Kicking Out The Key Log

The Obama economy stayed sluggish, despite an avalanche of taxpayer and deficit cash, because businesses sat on their money; with cheap credit via “quantitative easing”, their cash on hand zoomed upward (leading to record high stock indices) – but job growth and productivity remained sluggish.   With regulations metastasizing and Obamacare lurking over everything like a that friend from high school who stopped by and you just know is going to hit you up for a loan, business played it very very safe.

No more, it seems – or at least that seems to be written between the lines of this curiously schizophrenic NYTimes piece that seems to make a little room for every possible angle in re Trump, economic or not:

Mr. Trump bragged in a news conference last month that he has rolled back 22 regulations for every new one — 67 deregulatory actions, versus three new regulations. Often in conjunction with the Republican Congress, his administration has canceled several rules approved at the end of the President Barack Obama’s term, including a regulation on limiting mining debris in streams, a requirement that broadband providers obtain permission from customers to collect and use online information, and a ban on plastic bottles in national parks.

Administration officials said last month that, since January 2017, federal agencies have delayed, withdrawn or made inactive nearly 1,600 planned regulatory actions. Further rollbacks will affect financial services as well as energy and labor rules, among others.

And Mr. Trump has appointed outspoken critics of regulation to lead several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

All of which, to the Times, are troubling.

 

 

Not That There’s A Problem

Two years ago, “the authorities” dismissed reporters that gangs of Middle-Eastern and North-African migrants roamed the streets of German cities during the New Years celebrations, attacking women in an orgy of depredation Europe hadn’t seen since, well, Europeans were doing it to each other in the thirties and forties.

Dismissals aside, The Authorities” saw fit to staff “women only safe zones” in Berlin for this year’s New Year celebration in Berlin:

Organisers of Berlin’s New Year’s Eve celebrations are to set up a “safe zone” for women for the first time.

The new security measures planned for the Brandenburg Gate party come amid concerns about sexual assaults…Women who have been assaulted or feel harassed will be able to get support at a special “safety zone”, staffed by the German Red Cross, on Ebertstrasse…The city’s police have also issued advice to women, encouraging them to seek help if they feel threatened and to carry a small bag with no valuables.

The “zone” will be staffed by counselors and psychologists.

I’m thinking the Bundeswehr would be a better idea, but then The Authorities never ask me about these things.  Still, I’m not the only critic:

Critics say it does not tackle the perpetrators of sexual violence, while some others complain it is discriminatory.

A society that thinks giving refuge from rapists “discriminates” against…rapists may be too far gone to save.

On the other hand, Berlin is, in American terms, a hard-blue city.  Which brings us back to “perhaps too far gone to save”.

 

 

Outside Her Job Description

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

 

Lori Swanson is Attorney General of Minnesota.  She’s a busy little beaver:

She’s suing because Trump rolled back Obama’s last-minute internet regulations.

She’s suing because Trump rolled back Obama’s illegal health care payments.

She’s suing because Trump tried to keep terrorists out.

She’s suing because Trump threatens to end Obama’s illegal Dream Act for illegal aliens.

Aside from fielding a team of taxpayer-funded lawyers to litigate Democrat talking points, Ms. Swanson, what is the Attorney General’s job?

What would you say you do here?

Joe Doakes

The honest answer would be “Get some taxpayer-funded chanting points to flog on the stump during a gubernatorial run”.

Any Color You Want, As Long As It’s DFL!

Jon Tevlin – who replaced Nick Coleman on columnists row at the Strib a long time ago, and you’d have a hard time telling the difference unless you notice the incremental drop in entitled arrogance – is getting out of the column business:

In the past couple of years, however, I’ve gotten worn down by the weekly screeds and wishes that I lead a short, uncomfortable life. I began to dread the 3 a.m. calls and anonymous notes. After many weekends got ruined by hostile chatter on social media, my wife, Ellen, wisely suggested I either kill my column or Twitter. I survived the past few years, in fact, by removing social media from my phone.

I fear we are becoming a mean, arrogant country. In fact, at 6 a.m. the day after voters elected a bigoted, narcissistic megalomaniac,

(Yes, I did check to see if he was in that paragraph was intended as satire.  Apparnetly not.  Ed)

I wrote to my financial planner the following words: “I feel like I’ve wasted 30 years of my life. Get me out of here.”

Mr. Tevlin – if you have to ask, you probably did.  Sorry to say.

Paying attention to Twitter is a rookie flub, of course; the day when Twitter’s nonexistent business model finally sinks it will be a great one for public discourse.

But that leaves a vacancy on Columnists Row [1].   Who’ll fill it?

On the one hand, who cares?  It’s the Strib.

On the other?

Well, Bob Collins at MPR writes:

Ideally, the Strib would hang out a “white men need not apply” shingle since the newspaper’s lineup of voices is almost exclusively male, white, and comfortable.

Bob – perhaps  because he’s white and male, but I suspect more because he’s part of a media outlet that is pretty much demographically identical tot he Strib – misses a key point.

The Strib’s columnist stable (outside of Kersten, whose status at the Strib is always nebulous anyway) reminds me of Alan Dershowitz’s assessment of the Harvard Law School faculty: “You think “diversity” is someone with different colored skin, or in a skirt, who thinks exactly the same as you”. (The same could be said of MPR, by the way).

What difference would it make if the Strib hired a non-white non-male (let’s call ’em NWNMs, just for the fun of it) if their writing was indistinguishable from the DFL flaks with bylines that make up the rest of the staff? Would hiring a black woman whose point of view is indistinguishable from Lori Sturdevant or Nick Coleman (or Keri Miller) really be that big a change, much less improvement?

In print,  if someone’s entire perspective on the world is that of a Prius-driving, Whole Foods-shopping, “Al Franken shouldn’t have resigned!”-ing, DFL upsucking, Saint Olaf/Macalester/U of MN Journo program-degree-holding, Kenwood or Crocus Hill-dwelling, mad-about-Bernie-but-still-Hillary-voting intellectual love child of Lori Sturdevant and Nick Coleman, does their skin color or reproductive plumbing really make that big a difference in the newspaper’s output?

Other than in the “virtue-signaling ticket-punching” kind of way, I mean?

Mark my words:  after much sturm und drang, the Strib will pick someone in a skirt, and/or with fashionably dark skin, whose perspective is no different from that of Jon Tevlin, Nick Coleman, Lori Sturdevant, Keri Miller or Kim Ode for that matter.

 

Continue reading

In The Money!

SCENE:  Mitch BERG steps out onto his porch to bring in his mail – and is startled to see Avery LIBRELLE looking over the envelopes. 

BERG:  Um, Avery?  What the…

LIBRELLE: Merg!  Venezuela is raising its minimum wage! If they can do it, why can’t we?

BERG:  The “increase” is meaningless.  Just like the ones in the US.

LIBRELLE:  They benefit those who need it most!  The poorest and most vulnerable!

BERG:   Let me ask you this, Avery.  Let’s say that I give you coupons, in payment for waving a sign around at a rally.  Those coupons can be used for one thing – to get mint tea at Whole Foods.

LIBRELLE:  Mmm. . Whole Foods.

BERG:  Right.  Now, I give you two coupons.   One for every four hours of sign waving.

LIBRELLE:  OK.

BERG: But Alida Messinger gives you four coupons.   That’s a coupon every two hours.

LIBRELLE:  I’ll work for Alida.

BERG: Right.  But Whole Foods only has one bag of mint tea left in the store.  At all.  How many coupons is it going to cost?

LIBRELLE:  I don’t get it.

BERG:   You have coupons good for tea.  But there is no tea.  So all your coupons are are pieces of paper given to you in exchange for a day of waving signs.

LIBRELLE:  The correct answer, then, is that my labor – sign-waving – is of intrinsic value, and should be rewarded with tea.

BERG:  Not to Whole Foods, it’s not.    The coupons are just pieces of paper exchangaed for slices of time you spent, er, working.  The sign didn’t get waved twice as much, or twice as hard, or… (looks at LIBRELLE) twice as effectively.  You just got more slips of paper.  But the tea is all gone.

LIBRELLE:  Right, but I still have three more coupons!

BERG:  Which are of no value.  Like the 40% “pay raise” in worthless money that the Venezuelan “poor” will get out of this “raise”.

LIBRELLE: But when they throw off the shackles of the international capistalists, they’ll all be rich!

BERG: Right.  Just like you’ll have three bags of tea when the truck finally arrives at Whole Foods.  Hey – why are you on my porch.

LIBRELLE:  Just checking for thoughtcrime.

(And SCENE)

This Sends A Tingle Up My Leg

I hate to indulge in Schadenfreud.

But I”m going to make a gleeful exception in this case; the Sexual Cultural Revolution has pulled its tumbrel up in front of MSNBC, and the Red Guards are looking for…

…uberliberal chanting point bot Chris Matthews:

 

Two former NBC producers independently alleged Matthews would rate the looks of his female guests on a scale and said Matthews was so abusive that staff joked about being battered women. The interviews in total paint Matthews as a tyrant liable to fly off the handle at the slightest mistake, who was eager to objectify women and made inappropriate sexual comments appear to be a matter of course for someone in his position.

Liberal Men with Power: “Rules Are For Mortals”.

Anyway – while I don’t like Schadenfreiud, watching Christ Matthews hoisted by the cultural petard he’s spent the last decade cheerleading for will be glorious.

Faster, please.

 

 

Primer

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Interesting explanation of what’s wrong with Commerce Clause case-law precedent, written in a way that even I can understand the problem.

TL;dr version: the basic idea was sound but it’s been stretched out of shape to suit passing fads.

And that’s what’s wrong with this ruling by the appeals court in an Oregon baker case.  The court assumed the stretched-to-fit Commerce Clause interpretation was correct, so the anti-discrimination law protecting gays was valid, and therefore the baker was subject to that general law.  Having made the fatal assumption, the court was able to conclude the baker was not targeted for his religious beliefs.  Yes, but if the underlying assumption is wrong, then the baker’s First Amendment religious freedom should trump the federal government’s interest in regulating people who produce goods that could conceivably travel in interstate commerce.

I know, it’s complicated.  We all prefer simple soundbites.  But this is worth the effort to understand.  And Williamson does a good job helping with that.

Joe Doakes

The greatest achievement of the Establishment was convincing everyone that government is so complex, only government people could do it.

Happy NARN Year

Join me from 1-3PM today on the NARN!

Today on the show:

  • John Augustine of the Legislative Evaluation Assembly n the upcoming session.
  • Berg’s Fourth Law
  • A Year Of Trump
  • You Can Call Him Gone

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson is  on “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

More Of This Please

Woman bumped from United (what else?) flight by the imperious Sheila Jackson Lee (D, TX)

Jackson Lee accuses her victim of…wait for it…wait for it…racism.

Woman – Jean-Marie Simon – fires back:

“That could have been Donald Duck in my seat,” Simon, a Democrat, told Fox News on Thursday. “I could not see who had boarded the flight. I didn’t even know who she was.”

It could happen to you:

At first, Simon didn’t know who was in her seat as she argued at the gate. United eventually gave her a $500 voucher and reseated her in the economy plus section. In her original Facebook post, Simon said another Texas congressman then informed her a fellow member of the delegation was in her seat, and “regularly does this” to passengers.

Of course she does.

And if yoiu say “boo”, she plays the race card.

On the one hand, if Simon weren’t a female Democrat, the media wouldn’t be carrying the story.  If she were a white male, the “racism” charge would be carried uncritically.

On the other hand?  More of these spurious charges of racism, misogyny, “mansplaining” and the like need to be jammed back down the accusers’ throats.  Preferably with ball-peen hammers.

TANGENTIAL NOTE:  This is the 15,000th post on this blog since November 2006 (whien I switched to WordPress).

Apropos not much.

Berg’s Seventh Law Is Universal And Inviolable

Gun violence prevention control grouips are fond of whipping up “popular” anger against “the gun lobby” – portrayed as an immense, boundlessly wealthy group of heartless white guys with three piece suits and cigars, cackling with glee at the deaths of innocent children.  Big Left has worked overtime to try to demonize civil rights groups, especially the NRA, as 900 pound gorillas that the plucky criminal-safety advocates can’t possibly compete with.

So what’s the truth?

As always – read Berg’s Seventh Law:  “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”.

And the Law will lead you to the truth.    It always does:

After compiling the numbers we discovered pro-gun control candidates received more than six times more money than pro-gun rights candidates on the issue.

Last year, the largest recipient of campaign cash from pro-gun rights groups in Oregon was Laura Morett. The Republican candidate for state representative and former “Survivor” reality show contestant received $10,132.86 total from the Oregon Firearms Federation and the National Rifle Association (NRA). Despite the infusion of cash, Morett was not successful in defeating state Rep. Paul Evans, D-Salem.

“But Mitch – that’s Oregon!”

The ration is even more lopsided in Minnesota, where the antis outspent the good guys nearly 10:1 in the 2016 legislative elections.

 

 

When Even The Left Is Dinging On You…

…as this writer does to Dianne Feinstein, for being not merely “too old”, but too militaristic to serve in the Senate…:

Dianne Feinstein was recently seen at a town hall doing some truly remarkable mental contortions advocating regime change in Syria while simultaneously trying to distance herself from the politically unpopular phrase “regime change” itself. She has supported US military interventionism at every turn, has advocated all new cold war escalations with Russia, at a time in her life when she should really be leaving potentially world-ending decisions like that to the people who will still be here to deal with their consequences.

…well, you know what’s gonna happen, right?

Nothing.  Seniority equals power.  She, like Robert Byrd before her, will be “serving” in the Senate until her the jar holding her brain falls over and breaks.

For Sale?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Trump issued an Executive Order.  Human rights abuse and corruption are a threat to national security, so if you’re on our secret list, we can bar your entry into the country and if you’re already here, we can seize your assets without notice.

Wow, that’s a big step, worse than the No Fly List.  Just on general principles, I’m uncomfortable with the President giving the bureaucracy that kind of power.  What brought this on?

The order is somehow related to the Magnitsky Act, which is named after some Russian who died under suspicious circumstances.  The Russian government hates the Magnitsky Act and wants it repealed.  Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton didn’t enforce the Act because they wanted favorable relations with the Russians.

Remember Natalia Veselnitskaya, that Russian lawyer woman who met with Donald Trump Junior before the election?  She claimed to have dirt on Hillary so he went to the meeting but she had no dirt, it was a pretense to lobby him to repeal the Magnitsky Act.

Turns out that same woman was given special permission to enter the US by the Obama Department of Justice, tricked Junior into taking hermeeting, and also met with Fusion GPS – the people who made the fake dossier paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign – before and after hermeeting with Junior.  She came, got instructions, executed them, reported back . . . mission accomplished.

That meeting and the Fusion GPS dossier are the Democrats’ reasons for claiming Trump was colluding with the Russians to steal the election.  On the contrary, it’s beginning to look as if the whole thing may have been a team effort between the Russian government, the DNC and the Clinton campaign to smear Trump and thereby help Hillary get elected.  And the proof is this Executive Order – had Trump not been elected, Hillary would have continued to go soft on Russia, so plainly the Russians had no interest in defeating her.  Trump is their worst nightmare – a politician they can’t buy.

The special investigator should be looking at collusion, all right, he’s just not looking in the right place.

Joe Doakes

Now that Trump has nominated a good SCOTUS justice, if all he accomplishes is further undercutting the respect for the media and the federal bureaucracy, I’ll consider his presidency a success

Sign O The Times?

Big Left seems to thrive on misery.  They seem to love to cling to the notion that things have never been worse, in the nation or the world (or at least they do when there’s no Democrat in the White House).

For example – ask a typical liberal, and they’ll say that “gun violence” is at an all time high.  It’s not – nationwide, it’s at sixty-year lows, and even in Democrat-controlled major cities it’s lower than it was 25 years ago.  And yet if you ask a “progressive” what’s going on in the world, they’ll to a person insist “violent crime is out of control”.

And that’s not the only area.

I mentioned the other day the church service I went to on Christmas Eve, featuring a homily that made it sound like the world was teetering on the the brink of collapse – notwithstanding the fact that, for most of the world, things have never been better.

Don’t get me wrong – the human condition is an ugly thing.  I’m of Scandinavian descent, so optimism and pollyannaism don’t come naturally.   And the arc of the universe, while long, curves inexorably toward tyranny and barbarism.  It could all go south someday.  And there certainly  are wars going on, refugees in camps, pockets of malnutrition.

But for now, for most of the world’s people, things have never been better. As evidence, I submit this:   for the first time in the history of humanity, obesity is a bigger problem than malnutrition, as reported by those noted conservative crazies in The Lancet, in this case via both CNN and an actual news organization (which notes that obesity kills three times as many people worldwide as malnutrition).

This, not fifty years after “experts” like Paul Ehrlich “proved” that mankind was headed for an unavoidable date with Malthusianism ; that poor countries in South Asian and Africa were beyond hope and would need to be “triaged”; that India was, inevitably, going to plunge to a stable population of 100 million, and Subsaharan Africa was going to mostly die off as well.

Bear in mind that throughout all of human history, mankind has always been one bad crop away from mass starvation.  This is the first time in history most people on this planet can take a deep breath and think about a future that goes past the net harvest.

And this is almost entirely due to the success of the free market – even in places that have repudiated free markets!

Again – not that life is a picnic everywhere on earth.  It’s not.  But it’s also never been less dire and threatened.

There’s just no telling that to Big Left.

Suddenly, The Strib Supports States’ Rights And Minnesota’s Permit To Carry Law

The Strib’s Maya Rao writes about the push for national carry permit reciprocity.

The funny part?

The record numbers of Minnesotans who hold permits to carry concealed guns could soon be able to carry their firearms in all 50 states, a move advocates said would preserve the right to self-defense wherever people travel in the country.

But law enforcement leaders in Minnesota and around the country are raising concerns that the proposal, which passed the U.S. House this month, could harm public safety and mean looser regulation of guns in states like Minnesota, with stricter permit requirements than other places.

That’s been the comic irony of the “debate” on this issue ;”progressive” Minnesotans who favor federal control over schoiol lunch menus suddenly turn into Randians on this issue.

And did you catch that muted praise for Minnesota’s carry permit law?  [1]   A law the Strib did its dishonest worst to try to scupper this time 15 years ago?

“If you are a law-abiding citizen with a permit for a concealed carry … you shouldn’t have to turn around every time you reach the bridge to Wisconsin,” said Rep. Jason Lewis, a Republican who helped vote the bill off the House floor this month. It passed 231-198, largely along party lines.

Lewis is largely right; while gun laws should be maintained by the states, there is no rational reason why someone who is a model citizen in Minnesota should be treated as a felon in Illinois, New Jersey or DC.

Other than demigoguery and catering to left-wing prosecutors love of “discretion”, which is a polite word for “the power of life and death over plebeians”.

The proposal has put Republicans at odds with prosecutors around the country. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, the president of the National District Attorneys Association, said most prosecutors — particularly those overseeing large urban areas — do not support conceal carry reciprocity “because it’s a dive to the bottom” in terms of oversight of guns.

It’s baked wind, of course.   Carry permit holders are not the problem.  Anywhere.  Ever.  The only thing people with carry permits “dive for the bottom” at is crime stats, where they are two orders of magnitude less likely to commit any kind of crime than the general public.

But Mike Freeman maligning law-abiding citizens to preserve is precious discretion?  Thats “dog licks dog”.

The Strib holding up Minnesota’s carry permit law as a model of how it should be done?

That’s man licks dog.

[1] Which is, by the way, not “strict”; it’s reasonable.  It demands training, which has never been actually correlated with public safety, but does make people feel better, which is what “progressivism” cares about.

Oh Grouse All Ye Faithful

I left the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) a few years ago because of the relentless politicization of their services,

But on Christmas even, I went back to a local PCUSA congregation for their Christmas Eve concert service; the church has a choir and chamber orchestra and they do a really really excellent musical service. Given how awful Presbyterian choirs usually are, it’s doubly surprising; it’s one of my favorite ways to spend Christmas Eve.

Musically, anyway. Which is a wonderful thing.

But the pastor’s homily was kind of jarring. He asked why we were there – which is far from an unusual Christmas sermon theme, and the pastor asked it far from unusual; we might be there, he speculated, because we were seeking the familiar, or because it was something our loved ones who were no longer with us might have loved, or even because it was our home congregation.

Or maybe, he said, it was out of fear. Fear of the craziness of today’s politics. Fear for some amorphous group he called “the dispossesed”. Fear of the “very real threat” of nuclear war breaking out.

And after almost asking out loud “where WERE you during the Cold War?”, I thought to myself; here’s a minister of a *very* well-off congregation, full of people who gave off visible signs of not just “privilege”, but that self-assured sense people have when they have several generations of assurance that Their Opinions Matter in this world; legislators and city councilpeople return their calls, their agendas find their way into the halls of power, and they were very, very well-represented in Saint Paul’s and Minnesota’s political class.

And this on top of the fact that, for the vast majority of this world – especially in its less tony quarters, far removed from green leafy Crocus Hill – *things have never been better*. For the first time in the history of the world, obesity is a bigger problem to the people of this world than malnutrition. While there are some ugly situations around the world, more of the world has been at peace longer than at virtually any time in history. Outside of a few flashpoints, fewer people per capita are dying violently in this world than at any time in history I can think of.

The minister was talking less about “fear” than about “lingering anger about the wrong person winning the last election”. Which is indistinguishable from fear in some people.

If I were inclined to be bothered by, well, anything on Christmas (and I am not), it would have put an ugly blot on an otherwise beautiful service.

(Which makes it an ugly blot that doesn’t bother me, I guess)

Long Past Due

Yesterday, when the US used its Security Council veto to scupper a General Assembly resolution condemning Israel moving its capitol to Jerusalem, Ambassador Haley – the best UN ambassador since Jeanne Kirkpatrick – told the General Assembly that the US was going to start “taking names” of those who piddled on our shoes, especially come budget time.

The multilateralists who infest the media, academy and commentariat huffed and puffed.

Let them, I say.  We‘re the ones who’ll blow the house down:

But there are two things wrong with the liberal huffing and puffing. The first is that the administration’s threats are bound to be immensely popular even among Americans who aren’t Trump fans. The second is that it is high time that someone reminded the inhabitants of the U.N. that while the U.S. may be considered the dull child in the classroom in their realm, the balance of power in the real world is very different, even on issues where Trump has supposedly isolated the U.S., such as Jerusalem and the Arab–Israeli conflict.

Those Who Know Better – the think-tankers who infest most of the United Nations – roundly condemned us (and, perforce, Israel).

But Haley isn’t taking the attempt to isolate the U.S. lying down. As she did in her eloquent defense of the American position before the Security Council, the ambassador said not only that Trump had done the right thing when recognizing Israel’s rights in Jerusalem, but also that other nations had no business telling the U.S. where to put any of its embassies.

“But!  But!  War in the Middle East!”

…the main players in the Sunni Muslim world, such as the Egyptians and especially the Saudis, have made it clear to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas that they are uninterested in backing him on the issue outside of purely symbolic U.N. theater. Reportedly, Abbas was summoned to Riyadh to be told to accept a peace deal that Trump may propose giving the Palestinians far less, especially in terms of Jerusalem, than past offers they’ve received — and rejected — from Israel.

So while the double-breasted suits who party their careers away in New York have the official vapours about Trump’s policies in re Israel and the UN, it’d seem that on the ground, Trump’s “intransigence” may be showing some actual, possible, maybe, sorta, results?

And if either is the case – movement on the Palestinian situation and on neutering and perhaps ditching the UN – happen to come to pass, I, a non-fan of Trump, will be pretty darn impressed.

 

 

 

So Very Very Weird

First, the Trump administration slashed the Obamacare advertising budget by nearly 90 percent.

Obamacare advocates predicted disaster.

Then, the Trump administration cut the open enrolllment from three months down to six weeks – right around half.

Obamacare advocates predicted disaster.

The result? With less time, less money and less churn, Obamacare signed up…

… the same number of people as last year.

Why, it’s almost as if people will seek out freebies without the aid of bureaucrats, or pictures of Pajama Boy urging them to talk healthcare with their relatives over the holidays.

Crazy as that may sound.

The New Grinches

With the entry into the workforce – at least in “creative” fields – of a generation of people who’ve come to see their feelings as inviolable arbiters of how the world is and should be, the holiday season has become just a little more fraught.

I”m here to help.

Im’ attaching a list of the types of colleagues you can expect to encounter in the modern workplace this time of year.

The NPR Malaise-o-holic:  If you listen to National Public Radio, you’d think the nation was gripped by a wave of depression from Thanksgiving through New Years every year.   In the world of public broadcasting, the holidays seem to be perceived as a shared ordeal of awful food shared with un-hip, conservative, crassly-commercial relatives that is at best endured and at worst, succumbed to.  Don’t believe me?  Just ask them.  They’ll be happy to share.

The PC Warrior:  “Merry Christmas”.

“A-HEM.  It’s happy HOLidays“.

This one will also be happy to inform you that “Christmas is really pagan“, smugly unaware that that’s the point, if you’re a Christian.  Nobody is born Christian (except Christ, maybe); we’ve all converted from something else, or from nothing.

The Humbug:   They hate the holidays    And they’ll tell you every time the subject comes up.

The Triggerer:    “Merry Christmas!”

“What’s so merry about it?”

Christmas is part of the aggressions foisted on indigenous societies by white male Christianist conquerors, donchaknow.

Father Festivus:  Yes, yes, we get it; your mocking of other peoples’ traditions and petty joys is just as big a laugh now as it was when George Costanza talked about it in Seinfeld, what, 55 years ago?

The MacroAggressor:  The Macro aggressor combines all the above – the theatrical assumed depression, the Urban Progressive Privilege, the roiling fog of fatigue, the intolerance and the self-adoring – and wraps it with a layer of overt hostility.  The MacroAggressor hates the Holiday season, especially Christmas, and anyone who partakes.  And, like all the above, they’ll be happy to vent about it at the slightest opportujnity – or even without it.

Anyway – to all the rest of you, may you and your family be blessed by the joy this season brings.

And for the six groups I list above?  MERRY CHRISTMAS.  In your face.  Over and over.

Agenda Item

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrat IT aides ran a fake car dealership to launder money to terrorists in Pakistan, while also drawing congressional salaries.  Democrats are obstructing the investigation.

The question is not “Were the aides corrupt?”  Obviously, yes, they were.

The question is not “Did the Democrats who employed them, know they were corrupt?”  I think that’s a safe assumption.

The question is not even “Where did the money go?”  It’s gone and we’ll never have an actionable answer, nothing to recover.

The question is “Which Democrats got paid off?”  You know they did, that’s the only reason Democrats would be stalling.  They couldn’t care less about missing computers or stolen national secrets, they only care about staying out of prison to enjoy their bribes.  Find them.  Expose them.

Start looking into draining that swamp, why doncha?

Joe Doakes

Is it too early to guess “all oif them?”

Plowman’s Holiday

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A college classmate went on an Alaska cruise.  She loved it.  I look at the advertising photo and think: “Seriously?  You’re all lined up to look at a snowbank?

Where the hell are you from, that a snowbank is a big deal?”

I could make a fortune showiing people snowbanks along rural North Dakota highways…

So How Do Liberal Cities Get The Way They Are?

In Saint Paul, on top of the feds, the state, the county and the city, we have a de facto fifth level of government, the “Community Council”.   They’re not technically “government”, but they administer much of the city’s planning agenda, and serve as a group of ready labor for cajoling, shaming and bludgeoning neighborhood businesses into line.

Their boards are “elected”, but the elections are kept a fairly closely guarded secret to avoid any dissenting voices joining.  They are essentially training grounds, and sometimes salaries, for the DFL farm club in Saint Paul.

And some of them go through money they don’t have like it’s going out of style.

The Pioneer Press is covering the ongoing collapse of the Dayton’s Bluff Community Councijl, on the lower East Side.   In the report – you can read it here – you can see a lot of the hallmarks of DFL control writ small; a paid administrator with big ambitions and dubious command of finance; a “cultural director” with a mutual-back-scratching arrangement with the council, and a board elected by a neighborhood that bleeds blue and wouldn’t know what “dissent” is in a one party town.

The results?  Among many others (and you should read the whole thing):

In an interview, Abbott-Foster acknowledged that the council’s 2017 proposed budget was about $470,000 — and they’ll likely only pull in $300,000.

“It was probably a crazy budget proposal. But every year we’d gone up. That was on trajectory,” she added, noting the 2016 actual budget was in the $400,000 range.

She said her own salary was $83,000.

“When I started we were on a $70,000 budget. And each year I was there, we increased the budget by $70,000,” she said.

She blamed the shortfall on several factors: two regular funders, including the St. Paul Foundation, pulled out this year. Their radio station didn’t get any significant underwriting.

DFL governnance:  cover the luxuries, and the necessities will take care of themselves.