Word Choice

Rolling Stone, reeling from a decade of decay of the print publication biz and its own growing irrelevance, is on the market; Jann Wenner is looking for a buyer.

The NYTimes notes (emphasis added by me):

But the headwinds buffeting the publishing industry, and some costly strategic missteps, have steadily taken a financial toll on Rolling Stone, and a botched story three years ago about an unproven gang rape at the University of Virginia badly bruised the magazine’s journalistic reputation.

“Botched”.

“Unproven”.

The actual word is “false”.

 

Trapped In A World They Never Made

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Star Tribune newspaper (using the term very generously) with their stable of leftist propagandists, is so far out of the reality loop that I am becoming convinced they are not merely pretending to believe this swill, they actually believe it.  I know this is a long and ludicrous review, but it’s informative to see just how outrageous things have gotten.

It’s utterly ridiculous.  The proposal to stop forcing taxpayers to pay for murdering babies in the womb is literally the same thing as enslaving women and assigning them to castes for breeding.  And that future is NOW!!!

The show, in the works before Trump’s election, “became more relevant than we ever imagined,” said Warren Littlefield, the executive producer, earlier this year. “A big part of what we deal with in ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ is the issue of women’s control of their body, and now we’re dealing with the possible defunding of Planned Parenthood . . . We didn’t want to be more relevant, but somehow we got that way.”

The inability to distinguish fantasy from reality is a symptom of mental illness.  Someone should intervene to help this woman.

Joe Doakes

You have to walk a long way from Hollywood to find someone capable of intervening.

Does Harvard Give Refunds?

Rachel Maddow – not the most overrated “public intellectual” in the leftymedia, but pretty dang close – threw out some hilarioiusly historicalliy-ignorant red meat organic gruel for her audience of ill-informed wannabe intellects.

Over the past year I’ve been reading a lot about what it was like when Hitler first became chancellor. I am gravitating toward moments in history for subliminal reference in terms of cultures that have unexpectedly veered into dark places, because I think that’s possibly where we are

Well, there’s a “subliminal reference” there, but not the one Maddow is thinking of.

Let’s look back on when Hitler became Chancellor.

It was a decade when political parties kept private armies that roamed the streets beating, stabbing and sometimes shooting their opponents. There were more than a few massacres, of both commies and Nazis.   The left has some groups that might, with a little more derangement, become “private armies”, but I’ll be charitable and assume thats not where we’re going, at least on purpose.  

Germany had a parliamentary system that gave a president – superannuated General Von Hindenburg – the power to dissolve the government – something easily used by a crafty plurality to stage what amounted to a bloodless consensual coup.   That’d be hard to do, at least legally, within the US’s constitutional system.  Of course, the left has spent the past eight weeks floating ideas to circumvent or avoid the constitution – but again, let’s just chalk that up to the whining of spoiled, entitled children of all ages.

It was a place deeply fractured among extremist parties that hated each other and often acted on that hate. OK – the left might be giving us that equivalence.

Otherwise? Shut up, Rachel, and make me a f****ng sandwich.

The Problem With Liberal Media Talking About “Fake News”

The left-leaning mainstream media – which has in the life of this blog:

…is wondering why people don’t trust it.

Perhaps because of paragraphs like this (emphasis added by me):

“What I think is so unsettling about the fake news cries now is that their audience has already sort of bought into this idea that journalism has no credibility or legitimacy,” said Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters, a liberal group that polices the news media for bias. “Therefore, by applying that term to credible outlets, it becomes much more believable.”

Media Matters is a Soros-funded propaganda mill.  It is a “media watchdog” only to the extent that an attack-PR firm is a watchdog of anything; relentlessly scouring media for congruence with liberal chanting points with all the grace of a German funk band.

Others see a larger effort to slander the basic journalistic function of fact-checking. Nonpartisan websites like Snopes and Factcheck.org have found themselves maligned when they have disproved stories that had been flattering to conservatives.

Neither is non-partisan.

While I think good reporting is essential to a representative Republic, I think our current mainstream media will not be the ones to perform any kind of “good reporting”.   The sooner it goes out of business, the better for democracy.

This Changes EVERYTHING!

Celebrities – among the left’s most vital constituencies – are now asking for 37 electors to vote against Trump.

Don’t want to watch the whole video?  OK – the “highlight” is probably Martin Sheen, who preaches:

Sheen pledges that anyone who votes his or her way will go “down in the books as an American hero,” and others say those electors will “have my respect.”

Violating state election laws and party rules, and getting Martin Sheen’s “respect?”

Stardom

Speaking for myself, I’m not going to participate in the left’s jabbering about “the Alt-Right” – which is to this cycle what “Vast Rightwing Conspiracy” was to 1996, and “War on Women” was to 2012; a mass smear attempting to tie the entire American “right” to the most noxious people who can possibly be linked to it.

In this case, some “Klan” leaders who nobody has heard of (there are bowling leagues with more members and political clout than the KKK has these days) who were thrust into instant, utterly temporary, undeserved prominence by dint of “endorsing” or “heiling” Trump.

However, Trump has refudiated his ‘supporters’ on the “alt-right”.

Suppose that’ll get any headlines?

Garbage Out

There’s a meme going about – a corruption of “Godwin’s Law”, I think – that says “the first person to refer to Hitler loses”.   We’ve been through Godwin’s Law and its various permutations in the past.

But it did bring something to mind.

When I get into rhubarbs with liberals, it’s pretty much an even bet they’ll cite “data” and “sources” from ThinkProgress, a blog project of the Center for American “Progress”.

When this happens, I know (from history, no less) that the argument is over – because Think” “Progress” is in its entirety baked wind.

Come Back, Aaron Rupar: All Is Forgiven

To:  The City Pages
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  You Suck

Dear “City Pages”,

While you’ve always been a freebie hipster lifestyle ‘zine, you used to have some great writing.  Thirty years ago, you were the home of Lileks and Jim DeRogatis.

Twenty years ago, led by Steve Perry,  you had some great journalism – as in, some of the best reporting in the Twin Cities.  And as smugly left-of-center as you’ve always been, you surprised us; under Perry’s watch, you were the first newspaper in town to fairly and accurately cover the Concealed Carry debate.  I said so at the time, and I say it now – kudos.

Twenty years ago.

Today, though?

Just saying – this kind of fratboy drunk-Facebooking pablum would have been laughed out of my high school newspaper.  And this piece here might legitimately make someone wonder if the City Pages is getting money, directly or indirectly, from Bloomberg (more tomorrow).

Speaking of which – is City Pages getting money from Bloomberg?

It’s almost, but not quite, a Berg’s Law; whenever you think the City Pages can’t get any dumber, it will get dumber.

That is all.

Shots Fired

Rep. Kim Norton is going to come for your guns this session.

It may not work, but it’s the next measure in what Big Left hopes to make into a steady drumbeat that eventually wears the great, underinformed middle down on the issue.

But the facts are out there.

Location, Location, Location:   If you live in Minnesota, you know that North Minneapolis is the state’s little Oakland.  While Minnesota as a whole has a murder rate of 1.6 per 100,000 people, the North Side’s violent crime (about 30 murders last year, in a population of under 40,000 people) teases out to a murder rate of 75/100,000 – higher than Venezela, double that of Columbia.

Of course, Minneapolis (and Hennepin County in general) has among the lowest legal firearms ownership rates in the state:

So if the left’s conceit  – less guns (in the hands of the law-abiding) equals less crime – would seem to predict a nice, low crime rate in Minneapolis.

But the MinnPost ran a piece earlier this week – and for starters, it confirmed what everyone already knew; the North Side is a shooting gallery, at least judging by the MPD’s “Shot Spotter” system.

Here’s a “heat map” of the city:

screenshot-www.minnpost.com 2016-01-19 12-16-08

 

 

There’s a faint dribble of shooting in the “Phillips” neighborhood (between Franklin and Lake, east of 35W and west of Hiawatha), and some in the central core of the south side between 35W and probably Chicago (and just so we’re accurate, here, the shot-spotter microphones are only installed in high-crime areas; we don’t see shots fired in Linden Hills or along Minnehaha Creek because there are no microphones in Linden Hills or along Minnehaha Creek.  But there are no microphones there because, objectively, there really isn’t a big “gun violence” problem there.  Or Nordeast.  Or by Nokomis. Or even on Lake Street east of Hiawatha or much west of Nicollet.

More telling?  Shooting has been trending down on the south side for the past six years:

screenshot-www.minnpost.com 2016-01-19 12-16-33
Even the NYTimes knows that North Minneapolis is a free-fire zone:

But as Willesha Moorehead, who came here from Chicago a dozen years ago, can attest, struggle is baked into its streets.

Seven of her friends or members of her family, including the father of her first child, have died from gun violence in North Minneapolis. She has struggled to get work, in part because she could not find child care for her two daughters, she said. And for the past three years she has bounced between the homes of friends and family because she could not find affordable housing.

The problem, the NYTimes seems to imply, is that not enough money gets spent on the North Side:

Public transportation is poor, residents say, and though local officials are planning to spend more than $1 billion on a light-rail line, North Minneapolis residents have been critical because it will run through downtown and the suburbs but skirt their community.

So clearly, the answer is to crack down on guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens in Northeast and Saint Paul and Anoka and Thief River Falls.

That should solve it.

The real problem?  The government has been using the North Side as a warehouse for the poor for a couple of generations now.  The city has been fine with that – they’re a nice pool of captive DFL voters – but now, the social consequences of keeping a bull pen full of dependents is catching up with the city.

Again.

Hugo First

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

As a youth, I looked for Science Fiction books with Hugo Winner on the cover because that was a sign of quality science fiction writing.

For the last 30 years, Hugo winners have been more about political correctness than starships and laser beams, a future of despair, not hope.  Look, I read escapist fiction to escape political correctness and despair, I don’t want it in my Science Fiction so I quit buying SF.

Three years ago, author Larry Correia noticed the trend and in a parody of typical politically-correct appeals, claimed that boring message fiction was the leading cause of puppy-related sadness.  He said the Hugos put authors’ politics above the quality of the work, that conservatives were shunned.  He formed the Sad Puppies club and got a few conservatives nominated for the award.  The Liberal response was typical:  Sad Puppies are racist, sexist and homophobic and must be shunned.  SP did it again last year and the response got worse.  This year there were two groups: Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies, who swept the nominations and then the fur really flew.

The major media reporting on the controversy started from the wrong premise: they examined genitals and scrutinized skin color to see if Sad Puppies nominees filled quotas of women and racial minority authors.  That investigation entirely misses the point: regardless of who wrote the stories, were the stories any good?

The metric used to measure the problem, IS the problem.

The 2015 Hugos were announced: no Award won several categories.  Politically correct fans would sooner give no award at all than let conservative nominees win, not even the woman, Hispanic or American Indian Sad Puppies nominees.  Politics ruled; Liberals burned down their politically correct village in order to save it.

The insanity goes beyond science fiction.

President Obama nominated Sotomayor to the Supreme Court because she was a “wise Latina.” Is there something about being a woman that makes the Commerce Clause easier to understand?  Some special cultural benefit of having Spanish ancestors that gives you clearer insight into the Due Process Clause?  Liberals insist Diversity is Essential but never provide an intellectual justification for it.

We can see the results of Affirmative Action in the Hugos and in the White House.  When will we, as a society, get the message that rewarding the least qualified and punishing the most qualified on the basis of immaterial factors such as race and sex . . . is a stupid way to run a society?

Joe Doakes

I’m happy that Joe can explain  the flap about the Hugo Awards because I, myself, have never cared for sci-fi.

And when I say “sci-fi”, I mean “sci-fi fans”, of whom I have the grossly-unfair stereotype of being a roomful of people who look and act like Comic Store Guy on Simpsons

…and who justify the stereotype, in part, by doing such a terrible job (Joe Doakes excepted) of explaining why we should care?  Reading sci-fi fans’ “explanations” of the Hugo Award flap is like reading about “Gamergate”;  clogged with subcultural jargon that, like all subcultural argot, is intended to make the subculture opaque to outsiders.

And it works!  What is a “sad puppy?”  (Joe explains it adequately, in context, which is a first).  What in the f*****g f*****g f*** is “Dragoncon?”  Who is who, and how do we know, and for the love of The Force, why does it matter?

So it’s a start.  Thanks, Joe.

Sustainability

Minnesota Public Radio announced what amounts to a fairly sweeping set of layoffs in the newsroom yesterday:

The identities of the laid off staff members have not been confirmed, but a series of tweets by MPR Newscut blogger Bob Collins Thursday night suggest that they are:

Newscaster Beth Kidd; higher ed reporter Alex Friedrich; politics reporter Catharine Richert; arts reporter Chris Roberts; producer Emily Kaiser; photographers Jeffrey Thompson and Jennifer Simonson; reporter/producer Nikki Tundel; and editor/reporter David Cazares. (List compiled by the Business Journal).

Waxing purely editorially here – it appears that the House that Keillor Built is running into the same buzz saw  the rest of the radio industry ran into 6–7 years ago, and that the old Big Three broadcast operations have been wrestling with for a decade; the fact that the audience is splintering, drawn to other media spawned by new technology.

The amazing factoid? I’ve always known that Minnesota Public Radio news was a massive operation, certainly in scale with the rest of the be behemoth that is MPR, filling out the huge building on 7th and Cedar in downtown St. Paul like it does. Even I had had no idea how huge the newsroom was; the nine layoffs amounted to 13% of the newsroom; that meant MPR’s newsroom alone was somewhere north of 70 people.

It’s disappointing – and a telling – to see among the nine above a number of a good, solid journalists losing their jobs, while Keri Miller just keeps prattling away.

PS: On the other hand, assuming “producer Emily Kaiser” is the same one who used to “write” at the City Pages

…well, it’s bad karma to kibitz about people who just got whacked.  I’ve been there way too many times myself.

Best of luck, everyone.

Stasis

Change is all around us.
Some things – technology, reality TV, the Dow – change very quickly.

Others – glaciers, the cityscape or landscape around you – change so slowly as to be imperceptible, until you look at a time lapse photograph or think back over 20 years in a place, and go “wow –  that snuck up on me”.

Indeed, the “expanding universe” model of astrophysics says that literally every single thing in the universe is changing, all the time.

There is only one thing in all of the known universe that is not changing. And that is…: 

… Oliver Willis will always be Oliver Willis.

Cue Captain Renault

The big news in the alt-media world in the Twin Cities last week was the MinnPost’s profile of Michael Brodkorb.

Michael has been rhetorical catnip for both sides of the aisle for the past decade or so.  When he was “Minnesota Democrats Exposed”, especially in his pseudonymous phase before 2006, he was the Minnesota left’s Public Enemy #1.

And his role in the scandal that whipsawed the GOP’s majority in the Senate a few years back made him non grata in a lot of GOP circles.

I’m not one of the conservatives that tossed Michael under the bus; I’ve considered him a friend ever since I first met him – when he revealed on my show back in ’06 that he was MDE.  I’m not going to say that I agree with all his choices, but I’m not the one to cast the first stone.  I’m also not on board with his approach to politics these days – but that’s something I’ll tackle issue by issue.

And I have some questions over a lot of what he says in the MinnPost profile.   Which would make for an interesting conversation, on or off the air.

But to me, the interesting part of the MinnPost profile isn’t so much the unpacking of the past couple years of Brodkorb’s life; it doesn’t cover all that much new ground.

No – the interesting part for me is lines like…:

“Republicans couldn’t distance themselves fast enough. It was a vicious mix of schadenfreude and shunning.”

“You understand the tactic [of scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners PR]? Now you see it as having become counter­productive?

“Do you advise Republicans that [an aggressive, ideological approach to the media] only marginalizes them among general voters?”

“The “fringe of the fringe” of course is great fodder for the media. Every experienced reporter knows they’re fringe people saying fringe things”

“Well, the obvious irony is that for a lot of people around here they look at you and see the guy who kind of invented the partisan bomb-­thrower game”

And especially this one:

“But the tone and traffic you generated with [your writing] certainly helped … in establishing your bona fides within the party and achieving the post you held with the Senate”

The writer, of course, is Brian Lambert.

Now, Lambert’s not a bad guy.  But while I laud his sudden commitment to civility and reason, it’s hard to separate the Lambo in this piece from the Brian Lambert who was throwing partisan rhetorical rocks and garbage at conservatives years before it became the fashion.  Literally – my first encounter with Lambert was on December 18, 1985 – my first day as a screener at KSTP.  And Lambo was sitting in for Geoff Charles.  And he was not an iota less disdainful of and condescending to conservatives then than he was in his years at the Pioneer Press (when the “tone and traffic he generated with his writing helped establish his bona fides” for a job with then-Senator Mark Dayton), his turn as the liberal id of the old “Janecek and Lambert” show, and pretty much everything he’s ever written at the Twin Cities Reader, the Rake, MinnPost, and whatever I’ve forgotten in between.

And I’m thinking his solicitousness toward Brodkorb is going to be a new corollary to Berg’s 11th Law (“The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected”); perhaps “the Republican that Democrats don’t pelt with rocks and garbage is the one that does their throwing for them”.

Oops

Over the Easter Weekend/news hole, Rolling Stone magazine and their writer, Sabrina “Amoral Pig” Erdely, retracted their hatchet job University of Virginia rape story. I’ll add emphasis:

On Sunday, Ms. Erdely, in her first extensive comments since the article was cast into doubt, apologized to Rolling Stone’s readers, her colleagues and “any victims of sexual assault who may feel fearful as a result of my article.”

She apologized to her readers, colleagues, and people who felt triggerwarned?

Well, isn’t that special.

Nothing for the people she falsely accused?  

The people she nifonged?

In an interview discussing Columbia’s findings, Jann S. Wenner, the publisher of Rolling Stone, acknowledged the piece’s flaws but said that it represented an isolated and unusual episode and that Ms. Erdely would continue to write for the magazine. The problems with the article started with its source, Mr. Wenner said. He described her as “a really expert fabulist storyteller” who managed to manipulate the magazine’s journalism process. When asked to clarify, he said that he was not trying to blame Jackie, “but obviously there is something here that is untruthful, and something sits at her doorstep.”

So Amoral Pig Erdely ran a story without even the faintest whiff of what used to be considered journalistic due diligence, buuuuuuuuut of course she’ll continue to “write” for Rolling Stone.  

It’s been my theory for most of a decade now that the “Society of Professional Journalists'” “Code of Ethics” is nothing but a framework by which media outlets can justify absolutely anything they do, even if only by pleading “we subscribe to the SPJ Code of Ethics”.

It’s very close to becoming a new Berg’s Law.

They Bought Themselves An Internet

The FCC’s new internet rules cite a Soros-funded front group dozens and dozens of times:

New internet regulations finally released by the Federal Communications Commission make 46 references to a group funded by billionaire George Soros and co-founded by a neo-Marxist…The term “Free Press” is mentioned 62 times in the regulations. Some are redundant mentions referring to the same Free Press activists’ comments in favor of more oversight. In total, the FCC cited Free Press’ pro-net neutrality arguments 46 times.

The FCC received more than 4 million public comments as it was weighing the net neutrality initiative, but Free Press and other activist groups have received the most attention by pressuring the FCC and the White House on behalf of their cause.

The Obama Administraiton is the most transparently corrupt administration in history.

Despicable Steve

It hasn’t been a good campaign for DFL Secretary of State candidate Steve Simon. 

For starters, he barely got over 40% in the primary – against a perennial candidate and a nobody.  Which might not have been a showstopper for the DFL machine to overcome, except that they were up against Dan Severson, who has statewide name recognition from a 2010 SOS run and a Senate bid (that came up short in the convention in 2012). 

Then, last week, the polls showed that Severson was ahead of Simon; he was the only GOP statewide candidate to lead in the polls at that time.  

At the very least – given the polling that, we are told, shows Mark Dayton supposedly cruising to victory – it’s a sign that the DFL/Big Money Democrat onslaught has a chink in the armor. 

At the most?  It shows that the DFL’s “We’re Inevitable!” vibe may not be entirely factual. 

Severson’s press conference last week – in which he showed smoking guns tying the SOS office to a policy of tossing veterans’ votes, and Rep. Simon’s signature on legislation that exempted the military from absentee voter reforms – went badly for Simon, and worse for the DFL’s Ken Martin, who tried and failed to take a chunk out of Severson in a comical morning of duelling press conferences. 

Simon is apparently desperate; he’s now telling his base that Severson proposes “forcing rape victims to pay for rape kits”. 

It’s BS, of course.  Not just the usual, comical, inept BS the DFL tosses around at this point in campaigns, all juvenile photoshopped heads and racist japes

No.  This is a sleazy, toxic, intentional, cowardly lie.  Severson responds (and I’ll add emphasis):

I moved it forward with the understanding that the bill would propose sharing the cost of all expenses associated with sexual assault between the counties of the victim and the perpetrator.

I specifically killed the bill before it EVER got a hearing because of the language specific to victims having to pay for anything.

In a just world, whatever DFL messaging genius that came up with this attack would get some sense groin-kicked into him.

As it stands?  Since a lie will make it around the world before the truth has finished checking Facebook in the morning, it’s back to the long, slow slog of telling people the one central truth of Minnesota politics.

If a DFLer says it, it’s a lie. 

If a DFLer who’s losing says it, it’s probably defamation.

Doug Grow, Narrative Policeman

Surgeons do surgery.

Baseball players?  They play baseball.

And Doug Grow?

For four decades and change, generations of Minnesota voters know that Doug Grow is synonymous for flogging and fluffing the DFL narrative.

Yesterday’s MinnPost piece on the Severson press conference (which I wrote about yesterday) is one for the record books.

The DFL and media (ptr) narrative this year, by the way, is “DFL Victory is Inevitable”; keep that in mind as you read Grow’s description of the presser:

Finding the current election cycle a little boring?

The DFL sure hopes to keep it that way!

Unexpected:  Doug Grow leads off with one of those “too good to fact-check” claims:

As it turned out, the back-to-back pressers were actually back to back to back. First Severson. Then Martin. Then Severson again.

Unbeknownst to each other, Republican secretary of state candidate Dan Severson had scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference, while DFL party chair Ken Martin had scheduled his own 11 a.m. newser to talk about the secretary of state race. In the same room.

As it turned out, the back-to-back pressers were actually back to back to back. First Severson. Then Martin. Then Severson again.

It’s about as “unbeknownst” and unpredictable as, say, the MinnPost hiring a staff full of DFL shills.

Sources in the Severson campaign tell me that Severson had the conference room – where both pressers were held – booked from 10AM ’til noon.  When the DFL got wind of the presser, they swooped in and got the 11AM booking.

Initially, Severson had planned to devote his news event to the subject of voter participation among members of the military. Among other things, Severson contends that President Barack Obama’s administration, current secretary of state Mark Ritchie and DFL secretary of state candidate Rep. Steve Simon have all participated in efforts to suppress voting by members of the military.

And this, as I described yesterday, he did.  Mark Richie’s office sent county election officials a “how to” on finding ways to reject military absentee ballots; it’s there, in black and white.  The media was given a copy at the press conference – as they were given a copy of the absentee ballot reform bill co-authored by Simon that specifically exempted the military (who vote overwhelmingly conservative) from the reforms.

Amazingly enough, outside of the ofay mockery in the piece’s title (“Fraud! Suppression! Aspersions! Dueling press conferences wake up a sleepy secretary of state race”), the actual facts Severson brought up, the paper trail he presented supporting both Severson’s key allegations, never got mentioned.

“My Opponent Has Been Caught Masticating!”:  After Severson’s presser – whose actual subject you’d never know from reading Grow’s piece – Ken Martin took the stage.

I’ll say it again; “Ken Martin took the stage”.  We’ll come back to that.

But at 11 a.m., Severson moved to the back of the room in the state office building in St. Paul as the DFL’s Martin moved to the front…Martin said that at a Tea Party event in June, Severson claimed that Sen. Al Franken had won his 2008 election as a result of voter fraud. At that same meeting, Martin said, Severson claimed the DFL had re-captured control of the Legislature also because of fraudulent votes.

“The last thing we need is a conspiracy theorist as secretary of state,’’ Martin said. “I call on [GOP gubernatorial candidate] Jeff Johnson and [Republican Party Chair] Keith Downey to refute Severson’s unfounded and irresponsible allegations. I question Severson’s ability to be secretary of state when he makes dangerous allegations of crimes that don’t exist.’’

It was cheap theatrics.   And Severson answered them with the kind of burst of full metal rhetorical jacket that I wish a lot more Republicans were throwing back at the Media-Progressive Complex this year:

“I’m not casting aspersions,’’ Severson said. “I’m saying let’s solve the problem.’’

Now that’s a novel approach.

Cast This:  Of course, mentioning the problem is the problem, to the DFL and the media that works for it:  

But suggesting that DFLers win races because they cheat sounds a bit like an aspersion…But Severson said it’s not just his observations at campaign rallies that cause him to have doubts about the integrity of the system. He cited the “study” of an organization called Minnesota Majority that claimed there were more than 6,000 fraudulent voters in the 2008 Senate race in which, after a recount, Al Franken defeated incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman by just over 300 votes…Martin pointed out that in the recounts of the Coleman-Franken race and the Tom Emmer-Mark Dayton race of 2010, both parties “spent millions of dollars” as ballots across the state were recounted.

“Not a single instance of voter fraud was found,’’ Martin said.

Martin is lying, and Grow is just fine with that.

Doug Explains It All:  Anyway – charge met countercharge.  But here’s the interesting part; Grow elects to speculate:

Did Severson schedule his as a desperate bid to tie himself to the military and to inflame those in his GOP base convinced DFLers only win because they cheat?

The base is pretty inflamed already.

No – here’s the interesting part.  Here’s the part that undercuts Grow’s entire, snarky, dismissive premise:

Did Martin schedule his because the DFL is concerned that Simon needs to raise the profile of a down-ticket race?

Did who schedule it?

Steve Simon?

No.  Ken Martin, chair of the DFL.

Not Steve Simon, SOS candidate.

In fact, Steve Simon wasn’t present for the press conference.  About his own race. 

Martinized: Ken Martin did the whole thing.  Steve Simon was nowhere to be found.

Ken Martin, State DFL Chair, apparently feels the need to intervene directly in what is, in a normal election cycle, a boring, humdrum race that tracks, or sometimes lags, the top of the ticket.

Why would he do that?

I can think of a couple of reasons, by no means mutually exclusive:

  • Martin knows where Richie buried the bodies.  Corruption is as rampant in the SOS office as the GOP claims, and they need to do their best to keep a lid on the pot.
  • It’s Not A Humdrum, Sleepy Race At All:  I’ve heard two rumors from well-placed sources; first, that GOP internal polling shows Severson ahead.  Second, that Martin’s behavior in the past week shows that the DFL knows it.
  • That Air Of Inevitability?  Check It:  If Severson’s race is defying the “DFL is Inevitable” narrative, maybe other races are, too?  And if word gets out that the GOP has in fact defied the DFL’s “inevitable” victory, all electoral hell could break loose next month for the DFL.

Where was Steve Simon?

Why is Ken Martin intervening personally in this race, rather than sending some 22 year old communications minion, the way he normally would for the SOS race?

Stay tuned.

In Memory…

…of Cindy Yuille and Steven Forsythe, who were murdered a year ago at this minute (3:25PM Pacific Time) in the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Portland, Oregon by Jacob Tyler Roberts, an insane, delusional narcissist…

…and the many, perhaps dozens, of people whom Roberts couldn’t murder in the ensuing minutes and hours, because Nick Meli – a citizen with a carry permit and a .40 cal Glock 22 – made Roberts stop short, and then end his shooting spree by killing himself.  (We talked about  it yesterday). 

If you see Representative Heather Martens, Jane Kay, their PR flak Doug Grow, Michael Paymar, Alice Hausman or any of the Twin Cities’ other gun grabbers, please do me a favor and remind them – Nick Meli saved more lives in that moment than they and their groups of smug, sanctimonious, sputtering hamsters ever will.

Carpetbaggers: Of Moo And Cow

Last week, we looked at a troika of “gun rights” groups and their singular and plural records.

Last Tuesday, we showed you a fundraising letter for a group called Minnesota Gun Rights (MGR) that Minnesota Second Amendment activists have been getting.  In the letter – from “Minnesota Gun Rights” executive director Chris Dorr – the sky will fall if the reader doesn’t support the group.

Wednesday, we got a perspective from Iowa on the effectiveness of the Iowa Gun Owners (IGO), run by Aaron Dorr, the brother of MGR’s Executive Director – or, according to an Iowa legislator who’s seen it first hand, the lack of effectiveness.

Thursday we looked at the ties between the Dorr brothers and the scandal that rocked the Michele Bachmann campaign in Iowa – and to the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), a group that earned a reputation for having a big bark but not much bite for the relative impotence of its battle against the anti-rights onslaught in Colorado last session.  We also noted that “Minnesotagunrights.org” is actually registered in Van Meter Iowa.

Friday, we showed that an alarmist fund-raising letter aimed at Minnesotans from the NAGR’s Dudley Brown, that was wrong on nearly every possible point – almost too devoid of fact to have come from Heather Martens.

And today?

More on that in a moment.

In Defense:  Last week, a local Libertarian activist well-known for his involvement in the “Ron Paul” clicque takeover of parts of the MN GOP in 2012 posted the following on his Facebook page.  I won’t name the activist here; let’s call him “Paul Robertson” just to avoid confusion.

I’m adding emphasis:

I have met Chris Dorr and and have worked some of the people helping him on projects in the state. A recent hit piece from a Minnesota establishment blogger noted the connection Chris has to the National Association for Gun Rights.

I’m an “establishment blogger?”

Who knew?

I digress:

NAGR operations chief Dudley Brown is an effective political operative who, an as RNC Rules Committeemember, was a leader at the national convention fighting the establishment power grab. One gets onto the RNC Rules committee by earning the support of entire state and CD conventions, something that is impossible for sham groups to do.

And there’s the point, right there.

Forget for a moment that “Mr. Robertson” is referring to Mr. Brown’s role in the picayune rules battle at the last Republican National Convention that pitted “the establishment” against the thin coterie of Ron Paul delegates (a rules change I oppose, for what very little it’s worth).

The two responses to this are:

  1. So What?:   The most we can take from “Mr. Robertson’s” statement is that Mr. Brown can organize caucusees into a group that creates a ruckus to no real immediate effect.
  2. That’s What!:  Badda bing.  Re-read #1.

In party politics as well as gun politics, Dudley Brown of the National Association for Gun Rights would seem – by his record, even as emphasized by his local supporter, the pseudonymic “Mr. Robertson” – to be about making the big, “my way or the highway” policy pronouncements that drum up much noise but signify little-to-nothing.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with noise.  And Minnesota’s current gun-rights groups – MN-RKBA, GOCRA, and even the NRA (which for the first time in my 25 years of watching the issue in this state is finally starting to take an active role at the Capitol) create plenty of it.  Over this past session, they put thousands of people into meeting rooms, and mobilized tens of thousands of phone calls, emails and letters.  Minnesota’s legislators know where the people of Minnesota stand on the issue – which is why even though the DFL controls the legislature and the governor’s office, and their financial supporters are buying support in the mainstream media, the anti-rights agenda was humiliated this past session.

But there needs to be more than just noise.  If a group can’t deliver results at the Capitol in terms of bad policy shot down and good policy enacted, then why support them?

Minnesota’s gun rights groups – NRA, GOCRA/GOAL, MN-RKBA and the rest – have a record of not just making noise, but winning battles.  Of not just getting people riled up, but getting them focused in a direction that, in good times, expands the human right of self-defense.  Never forget – the battle for “shall issue” carry permitting lasted 10 years, from 1995 to 2005.  The goal was achieved not just by getting people riled up – but by focusing all that passion on results.  And frequently needing to do it against adversity; remember, the DFL controlled the legislature before 2002, and have held at least one chamber for all but two years in recent memory.  And we’ve had exactly eight years of conservative-enough governor in the past thirty (forget about Jesse Ventura).

The Challenge:   But there’s certainly a market for groups in any facet of politics, including Gun Rights, that lead with “death or glory”; “our way or the highway”.  Gun Owners of America (GOA) split off from the NRA 20-odd years ago because they thought the NRA wasn’t activist enough.  And they were right.  And the exodus of members concerned with gun rights spurred the NRA to more, more effective political activism.

But hard-line as they are, the GOA has actually had an effect on politics.  They’ve done things; mobilized voters, won some battles through their own lobbying and activism and shoe leather.

I’m not going to tell you what to think about “Minnesota Gun Rights”, the group we met last Tuesday via its alarmed-sounding fund-raising letter to Minnesota gun owners.

I am going to tell you to consider the evidence;

  • “Minnesota Gun Rights” (MGR) is tightly related to “Iowa Gun Owners” – their directors are brothers, and both groups’ websites are registered in Iowa (here’s MGR, here’s IGO)
  • As related by Iowa state representative Matt Windschitl – a pro-gun legislator – IGO has a record of being utterly useless in actually passing legislation, has actually hampered the passage of useful legislation, and claims credit for passing legislation in which they were utterly uninvolved.   You don’t have to believe me – listen to him yourself.
  • The Dorr brothers were intimately involved in the scandal that has dogged Representative Bachmann – the payment-for-endorsement scandal that led to the resignation of an Iowa state Senator.  So someday if Chris Dorr testifies in front of the Public Safety committee, you think Doug Grow (of the Joyce-Foundation-sponsored MinnPost) won’t bring that up to discredit all gun rights advocates?   You think “Protect Minnesota’s” new PR guy Richard Carlbom won’t dangle that factoid in front of Tom Scheck and Pat Kessler?
  • Both the Dorrs are closely involved with the “National Association for Gun Rights”, a group run by Dudley Brown.  NAGR – like Brown and the Dorrs – are closely aligned with the Ron Paul camp; that’s not a bad thing by itself, necessarily.  But it does tip you off to their “all or nothing” approach.   And whatever their political allegiance, while NAGR is long on uncompromising rhetoric, when it comes to the day to day politics of winning the legislative battle for our rights, their record gives the appearance of being all moo and no cow, or worse (to say nothing of willing to misrepresent current events and politicians’ positions here in Minnesota).

Let me be clear here, personally – when it comes to fighting the anti-rights orcs, as far as I’m concerned we should let a thousand lights shine.

But Iowa Gun Owners and the NAGR would seem to have a record of underdelivering on its overpromised rhetoric.  And MGR has no record at all, other than of association with the IGO and NAGR.

Ask yourself – should your hard-earned money be going to a run rights group that has an actual record of delivering people, votes, and policy?  Minnesota already has several of those.  We could use more – as many as it takes to get every possible Minnesota shooter to the polls, and toss every possible orc out of the Legislature and the Governor’s office.

Is there any evidence that Minnesota Gun Rights, Iowa Gun Owners or the National Association for Gun Rights have done anything documentably useful?  Bills passed (through their efforts)?  Lawsuits won?  Chambers packed?  Legislators elected?

I’m waiting to see it.

But it’s your call.

“Moms Want Action”: The Assault Spam Generator!

We’ve written before about “Moms Demand Action”, the gun-grabber astroturf group financed entirely by liberals with deep pockets, and “run” (and, I suspect, almost solely inhabited) by Jane Kay, a woman whose hatred of the law-abiding firearms owner is so toxic as to frankly make me worry about her well-being.

Jane Kay (l) with Rep. Heather Martens (DFL – 67A) and Rep. Michael Paymar, at last spring’s gun grab hearings.

Mama Jane has a website, now.  And through the miracle of Web 1.0 technology, it gives the Moms and the group’s “member” their sympathizer or two the ability to put lies, long-debunked research and bobbleheaded long-discredited scare stories out in front of Congresspeople via Twitter in bulk loads.  Sort of the “Ugly Black Gun” of Twitter interfaces, designed to spit out untruths as fast as a group of orcs can click.

Or to put it in IT terms, a Spam Generator.

They’re using the #gunsense, #Savethe9 and of course #momsdemandaction tags.

If #MomsDemandAction had more than a few members, it’d be fun to jack the hashtags.

But of course, the point of groups like Moms Demand Action and “Protect Minnesota” isn’t getting members, or even producing social media.  It’s getting the compliant media (like the MinnPost, which is sponsored by the same groups that sponsor both of the gun grab groups) to present them as if they’re real groups, to gull the gullible into believing that there is an organized, organic gun-grab movement.

There isn’t.  But you’ll never hear it from Doug Grow.

The House Isn’t Burning; The Residents Are

Jonah Goldberg at NRO writes about a recent Roger Simon jape at conservative legislators – by way of addressing a much larger question; why aren’t the media offended by the left’s assumption that they’re biased?

Simon’s column reminds me of a point I’ve been making for years. Most mainstream journalists roll their eyes at the idea the MSM is biased. It’s a tired argument, I know.

It is.  I’m tired of having to make it.

And yet – as Goldberg shows us – it’s not only true, but getting more and moreso:

 But it’s simply remarkable that when supposedly objective reporters move on to the opinion column racket they reveal themselves as utterly conventional liberal Democrats. When any longtime New York Times reporter rewarded with a column at the Times or elsewhere — Nick Kristoff, Bill Keller, Maureen Dowd, Anthony Lewis, EJ Dionne et al. — rips off the mask it turns out that they were exactly as liberal as conservatives suspected…Just going by the law of averages, some of these reporters should turn out to be conservative or libertarian or at least ideologically heterodox. But it almost never happens. Indeed, when the Times needs to find a conservative columnist (Bill Safire, David Brooks, Ross Douthat) it always has to hire outside its own shop.

It’s true in the Twin Cities, too; the Strib had to hire think-tanker Katherine Kersten to give its columnist’s row a veneer of balance (as a generation of Strib columnists tut-tutted about What It All Meant).  While the non-profit MinnPost originally claimed to want to shoot for multipartisanship, the best they could do was Cyndi Brucato – as a reporter.  That, on a site staffed with DFL apparatchik Doug Grow, former Dayton comms guy Brian Lamberg, and a raft of other committed libs.

Jay Carney got his job working for Joe Biden, and later, Barack Obama because his employers knew from the get-go that the Time reporter was ideologically simpatico with the administration. The same goes for Linda Douglas, not to mention Richard Stengel, Shailagh Murray, and many others. I wonder if any of them ever feel insulted when Democratic politicians just assume that supposedly objective reporters would make great partisan hacks?

Locally?  Not only are the left’s “alt” media clogged with refugees from the Strib, PiPress and other mainstream outlets, but there’s been a steady parade of regional journos that’ve found post-media homes in the DFL, at left-leaning non-profits like MN2020, and as comms people for liberal pols.

Because it’s a safe assumption, I guess…