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The final scrum in St. Paul

by JeffStrate on May 16, 2017 · 0 comments

DFL strategist/consultant Darin Broton and DFL statesman Tim O’Brien take measure of the coming proceedings at the Minnesota Capitol.  The legislators need to finish their work come Monday May 22.  But it’s never over until its over when the special session remains an option.  This Broton/O’Brien discussion is an exclusive, on-line, Democratic Visions Channel presentation.


Democratic Visions is hand made by unpaid lefty volunteers from Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins and Bloomington. Our program is not financially supported or endorsed by any political party, political action committee or special interest group.



Trumped: Trump’s Right! The Media IS The Enemy!

by Bill Prendergast on April 18, 2017 · 0 comments


Script/Layouts: Bill Prendergast Art: Will Dinski


Meanwhile, Back On The Farm

by Bill Prendergast on March 24, 2017 · 0 comments


Script/Layout: Bill Prendergast Art: Caitlin Skaalrud


Juicy Mouthful of Deep-Fried Suckers

by Bill Prendergast on January 25, 2017 · 0 comments



Another famous New Yorker, Yogi Berra, once said, “We may be lost but we’re making good time.” That pretty much sums up the current state of Rudy Giuliani’s political reality and doesn’t bode well for his future.


When it comes to Rudy Giuliani, I want to be upfront from the start. I’ve lived in New York City most of my adult life and I have greatly benefited from having lived here. I voted for Rudy Giuliani every time he ran for mayor. He used to live around the corner and down the block from where I’ve lived for the past 30 years. I had the misfortune, one weekend evening, of sitting two tables away from the Giuliani family in an Upper Eastside restaurant. I was more than taken aback when the man who had rid the streets of “squeegee pests” along with high and low priced hookers couldn’t control his own children as they ran riot about the dining floor. Giuliani was as oblivious to his children’s behavior as he was to the displeasure they caused the patrons trying to enjoy dinner that evening.


If you’re not a New Yorker of long standing or one who has resided in the greater metropolitan area for a number of years your opinion of Rudy Giuliani is more likely than not a function of your memories of the September 11 terror attack and his response thereto, which was undoubtedly heroic. His performance in the aftermath of 9/11 led many media pundits to portray Giuliani as an “American Churchill”, something my British friends, both liberal and conservative, roundly derided. However’ if you’ve been here awhile you know full well that the day before 9/11/2001 Rudy Giuliani was pretty much a political has been, having sunk to the level of a political afterthought. He was perceived, socially, as a bit of a buffoon. Prior to 9/11, Mayor Giuliani had made a spectacle of himself, in an unflattering way, by openly discussing his failed marriage in public even before he had completely done so privately with his wife. This was an affront to polite society in particular and viewed with disdain by the public generally. Thus in many ways his latest attack on the persona of Barack Obama is best viewed as Giuliani running true to form. In other words, Rudy Giuliani has regressed to his personal political mean.



A Mike “Stretch” Gelfand sighting

by JeffStrate on September 10, 2014 · 0 comments

 Sorem Strate & Gelfand

Mike Gelfand (right) with producer Jeff Strate (center) and video journalist Bill Sorem on July 31 at the Bloomington Community Access Television studio to tape Democratic Visions.  Photo by Ron Levitus.


Joan Rivers, Lewis Black, Jackie Vernon and Phyllis Diller were among the comedians Mike “Stretch” Gelfand and I talked about yesterday (September 4th) during a retreat to a Linden Hills caffeine pump, a kind of comfort zone for chronically under employed Wi-Fi junkies. We were unaware that Joan had passed away in Manhattan earlier in the afternoon but understood that she was on her way out.


I recalled a scene in the riveting 2010 documentary “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” in which a stoked-up heckler in a rural Wisconsin casino fails to shame Rivers for pitching one-liners about Hellen Keller. With cinema verite footage, the film (co-directed by Edina native Annie Sundberg) essays a survivor recapturing her perch as one of America’s most funny and edgy comics.


We inconclusively pondered why Joan had allowed herself to be booked into a dead end comedy club in Wisconsin. Late of the KQRS Morning Show and with a textured life as a newspaper man, Canterbury Park horse racing tout, public relations flak, sports cableTV co-host, and cab driver, Mike Gelfand has also earned pocket change by booking Twin Cities comics into upper-midwest clubs. He is no stranger to the pallor of playing to the liquored in Wisconsin for pay that amounts to little more than a beer, a brat, and a cot or gas money for the drive home. If a warm up comic failed to show up to soften-up the audience for one of Mike’s A listers, he himself would step up to the mic stand as the setup guy. Stretch says he somewhat enjoyed the spotlight leading me to suspect that he carries a strain of the virus that drove Joan, Phyllis and Robin Williams. But Gelfand, by his accounting, plays a respectable game of tennis and, I know from observation, can arrange words into savory stuff on a page larger than the kind of note card used to archive jokes.


Mike Gelfand’s September appearance on Democratic Visions marks his first electronic media appearance since leaving Tom Barnard’s drive time radio aerie in 2012. As the Morning Show’s contrarian, Viking odds setter and “token liberal,” and by most accounts, its funniest sharp shooter, Mike had long struggled with sleep disorder. Mike says he needed a change and quietly dimmed his own “On Air” sign to begin rebooting his life.


On Democratic Visions, he talks about his father, the late Lou Gelfand, the Star Tribune’s long serving ombudsman. Caring for his aging, publicly admired dad through advancing stages of dementia, has prompted Gelfand to write about the ordeal, about being old and about being a Gelfand. Extended Stay (Mike’s working title) is a project-in-progress. It’s opening passages are wonderfully crafted. Truman Capote may be a Gelfand muse. On the show, Mike says a Capote appearance at the U of MN’s Northrup Auditorium helped secure him a job at The Minnesota Daily even though he was still a teenager.


With a quiver of humorous arrows, Gelfand also shares his takes on the ever-flagging Minnesota Twins, Jesse Ventura, Democrats, Republicans and his times at the Minneapolis Tribune and KQRS. Back in 1979, I was Gelfand’s first broadcast mentor when we and other wags collaborated on a series of humorous commentaries for KTCA-TV. This is a link to the YouTube version of Mike’s Dem Vis debut.


This story has also been published at Twin Cities Daily Planet.


Democratic Visions is produced by southwest suburban volunteers at the Bloomington Community Access Television studio by arrangement with the Southwest Suburban Cable Commission and Southwest Community Television.


Democratic Visions can be seen on the following cable systems:

Minneapolis – MTN Channel 16 – Sundays at 8:30 p.m., Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m.   MTN simultaneously streams Dem Vis from its website during these times.


Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, and Richfield – Comcast Channel 15 – Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.


Bloomington – BCAT Cable Channel 16 – Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.


Full programs and more than 200 segments can be seen on YouTube’s Democratic Visions Channel.


Why No Republican Should Ever Volunteer Again

by Grace Kelly on April 11, 2014 · 1 comment

money claim your fair share

Our democracy has changed from people and votes to corporations and money. Now, with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the McCutcheon case joins Citizens United to allow money to speak very loudly. Even before these rulings, Open Secrets estimates that in 2012 alone, $301 million poured into the dark money system.


With this abundance of money, any Republican who volunteers – works without being paid real money – is daft. The reason to sell one’s soul is to actually get the real money. Republican power has ensured that Kochs and the richest get everything for almost free. The Republicans who put and keep them there should get the spoils. The Kochs get the cheap rents on land where they extract oil. The Kochs get to spill oil and damage the land for free. The Kochs get to transport oil across freeways. Republican volunteers need to figure out that they deserve their entitled share.


Indeed my counterpart bloggers ought to be in the highest tax bracket. It takes real talent to lie about being taken every time. There is a reason that Rush Limbaugh sounds like a raving lunatic. It is because the policies are lunacy.


Volunteering for Republicans is especially wrong because competition determines worth. Republicans value people by money. In the Republican world, volunteers are therefore just conned people with no monetary value.


Why would any Republican ever demean themselves by volunteering? Indeed even the minimum wage would be offensive. Republican workers ought to be paid the same as plumbers, a simple blue collar wage. That would be the minimum of respectability. Last I checked, plumbers charge $150 to walk in the door and $60 an hour after that.

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Bulletins From The Asylum

by The Big E on January 17, 2014 · 0 comments

Bulletins-from-the-AsylumHere’s your roundup of the right wing crazy for Friday.
Ted Nugent compares film executive Harvey Weinstein to Joseph Goebbels.
Fox News’ Martha McCallum warns that another Holocaust might happen if Weinstein makes film attacking NRA. Weinstein is Jewish, BTW.
South Carolina US Senate candidate Lee Bright told a Tea Party group last August:

  • Obama Administration training IRS brown shirts
  • warned about the dangers of Muslim immigrants from terrorist nations
  • and warned of the Muslim Brotherhood invasion across our southern border.

California legislature Tim Donnelly is really quite nuts. He’s running for Governor. He has ties to a terrorist group and promises to hold onto power with violence if he wins.


Bulletins From The Asylum

by The Big E on January 15, 2014 · 0 comments

Bulletins-from-the-AsylumSorry, I skipped writing this round-up yesterday. It happens. I may have skipped a day, but the Republicans didn’t skip pumping out the crazy.
NY Post’s Fred Dicker: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo “promised” to oppose strong gun laws, “but then he had a little convenient massacre that went on in Newton, CT.” NY now has toughest gun laws in US.
Multnomah County (Oregon) Republicans will honor MLK and Lincoln by raffling off a rifle. No, they don’t get the irony.
VA GOP Congressional candidate Dick Black thinks spousal rape shouldn’t be a crime.
Dr. Greg Bannon, Republican NC US Senate candidate, believes that food stamps are slavery.
Virginia GOP lose their minds when VA Dem runs pro-choice ad.


Bulletins from the Asylum

by The Big E on December 16, 2013 · 1 comment

Bulletins-from-the-AsylumRepublicans seemed to go a bit more bonkers than usual this weekend. Here’s my round-up of all the crazy I could find from them.
NC State Senator Bob Rucho tweets that Obamacare worse than Nazis, Soviets and terrorists combined.
Rep. Mike Johanns (R-NE) compares confirming Obama judges to protecting slavery.
Gun nut Larry Pratt: gun free zones are murder magnets.
Ann Coulter opened her mouth. Words came out. Those words were totally bazonkly (I just made that word up).

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