Peek A Boo

Johnny Deep wants to know when the last time a President was shot by an actor.

My question; does Depp know when the last time an actor was chased into a barn and died in a hail of gunfire?

But I”ll take it easy on Mr. Depp.  He’s been too busy assassinating his own career for the last few years.

Goalposts

1`Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Republicans in Congress told me they couldn’t accomplish anything because they didn’t control the House.   So we got them the House.

They told me they couldn’t accomplish anything because they didn’t control the Senate.  We got them the Senate.

They told me they couldn’t accomplish anything because they didn’t control the White House.  We got them the White House.

Now they can’t accomplish anything because they don’t like the guy in the White House.  They won’t work with him.  And he hasn’t given them proposed legislation to consider.  He’s not their leader and even if he were, they wouldn’t follow him.  He’s a poop.

Pretty much, Republicans in Congress can’t accomplish anything.  So what good are they?

I’m thinking primary challenges.

Joe Doakes

Bigly.

At all levels.

I Thought About Doing An “Avery Librelle” Dramatization…

…of a smug, entitled, East-Coast fop “analyzing” the blue-collar white people who put Donald Trump in office – the line “Shut up, you worthless sister-boinking Budweiser-drinking white trash” Avery explained” croxsed my mind – but in the end, I figured this piece in (where else) Slate by (who else?) Isaac Chotiner parodied itself far beyond my feeble talents.

Shot:

If there is one thing everyone should be able to agree on about the past seven months, it is that the white working class can no longer be described as “forgotten.” Beaten-down? Racist? Mistreated? Angry? Victimized? Sure. We have read and heard the white working class described in all of those ways. But the election of Donald Trump has ensured that we are discussing this group ad nauseam.

Chaser:

I spoke recently by phone with [author Joan Williams], who is also a distinguished professor of law at University of California Hastings College of the Law. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed Trump’s view of his own voters, the role of racism in class resentments, and whether there is any way to avoid being “condescending” to Trump’s supporters.

 

Go head, read it.  And as you do, just note – that sound you’re hearing is Donald Trump measuring the drapes for his second term.

The Racket

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Governor Dayton signed the budget bills, but vetoed funding for the legislature because he didn’t get the bills he wanted.

Some might think Dayton’s move was petty and vindictive.  I disagree.  It was genius.  In chess terms, he’s put the Republicans in a fork – agree to a special session to give the governor what he wants in exchange for funding the legislature, or take your complaint to a court packed with judges appointed by Democrats.  Both are losing moves.

Joe is absolutely right.

When all the moves are losing moves, refuse to play the game.  The Republican Speaker of the House should say “We convinced Governor Dayton to cut spending for a third of state government, which is a good start.  Since he’s defunded the Legislature, we won’t be coming back into session and that means the rest of the government will shut down when this current budget runs out in two years.  Meanwhile, I plan to enjoy a well-deserved vacation.”

And Joe is even more absolutely right.

Of course he wouldn’t mean it.  But it ups the ante.  Every time somebody says “but what about” you point them to the Governor and say “Sorry, the Governor shut us down.  Take it up with him.”

Joe Doakes

I dream of a world where Minnesota Republicans have that kind of political killer instinct.

Coup D’Etat

Did Trump do anything wrong?  We don’t know – that’s what trials (and the whole “innocent until proven guilty”) thing is all about.

But the firestorm of agitation that Big Left and the Media are whipping up, in the absence of any hard evidence, has nothing to do with right, wrong or justice, says Kurt Schlichter:

The blizzard of lies and distraction blowing through Washington is not just any routine stuffstorm, but a calculated attempt to bring down a president – our president, not the establishment’s president. And more than that, it’s an attempt to ensure that we never again have the ability to disrupt the bipartisan D.C. cabal’s permanent supremacy by inserting a chief executive who refuses to kiss their collective Reid.

This is a coup against us. It’s a coordinated campaign by liberals and their allies in the bureaucracy and media to once and for all ensure their perpetual rule over us. We need to fight it, here and now, so we don’t have to fight it down at the bottom of this slippery slope.

There are times I wonder if this nation shouldn’t just call it quits and split into 2-5 other nations, and let the coasts rot in their own splendid filth.

Open Letter To The MNGOP Legislative Caucuses

To:  The MNGOP Legislative Caucuses
From:  Mitch Berg, Peasant
Re:  You Never, Ever Learn, Do You?

Deaar MNGOP Legislative Caucuses – House and Senate

Today, after months of wrangling, word dribbled out that the Stand Your Ground and Constitutional Carry bills were not going to get a floor vote.  While the bill wouldn’t pass into law, we wouldn’t need to re-argue it next session – which would be a huge benefit, especially given (cough cough) it’s an election year. 

It was a kick in the teeth for Second Amendment voters.

Which is a bit of a problem.  Can you think of a group in this state that has done more, with less outstate support, than the shooters?   That did more to get your majority?

Thanks for nothing.

I get it – politics are complicated.  Compromises happen.  It’s just that as for me and a lot of people like me, you made the wrong one.

So – not another dime.  Not another phone call.  Not another minute of time until you get your collective head right.

That is all.

Diminshed Expectation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I had a day off last week and caught a bit of Rush Limbaugh’s interview with Vice President Pence.

Rush hammered the Vice President from the word go and, I thought, justly so. His tone was respectful but his questioning was direct and gave no ground. It was completely clear Rush thought Republicans got rolled.

Pence did his best to spin the bill as a victory. He said: “Look, the President has made it clear, his number one priority is national defense and national security.”

Yeah? I don’t recall that being the slogan from the campaign. I don’t recall enthusiastic crowd screaming for more military spending. I remember it more like this:

“What are we gonna do?”

“Build the Wall.”

“Who’s gonna pay for it?”

“Mexico!!”

I think Trump ought to tell Congress he’s going to veto the bill and shut down the government unless he gets money to build the wall. It can be any amount, even as little as $1, just so long as he gets to say that he’s keeping his promise. Hell, his salary is $400,000 and he’s agreed to forego it to be a dollar-a-year man; use some of that money to fund the wall. We don’t care where the money comes from, only where it goes to, and that’s got to be funding to build the wall or there’s no deal.

If Congress won’t put $1 into the bill to show its symbolic commitment to enforcing the national borders, then the country isn’t worth saving and we might as well shut the whole thing down now and be done with it.

Joe Doakes

It’s getting harder to disagree.

High Time

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I understand Republicans saying they had to vote for this crappy spending bill because now is not a good time to stand up for our principles.  Okay, you guys are the experts, I’ll trust your judgment.
It’s just that I’ve been voting Republican for nearly 40 years and I haven’t seen you stand up for me yet.  Never quite enough votes for a super-majority and always the danger of being called names by the media.
I’m really interested to know: will it be time to stand up for our principles soon, do you think?
Joe Doakes

The time is never quite right, is it?

If I Were A Betting Man…

…and I am not, but if I were, I’d bet good money that the headline at the Strib tomorrow will be something like:

Minnesota Republicans Reject Black Chair Candidate

I can honestly say that I’d have voted for anyone in the field – Rick Rice, Dave Hann or Chris FIelds (who I figured would be the final two in the running) or the actual winner, Jennifer Carnahan.

Jennifer Carnahan (Courtesy Jennifer Carnahan)

Incoming MNGOP chair Jennifer Carnahan (photo courtesy the Carnahan campaign).

Not to say I doubted Carnahan’s merits; she went from attending her first GOP caucus 14 months ago, to running a very impressive MN Senate campaign in downtown Minneapolis, to the little Chair campaign that could.   And I’ve interviewed her, and she is very much a force of nature in person.   Not to say I doubted she’d win; I just thought the notoriously pragmatic State Central would make a more mainstream choice, like Hann or Fields.

So I’m surprised, and happy about it all in all.

I would, of course, be lying if I said that I was surprised by the depravity of today’s DFL.

While I don’t know “Jordan Parshall”, I’m pretty comfortable saying he represents the mainstream of today’s DFL.   I think it’s hilarious – right after telling a Korean-American woman not to get uppity, he congratulates none other than…

…wait for it…

…wait for it…

…Alondra Cano.

(And lest you wondered, Urban Liberal Privilege means “never having to apologize for saying something corrosively racist, sexist and entintled”:

But who cares.   Congrats to Jennifer Carnahan!

That Sweet Smell Of Success

The ten governors with the highest approval ratings are all Republicans:

According to a Morning Consult poll of more than 85,000 registered voters across the United States, Republican governors get the most thumbs up by their residents — and it’s not even close.

Toping off the list is Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, who boasts a 75 percent approval rating, with only 17 percent disapproving of his job performance. Closely behind Baker is Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.  Of the top five most popular governors, three are Republicans in solid blue states.

Which is great news.

#3 on the list is North Dakota’s Doug Burgum, by the way, whose approval ratings are around the same that Led Zeppelin was getting in 1974.

Expect a chorus of “what about Kansas?” to erupt from the left any time; in Kansas, Sam Brownback is in the bottom ten.  Whenever the subject turns to the success of Republican governance, Democrats chant in unison “Kansas!  Kansas!”, to draw the attention away from the mass of GOP-run states that are doing quite well, thank you.

More on that later today.

The Devils And Angels In My Nature…

…got into an argument over this past weekend’s festivities in Berkeley, where Real American pro-free-speech activists banded together to deter, and occasionally, where necessary, necessary meet, “anti-fascist” fascist violence at a pro-Trump rally.

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  Oh, God, I am so freaking happy to see that the good guys – any good guys, people who try to express their views peacefully, fought back against the Blackshirts and other neo-fascist thugs.    Those little upper-middle-class fops are bullies, every one of them.  They sucker-punch, they gang up on lone people, they use weapons like sticks and pepper spray against the unarmed and unsuspecting, they throw smoke bombs at old ladies and punch out teenage girls – but I’m gonna guess every one of them crapped their pants when they saw Real Americans lined up to stare their snowflake asses down.

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  Yeah, it’s tempting to cheer.   But remember – if 200 Republicans, conservatives, Tea Partiers or Trumpkins go to the hospital, it’ll warrant not a single headline – but the moment Joshua Micah Gildersleeve from Oberlin gets his face scuffed up, it’ll headlines across the entire mainstream media, and the left will make “right wing thuggery” a chanting point forevermore.

Because you know it as well as I do, Mitch’s-inner-devil; the only damage the media and the people who set our society’s opinions care about is damage to the kids who look like their kids.

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  So we should sit still and be placid, passive victims and punching bags for those worthless bullies?

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  That’s not what I’m saying.  But let’s be realistic; if a couple black guys punched out a Klansman in self-defense in 1920, it was a tree falling in the forest that was used by the bullies to justify even more violence.  Hell – they’re trying to provoke violence, so they and their patsies and enablers in the MSM can tell the gullible general public “Look at what these big bag righties did to our best and brightest!”

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  Bu you know as well as I do they don’t even need any kind of resistance to their “resistance” to “Justify” any of that.   And..

(Devil notices Angel removing halo, donning a Gadsden Flag t-shirt, and picking up what looks like a stuffed sweat sock).

Er, Angel?  What is that?

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  It’s a sweat sock with a big russet potato in it.

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  Er…what the…why?

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  Hits like a truck full of bricks, doesn’t leave a mark.

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  Um…again, why?

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  (pulls stocking cap low over head).  I’m heading down planetside.  I’m gonna find the next snowflake anti-Free-Speech rally.  If they try to bully anyone else into silence, I’m gonna go all Old Testament Angel on them.

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  But…you’re the angel of Mitch’s better nature…

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  I’m an angel.  I’m not an idiot.

(And SCENE).

Unclear On The Concept

File this under “Evidence of a shoddy education”: around the world, (we are told) the movie adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984” is being screened…

…to “protest Donald Trump“.

Forget for a moment that Orwell wrote the book as a satire of contemporary British far leftists snd their tendency to eat each other, not to mention the horrors of the Stalinist regime that they were busily sweeping under the rug at the time.

No.  The funny thing, I’m going to bet, is that the “progressives” – who will no doubt need to buy two tickets to the screening to save a chair for their self-righteousness and indignation – after the election we just had, will no doubt will see themselves as Winston Smith, rather than O’Brien.

Foreign And Domestic Abuse

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When the man in the muscle shirt screams at the woman laying bleeding on the floor: “Now look what you made me do,” we know he’s in the wrong.  There is nothing she could have done that would justify his violent response.

 Unless she was a Trump supporter.  That’s provocative, like the Nazis marching in Skokie.  Then he had no choice but to respond with violence.  He was totally justified, it was her own fault, just as Liberals are justified in responding to conservative campus speakers with violence.  It’s our own fault for provoking them.

 Joe Doakes

We should all know better, shouldn’t we?

Straws

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There’s an internet video telling people they must “accept the deed” in order to perfect title to their homes.  Until you accept the deed, you’re merely a tenant at sufferance with no rights.  But once you accept the deed, then you become the assignee of the prior owner’s title, and his prior owner’s title, all the way back to the United States government land grant. That’s important, because original land grants give “allodial title” which is title free from all encumbrances.

 And that means the bank can’t foreclose your mortgage.  It’s not an encumbrance on the land.  You might owe the money on the note, but they can’t use the mortgage to take away your home.

 It’s ridiculous, of course.  Yes, the original land grant was allodial in the sense that it was free of any claims from the federal government.  But once you acquire the land, there’s nothing saying you can’t encumber it yourself by, for example, giving a mortgage to pledge the land as security for a loan.  You gave up the allodial character of the land when you signed the mortgage.

During the foreclosure crisis, we had people showing up at the County Recorder’s office wanting to “accept their deed” so they could stop the foreclosure.  Desperate people grasp at straws, they believe there’s got to be a way to save the house, got to be a form they can file, some legal trickery that will allow them to hang on just a little bit longer and maybe even turn this thing around.

 Speaking of whom . . . .

 Joe Doakes

She’s like “Elmer Gantry” without the style.

“Wiretapping”

“The press takes [Trump] literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.
”  — Salena Zito

When Donald Trump claimed “Trump Tower had been wiretapped”, the media – awash in images of sweaty, donut-dust-stained cops hunched over in a 1974 Ford Econoline amid amplifiers and reel to reel tape decks, concentrating on conversations through headphones.  And they laughed – nobody’s done that since the ’80s!  Har di har!

Roger Simon connects some  dots – inconvenient ones, for the agenda-driven media:

What appears at this writing is that Trump transition team members and possibly Trump himself had their identities revealed, were “unmasked” in the parlance, while foreign diplomats were being surveilled. The identities of American citizens were not sufficiently “minimized,” as they are required to be by law. This is a crime one would assume would put the perpetrators in prison. So far it hasn’t. More than that, such behavior is a grave threat to a free society, to all of us.

In effect, Trump was wiretapped — if not in the corny, old sense of the word, something very close. Technologically, he was wiretapped, as were several (actually many) others.

A fair amount of this happened not long before Barack Obama suddenly changed the rules regarding raw intelligence, for the first time ever allowing the NSA to share its data with 16 other intelligence agencies, thus making the dissemination of said data (i. e. leaking) many times more likely. That was done on January 12, 2017, just three scant days before Trump’s inauguration. Why did the then president finally decide to make that particular change at that extremely late date, rather than on one of the previous seven years and three hundred fifty-three days of his presidency? You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes or Watson to smell a rat. Something’s rotten somewhere — and it’s not Denmark.

The whole thing is worth a read.

NPR On Al Capone’s Vault Trump’s Tax Return

On “Morning Edition”.

NPR Reporter:  “…if it weren’t for the “Alternative Minimum Tax”, Trump would have paid a net tax rate of 3%”.

NPR Anchor:  “Right – but there was an alternative minimum tax, and he paid a net rate of about 25% – considerably higher than Barack Obama and double what Bernie Sanders paid.  So why the pointless “what if?”   You’re “reporting” a complete nothingburger, here.”

(UPDATE:  The anchor never said any of that.  It was just a dream.  The “reporter’s” line is pretty accurate, though).

Collateral Moral Damage

In 1933, after a decade and a half of tumultuous politics that frequently turned into street violence, the German “Reichstag” (parliament) empaneled a cabinet led by Adolf Hitler to run things. Hitler’s “Nazi” party was not the biggest party in the Reichstag – they’d actually lost seats in the most recent round of elections – but they were in a strategic political position.

While the Nazis are (mostly mistakenly) called “far right”, the interesting thing is that the “Hitler Cabinet” had about as much support from Communists and Socialists as it did from the populist and “conservative” (which meant monarchists and Catholics, at the time) blocs in the Reichstag. Both sides – Communist and Monarchist – had the same reason to support the Nazis taking control of a coalition government; a bunch of populist extremists with a private army of thugs would drive the German middle to the Left or the Right. That is most extremists’ first goal; make the center untenable.

It backfired on the brilliant minds of the Reichstag, of course; Hitler, promising an end to divisive politics from all sides, forged “Unity” (by co-opting, neutralizing, exiling or killing the geniuses who’d put him in power); his cabinet led the entire world to war seven years later.

The only thing worse than “divisive” politics is no politics at all.

Keep that in mind when you see episodes like those last Saturday at the MN State Capitol, where masked thugs attacked Pro-Trump demonstrators, or two weeks ago at Berkeley, or…well, the list is going on and on and on, even now. I’ve seen more than a few people on social media, no doubt angry and frustrated, exclaim how they’d like to be at the next such rally, to break some heads (and I’ll confess, in my heart of hearts, the thought’s crossed my mind, at least for a moment before I chased it out).

Just like 85 years ago, that plays into the hands of the *real* extremists. Extremists are happiest when they’re creating more extremists – and it doesn’t even matter whose side those extremists are on. And then, when the vast middle gets sick of “politics”, and turn to someone who’ll just bring “order”…

…well, I’d say “we know where this leads”, but all too many Americans really really don’t.

I’ll Have A Merlot With My Derangement This Evening

I caught this on MPR last week; arts reporter Marianne Combs’s piece on the new season at the Guthrie, featuring the new “Trump Derangement” theme:

This fall, the Guthrie will stage Lillian Hellman’s “Watch on the Rhine.” The show deals with the rise of fascism on American soil at the start of World War II, but Haj says it feels startlingly relevant today.

“There’s a line in the play that says something like, ‘We don’t send people back — we’re Americans. That’s not what we do.’ And that line was written in 1941,” Haj said. “The reason we do the classics is not to look at plays or stories under glass; it’s to understand that many of these classic texts have absolute resonances to our current times.”

The Guthrie follows “Watch on the Rhine” with Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit,” which at first might seem like a non sequitur. But Haj explained that Noel Coward, a contemporary of Hellman, wrote the play at the onset of World War II.

The message – “we, the Guthrie’s artistic directors, believe we’re living in times just like 11933 Germany; we believe our audience is like the British of 1940, who need something to take their mind off being firebombed every night”.

But don’t dare accuse anyone of Trump derangement!

It’s Only Satire…

until it’s not.

I say that, because it’s a phenomenon that is verging on being a “Berg’s Law”; today’s jokes about the behavior of liberals are tomorrow’s news stories about the behavior of liberals.  I have no doubt that someone in the comment section will, before long, post an article from Mother Jones or Raw Story that reads like the link above – but non-fiction.

The Better Mousetrap

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Everybody knows the federal budget is out of control.  So how about thinking of creative ways to save money?  Here’s one:

 The Third Amendment says: “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

 A member of ISIS fleeting war-torn Syria is no longer a soldier, he’s now a refugee, so there’s no constitutional prohibition to Trump issuing an Executive Order requiring homeowners to take in former ISIS soldiers and provide them with food and shelter, at the homeowner’s expense.  The refugees’ extended families can join them, if the house is big enough.

 I recommend we start with people who oppose Trump’s immigration orders.  Why not?  How can they refuse to help?

 Joe Doakes

Reinforcing consequences for actions?

What’ll happen next?

Assyle ‘Em!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Canada will not crack down on asylum seekers sneaking across from the USA, the borders will remain open.

 This is great news for us.  Trump ought to announce that starting March 1st, the federal government will be renting busses to give free rides to the northern border, for any undocumented immigrant, illegal alien or asylum-seeking refugee who wants to live in Canada.   We’ll drive you to the border and drop you off so you can waltz into paradise, no questions asked.

 Limited time offer: expires at 11:59 p.m. on June 30th.  Starting on July 1st, anybody caught in the USA will be sent to holding facilities in the desert outside Phoenix until their court hearing and, if found to be illegal, will be instantly driven to the border and dumped into Mexico.

 Wonder how many takers he’d get?

 Joe Doakes

I think I’d forgive an element of force for those Hollywood celebs who promised to move.