Meet The DFL’s Praetorian Guard

The City Pages – the Twin Cities’ media’s aggressively dumb and mindlessly aggressive little brother – engages in “Trump-shaming”, in an article that asks the question that’s on every Minnesotan’s “mind”:

DFLMinistryofTruthLARGE

Who among us would give to Donald Trump? These people, that’s who.

The article then publishes the names of everyone (they could find) who’s donated to Trump, from the $1,000 donations down to $19.

Now, let nobody be under the delusion that the City Pages is anything but the low end of the DFL’s PR chain, covering the “dumb, entitled, self-impressed would-be hipster” market segment.

But this is part of a larger Democrat strategy – and it’s nothing new.  Back in 2010, the DFL used the media to help “shame” Tom Emmer’s corporate donors into acquiescence.   Newspapers around the country have been trying to “gun-shame” carry permit holders (in states that have less-effective protections for permittees than Minnesota law does, thankfully) ever since they could.  Even Minneapolis city councilwoman, Generalissima and Councilwoman for Life Alondra Cano, used/abused her position with the city to try to “shame” her critics by publicizing their personal contact information.

This is your Twin Cities media, doing its job.

No, I mean its real job.

A High Floor And A Low Ceiling

Rand Paul has been on my short list for a long time.

And like the rest of my presidential short list as of four months ago – Walker and Jindal – Paul is out.  Apparently my short list is a kiss of death.

Anyway…:

Paul had become an increasingly marginal figure in the still-sprawling GOP field. He finished fifth in Iowa, with less than 5 percent of the vote, but is projected to do much worse in next week’s New Hampshire primary, with recent polls showing him in ninth place.

The Kentucky senator was facing a dismal money situation, and ended the fourth quarter with $1.3 million in the bank for his presidential campaign. He raised roughly $2.1 million in the quarter, while spending $2.9 million. His super PACs ended the year with a little more than $4 million in cash on hand.

He’s off to focus on his Senate re-election bid.

My two cents?  Paul had two major handicaps:

  1. He had the above-mentioned “high floor and low ceiling”; a fair number of people, many inherited from his father’s campaigns, others from the Tea Party, who supported him.  But their idea of ‘working for a candidate” seemed to involve mostly vigorous tweeting and taking online polls (which Paul, like his father, routinely swept).
  2. His followers shared many of his father’s followers’ worst traits; an almost personality-cultish focus on the candidate rather than the issues, and in all too many cases an entitled arrogance about their candidate’s superiority.   If I had a nickel for every Rand supporter I see online this morning claiming that “the electorate is just too stupid for us”, I could buy that Les Paul I’ve been eyeing.

Anyway – it’s a crummy world, where Rand Paul is out but Rick Santorum is still in.

A Little Trouble

I’m not sure a lot of people on the left really understand what the Hillary Clinton email scandal entails.

And I’m not sure reading this excellent synopsis by Deroy Murdock will help – because if there’s anything liberals “get” less than economics, it’s intelligence.

But for those with ears to hear, Murdock’s piece is pretty damning.  Some of the consequences of having a foreign power “out” a “Special Action Program”:

  1. Intel officers responsible for those programs must be alerted.
  2. Once alerted that SAP was mishandled and on a system that has been attacked, it is only prudent to end those programs.
  3. What does ending those programs mean? Depending on the SAP involved, it could mean redoing war plans, terminating ongoing covert actions, rethinking how the exposed covert actions must be done and executing on that new plan, or, if it reveals a source, removing that source from his environment.
  4. That has a significant impact. Presume, if you will, that it was a source. If that source were providing intel of such value that it rose to the SecState, now we’ve lost that source.
  5. Intel officers care about their sources, and for two reasons. One, we’re human beings. We don’t want those assisting us and our country to be hurt, even though we recognize the danger in which they are placing themselves. Two, the business model doesn’t work very well if sources think they’ll be outed. The US intel community already has so much trouble in that regard due to Edward Snowden and Bradley [now Chelsea] Manning. This just compounds it. Think about the next meeting between a prospective source and a CIA case officer trying to recruit that source to risk his/her life for the United States: “Are you sure a high-level official won’t out me?”

Read the whole thing.

And give it to your liberal friends.  See if the eyes glaze over with incomprehension.

Unprecedented!

I’ve had some of my Democrat friends chuckling about the idea that the GOP might endorse Donald Trump for President.

And I can see why they’re so giggly. The idea that a major political party might endorse someone with almost no relevant experience, whose entire campaign is built on saying things people want to hear (sometimes contradictory things to different audiences)?  The product of cynical marketing aimed at a sincere but gullible and undiscriminating audience?  A product bolstered with breathless media hype from a bloated, entitled and leadenly incurious media – the same media that was intimately complicit with creating him as a public figure in the first place?

Why, that‘s just preposterous!  That’s almost like a bad movie!

(“Hey, Mitch – are you talking about Jesse Ventura?”  Why, no.  Very close, of course – but that was almost two decades ago).

What If?

On the weekend before the official kickoff of the GOP nomination season, Donald Trump would seem to have the momentum.  Now, both of “my guys” for this race – Walker and Jindal – are long gone, so my short list is (in very rough order) Rubio, Cruz, Paul, Christie.

Trump’s ascendancy has, of course, brought out the usual jeremiads about the oncoming implosion of the GOP (to which cooler and more historically-grounded heads reply “What?  Again?  This happens every eight years or so“).

But I keep getting asked – what if Trump is, at the end of the day, the nominee?

Simple.  I’ll hold my nose and vote for Trump.

It’s not just because I regard third-party candidacies as irrelevant exercises in personal philosophical navel-gazing – that’s between you and your conscience, and is none of my business.

And it’s not that I’m a “my party, right or wrong” guy; I’m a Tea Party Conservative who votes GOP because it is, to evoke Buckley, the most conservative party that can win.  And if Trump, heaven forefend, is the most conservative person on the ballot who can win next November, then I’ll vote for him.

But Trump promises to be a rerun of the Jesse Ventura years, only coast-to-coast.   So why bother?

Three reasons:  Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Scalia – one of the better conservative minds in the history of the court – lamentably can’t last forever.  Having Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders nominate his “replacement” – or that of Kennedy, the most powerful “Moderate” in the history of the universe – would turn the SCOTUS bright blue for decades to come.  Kiss any chance of rolling back Obamacare, getting control of immigration or voting or the borders, or the Second Amendment, goodbye right now.

And by the opposite token, if Kennedy retires, or Ginsburg gets called by her overlords back to her mothership, during a GOP administration, there’s at least a chance of getting a much better, more conservative justice on the bench.  And don’t be caterwauling at me about what disappointments Roberts and Souter turned out to be as conservatives; without a GOP president and GOP Senate, “eventual disappointment” is the best you can hope for.

Remember – Trump may well nominate a complete idiot.  But the Senate has to confirm them.  And if both a hypothetical President Trump and a GOP Senate are idiots, then we’re screwed – but those are both “maybes”; you can bet a hypothetical President Sanders will nominate Saul Alinksky, and Clinton’s nominees will make Sonia Sotomayor look like John Marshall.

So yeah.  I’ll hold my nose and vote Trump.

And then set to work on fixing the rot that led us to this point.

Triumph Of The Bern

Bernie Sanders is proud to call himself a socialist.  He’s happy to continue the ideological legacy of Mussolini, Peron and Hugo Chavez.

I know I’m not the only one who sees the photos of his campaign rallies, and imagines them debouching out onto the street to look for pockets to pick and (fill in the unfavored minority) to beat up.

And yet, I can’t help watch this spot and think “hell yeah!”

It takes my (far and away) favorite Simon and Garfunkel song, and wraps it around a whole lot of stirring images, and says absolutely nothing, and says it with glorious style.

Of course, it’s dishonest.  Bernie Sanders loves “America”, provided it acts like Sweden (or like Sweden did, until recently).  But it’s not Swedes he’s trying to convince to vote for him.

But who cares, really?    I want fill up a bathtub with this ad, and soak in it for hours.  The imagery, the videography, the intersection of picture and sound – all of them are absolutely glorious.

Glorious pictures and sound have a long history, of course. We’ve seen that before; all the way back to Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will), the signature movie by Leni Riefenstahl, the greatest female filmmaker of all time (that’s gotta sit just wonderfully with the Feminists) – a film (as opposed to a TV spot) that punches a lot of the same buttons.

And no, I’m not comparing Sanders to Hitler, at least as far as the whole “genocidal madman” thing goes.

But there’s little content.

There’s very little substance.

But oh, lord, the imagery and sound and cinematography.  Is it any wonder that a nation of low-information voters turned out in droves back then, just as Sanders hopes they will now?

Halpert The Headless Thompson Gunner

I saw 13 Hours over the weekend.

Several reactions:

Worst Fears Not Realized:  I’ve been rooting for this movie for a long time – ever since I met “John “Tig” Tiegen (Dominic Fumusa), and Mark “Oz” Geist (portrayed in the movie by Dominic Fumusa and Max Martini, respectively), and got a chance to interview them on my show last year.

But when I saw that Michael Bay was directing it, I felt my hope curdle into a icy ball of despair.  Bay was behind the loathsome Pearl Harbor and all the bad Transformers movies that followed on after the good one.    (Of course, he also did The Rock and the very underrated Pain and Gain, so perhaps I’m being a little harsh on the Bayver).

In a Michael Bay movie, .223 rounds apparently use napalm as a propellant.

But while it included some of Bay’s signature moves – the MTV-era editing, the slow-mo explosions, the Die Hard-style wisecracking between battle scenes – it all actually worked well.  And sometimes superlatively – as in a scene when a group of State Department employees in an armored Mercedes are getting shot at at point-blank range by a group of locals.  Really, really stunning sequence.

But the movie largely focused on the story.  And it’s there that things get interesting.

The Story Behind The Story:  The movie, of course, is about one of the most controversial events in recent years – the September 11, 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.  During the attack, the US Ambassador, a State Department communications staffer, and two CIA security contractors were killed.   The situation could have gotten much worse but for the team of CIA contractors – ex-military men working as guards for the CIA compound – who responded, defending the State Department compound for 13 hours, until a scratch team of American intelligence and military led a friendly Libyan militia to the rescue.

In a typical Michael Bay movie, there’d be a twist at this point. I won’t give you any spoilers, but any infantryman can probably tell you how this turns out.

The controversy – for those of you who’ve been asleep for the past three years – is over whether a “stand down” order was given to successive levels of potential US paramilitary and military response, from the contractors on the scene all the way up to the Air Force in Italy and the 10th Special Forces group in Croatia.  If so, of course, then the Ambassador and the contractors were left dangling for half a day without any government support.  The Administration and the CIA have angrily denied it; Hillary Clinton said it made no difference at this point; the contractors on the scene all swear by it.

It’s Michael Bay – and yet it works.

The movie plays a little peek-a-boo with the issue, but for one key episode; as the State Department and CIA staffers on the scene ask, then beg, for support, we are treated to scenes of CIA contractors being held on their leash; F16s in Italy sitting on the runway, unmanned; Green Berets in the Balkans, sitting and waiting.

Why?  That question is left danging out there.

And two of the conservative reviews I’ve actually read mirror the controversy; Armond White thinks Bay defers to entertainment over substance, using the tension as just another showy Michael Bay editing trick.   Cranky T-Rex at Hot Air thinks it’s a feature, not a bug:

Bay and screenwriter Chuck Hogan wisely avoid having the story they are telling sidetracked by political concerns.  Instead they are able to hammer home the horrible truths about Benghazi that have thus far been written off as Republican political pandering.

Of course, this blog’s standard procedure is to assume all bureaucrats are lying, so you know where my money is.

The movie has been portrayed as a challenge to the inevitability of Hillary’s coronation.  I’m way too cynical to think the American people are that perceptive – but hope springs eternal.

Brothers In Arms:  The casting, of course, was interesting to say the least.

For starters – if there’s one actor in Hollywood that’s benefitted from being utterly and completely typecast, it has to be Max Martini, as Mark “Oz” Geist.

Martini and Geist at the opening. The resemblance is more than just physical.

I interviewed Geist last year – and met him, shortly after that, at an event on the 13 Hours book tour – which was the first time I’d heard that the book was going to become a feature film (which shows you how closely I follow all things Hollywood.

And while I can’t honestly say I thought “Max Martini would be the perfect casting choice to portray Geist”, it all made perfect sense, personally as well as in terms of resemblance, in the actual movie.

Of course, the casting of Jon Krasinski as the pseudonymous and fictional “Jack Silva”, portrayed as a former SEAL colleague of Tyrone “Ty” Woods (played by James Badge Dale, of Longmire fame) is a little riskier.   I thought, going in – “Jim Halpert as a SEAL?”

It’s not Krasinski’s first take at a military character (he played a bit part in Jarhead, in 2005), but it’s his first since he became “Jim Halpert” in The Office, one of the best sitcoms of the century so far.  Did he blast out of the typecast?

Yes and no – and to the extent that he didn’t, that’s OK, since he’s not in the movie to portray a real former SEAL with a striking resemblance to a sitcom character; he’s basically the audience’s third-person-omniscient stand-in in the story.

Does he pass as a SEAL?  Well, he doesn’t pass as the Hollywood stereotype of a SEAL – which is probably a good thing.

So yes, it took me a bit to get past the habits picked up in 11 years of watching The Office (and yes, I’ve seen every episode, at least in the first seven seasons, at least a few times, and yes, it’s better than the Brit version), but I pulled it off.

(The film’s other Office alum, David Denman – who played warehouse worker and Pam’s first fiance “Roy”, plays the real-life David “Boon” Benton, and passes pretty easily as a former Airborne Ranger).

Krasinski and Denman.

Conclusions:  As filmmaking craft?   It was great bit of filmmaking.  The things that play as whiz-bang cliches in most Michael Bay movies generally work, here.

Acting?  It never stretches credulity.

The message?

Well, I’ll let you watch it, and leave it to each of you to figure out what you think about it.

Worth seeing in a theater.

Pretense Aside

SCENE: Mitch BERG is waiting in line at the Rack Shack on South Robert.   Stephanie Marie ANNAN – Community organizer for the 5th CD Libertarian Party – enters with a great clatter, vigorously stomps off her boots, and gets in line, finally noticing BERG. 

ANNAN:  Hey, Merg!  I don’t like all that stuff you’ve been saying about how us Ron Paul people just like to throw…what do you call it?”

BERG:  “Turd bombs”.

ANNAN:  Yeah!  The GOP did it first, back in 2008!

BERG:  Yeah, so I’ve been told.  That was about three years before I got involved in the GOP beyond going to caucuses, by the way.  I know there’s been going on eight years of tit-for-tat between the Ron Paul clicque and the “establishment”, which I’m told I’m part of, even though I got involved in the party after the Tea Party.

ANNAN:  You’re already boring me.

BERG:  That seems to happen a lot.  You all apprently got “bored” with Kurt Bills after you you all went to Tampa in 2012…

ANNAN:  Hey – there’s a special primary coming up in a house district 68B!

BERG:  Yeah, it’s been in all the papers.

ANNAN:  I suppose you’re supporting the Republican candidate, like some mindless sheeple?

BERG: No, I support the endorsed Republican candidate because I’m an intelligent, informed voter. I think the endorsed candidate, Mindy Pilph, is an excellent choice.  Although I don’t actually live in the district.

ANNAN:  I plan on supporting her primary opponent!

BERG:  Who?  Jesse Duff?

ANNAN:  Yes!

BERG:  Duff supports doubling the gas tax, banning civilian firearm ownership, rolling back school choice and instituting an entirely grievance-based curriculum, and adopting the North Korean style socialist philosophy of “Juche“, an isolationist firm of Stalinism based on all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipotent state.  Which seems – pardon me for saying so – counterintuitive for someone who was a high ranking functionary in the Ron Paul campaign four years ago.  Since Duff would seem to be the polar opposite of Libertarian, I gotta say, that’s a zig when I expected a zag.

ANNAN:  But he’s independent from the Minnesota Republican Party.

BERG:  Well, with good reason. He stands for everything the party rejects.

ANNAN:  But he’s independent!

BERG:  But he’s the exact opposite of Libertarian.

ANNAN:  So?

BERG:  So yet again, it seems that “libertarian principle” isn’t really as big a deal as trying to TP the MNGOP….

ANNAN:   Squirrel!

(ANNAN leaves the room.  And SCENE)

Tangled Web

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Lying about having lied.  It’s like she just can’t stop herself.  Learned it from Bill?  Taught it to him?

“It would have been perfectly acceptable to say “Hell yes, I knew it was a terrorist attack as soon as it happened.  But knowing that doesn’t tell you where this bunch came from, who’s supporting them, who’s funding them, so we can stop the next attack.  We needed to keep the public spotlight off these terrorists while our agents and investigators back-traced them and their support network.  So yes, I lied about the attack in the immediate aftermath, in order that I would not have to lie after future attacks, because there would BE no future attacks.  And there haven’t been.  Your side is the one that keeps screaming we’re in a war, now you’re bitching that I lied to the enemy to buy time to hunt them down and kill them.  Make up your minds – do you want to fight terrorism, or not?”

Instead she lies to the families, and to the world, and then lies about having lied to them.  For what possible benefit?  It’s like she can’t help it.  She’s just a liar.

Joe Doakes

Dear Democrats

To: Democrat Party

From: Mitch Berg, cantankerous peasant

Re: A Heartfelt Request

Do you Democrats,

Please, please, please, please please please nominate Bernie Sanders for president.

He is the only candidate genuinely acceptable to real progressives – and you are real progressive, aren’t you?

Just saying – given Senator Sanders keen grasp of the issues, it be insane not to nominate him.

Right?

That is all.

Un-Abeler To Compute

I rarely if ever endorse candidates, per se.  I figure it’s not my job – who am I, after all?   I inform; you decide.

But I live in Saint Paul.  The Fourth Congressional District; Senate District 65; House 65A.  I’m “represented” by Betty McCollum, Sandy Pappas and Rena Moran.   And while I do my best to get involved in politics in my own neighborhood, let’s be honest; I probably have a greater  impact elsewhere.

Of course, Andy Aplikowski is a longtime friend of this blog.  And of mine, for that matter.  One of the co-founders of True North, one of the smartest political numbers guys I know, half of one of the genuinely nicest couples I know.  Andy’s running to replace Brandon Petersen in the Senate.  And I hope he wins.

Andy’s got the endorsement of the SD35 party apparatus.  But he’s gotta get through a primary against long-time former rep. Jim Abeler.

Now, I’ve interviewed Abeler a few times.  He’s a great guy; there are those who choose to demonize those they disagree with, and neither Abeler nor I are them.  And in his interviews, Abeler makes a solid case for some of the votes he’s taken.  Not solid enough to convince me, but nothing to brush aside, either.

But one vote that concerned me, as someone who’s gone around and around with the public school system, is a vote he took that ended up denying vouchers to students in Minneapolis and Saint Paul schools. Did Abeler have his reasons?  I’m sure he did – but they pale against the opportunity that arises when you allow the free market, personified by giving the parents the fiscal clout to say “no” to the district system, to have its effect.

So while I’m not sure what Abeler’s policy reasons are, I know that the vote did earn him some powerful friends. No, I mean some very powerful friends, friends with deep pockets and heavy-duty outsized clout in Minnesota politics.

Anyway – if you’re in SD35, or have friends there, by all means let ’em know where the School Choice vote goes.

Topic Number One And Only…

…in the media, these days, seems to be the idea that “the GOP is racist”, since Donald Trump, who has certainly brought out more than his fair share of the angry and the ignorant (sort of the flipside of Bernie Sanders, who, let’s not forget, is pimping xenophobic socialism himself) and who will be out of the race in a couple of months, is being closely tailed, and in the aggregate outnumbered, by two Latinos, a woman, and an African-American, all vying for the chance to take a shot at one of the three geriatric honkies on the Democrat side.

Which, in turn, is the sum, total, entire reason the media is obsessing over “racism”.

 

Donald The Body

Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed me something I’ve been saying myself:

Trump reminds me of Jesse Ventura.  He says what the crowd wants to hear so they’ll vote for him and does it really well; plus, he’s running against a legacy putz in Jeb and a bitterly hated crone in Hillary just as Jesse ran against legacy Skip and hated Turncoat Coleman.  But once Trump gets in office, will he have trouble getting his ideas into action, as Jesse did?

“I want to bomb ISIS.”  Okay, but how?  I’m guessing that means ask the White House secretarial staff to call the Joint Chiefs to schedule a task force meeting with group commanders who will prepare a battle order . . . might also want to mention it to the countries who own the airspace you’ll be flying through, which means somebody at the State Department . . . possibly the Russians, too . . . and do we alert the Press or not and who handles those questions . . . ooh, that whole War Powers thing might require notification of Congressional leaders, somebody ought to call whoever we need to call about that . . . .

In a new Republican Administration, the campaign staff would know the policies, know the Establishment crowd, know the insiders, know who to appoint to run the bureaucracy, know who to call to get things done.

Jesse ended up filling offices with Democrats hastily rebranded as Independents, because Jesse had no list of party faithful to appoint.  Who will Trump end up with?

That’s not enough of a concern to make me vote for the putz or the crone, but it does make me wonder if throwing out the present rascals will result in any better rascals getting in?

Joe Doakes

Trump has the same problem Ron Paul had; talk is not only cheap, it’s easy.  Anyone can do it.

Actually getting it done when and if you get elected?  That’s the hard part.

And I suspect neither Ventura nor Trump ever expected they’d have to deliver on their bluster.

The Left Will Get You Killed

The American Left is like a college girl with pathological daddy issues.

You can warn ’em and warn ’em, but they’ll still end up leaving the party with that a*****e you tried to warn them about:

Hitler: Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year”, 1938.

And they’ll inevitably marry the most disgusting person in their social circle …

Josef Stalin; “Time”‘s Man of the Year in 1939 and 1942.

…because I don’t know why.  They’re girls with terrible daddy issues.  How the hell would I know.

And even after they get divorced from the disgusting guy, their judgment is never, ever quite right.

This is a tweet from Dan Kimmel, DFL candidate for the Minnesota House in District 56A.

KimmelTweet

What does Dennis Prager say? It takes an elite education to be this misguided?

I’m mostly putting it online to make sure it’s out there for the whooooole world to see.

Non-Update Update:  Kimmel withdrew from the race, after a burst of national attention to his tweet that caused even MNDFL chair Ken Martin to condemn the statement.

Here’s the deal; most DFLers, much as we disagree with them, can see the evil in what’s happening in ISIS territory.

But among the multiculturalists, there is a very strong current of moral equivalence, of unwillingness to “judge” other cultures by Western norms.  I’m not quite going to say “Dan Kimmel was just the one that got caught” – but if you talk with enough of the multi-culti crowd long enough, you know it’s not exactly wrong, either.

The big problem, of course, was that Kimmel apparently isn’t very well-educated about ISIS.  He – and pretty much everyone, really – should read, absorb and retain this article, for starters.

Enter Horserace

All the usual stipulations apply; it’s a year before the election, and the polling so far pits one candidate with with near-universal name recognition against a bunch of unknowns who just represent ideals (and one celebrity).  The unknowns have no negatives; most voters barely know their names.

With all the caveats out-of-the-way? The latest KSTP poll – which has tended in recent cycles to be the better poll of Minnesota’s preferences – shows Hillary losing to pretty much any GOP nominee

In Minnesota.

Which has to be a smack upside the head for an “inevitable” candidate.

The GOP candidates will get negavies – especially once the Democrat noise machine starts sounding off.

Still – not what I expected at this stage of the election.

Autobiographical

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Listening to NARN, you quoted someone saying an adult writing a book should know that no students at West Point have scholarships, they have commissions, and failure to clearly say this makes one unqualified for President. Similarly, an adult writing a book about his life should know where he was born – Africa or America – and failure to clearly state the truth he later chooses, disqualifies him for president.  Unless, of course, it’s a form of simplification for explanation, or dramatic license, or hyperbole, or…

Carson could simply, a la Obama, say it was a “composite” of several schools, military and civilian…

Evolved

For years, I’ve been listening to my various liberal friends grunt and shriek in horror as various school boards around the country adopt policies that call for their various school districts to recognize, in one curricular form or another, the existence of creationism.

To which I’ve responded with two questions:

“First – if someone who’s refinishing your driveway, or checking out your groceries, or working on the app that you use to calculate your heart rate, is a young earth creationist [because the type of liberals who always huff and puff about creationism tend to own fitbits, naturally, believe everyone who isn’t like them is in the service class], what difference does it make to you?”

The answer, generally, is something with pretensions to altruism with overtones of intellectual thuggery; “we want everyone in our society to start with the same basis of actual knowledge,” or some such.

Which leads to my second question: “So – let’s say that you go to the hospital with a life-threatening aneurysm in your brain.  And as you’re getting ready for surgery to stent a weak spot in a cranial artery to prevent it blowing like a water balloon, killing you in less time than it takes me to say this, you find out that your brain surgeon – a person who spent four years in a hypercompetitive hard-science-based pre-med program vying for a seat in a medical school, and then four more in a medical program designed to weed out the non-hackers, and not only surviving the cut but doing it brilliantly enough to get accepted to post-doctorate training and residency as a brain surgeon, and then years of experience operating on peoples’ brains – is a creationist?  Do you get up off the operating table, loudly proclaim “you, madame, have no respect for science!” and walk away, looking for a non-creationism brain surgeon?”

There was a time when it was a hypothetical question.  Ben Carson, the media is jumping up and down to remind us, is an old-earth creationist (who abjures ruling out a very old earth).  And – as the Clinton’s praetorian guard is reminding us these days, he believes a few other oddball things.

Now, Carson isn’t my guy at this point, although he’d be a better President than anyone on the Democrat ticket.

But let’s acknowledge a few things; he’s a very smart guy.  Literally, a brain surgeon.  To quote a less brilliant candidate, “that’s f****ng huge!”    But he believes in creationism, and that pyramids were used as granaries.

Hmm.

But I have a quesiton: is that any wackier than believing you can offer free college tuition without blowing up the deficit and distorting the higher education market out of recognition?  Or in believing that storing classified emails in a bathroom and telling the American people that the Benghazi attack was caused by an anti-Muslim video were good ideas?

Trump Card

A longtime correspondent of this blog writes:

I note that the MSM is promoting Latino group offers $5K for calling Trump a racist on ‘SNL’”
By a Norman Mailer I’m referring to a description of his contact with feminist protesters from this article in Salon:

“For example, back when I was in college at Berkeley, I attended a lecture by then bad-boy, self-advertised anti-feminist, self-proclaimed macho-man, world-famous novelist and essayist Norman Mailer. I should mention that he had been preceded a week before by Gloria Steinem. The stage was set.  As soon as Mailer took the podium there was a smattering of shouts, signs flashed up, a protest began. He looked over the crowd and held his hands up, and said, “OK, OK.  I get it.” Things quieted down a bit.  Mailer continued,  “So everyone who thinks I’m an asshole, hiss.”  Of course the room was soon filled with violent hisses.  When they stopped Mailer smirked and said, “Obedient little bitches.””

My hope would be that Trump would come out for the opening monologue and ask everyone in the audience to join together and call him a racist, he could even hold up a cue card with the exact words, then he could hold up another cue card with the contact information for Deport Racism PAC and assure the audience that each one of them is eligible for/guaranteed a $5,000.00 reward. I figure Studio 8H has about 200 seats in it so at $5k a head that could cost the Deport Racism PAC $1.2million. Its a safe bet they would renege on the offer giving Trump & the GOP in general a lot of counter attack ammunition.

Whatever you can say about Trump – he’s not my guy – he’s one I could actually see bringing this kind of thing to the campaign.

Harbinger?

Off-year election results around the country were a mixed bag.

And by “mixed”, I mean generally good for conservative Republicans nationwide, and six of one, half a dozen of the other in Minnesota.

Tinkering With Leviathan:   Saint Paul’s elections yesterday, were a victory for DFL zealots over DFL extremists.

The City Council gained two councilors who ran on an agenda critical of Mayor Chris Coleman.   This can, in some ways, be read as a very mild moderate win – Jane Prince, who ran unopposed in Ward 7, and Rebecca Noeker (who is currently leading by a razor-thin margin as the “Instant Runoff” counting slogs on and on in Ward 2) ran in opposition to Mayor Coleman’s profligate subsidies of favored businesses via “Tax Increment Financing”, as well as his botched plan to install parking meters on Grand Avenue to try to chisel revenue out of shoppers in Saint Paul’s only successful mid-market retail district.

But I wouldn’t count on much change from the Council on the larger issues that are sandbagging Saint Paul; the stifling regulatory environment, the obeisance to the Met Council’s lust for 19th-century transit, and the crime problems that are percolating along University and out on the East Side.

Meet the New Boss, Same As The Old Boss:  The Saint Paul School Board election, as predicted, installed the four union-backed wholly union-owned candidates over the four formerly union-owned candidates. Whatever residue of independence from the Teachers Union that might have existed in the Saint Paul public schools will be hunted down and buried in concrete shortly.

While changing Superintendent Silva’s intensely unpopular disciplinary policies may be one of the upshots of yesterday’s elections, look for the fiscal profligacy and unaccountability to accelerate.

The election will be a great boon to charter schools – if Saint Paul parents are smart.

Schools Dazed:  The referenda in the various school districts around the east metro went about 50-50; the pattern seemed to be, broadly, that voters approved the bond levies for maintenance and repairs, but voted down the big additions to infrastructure and programming.

Which may show – who knows? – that voters are still manipulable by demands “for the children”, but they have their limits.

We’ll see.

The Gathering Storm?:  Around the country, the news was less ambiguous.  A Republican not only won the Kentucky governor’s race. but so did his black Tea Party Republican Lieutenant Governor.  In VIrginia, Michael Bloomberg, hoping in his ghoulish way to capitalize on the deaths of a couple of TV reporters, pumped a ton of money and a lot of agenda into a couple of key races, with control of the Virginia state senate on the line.  It flopped; just as in Colorado a couple of years ago, only in the most addlepated coastal hothouses can gun control get any popular traction.

In Houston, a referendum on gay rights got swept away in a vote that would be hard to see as anything but a backlash against the creeping fascism of the Social Justice Warriors and their waves of lawsuits and coercion against supporters of traditional marriage.  And even in San Francisco, the sanctuary-city-promoting sheriff got sent packing.

It’s a year ’til the next election.  Look for “progressives” with deep pockets to spend a ton of money to try to iron out the wrinkles in the narrative.

Freedom Of Speech For We, But Not For Ye

There’s a school bonding referendum on the ballot this Tuesday; the district wants $250 million, on top of the huge bond they got two years ago, on top of all their state money.

There are campaigns, both against the bill and, naturally, for it.

Over the weekend, the Washington County Watchdog facebook page tripped upon a couple of giggly north-Suburban bobbleheads chuckling about stealing “Vote No” campaign signs – or, in one case, having her kids do it.

Vote Yes people in Forest Lake are dumb enough to share they are stealing Vote No (Forest Lake Schools Bond) campaign…

Posted by Washington County Watchdog on Friday, October 30, 2015

The Watchdog confirmed that one of the women is affiliated with/employed by the “Vote Yes” campaign.

The Watchdog has confirmed that Nicole _____, the self-proclaimed sign thief in Forest Lake was in fact a part of the…

Posted by Washington County Watchdog on Sunday, November 1, 2015

I’m not going to post the womens’ full names; they incriminated themselves plenty over on their various Facebook pages.

Now, stealing campaign signs is a crime that should be investigated – no, actually investigated – by the Forest Lake cops and the Washington County attorney’s office; campaign signs ain’t cheap.  It’s also a suppression of other’s freedom of speech.  And since one of the principals in the story is involved with the “Hand Over The Money, Peasants!” campaign, I see no reason this shouldn’t be a matter for state elections officials.

But I have another question.

Double Standards:  I interviewed Andrew Mayer-Bruestle and Sue Richardson, from a similar “Vote No” campaign in Woodbury.  They report that the “Vote Yes” crowd, which is seeking a half billion dollars from the people and businesses of South WashCo – sicced WCCO on them for making “misleading statements” in their campaign literature.  And WCCO leapt into action, going all Mike Wallace on some of the “Vote No” supporters, with ambush interviews and grave (and erroneous) reporting that gave off that agenda-driven stench; I’m gonna guess one of the suburban grandees involved in the Vote Yes campaign has a friend, or spouse, on the WCCO staff.  Just a hunch.

So WCCO and the Pioneer Press scrambled a Defcon Five Media Deployment over a piece of campaign literature in Woodbury.

Duly noted.

So, WCCO – any interest in a story about a group of suburban hockey moms, including a member of a competing campaign,  conspiring and acting to steal money, stifle free speech, and violate election laws?  Y’know – actual crimes?

What say, Star Tribune?  Lori Sturdevant must surely be getting the victorian vapours about this bit of incivility, no?

MPR?  I mean, you have a big, well-staffed newsroom full of news eagles ready to swoop upon public malfeasance.  Imagine that someone had brought you first-hand evidence that people – bigots! – were kyping pro-“marriage equality” signs; does not warrant similar scrutiny?

And that other newspaper in the east metro, whatever it was?

For that matter – Forest Lake has a newspaper, right?

Update:  According to the WashDog, some of the signs were replaced, and some were returned.  While the WashDog doesn’t go into details, we presume they were returned by those who stole them; hopefully they didn’t fob that job of on their kids, the way one joked about doing with the actual theft.

Everyone keep your eyes peeled; there will be a lot more of this coming up in the next year.