Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Oh Canada: Pre & Post Iowa Blogging Up North

I've continued my collaboration with Denyse O'Leary of Blazing Cat Fur in Canada. She's generously asked me to discuss the American presidential cycle with her readers and I must say the exercise is an enjoyable one.

I'm used to writing what I think for a Minnesota and American audience, but here the task is to help Canadians understand what appears to most of the democratic world a ridiculously long and at times Byzantine process for electing our President, in addition to providing my own reflections. I find it highly rewarding and will continue to cross post my Northern Exposures here.

I wrote about the state of play before Iowa voted. Note that I say clearly it wasn't essential for Trump to win Iowa. I wasn't just hedging my bets, I actually believe it.

That post can be read by clicking here.

I stayed up last night to write my thoughts about the results of the Iowa caucuses, trying to blend my own reactions with what narratives I saw taking shape on Twitter and in the larger media in the early hours after the results were in. This includes a brief analysis of the Democratic race.

That post can be read by clicking here.

As I've said previously, I think there's value in reading the comments whether favorable to me or not.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

David Horowitz & The Impotence Of The Minnesota Republican Establishment

Last Thursday I joined approximately one hundred Minnesota republicans gathered at the Minnetrista home of Jeannine M. Rivet and Warren G. Herreid, II to hear David Horowitz. He had earlier spoken at the University of Minnesota to college republicans, a guest of The Minnesota Republic. The video of that presentation can be viewed by clicking here.

The usual suspects were in attendance: Annette Meeks sans Jack, Congressman Tom "we all want the same things" Emmer, Keith Downey,  ersatz Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, Andy Brehm, and a variety of other useless hangers on.

It was a draw between them and myself as to who was more disheartened to be in each others' company. So it goes. Yet they had the edge on me because they get a paycheck, of some sort, from someone, for their efforts whereas I do not. Still, I wouldn't want to trade places with them. For most present, making a living off of so-called republican politics in Minnesota is the key. Winning and changing things are purely secondary. They remind me of people on Twitter who virtue signal to others that they would rather lose to Hillary than vote for Trump.

We have met the enemy and it is us.

The event itself was quite something. A large well appointed room, entered from where your car had been valet parked, filled with roaming servers bearing plates of wonderfully prepared hor d'oeuvres. A few were even vegetarian. One server remarked that I was a vegan, an error I brutally disabused her of. She volunteered that she had started a vegan diet & I do believe I talked her out of that unhealthy, sometimes outright dangerous, dietary path. One does what one can where they can.

A small open bar in the corner dispensed drinks. Tables all around filled the large open space. Horowitz and Bill Whittle were to the front of that, where I ended up sitting purely by circumstance.

This vantage point did allow me to Periscope Horowitz's speech, however, for which I was grateful and which I understand was permanently archived by his people. It deserved to be for the sheer brutal honesty of his remarks.

That speech was a recapitulation of his address to students at the University of Minnesota. This audience, however, was completely offput, uncomfortable at the direct language of Horowitz and what he felt were the issues of the times. Minnesota nice was never so suffocating.

Obama was a traitor, Horowitz offered unsubtly, in addition to being a Communist. The country was at great risk, so much so it was almost impossible to overstate the case. Horowitz was a red diaper baby, born to the Left with parents who were movement Communists. He knew of what he spoke. It's just that his audience of consultant stiffs didn't particularly want to hear it. They'd prefer Emmer's pablum about "reaching" across the aisles because having no real set of fixed principles and selling out is something they know about. Indeed, for some, it's a career.

The audience was impassive throughout. They may as well have been democrats and in some fundamental ways I wondered if in fact they were not. I was holding my iPhone Periscoping the remarks and so could not start applause at any given line. I finally set my phone against a glass and was free to follow unencumbered.

Horowitz continued: Minneapolis had suffered real and catastrophic setbacks under brain dead liberal leadership. He cited a variety of statistics to prove his grim point.

He called out Black Lives Matter for being anti-white, anti-police and implicitly a scam suborned by the guilty liberal white media. I could hear the rectums of the audience pucker: they had no idea whatsoever how to respond. A stupid, self-shaming silence was all they could muster, in keeping with their talents. Far from any encouraging response, the audience's reticence was ice cold. I was embarrassed to be in their midst.

Horowitz then asked aloud how was it that Trump could be doing so well? Clearly the indictments he had just laid out before this paralyzed audience supplied the answer and they were among the indicted, though whether they realized such or not is an open question.

This time I was able to clap and did so, waking most of the audience from their somnambulance which then proceeded to join in, somewhat. Yet one got the feeling they didn't really know what they were applauding. Is there a better metaphor for our Minnesota republican establishment?

I've never been at an event where the disconnect between the main speaker and the audience was this great. I turned around several times during Horowitz's speech, to make certain I could see the very people who have brought the Republican Party of Minnesota to the point where it's been unable to win a statewide race in a decade.

They're flush though, doing quite well though, thanks. Freshen your drink? Another canapé?

Afterwards, I saw Horowitz wandering alone between tables. How many times has he been in places where he knew virtually no one?

I approached and we shook hands. I said I thought he would never have an audience less inclined to act upon the insights he had made in his speech than this one.

He stopped, glanced up to meet my eyes and said "Of course."

And then wandered on.

* * * * 

The next day an organizer of the event told me Horowitz had confided in him that my remark was his favorite line of the evening.

UPDATE: My Periscope of Horowitz's remarks has been preserved & can be viewed by clicking here.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Coming of Governor Tina Flint Smith

Minnesota politics is usually presented as something that needs to be interpreted to the general populace by a sacerdotal local press. Hence programs of almost zero information value like the television shows "Almanac" or "At Issue" which will have guests of both parties, as well as the media party, who routinely impart nothing new or insightful about the political milieu. They're like Minnesota food: bland but familiar and always under salted.

Whether Gov. Mark Dayton has been able to put in a full 40 hour work week since he was first elected remains an open question. Certainly local media were not about to embed themselves in his job in order to find out and report. Their lack of curiosity is a source of ongoing astonishment to me, even accounting for their overt liberal political affiliations.

From his first term, Chief of Staff Tina Flint Smith was widely seen, albeit sotto voce, to be the power in the governor's office. This is not to say that Dayton was merely window dressing to her machinations. He had real moments of both lucidity and poor judgment, consistent with his need to be kept on a more or less tight leash, whether pharmaceutical or political.

No one thinks he's his own man. He recently flip flopped on whether, while the state runs a billion dollar plus surplus, there should be an increase in the gas tax. The press have handled this whip lash with their usual liberal kid gloves, which is to say, not to draw attention to it at all.

The recent death of his billionaire father, Bruce, only brought out further the psychopathologies of his relationship with him. The Dayton family never wanted Mark to go into politics, they knowing his fragile psyche far better than the public, although the local press would never print the truth about it.

As far as I know, I'm the only one in Minnesota who blogged about whether he was, on a sustained basis, mentally competent to govern. That post can be read by clicking here. 

Once she bred with him to keep the money in a tight circle, his former spouse in an arranged marriage Alida ("she's so good looking but she looks like a man") Rockefeller moved on to someone undamaged. She goes by Messinger now, a downmarket name that conjures up car dealerships, like something out of John Updike, who a friend of mine accurately characterized as "a poor man's John Cheever."

The nurse Ratched of Summit Avenue, Smith, former executive vice president of the abattoir known as Planned Parenthood, is best thought of as the Visiting Angels of political handlers to a bored billionaire political dilettante who rotely executes an agenda he is unable to articulate, or, indeed, formulate.

Think Mrs. Wilson, only with Alida Rockefeller's millions flowing into far left political projects in Minnesota. The kind my friend Jeremy Schroeder of Common Cause Minnesota would never deign to condemn as they advance an agenda unsupported by most voters. I've also written in support of Alida's right to spend her money in this way: there is no contradiction. That post can be read here.

When explicit videos came to light of the dismemberment and harvesting for sale of fetal body parts by Planned Parenthood, sickening anyone with a conscience, local media had to be positively shamed on Twitter to ask Smith whether the outfit for which she was an executive vice president engaged in such sales.

* * * * 

Dayton dismissed in a demeaning and disgraceful manner his first lieutenant governor, Yvonne Pretnor Salon, and replaced her on his 2014 ticket with Smith.

Subtext became text.

Had a male republican governor treated a woman subordinate in the same way, the usual hypocrites would have had a field day. But this is Minnesota and media exist to promote the DFL agenda.

The positioning of Smith as the next governor began in earnest with Baird Hegelson's piece in the Star Tribune in February of that election year, 2014. The headline: "Dayton's chief of staff Tina Smith: Bridge builder with a hammer." The sub-headline called her "every republican's favorite democrat." It doesn't get any more unctuous than that but the entire piece is an exercise in Tina promotion.

Any discerning reader will laugh at the embarrassingly fulsome language passed off as insight and political analysis. Increasingly, Star Tribune "reporting" is hagiography of their left wing subjects and not journalism in the old sense, journalism itself having died out some time ago. Hegelson's piece can be read by clicking here. 

Yes, I realize reporters don't write the headlines. But they do get published by a shamelessly in the tank for the democrats newspaper, under the tutelage of white hispanic executive editor Rene Sanchez and failed Seattle Times former employee and now Strib managing editor Suki Dardarian. I've written about Dardarian as well, a rare two-part post which I recommend. Click here. 

Hegelson is now the political editor for the Star Tribune, having replaced the toe curling Patricia Lopez. When liquid water was recently found to exist on Mars, Lopez was at a loss to understand how water could be anything other than liquid, apparently never having heard of snow, fog or steam. She is now a member of the Star Tribune editorial board. It's collective IQ must be approaching 95.

Yet, for a long time, she was the one who managed the newspapers' political reporters. No wonder one of its more well known reporters, albeit still a liberal, was forced out by her and left for the Pioneer Press. Previously on Twitter I had mistaken her ouster as caused by Dardarian.

In October of last year, Star Tribune reporter Patrick Condon filed a story "Lt. Gov. Tina Smith's high-profile role fuels speculation about her political future." The subhead read: "She has become nearly as much the face of the administration as Gov. Dayton himself. And he plans to hand her even more responsibility." Why would this be?

Amongst whom has this so called speculation been fueled?  The answer is given within the article by Speaker Kurt Daudt and others, which can be read by clicking here.

Smith herself weighed in on the left's secular religion "climate change" in an op-ed in the Star Tribune. The piece is rote, rigidly ideological & programmatic, rather like its author. It can be endured by clicking here.

* * * *

Tina Smith, as she goes by now, having dropped her maiden name, as has the rape enabler Hillary Rodham Clinton, is the odds on favorite to be the DFL nominee for governor in 2018.

Some tell me that St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman might present a formidable challenge to her and split at least some of the donor base. That's an interesting thought but it seems unlikely to me, at the end of the day. There is simply too much institutional DFL support for her and the media suck up reflects that.

Coleman doesn't have a vagina but, like almost all democratic, and far too many republican, politicians in Minnesota he's effectively been feminized by the rancid culture of our times.

Ages ago former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch was seen, rightly, as a strong candidate to become the first woman governor of Minnesota who just happened to be a republican. That was then and this is now.

* * * * 

Who do Minnesota republicans have currently?

Mike McFadden is said to be sure to run. "Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?" McFadden was a poor senatorial candidate when he ran against Al Franken. He lost by ten points and to my knowledge still hasn't congratulated Franken on his win. He has money but not much else. How to break it to him? Honesty is hard to come by in Minnesota republican politics: how else to explain its failure to win a statewide office in many years? McFadden is a non-starter, no matter how much Mitch Perlstein of the Center for the American Experiment wants to promote him.

Some say Keith Downey, currently failing as the Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, wants to run as well. Who are these people? Downey is the Rubio of Minnesota politics: supported by untalented staffers, dismissed by thoughtful people.

Speaker Kurt Daudt seems sure to run and with Ben Golnik his likely campaign manager. Together they might be able to exploit the increasingly sharp divide between rural and metro Minnesota. He'll have to promote a different kind of Daudt though (new and improved) given that place holding and "third smallest increase in government spending" is hardly an agenda that beats Tina.

Scott Honour is also said to be interested in running, despite his tone deaf support of Gov. Chris Christie. Still, he hasn't lost like McFadden has and might not want his son to run his campaign and his daughter to be its spokesman. This McFadden wanted which, among other things, caused the talented, Florida based, Brad Herold to move back to the sunshine state.

Honour is going to have to have more personality and charm than he displayed last time out. I can appreciate how grating this might sound, given that Mark Dayton is frequently a medicated automaton given a pass by the media.

Sen. Michelle Benson is mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate and certainly she's a strong, conservative leader. Sen. Dave Thompson, who was at the top of her ticket when the two of them ran for governor & lieutenant governor last time out, is leaving the state. Possibly Benson could become heir to his wing of the party except for the fact that women officials are not treated well in the Minnesota republican party.

* * * *

There's only one republican, in my estimation, who could beat Our Lady of the Curette Tina Smith and her cold hands. Whether that person wants to run or not depends on several factors, none of which I am privy to. But there's enough of a public record, and concomitant rationale, for me to suggest their chances. Even so, that possible candidate's recent positioning as something of a republican Social Justice Warrior gives me pause, all of which I address in a future post.


Photo credit: Glenn Stubbe

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Guest Blogging In Canada: On Trump & Hillary

My friend Denyse O'Leary is a well known Canadian author and writer who contributes to "Blazing Cat Fur," one of Canada's leading conservative websites. She recently asked, in an almost offhand manner, what I thought about the presidential race. From her vantage point, she thought Ted Cruz would be the nominee, thinking that Donald Trump had blazed a trail that Cruz could capitalize and win upon. 

I responded that I thought Trump would be the republican nominee and why. Denyse was kind enough to take those thoughts and put them on Blazing Cat Fur so her fellow Canadians could see them. 

That post can be read by clicking here.

The comments are interesting and my American readers--whatever your policy about reading the comments--should take a look at them. 

O'Leary then asked for follow up thoughts about Hillary. I waited until after last Sunday's democratic debate before responding. 

That post can be read by clicking here.

I plan on blogging more in depth soon about Trump and the presidential race in general. I thought, however, given that I haven't posted since October, it made sense to link to these two short pieces.

At the end of my second article, O'Leary asks why other republican candidates didn't take up the call for immigration control. The short answer is that they are all beholden to their donors who manifestly don't care about the issue, want the cheap labor & aren't concerned in the slightest about turning America into, as Ann Coulter puts it, a Third World hellhole. 

Trump is the only candidate who has met publicly and privately with families whose loved ones have been killed by illegal aliens. That not a single other candidate has done so speaks to the moral depravity of the rest of the field. 

* * * * 

I have thought for some time that an intellectual exchange mechanism should exist between Canadian conservatives & Minnesota conservatives. How best to do that? Maybe a non-profit? I find myself at the stage in life where I have more ideas than time left in which to realize them and I'm not by current standards particularly old.

Still, Americans are famously ignorant about Canada and Minnesotans must top that list, despite sharing a border with the country. I'd like to get something going this year but I already have one non profit that will launch and I'm writing another book, most likely to be published next year. I'd be delighted if others were interested in helping me make this a reality and invite them to contact me. 

Big thanks, as always, to Denyse O'Leary. 

Her book "The Spiritual Brain," co-authored with Mario Beauregard, can be purchased here. 

Follow her on Twitter: @itsdesign 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Missing The Zeitgeist: Vin Weber & Tom Emmer at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Part Two: Tom Emmer

Tom Emmer's appearance was both a revelation and a confirmation for me. The odious, Soros funded cretin Mark Ritchie, former Minnesota Secretary of State, and far left state representative for life Phyllis Kahn, took time to attend. Also in the audience was former Senator David Durenburger. They all share a lack of ethics so their presence made sense. Emmer's desire to obtain the approval of these types was evident from every word he said. To be fair, it wasn't quite as debasing as his appearance at the MinnPost Roast earlier in the year.

Before questions from Prof. Jacobs, Emmer sketched his public life, detailing his rise from small town lawyer to Delano city council to Minnesota House of Representatives, then as the man who failed to defeat the flawed and damaged Mark Dayton for governor in a republican wave election. No mention of his rejection by his party for a seat on the Republican National Committee.

Tellingly, he omitted his stint as a morning drive radio host with Bob Davis on KTLK. He also failed to note his promoting for money any scheme, plan or idea that he could get his hands on. Shilling for National Popular Vote, designed to eviscerate the Electoral College, naturally went unmentioned.

He did emphasize his love of family and he & his wife Jacquie seem to be loving and wonderful parents to their many children. This is to their credit. As my friend Sue Jeffers once said to me, early on when I wandered into local and state politics, family first and always, politics a distinct second.

Emmer quickly came to the leitmotif he established shortly after being sworn into office: relationships are everything, relations are key. What this means no one quite knows and this is by design. Schmoozing requires little conviction or courage, attributes Emmer has never possessed and shows little interest in developing.

The most amazing thing, said Tom, about being in Congress was the amazing quality of the people he served with. I was amazed. I'm not sure how low one's bar has to be in order to consider the kind of people we send to Congress--from both parties--as amazing. To the political class, of course, this is simple common sense, one it's good to know the Congressman shares. How else is he going to be sent abroad on useless but expensive foreign junkets? Relationships are the new sucking up; cause and effect remain the same, however. Like Obama, Emmer seems primarily interested in the perks of the office rather than doing anything substantive with it.

"We all want the same things," declared Congressman Tom Emmer. From this category error many wrongheaded and ridiculous things flow.

One of his staffers had spotted me on the side before the event began and turned white. I assured him I was there to listen to Tom on his own terms and I was. I submitted no questions. Afterwords, I told him that this notion that everyone wants the same thing was absurd, only partially true and even then only at times well qualified. Yet if you want to know and understand Tom Emmer, "we all want the same things" is his mantra, with which he'll bleed out conviction, principles and ideas from the political arena in the hopes that talking such nonsense endears him to the liberal political, cultural and media elites in Minnesota and nationally.

It has, it does and it will continue to do so.

Consistent with this desire for approval, Emmer spoke highly of himself visiting the island gulag of Cuba. He spoke of the people, as if he were somehow their champion while being shepherded around the island by totalitarian minders. He told of a waitress who served him who cried when he asked her what she wanted: she wanted to travel. Yes, the imprisoned want to be free.

I kept waiting for Emmer to explain how lifting the US embargo would grant that women her wish. It never came because it never will. Emmer was slightly embarrassing in suggesting that it was the US embargo that kept Cuba impoverished. Does he not know the rest of the world trades with Cuba and it's still a dismal, impoverished fiefdom of the Castro brothers? But we all want the same thing.

Emmer said that his main role as a member of Congress was "constituent service." By this I took him to mean more efficiently delivering government "services" to those who contact his office. The idea that certain principles would be advanced because he--and not another republican candidate vying from the Sixth--was in that body never seemed to have crossed his mind; indeed this idea is negated by the juvenile "we all want the same things" bromide.

Mark Steyn is right: democrats, whether in or out of the majority, consistently deliver more of the kind of world their base wants to live in than do republicans, who crow about having won record numbers of offices since 2010. Emmer serves as a shorthand to that phenomenon: your check is consistently late? We'll be right on it. Defund Planned Parenthood with no government shut down? Crazy talk.

Professor Jacobs asked Emmer the same sort of limp, incurious questions that I had heard him ask Vin Weber a few days prior. I was amused that he asked about Bachmann's "PR heavy staff," not realizing that Emmer kept most of her staff when he moved in. Plus ça change & all that.

Emmer held forth on the need for personal relationships, gave lip service to some sort of "renaissance of federalism" without ever explaining how that would come about, and said Congress wasn't trained to compromise. This comes as something of a surprise given the spineless leadership of Boehner and McConnell.

Emmer has schlepped around the world as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and has changed his mind on foreign aid: it constitutes less than 1% of the budget. If that's the metric, then very few things could or should be cut. But we all want the same things so that analysis doesn't need to be engaged in. See how that works?

Emmer was supremely comfortable and condescending when asked about the Minnesota Tea Party. He said the founders were good guys and that at one contentious meeting he spoke for two hours and later got a standing ovation, which apparently meant "servant leadership" was still effective.

He correctly stated that the electorate was frustrated (but if we all want the same things, how can that be?) while fatuously suggesting that people's desire to "punch someone in the mouth" was unhelpful. He sounded like a liberal describing an imaginary conservative but given the company he's been keeping, I suppose he can be forgiven.

Emmer answered a few topic specific questions: Ex-Im Bank not coming back (it is; a discharge petition in House has succeeded), climate change is not a yes or no issue (news to the alarmists), coal can be good & the EPA is out of control, Syria is a mess & we have to be cautious about those whom we allow in. He's against term limits. Quelle surprise.

Tom Emmer is congressman for life should he wish it & I got the clear sense that he does. He will be relatively inconsequential and unimportant in that role as, to be fair, will most members of Congress. His goal is to be liked by not his base (shades of Jeb Bush) but by those whose opinions matter most to him: the center left and, at times, even far left. Relationships, you know.

Michele Bachmann is said to be actively trying to find someone to run against Emmer in the primary. Like so much of her career, this strikes me as a fool's errand. Tom is going to continue to suck up to the liberal establishment and get stroked in public for it. He practically purrs out loud. He'll turn to his voters in the district and bully them into another term. And another and another.

When he appeared at the MinnPost Roast earlier this year he disparaged his Tea Party critics to the hoots and hollers of the assembled brain dead liberals. I attempted to procure the video of that portion of his appearance but it was wisely not released by that so called media outlet.

Yet respect is key, he told his Humphrey School audience. Understanding the other is crucial, he held forth. Except when it comes to what should be considered his own. Then true feelings of contempt emerge and he gets applauded by those who think and act toward his base with relentless viciousness. Emmer is a useful idiot at the service of the professional left.

Can you imagine Keith Ellison mocking the riff raff of Take Action? Of course not. Or of Ken Martin mocking the ghoulish supporters of late term abortion? Never.

Emmer still has his supporters outside of his district, the types who think Alpha News is a problem. Whenever I wonder why Minnesota republicans can't win a statewide office, I think of them. The Stupid Party finds fertile ground here; indeed for many it's a chosen career of inconsequence with a paycheck.

In December Emmer will join Keith Ellison in a fund raiser to support MinnPost. If you're a republican and you don't find that remarkable then I can't help you. The putative topic is "Finding Common Ground." The event is pretentiously titled a MinnPost "salon." Please. Click here to find out more. It promises to be one of those gatherings in which liberals, as South Park once showed it, enjoy inhaling their own flatulence. Breathe deep, Tom.

* * * * 

Vin Weber & Tom Emmer, each in their unique and yet similar way, embody what is wrong with Minnesota republican politics and politics nationally. I don't blame either men for being of limited vision or intellect, creatures of their time trying to get as much for themselves in the here and now as possible. It's the passing themselves off as statesmen that's nauseating.

I do blame their enablers who profess to want something more and better. Where is the evidence of that? In a state with an organized and sophisticated opposition, abetted by a local media of astonishing bias, republicans seem not to believe strongly and consistently enough in anything to change.

Image: "Natura Morta" by Paulette Tavormina


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Missing The Zeitgeist: Vin Weber & Tom Emmer at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Part One: Vin Weber 

Last month I attended public appearances of both Vin Weber, well known lobbyist and disgraced former Congressman, and Rep. Tom Emmer, newly elected to the House of Representatives from Michele Bachmann's old district, Minnesota's Sixth.

I wanted to see what each had to say at this particularly interesting moment in political time. Weber appeared over the noon hour on a Thursday and Emmer did the same the following Monday. Neither appearance was linked to the other but I thought the scheduling by the Humphrey School allowed me an opportunity to see what each man had to say and to reflect upon their presentations, mostly Q & A after they made short introductory remarks.

It must be said that Professor Larry R. Jacobs, who heads up the Humphrey School and its annual roster of mediocrities known as Humphrey Fellows, is even more unimpressive in person than he is on television and in print. That local media routinely uses him as one of their two go to guys for political analysis is an indictment of them both. His questioning of both men was shockingly poor and incurious. Remember, he teaches students about politics and people wonder why the U of M is held in low regard academically?

* * * *

Vin Weber's remarks were, on balance, remarkably banal. Perhaps I was mistaken in having any expectation that he would be astute, deep or insightful. He's a lobbyist, after all, who left Congress rather than run for reelection after he passed 253 bad checks in the infamous House banking scandal. One of his current clients is Vladimir Putin's Gazprom. Weber is not synonymous with ethics. I had thought, though, that he might be with political insight. Not so.

A friend asked me, several days after his appearance, if my assessment of him changed. I responded honestly and said that I realized I had made him a caricature instead of a real person. That's not nothing but, at the end of the day, it didn't alter my fundamental view of Weber as a creature of his time, his milieu. " The vision thing" would never be his thing, even as a political prop.

Weber professed to being concerned that more than 70% of Americans think the system is corrupt and that the right track/wrong track numbers have been heavily underwater for years. He then blithely proceeded to predict that, the hoi polloi notwithstanding, Americans would have a robust choice between Jeb & Hillary. No wonder GOPe hasn't the faintest clue. 

The phenomenon of Trump, he held forth, was nothing more than a message being sent by the American people. How that message could possibly be answered with a dynasty ticket Weber left unsaid and Jacobs' mind doesn't work fast enough to ask that question.

He had little use for Trump, lest anyone in the audience be in doubt. And use is what lobbyists deal in, no? Weber said, accurately in my view, that people are very engaged at this early stage. He marveled that the kind of large audiences in various states that Trump was already generating is most usually found toward the end of general election campaigns. That Trump, on any number of levels, was already running a general election campaign was a possibility that never crossed Mr. K Street's mind. 

Remarkably, he said that Trump's support wasn't ideological. Except that it manifestly is, albeit in a form heretofore unknown, and hence unrecognizable, to Weber. He did make one of the few astute observations in his appearance when he said Bernie Sanders' supporters supported him for what he was saying; that Sanders' support was not merely derivative of Hillary antipathy. I think this is true and was glad to hear it said out loud. Several of the most astute Minnesota progressives that I follow on Twitter have long been for Bernie. Hillary who? He won't win, of course, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. 

Jacobs asked Weber what he thought was the source of the widespread alienation of the American people from their elected officials and the political system writ large. 

I was astounded at Weber's answer: new technology. 

"How do we talk about politics?" he plaintively asked. In Weber's insulated view, new technology gave rise to only "extreme" views. He gave no evidence for this except to state the country is polarized, the parties included. Welcome to 1776 and forward. 

What new technology does, of course, is arm and inform the American citizenry, on both the Left & the Right. Weber never expressed an understanding that the contempt many on both sides of the political aisle feel is revulsion toward an unresponsive, parasitic political class and its handmaidens, of which he is a corpulently successful one. 

Media, said Vin Weber, is the problem. One that needed to be "solved." Somehow I didn't think he meant the New York Times. That Larry Jacobs didn't immediately pounce and ask him what he really meant is a testament to his stupidity. Then again, Weber is on the Dean's Advisory Counsel of the Humphrey School so abject deference was the name of the game that day. It wasn't Kabuki but you knew you were taking part in a play. The lines were delivered flawlessly. 

Weber had watched the GOP presidential debate the night before and he felt confident enough to say: "People don't watch reruns of reality tv." True but do you really think that this is that? Because few others do. Or is that simply an indication of the low thought processes that occurs among your sleazy and not very bright profession?

Weber's remarks were made September 17th, which politically seems so long ago as to not be remembered. How many weeks in a row has Trump been leading since the moment he first announced? I understand the resentment from the ancien régime but have they no appreciation for the astonishment of it all? What are they, joyless liberals?

People aren't watching reality TV, they're changing political reality by supporting Trump. The smart set shouldn't have been surprised by this development save for the fact that they aren't smart. The usual reaction has been to savage Trump's supporters. That's a new, corrosive and consultant driven development in republican party politics.

And you wonder why they hate you?

* * * * 

Image: "Natura Morta" by Paulette Tavormina 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cuckservatives & Minnesota Republicans

Recently a new term has entered the right lexicon: cuckservative. I don't blame my more liberal readers if they have never heard of it; it's a fight we're having on the right in order to save the right, if in fact it can be saved given its lack of principles, its poisonous permanent consulting class and its inability never to find a hill upon which to die. 

A word of caution about deflection: this term has been used by some on Twitter who have what can only be called a racist agenda. This is not the use of cuckservative I'm speaking about. The legitimate targets of the cuckservative critique are the first to try to deflect and discredit it by pointing this out. It's a poor quality argument, one worthy of the sleazy left and media. I'm a vegetarian, Hitler was a vegetarian, ergo I'm a Nazi. That sort of thing. 

The true definition of cuckservative was set out by Milo Yiannopoulos at Breitbart London: 

“[C]uckservative” can mean many things. It could mean conservatives who are afraid of social exclusion and kowtow to the liberal media establishment. It could mean conservatives who play the left’s game of identity politics, accusing their internal opponents, such as Donald Trump, of being racist or sexist or rapey for spurious or opportunistic reasons.

Another popular use of the term is as a reference to conservatives who “virtue signal” with meaningless platitudes to suck up to places like MSNBC. Or it could just mean Sen. Lindsey Graham, Karl Rove, or, yes, Jeb Bush."

You should really read the whole thing.

When Yiannopoulos posted his article, the "moderate" right on Twitter had a melt down, commensurate with their beta male status. It was embarrassing to see but after National Review got rid of Ann Coulter and Mark Steyn, what can you expect? Sean Towle once said to me on Twitter that politics is a business. Yes, but indentured servitude? 

As if I had sent him the photo above, Charles C. Johnson (yes, I know so spare me) wrote:

“Cuckservative” isn’t about race but about how much power you allow the word “racist” to have over you. It’s about the fake, phony conservatives who enjoy watching the real fighters on the right get sodomized while they gleefully gawk."

Is there a better description of the "republicans" who tediously, routinely appear on "Almanac" and "At Issue?" No, there really isn't. Local media choose these people. Are you catching on yet?

I had to laugh when Johnson went on to say: "Not surprisingly the candidate many of those cuckservatives wanted in 2012 was Mitch Daniels, the former governor of Indiana who was quite literally a cuckold." 

I actually know such people. They're working for Jeb! now. 


Closer to home, do you think we can have any honest discussion about illegal immigration? Do you think McDaniel would ask Morillo about the death of Kate Steinle, who died in her father's arms on Pier 31 in San Francisco? The latter was silent as far as I know. Her alleged killer, deported five times, has a second grade education from a failed drug state we happen to share the border with. 

The Twin Cities as Calais. Only breached. Never mind the violence media won't report on; the wrong skin color won't advance their narrative. 

The 28th & 29th homicide victims in Minneapolis 2015? One black. One hispanic. Both immigrants, one legal, the other probably not. 

Discuss? Not in our local media: there's no white person to blame.

I'm still trying to find out the stats for violent crime committed by illegal aliens in the Twin Cities. Could Patricia Lopez, Ricardo Lopez or Rene Sanchez tell me where to look? Hmmm, and what's with the lack of diversity in those I just named?

Maybe David Brauer or Brian Lambert, two of our best, most insecure white boys from the stale '60's, could tell me if Rene Sanchez is a white hispanic? The New York Times declared George Zimmerman to be such. Your rules.

Back to Minnesota republicans: name a leader? 

You can't. You can't name a republican cuckservative: they're legion. 

I used to be a liberal. I used to be known as a RINO. I've left both labels behind because I thought, and continue to think, for myself. 

In Minnesota republican politics, it would be nice to have some company. 

Photo credit: Brian McDaniel, Twitter. Left: Javier Morrillo, Right: His republican cuckservative, Brian McDaniel 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sober But Unserious: The Mayor of Minneapolis

Last Friday Betsy Hodges, the Mayor of Minneapolis, a city in decline before our eyes, tweeted she was that day 26 years sober. One would think saving your own life would be reward enough but ours is a confessional society which may or may not be blamed on Joni Mitchell as the precursor, accelerated by online social media. Gawker or death.

I favorited her tweet as a way of showing support but even then I felt somewhat uneasy. Why the need to publicize what should by now be easy, or easy enough? Yes, yes, you can slip at any moment, I hear the blog harpies say. Got it. But still: maybe say this in a 12 step program for booze, narcotics, sex, work, gambling, (Twitter?), you name it.

Lars Leafblad is the public face for much of the Twin Cities confessional culture. Such a culture betrays an immaturity at bottom: praise me and we'll all feel good, group hugs, readings from cheesy diary entries, an inflated sense of an otherwise unaccomplished self and, for the professional, perhaps a State Arts Board grant so your personal dreck of a psychodrama can have added life. While we're at it, does anyone keep their disease to themselves these days? Apparently not & we're the worse for it.

I once thought of killing myself. What sane person hasn't? Should I orbit around that "didn't die" date (true, I was never on the ledge, the gun never in my mouth, the thought never became fixed, it was all drama, like a democrat) and extract compliments from strangers? How desperate, needy, and shallow is that?

I didn't want to be "that guy" on Twitter to the Mayor, a woman I've never met but whose infrequent, not recent, direct interactions have been cordial and respectful, despite our enormous political differences.

Perhaps if Susan Spiller hadn't been murdered the night before I wouldn't have had this reaction. Spiller was part and parcel of the liberal fabric of Minneapolis and apparently died a horrific death, her back door kicked in and murdered in some way the details of which have not yet been released.

Expect the liberal establishment to respond in its usual ways, depending on the killer's skin color. They see nothing wrong with this. Indeed, it's who Betsy Hodges is and, apparently, with unadorned pride. So too the bulk of Twin Cities liberals and local media.

According to reports, there have been 26 homicides in Minneapolis and 11 non-fatal shootings this year. Chaos is routinely rampant in downtown Minneapolis after the bars close, such that a hare brained scheme of having dances & making hamburgers available to the crowds was floated as a solution to the problem. Even this was too much for city council members who shot down the proposal, so to speak.

In the face of Spiller's and others' death, Mayor Romper Room said "We know that these crimes are wrong." Well gee, Betsy, that observation gets us most of the way home toward a solution. She added "Everyone deserves to be safe." Two for two, the Mayor. Possibly if she pursed her lips when bleating such banalities the cure would take, problem solved.

The day after Spiller's death the Mayor tweeted about her own sobriety anniversary as well as climate change. She also tweets about protected bike paths and her upcoming meeting with Jesuit Pope Francis about "climate change." For conservatives and libertarians living in Minnesota, it's difficult to overstate how insipid and foolish liberals have become. They, of course, are blindingly ignorant to their own folly. To live in the Twin Cities is to live The Onion.

For the most part, the liberal establishment doesn't mix with non-liberals and the local media never seriously holds them accountable because the members of the press are as liberal, if not more so. David Mamet, after his enlightenment, called his prior self a brain dead liberal. The Twin Cities is filled with them. Some people actually move here because of that, lemming like.

What did the Minneapolis Chief of Police Janeé Harteau have to say about Spiller being slaughtered in her own home? Nothing. She was off hiking the Inca trail for some charity. She couldn't really be bothered. Harteau is held in contempt by the rank and file and not because she's a publicity seeking lesbian: is that shtick supposed to be edgy?

No, she isn't respected because she's incompetent. But remember: for liberals results are never the issue, they literally do not count. Just look at Twin Cities schools, to pick but one example from a myriad.

Minneapolis is in real trouble, trouble that shows itself with depressing regularity. A lack of seriousness on the part of its Mayor & Police Chief condemns it to ever worse crime and social decay. The other day someone I follow on Twitter marveled that a man urinated in broad daylight on Nicollet Mall. I responded by congratulating Minneapolis for finally having become like New York City, always a goal of its insecure elites.

De Blasio's New York.

Hodges' Minneapolis.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

American Horror Story: Tina Flint Smith, Fetal Organ Harvesting & The Silence of MN Media

Two days ago Americans with a conscience were sickened to learn that Planned Parenthood collects and then sells fetal organs and other tissues from the abortions they perform. In fact, the dismemberment of the child is done with care so that the organs can be sold intact. The story became an instant sensation throughout the country.

Throughout this time, however, local Minnesota media were silent on Twitter, neither mentioning it on their own or retweeting other reports. How odd for so called journalists.

I repeatedly wondered if the press had approached Tina Flint Smith, currently Minnesota's Lt. Governor but in reality acting governor, Mark Dayton being mentally unfit to be a full time governor. Flint previously had been Vice President for Planned Parenthood's upper midwest abattoirs, a Medea for our age.

Local media think highly of themselves, which is a laugh riot because they're exceptionally craven partisans who report--or don't-- based on their political and cultural beliefs. It's difficult to overstate their mediocrity and lack of integrity. Of course there are a few decent reporters but both hands would cover their numbers and leave some room.

Late in the day I saw that Tina tweeted her bloody support of Planned Parenthood's chief butcher by retweeting what you see below. Extreme and out of touch, Tina knows she's untouchable in this political and media environment. It makes her no less a disgusting human being, however.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mata Hari, or Who Is Sarah Walker?

I met Sarah Walker when Michael Brodkorb introduced me to her at The Bulldog in downtown St. Paul in the fall of 2012. That was another lifetime.

With her was Nancy Haas, who to this day is the only person I've met who is both an attorney and a police officer. I found that combination terrifying but she was extremely cordial and intelligent, smartly dressed and savvy.

So too was Walker. I got a brief background on her from her and we spent a couple of hours chatting about a range of things. Eventually I got it: when people overshare, especially upon first meeting, it takes you less time to know them. Indeed, you already do and at their insistence.

I exchanged cards with her and with Haas and that was the last I've seen of them.  For awhile I followed Walker on Twitter @mnsecondchance until she blocked me for reasons unknown. Maybe it was after I published this? 

Being blocked on Twitter never bothers me: I'm invariably polite (when I'm not I apologize) so I chalk it up to intellectual impotence and fear. And anger: endemic on the Left. Is there anything more tedious than an angry liberal? But unlike some scolds, I don't tell people how to tweet or blog (with the exception of those lost souls who think Twitter is a shortened version of Facebook).

Until recently most republican activists had never heard of Walker although they had every reason to: Walker is a professional Leftist and a good one, as far as that poisonous, dishonest, damaging trade goes. The Left in Minnesota is flush with money and it supports people like Walker who otherwise have no visible means of support. Alinsky in faux Chanel.

I say this with envy and not scorn because Minnesota republicans are naive, short sighted and without any sufficiently compelling ideology for them to create and maintain a political ecosphere that takes care of our own. It isn't only Norm Coleman who'd lobby for the Kingdom of Saud if given half a chance. Distressingly, it's the Right in Minnesota that falls over itself in order to sell itself out. How else to explain the corrosive influence of the Chamber?

Borg-like, Walker perfectly encapsulates a smarter, faster, more well funded and long term opposition in Minnesota. Meanwhile, republicans are left with an idiot donor class, incumbents at the statehouse who should be culled and activists who show no sign of not still being in high school. It's depressing.

Visit www.SarahCWalker.com and see for yourself. I was put in mind of a highly decorated USSR apparatchik but that's just the Solzhenitsyn in me. Sarah Walker is an extremist. The term will make some people laugh at me, the ones who think nothing of late term abortions.

Walker appears mostly window dressing on the public face of any far left damaging effort du jour. If she's a serious policy person I've missed it. Yet where is our Sarah Walker? We couldn't even nominate a woman to run against Al Franken. Still, republican eunuchs tut tut that we should ignore Walker. Why?

Imagine Congresswoman Betty McCollum, who instead of sleeping with one of her staff and then making an honest victim of sexual harassment on the job out of him by marrying him, sleeps with a well known, accomplished republican political operative, one whose physical traits are wildly mismatched to those of his lover?

Then, apropos of nothing, she starts voting and acting very much differently from her past, from her public positions on a number of issues. Trust me, the Deviation Thought Police of the totalitarian Left would be on her immediately, Ken Martin in charge, closely followed by the third rates minds at MPR. Her paramour would not go unscrutinized. There might be something there, there might not be. But to think they'd let that relationship go unexamined is sheer political ignorance, something of a sine qua non for Minnesota republicans lately.

* * * * 

You can mock those rubes in CD 6 because they wondered aloud about the influence of Sarah Walker on Tom Emmer through David FitzSimmons. You probably already have because you're oh so smart. She's just his girlfriend, say the stupidest republicans in the nation, here warehoused in Minnesota.

We're so outmatched.

Out of all the men in Minnesota, Sarah Catherine Walker fell in love with David FitzSimmons. What dumb blind fucking luck. Sheer coincidence, not at all calculated.

As Christopher Hitchens would say, having read one or another preposterous quotes from the Bible to an interlocutor,

"Well you're free to believe that."

Photo credit: Sarah Walker, Twitter.