The Democratic Party Just Isn’t That Into You Anymore

To:  African-America
From: The Democrat Party
Re:  Can We Still Be Friends? (Meaning: Please Keep Voting For Us)

 Dear African-America:

We – the Democrat Party – know, we know, we know:  Fifty years of the “War on Poverty” have left Afro-America poorer, but has immensely enriched the political class.  Fifty years of “Affirmative Action” have left you underrepresented in general society, but been great for transferring wealth to our lawyer friends.  Thirty years of “War on Drugs” have left your neighborhoods scarred and a disproportionate number of your male population in jail.  14 people weren’t killed last weekend in the white parts of Chicago!  Of course, the economy under President Obama has been vastly worse for African-Americans than any other segment of society. 

And now, the current wave of illegal immigration is hurting your corner of the economy worse than anyone else’s. 

Why is this happening? 

Because African-Americans are no longer the biggest minority, and we Democrats have to be planning for the future.  And Latino votes count as much as yours do, except, of course, there’s more of them, so…

…anyway, hope you keep voting Democrat!

Thanks,

The Democrat Party

When Out And About The East Metro Tonight

Longtime friend of the NARN and this blog, Katie Kieffer, send this:

I’m holding a book signing TONIGHT (my only signing for the month of July) from 5-7 pm at the Starbuck’s Coffee located at 3450 Pilot Knob Road in Eagan, MN. Thank you and hope to see you if you can make it! :)

Anyone who doesn’t have a copy of “Let Me Be Clear” yet can pick up the book up at a local Barnes&Noble and brink it to Starbuck’s and I’ll gladly sign it. Here is the address.

Thank you!

Katie

The book is a good read – especially if you have some under-30s in your life who are struggling with the way things are in Obama’s America.

Daydream Revisionist

Longtime friend of the blog “Barry” emails in regard to my muted rip on the Monkees last week (which, in my defense, was less a rip on the Monkees than an example of how pop culture likes to follow up success with as many copies of the successful as they can paste together):

In defense of the Monkees I offer the following article from CNN, a source I know you regard as unimpeachable:
My opinion that the Monkees are underrated is suspect, however, because when you go to the dictionary and look up “nerd” you find my picture. FWIW.

barry

Barry and the CNN piece are right, of course – and there’s a big potential series of music posts in the whole story.  The Beatles were among the first superstars to write their own music; the Monkees were among the later products of an entertainment industry that had specialized trades to do that sort of thing.

Anyway, read the whole thing…

Too Late The Hero

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama wants to get tough on immigration but those darn Republicans won’t let him.  He has asked Congress to let him borrow an extra $3.7 Billion to beef up border patrols and speed up deportation cases.

No mention of the President’s career-long opposition to immigration reform, his decision to sue Arizona in 2010 to stop the state from getting tough on illegal immigrants, or his decision four weeks ago to stop deportations and give work permits to millions of student-aged illegal immigrants.  Here’s where the money goes, 90% for resettlement and public defenders so illegal immigrants can stay in the country.

I wonder why Republicans don’t believe this latest offer is sincere?  They must be racisssssssssssssss

Joe Doakes

What other answer could there be?

No, seriously – after almost six years, you’d think they could come up with another defamatory deflection…

NARN Said “Who Put All Those Things In Your Head?”

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism, as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!

  • I’m in the studio today from 1-3.  I’ll be talking with Hollee Saville about the ongoing Union SCOTUS-proof Union Homecare Jamdown.  Plus a look ahead to next week’s Carcraft Summer Nationals, and a look at white privilege.
  • Don’t forget the King Banaian Radio Show, on AM1570 “The Businessman” from 9-11AM this morning!
  • Tomorrow, Brad Carlson is on “The Closer”!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:

Join us!

Things I’m Supposed To Like But Never Really Did: Billy Idol

For every Beatles, there’s gotta be a Monkees.

For every New York Dolls, there’s a Kiss.

For every Springsteen, there’s a Meat Loaf.

Indeed, for every Madonna, there’s gotta be a Martika or a Keedy or a Regina.

For every artist in popular music that makes changes by him or her or themselves, there’s going to be some record company’s attempt to create the same thing only bigger and better. 

And so for Johnny Rotten and Joe Strummer, there was Billy Idol.

Continue reading

Compare And Contrast

A Conservative media outlet (blogger, talk host, writer, etc):  Sees a story about a two-bit Democrat candidate whom even fellow Democrats shun at the polls making an over the top depraved statement.  He briefly considers posting it as a sign that it’s truly Democrats who are waging a “war on women” – but notes that the guy is so fringe that even most Democrats refudiate the guy.   Decides that writing about the guy would give him just a little more unjustified publicity, opts to do his little bit to return the creep to obscurity by ignoring the story.

A Liberal media outlet – say, “Think” Progress, gets a story about an obscure GOP candidate who’s running third in the primary for a city council seat in Brackwater Alabama saying “AIDS is God’s revenge on gays”.  Within 12 hours, every liberal media outlet from MSNBC all the way down to Dim Tim Sweeney’s twitter feed, and thence further to AM950, bleats “PROMINENT REPUBLICAN SAYS GOD HATES F**S!”.

Dear Open Carry Activists

To:  Open Carry Activists
From: Mitch Berg, Longtime Second Amendment Trench-Fighter
Re:  A Modest Request

All,

The Minnesota carry permit does, indeed, allow one to carry one’s firearm openly.  But most people who have them don’t do it – partly because there’s no sense in letting potential criminals know who they need to take down first, and partly because we are, indeed, surrounded by hysterical ninnies. 

So in a sense, you are to the gun movement what guys with waxed chests and buttless chaps cavorting about a Gay Pride parade are to the gay movement; the fringe exception that confirms the stereotypes in the minds of the undecided. 

But that’s the least of the things I’m writing to complain about. 

Over the past month or so, your “protests” have given a bonanza of free chanting points to Michael Bloomberg, and backed a number of corporations up against a wall; while they’d always been “live and let live”, “don’t ask, don’t tell” about guns, and followed state laws, now they’re being pressured into taking individual (and sometimes illegal) action against gun owners. 

In other words, you’re forcing people and businesses to take sides on the issue.  And when people go from “no information or interest in an issue” to “being forced to take sides NOW”, what side do you think they’ll come out on?  Think about who runs the media before you answer that. 

Now, I’m not talking about groups like the one in the Twin Cities that hosts open-carry events at businesses that agree to host them.  Those are good things. 

I’m talking about using businesses’ private property to host your protests against their will.  You’re no better than Occupyers when you do that. 

May I suggest you stop using unwilling private businesses for your protests.  Maybe switch to City Hall,  or the State Capitol?

They’re the ones you need to reach, anyway.

That is all.

Everyone’s A Racist!

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is walking through the downtown branch of the Saint Paul Library.  He’s way back in the stacks, deeply engrossed in a book, when Avery LIBRELLE pops around the corner.  LIBRELLE notices BERG, and tiptoes up to him.]

LIBRELLE:  Hey, Merg!

BERG:  (Startled)  Huh?  Oh.  It’s you.

LIBRELLE:  Bar Louie is Racist!

BERG:  Oh, the story about the dress code?  That’s kind of a stretch. 

LIBRELLE:  They bar people wearing clothing that only black people wear. 

BERG:  You’ve never worked in a bar, have you?

LIBRELLE:   I’ve been to a few.  I love the Lurcat. 

BERG:  Naturally.  But I meant a bar.  A hangout.  A dive.  I worked in bars – places with pool tables and brawls on Friday and Saturday nights.  Some of them barred people wearing “colors”.

LIBRELLE:  Because they were racist!

BERG:  Well, no – it applied to motorcycle club colors just as much as gangs.  Our bouncers kept ‘em all out. 

LIBRELLE: Yabbut Bar Louie’s dress code pretty much applied only to black people. 

BERG:  Like Vanilla Ice, Robin Thicke, Ad-Rock and Eminem?

LIBRELLE:  Exac…hey, wait ! Those are white guys who dress like…

BERG:  …like what?

LIBRELLE:  Like you’re a racist!

BERG:  Naturally.  So here’s a thought experiment for you.  Let’s say we started a club.  We had a dress code; guys have to wear suits with ties.  Is that racist?

LIBRELLE:  Of course! 

BERG:  Why?  Black people don’t wear suits and ties? 

LIBRELLE:  Of course they do.

BERG:  I thought they wore sports jerseys and flat-billed baseball caps? 

LIBRELLE:  Well, not all of them…

BERG:  …what’s that?  Not all black people are identified by their clothing?  

LIBRELLE: [stares blankly, jaw slowly undulating up and down]

BERG:  Let’s try this on for size.  Pick a bar. 

LIBRELLE:  The Lurcat!

BERG:  OK, sure, the Lurcat.  Let’s say as you’re walking toward the Lurcat, you see a group of burly white guys in biker leathers wearing motorcycle club colors.  They’re drunk, they’re looking aggressive.  Do you go in? 

LIBRELLE:  That’s silly. 

BERG:  Or a bunch of intoxicated white guys in grubby jeans and “wife-beater” tank tops waving pool cues about….

LIBRELLE:  Don’t be silly. The Lurcat would never…[pauses, stops]

BERG:  They’d never allow people in biker gang colors in their joint, much less set up pool tables to draw the blue-collar crowd?  Because they’re racists? 

LIBRELLE:  Because…[head slowly rolls about]

 BERG:  Because social cues have meaning.

LIBRELLE:  Stereotyping people!  That’s just so typical of you bitter gun-clinging Jeeeeebus freaks in flyoverland!

BERG:  Sure.  Later!

(And SCENE)

I Guess This Means Obamacare Is Irrelevant To Me, Eh?

Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, in debate with John Thune of South Dakota.

That’s South Dakota.  The one to the south:

A smart fence which is what Senator McCain and I want to build – since he’s from Arizona, I think he knows more about this than the Senator from South Dakota, who only has a border with Canada that is quite different.

Leave aside the logical fallacy -border state congresscritters are just as clueless about our sovereignty as anyone else – huh?

I was apparently born in Canada, and not one of the lower 57.  Who knew?

Remember – they’re the smart party.

The Ninny Elite

When I worked in bars, many of them had dress codes that explicitly barred “colors” and other gang-wear from the bars. 

This, by the way referred equally as much (sometimes moreso) to motorcycle club colors as to urban “gang” colors. 

Here’s the thing; when you work in bars for a while, you realize that trouble comes in all shapes and colors and even genders – but there are some traits across colors, genders and social classes that let you know that trouble might be likely.  Drunk guys in Packer jerseys; drunk rednecks in t-shirts and worn-out jeans; drunk guys in Marine greens (yep, I had that once); drunk bikers in their club colors; drunk urban youth in gang colors. 

It wasn’t a “race” thing; it was a “trouble” thing. 

The local (and to some extent national media) has been all a-swirl over the claim by Michelle Horovitz, leader and likely sole member of “Menu for Equity” or “Forks Against Racism” or some other such “group”, that h Bar Louie’s dress code is “overtly racist”:

A Minneapolis woman says a sign she found outside Bar Louie in Uptown was shocking, and she’s not shy about speaking out on the controversial dress code that has many saying they’ll no longer spend money there.

“It’s the new Jim Crow being enforced in a colorblind way,” Michelle Horovitz told Fox 9 News.

If it’s color-blind, Ms. Horovitz, then how is it “Jim Crow?”

“What is ‘excessively baggy?’” Horovitz asked. “Who’s going to judge that? Are you going to have Grandma B sitting by the door saying, ‘That’s too baggy’?”

Grandma B?  That seems a little ageist of Ms. Horovitz, who looks – if I may profile – like an upper-middle-class white humanities graduate who’s trying to score a grant. 

Horovitz considers the dress code to be both appalling and racist.

“You might as well say, ‘No black folks allowed,’” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”

She’s not the only one who is disgusted by the dress code either. Sean Tierney told Fox 9 News he believes it’s “totally racial profiling,” and Imani Vincent said the real message is clear.

Mr. Tierney is at least onto something.  It’s definitely profiling.  Not racial – social. 

Bar Louie doesn’t want people coming in dressed like thugs and gang-bangers.  Being in uptown Minneapolis (and Minnetonka), I’m gonna take a wild guess that they don’t get a lot of drunk bikers, drunk rednecks or drunk Packers fans; what trouble do  you suppose they’ve had? 

Let’s be honest;  everybody profiles.

Let’s try a thought experiment:  let’s take Michelle Horovitz – suburban upper-middle-class humanities or social “science” major (there, I’m profiling again) and check her reactions around, say, a group of drunk white guys with ZZ Top Beards and biker leathers, and blue-collar rednecks in white t-shirts and grubby jeans hanging around the pool tables? 

Think she’s going to “discriminate” deep in her heart of hearts?   Use her “profile” of drunk bikers and rednecks to guide her actions? 

Based on clothing and visual cues? 

Think Michelle Horovitz might be a “we-ist”, feeling more comfortable around people like her? 

Place your bets. 

(But when you’re placing your bets, I’ve got “she’s a publicity hound shooting for a grant from some progressive organization” taken already).

Unclear On The Concept

The chairbeing of the Minnsota 6th District DFL calls daycare and personal care workers who fought against forced unionization “human parasites”

On the one hand, I suppose we should be thankful he called them “human” at all.  On the other hand, I’m sure the irony escaped him.

If there were ever a reason to keep the DFL in the 6th CD in the minority, this is one.

For that matter, independent businesspeople statewide need to read and absorb what this hamster really means; if you’re not chipping into the public employee unions, you’re not contributing to society

Yes, Mr. Vice President. Yes, We Will.

Slow Joe Biden, in an interview with gun-owning gun-control advocate John Walsh:

“‘John, every one of them [is scared of the left's boogeyman, the NRA],’” the vice president replied, according to Walsh. “‘Because the NRA will run a tea-bagger against you. . . . They’ll put 5 million bucks against you.’”

As they should. 

It’s one of the reasons I’m a member.

How To Do Transit

If you read my blog or listen to my show, you know I’m a huge fan of Kevin Williamson, writer at National Review and author of The End Is Near (And It’s Going To Be Awesome).

One of his book’s (and body of work’s) central theses is that politics is the worst possible way to allocate resources.

Yesterday’s story about the Green Line light rail – which was built as a relatively heavy, relatively high-speed “Light Rail” line down a crowded commercial street entirely due to the desire to play the political subsidy game, and was conceived in the first place less to move people than to re-engineer the layout of the area between the Twin Downtowns – is evidence toward the thesis.

“But if the government doesn’t build things – not just trains, but roads and streets – then who will?”

If people need to go from one place to another, somebody will find a way to get them from point A to point B.

Retro

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The largest airplane in the world is Russian.  They also have a working space program from which we beg rides, and they just took over the Crimea when we abandoned Eastern Europe.

 Does it seem to you that the America-Russia pendulum is swinging, and not in a good way?

 Joe Doakes

I’m a little upset that Obama seems to want to make so many of our sacrifices during the Cold War vain.

No, I’m not being funny.

Today’s News, Seven Years Ago

The Central Corridor Light Rail – named the “Green Line” because it would have been cheaper to build it out of stacks of dollar bills – is a failure, according David Markle, of transit-blog “Streets.mn”. 

I’ll urge you to read the entire piece, which is excellent and fairly exhaustive. 

The reasons boil down to these:

It’s The Wrong Line…:  Light Rail is designed to serve routes with stops roughly every mile or two – allowing it to get going to 55 miles per hour between stops.   The “Green Line” has to stop at dozens of stoplights, so it never really moves.  It takes about an hour to get between the downtowns, so it’s no faster than the 16 bus, making it useless for people who commute between downtowns.  And it’s much, much slower than cars, which even on the worst traffic days can get between the downtowns in half an hour.   

…In The Wrong Place…:  But it makes less than half as many stops as the 16, making it nearly useless for getting around the neighborhood, which is what people do on the 16.  The line should have either been:

  • a streetcar (and let’s all set our innate conservative opposition to rail transit aside for sake of argument) that stops every block or two and goes about the same speed as the 16, or maybe a little faster, and serves Saint Paul local traffic, for less than half the price we paid for the Green Line
  • or a light rail train built straight down I94, or across the 35W bridge and through the Newell and Empire Builder rail yards to downtown Saint Paul, for a similar (possibly lower) cost, but well over double the speed.
  • Or, since we’re just thinking here, a subway down University, with probably double the speed, but 4-10x (think 10x) the cost. 

What we got was too big a train on too slow a route – or as Markle puts it, “we’ve got a train that can’t run as a train should (to get commuters off the freeway and provide rapid point to point transportation) and yet can’t provide the good local service of a streetcar”. 

…For The Wrong Reasons…:  But the Met Council’s priority wasn’t moving people; it was promoting high-density urban development.  And while either kind of train will hypothetically serve the purpose (says the urban planning clique).  But the Federal Government was subsidizing light rail, not streetcars.  And the Met Council needed the subsidy. 

So instead of a line that (hypothetically) made sense either for commuters or local residents, we got a line designed to whisk people long distances, stopping every 1-3 miles, on a route that demands stops every block or three. 

Here’s The Takeaway:  The official transit fanboy community in the Twin Cities is just now waking up from their opening-day train-riding hangovers and figuring it out.  Bob Collins (one of my favorite MPR personalities, if that’s not a contradiction in terms) quotes heavily from the piece I link above, and adds his own observations:

During construction, I’d intended to take the line to Target Field for the July 4th game vs. the Yankees. But when push came to shove, and with four people in the car, it made more sense to just drive into town.

Part of that decision is owed to the 55 minutes it took to get from 10th Street in Saint Paul to the Nicollet stop in Minneapolis when we tried the new line out on the weekend of Rock the Garden.

More often, we hear “it takes too long” among potential riders. There’s a good reason for that. It takes too long.

So better late than never – right?

Of course, we – Erik “The Transit Geek” Hare (author of the peripatetic but excellent “Barataria” blog) and I talked about these exact issues, for precisely the same reasons, on the NARN seven years ago

Make of that what you will – especially if “what you will” means “the NARN has a better grasp on sane policy than the Met Council and the entire DFL”.

The Invisible Primary

The electorate hits the snooze button on the Minnesota Republican gubernatorial primary.

It’s been 20 years since the Minnesota GOP had a competitive primary for, well, anything.  And with just over a month to go before voters chose Gov. Mark Dayton’s general election opponent, that rust is showing.

Whether it’s the airwaves, newspapers, or even political blogs, interest/coverage in the GOP primary has been as invigorating as an Ambien with a warm milk chaser.  What little polling on the race has been done bares out that fact, with 22% having no opinion of the four main candidates running, and 33% either undecided or choosing none of the above.

The result isn’t surprising.  Of the four major candidates, only businessman Scott Honour is running any sort of campaign advertising – a modest radio ad buy hitting Dayton on his handling of MnSure.  But having blown through the better part of $1 million on infrastructure and staff, Honour has been reduced to recycling his material.  The nearly exact same ad ran in May.

The rest of the field isn’t exactly making news, either.  Kurt Zellers’ campaign seems to exist solely by press release, with few direct campaign actions.  Marty Seifert’s endorsement by former Governor Al Quie is the campaign’s biggest story to date, as Seifert seems intent on winning the primary by eschewing the state’s major media markets to focus on outstate voters.  Jeff Johnson’s endorsement by Rep. Erik Paulsen carries some weight, but largely seems to reinforce that most of the state’s Republican endorsers are staying out of the fight.

If you can call this primary a ‘fight.’  Despite the ill-will following the Republican Convention in May, the interactions between the campaigns have been downright Marquess of Queensbury:

Last Friday, TPT’s Almanac hosted the first debate between the Republican candidates for governor since the Republican Party of Minnesota’s state convention in Rochester…I watched it three times this week, looking for some spark of energy, some sign of life in the Republican race for governor. I found none, as it was a non-event.

I reviewed Twitter, expecting to see a flury of public jockeying by the campaigns or their supporters. Nothing.

No press releases were sent out by the campaigns after the debate, boasting about the performance of their candidate. Nobody claimed victory, nobody really said anything. There were no debate parties, where supporters of a candidate gather to watch the event.It is almost like the debate didn’t happen.

Avoiding the traditional circular firing squad may be the prudent choice, but against the backdrop of such a vanilla campaign, one has to wonder how any of the four candidates expect to even reach November.

Most assuredly, August 2014 will not resemble the August of 2010 as Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza spent wildly, with Margaret Anderson Kelliher doing her best to keep up via her organization.  Indeed, the question of 2014 may be what candidate (if any) can create the organization necessary to match the GOP’s GOTV efforts on behalf of Jeff Johnson.  The endorsement may no longer carry the same monetary value, but the organizational value of numerous BPOUs making phone calls definitely has a price-tag for those seeking to replicate the effort.  In a low-intensity, likely low-turnout field, the GOP’s GOTV efforts will likely prevail.

The GOP’s greater challenge may be to have a nominee that’s prepared to contend after August.  A GOP candidate having won by a minimal amount, and armed with a poor campaign account – as would likely be the case for three out of the four candidates – isn’t in the best position to challenge Mark Dayton.

ADDENDUM:  Marty Seifert may slightly regret getting former Gov. Al Quie’s backing, given Quie’s decision to now also support US Senate long-shot Jim Abeler.  Nor does it likely help that the Star Tribune is reminding readers that Quie also backed Tom Horner four years ago.

Richard Trumka’s Cheshire Grimace

Union leaders have having a hard time talking about last week’s Harris v. Quinn decision – largely because their case involved extorting money from people who had neither the need nor the desire to be in unions in the first place:

After all, it’s not easy to make to a convincing argument that labor organizations should have the right to extract money directly from the paychecks of people who don’t want to be union members in the first place, which is ultimately what Harris v. Quinn was about.

As a result, the responses to the ruling from people like AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry and Center For American Progress President Neera Tanden all claimed the decision was a blow for working families without ever mentioning that the plaintiffs in the case were eight people from working families that just didn’t see a need to be in a union.

I’m not anti-union – in fact, unlike most Democrats, I’ve been a union member.

But the drive to force home daycare and personal care workers into unions against their will (using “elections” that were as rigged as any Chicago alderman’s race) should be seen as a catastrophic blow to whatever moral case Big Labor might think it still has.