 

A 2015 study found strong empirical evidence that unions may help children move up the economic ladder.
 
According to the study, the New York Times reports, “Children born to low-income families typically ascend to higher incomes in metropolitan areas where union membership is higher. The size of the effect is small, but there aren’t many other factors that are as strongly correlated with mobility.”
 
The positive impact of unions on children’s upward mobility isn’t exclusive to low-income children, the Times reporters note, and they extend beyond families with union workers to nonunion families too.
(Jeff Bryant/OurFuture.org)

After holding steady for decades, the percentage of American workers in all jobs who would say yes to join a union jumped sharply this past year, by 50%, says a new, independent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The evidence is clear: The popularity of the labor movement is surging as more people want to join unions than ever before. Every worker must have the freedom to negotiate in a union over pay, benefits and working conditions.
(AFL-CIO)

Comments below fold.
 
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cornFarm state – that is, most states, actually – legislators are worried, and things are moving along
 

Over the past few weeks, Congress moved forward on the 2018 Farm Bill. The Senate Agriculture Committee passed its version of the bill, and then the House of Representatives narrowly passed its version, a month after it was defeated over immigration issues. Within the $800 billion bill, big-ticket items like crop insurance and nutrition generate the most impassioned public debate. But beyond the proverbial meat and potatoes, there are many smaller sources of funding that provide vital support to the farming community.
 
A group of 12 funding sources, which the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) refers to as “tiny but mighty” programs, leverage a far greater impact than their cost might suggest. Primarily targeted at sustainable food systems across the U.S., they include programs such as the Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) Program, Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP), Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP), and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).
 
The House version of the farm bill strips these programs of over $350 million in funding, entirely removing a budget baseline for six of them. While farmers across the nation benefit from these programs, young and beginning farmers in particular would greatly benefit from ongoing investment in sustainable agriculture. The Senate farm bill would reauthorize funding for all but the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, and even strengthens many of the programs that provide additional support to young farmers.
(Civil Eats)

The House bill also contains attacks on food stamp recipients and bigger handouts for predatory corporations than ever. The Senate bill doesn’t, and something very much like it that clears a conference committee will likely get enough support from both parties in the House to pass there.
 
Will Trump sign it? Certainly his instincts are with the current House bill. But what with one thing and another, he may not care enough about farms and food to raise any ruckus over this.
 

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trump7Some recent items, to provide context for his visit yesterday.
 

When Republicans in Congress passed a big, fat tax break bill in December, they insisted it meant American workers would be singing “Happy Days Are Here Again” all the way to the bank.
 
The payoff from the tax cut would be raises totaling $4,000 to $9,000, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors assured workers.
 
But something bad happened to workers on their way to the repository. They never got that money.
 
In fact, their real wages declined because of higher inflation. At the same time, the amount workers had to pay in interest on loans for cars and credit cards increased. And, to top it off, Republicans threatened to make workers pay for the tax break with cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
 
So now, workers across America are wondering, “Where’s that raise?”
 
It’s nowhere to be found.
(OurFuture.org)

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