Playing The Fool?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Hillary has $13 million worth of ads running during the Olympics.  Trump has none.

Meanwhile, viewership of the Olympics is down.  Hilary is burning off dollars running ads nobody is watching. 

 And people say Trump is the idiot?

 Joe Doakes

On the one hand – true.

On the other hand, I’m not sure anything Hillary does or doesn’t do will interfere with the rush to coronation that has our rulling class so bedazzled right now.

Primary Time

GOCRA has released its primary scorecard.

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If you live in a district with a primary, be aware of your options.

Also – please note that Michelle MacDonald – who ran with a GOP endorsement obtained through the perfidy of the party’s Judicial Elections Committee – is running again, without any endorsement.  She is being promoted by a number of people as the only pro-2nd Amendment, pro-life candidate on the ballot.

This would seem to be true.  So while I would be conflicted about endorsing her for office, if those two issues matter to you, it might be worth a protest vote against an Alita Messinger Mark Dayton appointee.  It’s your call.

Counterpunch This

To:  Donald Trump
From:  Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant
Re:   Doyyy

Mr. Trump,

I started disliking your public persona thirty years ago.   While I’m told you are a perfectly fine human being in person, your public persona – the garish extravagant gaudiness, the constant noise – was always off-putting. Still is.

Now, this time a year ago I was a Scott Walker supporter.  And I still am.  If there were a way to get him into the race (and lamentably, there is not), Shrillary would get pounded like a piece of cheap steak.

But that’s neither here nor there.  Because here we are.

Anyway – I’m not one of the #NeverTrump crowd, if only because crowds annoy me.  The idea of Hillary Clinton nominating SCOTUS justices should terrify everyone who cares about the Bill of Rights.   And the Libertarian ticket isn’t an option (forget about the Greens).

So I don’t like your persona – but I don’t vote for personas.  I don’t like what your campaign has done to the GOP, but then the GOP has been frustrating lately, too.  And I don’t like the way you’re running this campaign, but then it’s your campaign, not mine.

But this?  This is just plain stupid.

You’ll help NATO countries if they’ve “paid their way?”

What’s this tell you?

The NATO members in the most immediate danger from Russia – the Poles and Estonians – are taking their defense pretty seriously.  Latvia and Lithuania are coming around (both have increased their spending in 2016 – Latvia’s spending is actually up 50% in the past two years).

And can you think of four nations that have “spent” more freedom in the past 30 years that those four?  Not just in terms of budget, but in terms of actually resisting tyranny?

No, I don’t imagine you can.

Think about it, Mr. Trump.

That is all.

You’ve Been Punked – In English And Russian

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is hilarious.  Trump asking Russia “If you hacked Hillary’s private email server, will you give the FBI copies of the stuff she deleted?”  

 Hey, they need it to complete their investigation, right?  What, are Democrats against law and order?

 This is genius.  It forces everyone to recall that Hillary ran a private server for official government business, that she deleted emails instead of giving them to our own government, and that her carelessness probably enabled Russia to see her emails including anything that was classified. 

This forces Hillary’s campaign onto the defensive and robs her of momentum.   And it threatens Hillary with the possibility that stuff she believed safely deleted might come to light so she must prepare the battle-space for that possibility, which further distracts her from campaigning.

 Glenn Reynolds comments: “Troll Level: Supreme Galactic Overlord.”  All of that.

Joe Doakes

Never thought I’d find something to admire about Trump – but here we go.

Berg’s 11th Law Is Also Inerrant And Immutable

The Strib endorses John Howe for the CD2 congressional seat currently held by John Kline.

Nothing against Howe, who was a capable legislator and an estimable mayor of Red Wing – but this endorsement is a classic example of Berg’s 11th Law:

Berg’s Eleventh Law of Inverse Viability: The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected.

Jason Lewis is the endorsed candidate, with immense name recognition and a record as the father of modern Minnesota conservatism.  Darlene Miller is John Kline’s preferred candidate.  The fourth, the putative Trump-supporting candidate Hey Look At Meeeee, along with Howe, rounds out the field.

I’ll be interviewing Jason Lewis this coming Saturday on the NARN, by the way.

Black Flag

SCENE:  A conference room at the FBI in Quantico, Virginia.   Special Agent Charles SIEGELMEYER, in charge of the Russian Online Political Espionage (ROPE) desk, sits at the head of the table.

In the room are Jared SCHLAUTERMEYER, a cybersecurity analyst with the ROPE desk, Juliana SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO, a senior Russian policy analyst, and Oscar VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ, from the Central Intelligence Agency.    SIEGELMEYER convenes the meeting.

SIEGELMEYER: OK.  Welcome to the task force on Russian political cyberespionage.   Juliana, do we have an update on the Clinton case?

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  Nothing, really.  Nobody, either at State or at FBI can tell what Putin would stand to gain by punking Clinton.

SIEGELMEYER:  Devil’s advocate here – less defense of the Baltic States?

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:   At the risk of getting all of Europe to start rebuilding its military?

SIEGELMEYER:  I agree.  At worst, I think Putin is just imparting chaos, because…

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  …chaos increases your options.

SIEGELMEYER:  Jared?

SCHLAUTERMEYER:  Well, so far it’s just a story. Nothing hard to pin it on.

SIEGELMEYER:  Huh.  So it sounds like this investigation…

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO: …is at a standstill?

(SIEGELMEYER, SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO and SCLAUTERMAYER nod glumly)

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  Let me interrupt here…?

SIEGELMEYER:  I’m sorry – this is Oscar Villanueva-Lopez, from the CIA.  You’re from the…

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  I’m from the Cuba desk.  And we’ve really got one theory here.

SIEGELMEYER: Shoot.

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  Let’s hear it.

SCHLAUTERMEYER:  Anything’s better than nothing.

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  So the question is “who is running a cybermole operation in the US, we’ve had one big clue to work with.  In Cuba, the people at the top of the food chain are given to giving these loooooong speeches – four, five, even six or seven hours.  They just go on and on.  And sometimes it’s just babble; they’re not a whole lot more “accurate” than Kim Jong Un, plus they’re all full of that Latino sense of drama.  It literally is about hearing their gums flap.

SIEGELMEYER:  Interesting.

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  Huh

SCHLAUTERMEYER:  Fascinating.

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  Now, at the CIA, one of our analytical tools is “Berg’s Law“, specifically Berg’s Seventh Law…

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:   …Oh, yeah!  “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  Wow – you use Berg’s Seventh here at FBI, too?

SIEGELMEYER:  Absolutely.

(SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO and SCHLAUTERMEYER nod in enthusiastic agreement)

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  Excellent.  So the DNC has accused the GOP of colluding with a foreign power, that means…

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  Someone at the DNC is colluding with a foreign power.

SCHLAUTERMEYER:  Damn.

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  And the Russians are know to work through proxies.  What you need to do is find a long-winded liberal commentator who makes endless proclamations, puffed up with lots of drama and strurm und drang, but all talk.  Not just any long-winded BSers – the longest-winded, most BS-addled ones!

SIEGELMEYER:   And they’ll be a Cuban mole?

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  Yep.

(SIEGELMEYER, SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO and SCHLAUTERMEYER nod in agreement).

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  So we just need to find an American liberal commentator that goes on and on and on and on, and never really says anything of value?

SCHLAUTERMEYER:  Hmmm.

SIEGELMEYER:  We’ll obviously have to continue this discussion.  I’ll schedule a meeting on Monday.

Who.  Who, indeed.

And SCENE 

 

Optimism

Kurt Schlichter is predicting a dem meltdown.

Conclusion:

Nineteen sixty-eight was the year normal Americans saw the Democrats for what they were, and that’s the danger for them in 2016 too – that normal Americans will be reminded about what a circus of welfare-chiseling, race-obsessed, work-averse, baby-shredding freaks the Democrat party is.

So keep fighting for purity, Democrats – your painful cramming to pass your dozens of litmus tests is going to provide us with endless amusement. And don’t worry about us Republicans – it’s actually pretty easy to pass ours. You’re disqualified if you have ever given money or a medal to Hillary Clinton. After that, we can talk.

Amid all the predictions that this would be the end of the GOP – and I’m not happy with things, truth be told – this could turn out much worse for the Dems.

Wolf!

SCENE:  Mitch BERG steps out of the rest room at City Hall as Avery LIBRELLE steps around the corner.

Distracted, visibly in distress, LIBRELLE walks into BERG.

BERG:  (Stepping back)  Oh … (a little nonplussed, as LIBRELLE doesn’t react, lost in  anxiety)…er, sorry…?

LIBRELLE:   Oh, Merg.  Right.  I’m just worried about this country.

BERG:  After eight years of Obama, join the club.

LIBRELLE:   Har di har.  No, serious.  The GOP has nominated a candidate who is the worst human being in the world.  A genuine Nazi.  A man who is the biggest racist in American politics, and who is so clogged with hate that he can barely sit down.

BERG:  Is that so?

LIBRELLE:  Yes.  And yet, his poll numbers remain a challenge to Herself.

BERG:  Huh.  Why do you suppose that is?

LIBRELLE:  The American people have lost their ability to reason.

BERG:  Huh.

LIBRELLE:  We’re pointing out what a horrible human he is, and the American people are ignoring it.

BERG:  Huh.  What – again?

LIBRELLE:  (Nonplussed)  What do you mean by that?

BERG:   What did you all say about Ronald Reagan?

LIBRELLE:  That his presidency would lead to a nuclear war, that he was a racist, that he was going to draft all teenagers to go to war for Exxon, that he was a stooge of big business, that he wanted to create a nuclear armageddon to enhance his power…

BERG:  Huh.  And Bush Senior?

LIBRELLE:  That he was a stooge of Big Oil, that he’d inherited his father’s Nazi sympathies, that he was a warmonger…

BERG:  Right.  And Dubya?

LIBRELLE:  That he was a bigger Nazi than Hitler, than he was a stooge of big oil, that he was a racist, than he hated children, that he’d never relinquish power, that he was stupid, that he wanted a nuclear war to hasten his fundamentalist faith’s version of Armageddon…

BERG:   None of which turned out to be true.

LIBRELLE:  Er…it’s all true!

BERG:   No, I mean, none of the claims turned out to be factual.  And yet every time a Republican runs for office, you get the same chatter.

LIBRELLE:   What do you mean?

BERG:   How would you describe Republican Senate candidate Al Franken?

LIBRELLE:   He’s a racist and a Nazi and a Klansman who’d send our children to war for Big Oil because he’s in the pocket of the Koch brothers and ALEC and the NRA, he hates children and would drive elderly widows into the street to satisfy Big Power, that he wants to launch a war to satisfy his toxic fundamentalist Christianity..,

BERG:   Right. Al Franken is a Democrat, a secular Jew.  But once I said “Republican”, you switched to autopilot . Just the way the media does.

This is the eventual result of decades of liberal media bias; it’s like the Little Boy who Cried Wolf; people have tuned out the propaganda, just in time for you to face a candidate who actually is troublesome – not to mention a Democrat.

LIBRELLE:  (Stands, stunned)

BERG:  See ya, Avery.

LIBRELLE:  (Slowly turns) But…But…

And SCENE

 

Triangulation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Trump’s convention speech criticized free trade and foreign military adventurism.  America First!

 Cue Liberals to warn of catastrophic global economic collapse if the United States fails to continue subsidizing the rest of the world’s trade and security with our blood and treasure.

 Joe Doakes

It’s a Clinton thing.

10:15 Thursday Night

Mitch BERG is walking on the sidewalk past the “Safe Space” – a Saint Paul bar catering to “progressives”, featuring free-range beer, organic locally-sourced chips and pretzels, and gluten-free “everyone wins” dart boards.

Suddenly, Avery LIBRELLE gets off the bus, and removes a set of Apple earbuds connected to an iPhone.  LIBRELLE notices BERG.  

LIBRELLE:  Hey, Merg!

BERG:   Ugh.  I mean, hi, Avery.

LIBRELLE:   So.  Donald Drumpf’s speech was dark and dystopian.

BERG:   Well, that was quick.  The speech ended literally a minute ago.   So you listened to it.

LIBRELLE:   Oh, hell no.  I listened to NPR’s wrapup after I heard on Snapchat that the actual speech was over.

BERG:   So – less than thirty seconds after the speech was over, NPR and the rest of the media, more or less at the same time, labelled the speech “dark and dystopian?”

LIBRELLE:  Yep!  Because it was!

BERG:  And you don’t think these are dark and dystopian times for a lot of the people who’ve come out of the woodwork to support Trump?

LIBRELLE:  Mark Shields and Gwen Ifill and David Brooks said it’s a great time to be optimistic!

BERG:  Sure.  It’s a great time to be part of the DC echo chamber, with an inflated, legacy-media salary.  But if you’re a WalMart assistant manager in Mississippi, or a machinist in Milwaukee, or a coal miner in West Virginia, it’s kinda scary out there.

LIBRELLE:  Bla bla bla.  After eight years of Barack Obama, America is a wonderous place!  Drumpf is a traitor for accentuating the negative!

BERG:  So you’re saying it’s wrong to accentuate the negative…

LIBRELLE:  Yes!

BERG:  …when things are either positive or kinda in between, overall?

LIBRELLE:  Absolutely!  It’s utterly and completely dishonest!

BERG:   Ah.  So in general, when someone talks about something that’s improved as if it’s been going the wrong way, it’s a lie?  Or even something that’s been net-neutral as if it’s been a complete negative?

LIBRELLE:  Lies, lies, lies!

BERG:    So when a candidate says “gun crime is out of control” when it’s dropped 50% in 20 years?   Or that “women get paid 76% of what men make” when it’s actually pretty close to even when you compare men and women with the same backgrounds in the same fields, and women under 30 are actually starting to out-earn men?  Or that “one in five women in college will be raped” or “black men are astronomically more likely to be shot by the police, and it’s because of racism”?

LIBRELLE:  Yeah!

BERG:  (Waits two beats)

LIBRELLE:  Heyyyyyy!

(And SCENE)

Cruz Control

A long-time friend of the blog writes:

In Trump, we have many things- a candidate who is a master at marketing, a candidate who thinks he is in a popularity contest, a candidate who believes that the country is his personal reality show.

Among the speeches during the last 3 days, most haven’t really had a clear message for what the Republican is, just that it isn’t Hillary’s party. My own cynicism rears when that is the main message, especially with a party that nominates a Presidential candidate who admits to donating to the Clintons.

All duly acknowledged.

So, with my own feelings of dislike for Trump, I really want to high five Ted Cruz for his speech. It took skill to do that. Bravery. A true leader who is more concerned about doing what is right rather than what is popular. 

Of course, I’m not gullible enough to believe that Trump had no idea that Cruz would do this. As I said earlier, this is his reality show. Now, the focus is off of Melania’s speech. The focus is off of Pence, who may not draw in the ratings that Trump is looking for. No, with the conflict that Cruz brought, ratings for tonight’s episode will possibly be even higher. 

To me, Trump’s convention is not offering anything serious, anything that demonstrates an understanding of the needs of the country. It is only giving me further proof of the narcissism of this man. Regardless of the outcome of the election this year, it is going to be a long 4 years.

All of that could be exactly right.  And I could be overthinking (or over-crediting the thinking of others).

But hear me out.

What was conservatives’ biggest beef in 2008 and 2012?  That their champions, such as they were, bowed out and faded away in a lavender cloud of conciliation.  They went on to stay home in droves in November.

Trump faces the same problem in spades; grass-roots movement conservative Republicans and conservatives staying home in November.

But what if Trump were to give those conservatives a figurehead who wasn’t going to shake hands and congratulate Trump on a job well done?  Who would spend the next four years – and especially the next three months – keeping the bloody shirt flying?

It won’t hurt Trump – nobody whom Ted Cruz could influence is going to vote for Hillary.

But it could – perhaps – help Trump down the ticket, in the conservative places where Trump needs every possible vote to turn out, to try to keep control of the Senate in friendlier hands this fall.

Crazy?  Or Crazy like a WWF marketer?

We’ll see.

An Invitation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’m too lazy to look up Mike Pence, the fellow Trump as picked for a running mate.

Hey, Dog Gone – give us a quick FACT CHECK on this guy, would you, so I know what not to believe? 

 Joe Doakes

It has become a pretty good barometer, hasn’t it?

I’ll Bet All You Sanders Supporters Feel Berned Now

To:  Bernie Sanders supporters
From: Mitch Berg – Uppity Peasant
Re:  Feeling Stupid?

All

Bernie Sanders endorsing Hillary?

Why, isn’t that exactly like endorsing the Wall Street and military-industrial complex he railed against?

Yeah.  It totally is.

Every last one of you has been had.  Played for fools.  Suckers.

That is all.

Quota

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

June 17th will be the 88th anniversary of Wilmer Stultz’s historic flight across the Atlantic in 1928, just one year after Lucky Lindy flew it, which resulted in a ticker-tape parade, meeting the President, lecture tour, book deal, product endorsements, new job, the works.  Not for him – for his passenger.

 You don’t remember Stultz?  He was the pilot of the airplane that Amelia Earhart rode in.  What, you thought she was the pilot, that she flew it solo, as Lindberg did, that she earned these honors on her own?  Not according to the scholarly articles cited on Wikipedia:

 “The project coordinators (including book publisher and publicist George P. Putnam) interviewed Earhart and asked her to accompany pilot Wilmer Stultz and copilot/mechanic Louis Gordon on the flight, nominally as a passenger, but with the added duty of keeping the flight log. The team departed Trepassey Harbor, Newfoundland in a Fokker F.VIIb/3m on June 17, 1928, landing at Pwll near Burry Port, South Wales, exactly 20 hours and 40 minutes later. There is a commemorative blue plaque at the site. Since most of the flight was on “instruments” and Earhart had no training for this type of flying, she did not pilot the aircraft. When interviewed after landing, she said, “Stultz did all the flying—had to. I was just baggage, like a sack of potatoes.” She added, “…maybe someday I’ll try it alone.”

 Earhart actually did become the First Female Pilot to Fly Solo Across the Atlantic but not in 1928, she did it in 1932.  The first flight – the celebrated flight – was merely a feminist publicity stunt, akin to the two women dubbed “Army Rangers” last Fall and even our own First Affirmative Action President.

 Celebrating diversity is fine as entertainment, but it’s only entertainment.  Nobody wants their brain surgeon to be the guy who was socially promoted for diversity reasons instead of demonstrated competence.  Nobody wants their pilot to say “I’m just baggage, like a sack of potatoes, you’ll have to fly the plane on your own.”  And frankly, nobody wants to elect The First Woman President just so we can meet a quota.

 Joe Doakes

One can only wonder how much better this nation would be if Colin Powell, Tim Scott or Alan West had been our nation’s first black president.

Open Letter To Everyone In The Eighth CD

To:  All Youse Up Nort
From:  Mitch Berg, descendant of jackpine savages
Re:  Your Representative.

All,

Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.

That is all.

Prerogatives

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

IT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU THINK IT IS: How Clinton Donor Got on Sensitive Intelligence Board.

A prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates and contributor to the Clinton Foundation, who later traveled with Bill Clinton on a trip to Africa, Rajiv K. Fernando’s only known qualification for a seat on the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) was his technological know-how. The Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues.

“We had no idea who he was,” one board member told ABC News.

No biggie, just nuclear security issues, it’s not as if she put it on an unsecure email server that our enemies could hack.

I suspect her defense will be “Doesn’t matter, I didn’t listen to any of them, anyway.”

Joe Doakes

Seems to be working for her.

Diminished Standards

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New Rasmussen poll says 50% of Americans think Hillary should continue to campaign for President, even if charged with a crime.  Of course the answer is slightly suspect poll uses push techniques to set up the answer; but still, that’s a high percentage.  Survey questions here.

 Oddly, I agree – she should keep running, same as any Republican being “investigated” during the campaign.  Law suits brought against candidates by partisans have become so common that if candidates stepped aside for every one, nobody could ever be elected and the government would be paralyzed, unable to impose new taxes or impose any new regulations . . . wait a minute . . . .

 Joe Doakes

Heh.

Pick Your Poison

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

C.S. Lewis’ famous quote:

 “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

 Seems appropriate for this election: Trump versus Hillary. 

 Joe Doakes

Although Sanders probably most perfectly fits the definition of “moral busybody”, as opposed to “self-aggrandizing megalomaniac” or “political robber-baroness”.

The DFL’s Praetorian Guard: Still Praetorian. Still Guarding.

What do the headlines say about the legislative session?

The Strib: the session “imploded“.

The PiPress:  It “collapsed“.

MPR:  It “melted down“.

All fairly passive verbs; imploding, collapsing and melting down are all actions without authors.

It’d be much more accurate to say the session was killed.  By the DFL.  For political reasons.

Choo Choo Trains Are The New “Shutdown”:  As of yesterday, the Legislature had reached an agreement on a Bonding Bill.   The bill had been through conference committee.  The DFL Senate and GOP House had agreed to a bill without funding the Southwest Light Rail Transit line – a big GOP promise.  The bill – as bills coming out of Conference Committee are supposed to be – was ready for the governor’s signature.  It was ready to be passed with no further fanfare, assuming both sides went at it in good faith, of course).

As always, the DFL did not.

Two Minute Drill:   With five, count ’em, five, count ’em again, five minutes left in the session, the DFL introduced an amendment reintroducing Southwest Light Rail into the Bonding Bill.

Could this be because the DFL really likes their trains, and really really wants to see the choo choo built to Eden Prairie?

Could be.

More likely?  As DFL legislative candidates are starting to fan out across the state, trying to woo voters in a year when they have a Presidential option not much more inspiring than Ole Savior, the DFL wanted to induce a crisis – the death of the Bonding Bill, funding one of this state’s precious few legitimate jobs – and turn around and blame it on the GOP.

So the Transportation Bill didn’t “implode”, “melt down” or “collapse”.   It was given a poison pill.  It was blown up.  It was shot in the face.

Preparing The Battlefield:  But by taking a murder and calling it an accident, the media gives the DFL, and their propaganda arm Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a wide-open playing field on which to romp and play with public perception of the issue.

Mission accomplished!