“Tim Walz. He works for us.” – the NRA (see video below)
Tim Walz was a strong supporter of Republican/NRA gun policy from the beginning of his political career. There wasn’t a moment that he wavered in his support for access to assault style weapons such as those used to kill 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School last week, or large magazines and other enhancements that were used in several of the 52 spree killings that occurred during Walz’s political career. His sudden realization that assault rifles are bad and that we have to address our gun problem can only be seen as a craven attempt to garner votes in an election that has attracted the interest of a growing and increasingly better informed progressive electorate. Continue reading Tim Walz Can Not Waltz Back His Pro Gun Political Career
Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump could not be more different is so many ways there is not enough ink to describe them. But they do share one thing in common. Well, great hair, but besides that. Sanders and Trump, through their respective runs for President of the United States, each brought a group of people not formerly engaged much in politics into the process. Obviously, Sanders brought in people who supported him and Trump bought in people who supported him, but subsequently, Trump just kept on going, bringing in even more people who are so alarmed at his presidency that they have shown up and want to know what to do about it. Continue reading How the US Political System Works: Legislatures and assemblies
I’ve never like the Star Spangled Banner. For one thing, it is a lie. The flag was still there, but the fort was utterly destroyed. It wasn’t “taken” by the British … they just bombed it all the way to Bolivia then sailed off. But it was a British Naval victory embodied in an American song as an American victory.
It is militaristic and bellicose. We celebrate bombs and war and fighting and death and destruction, and all that wrapped in fake news. Actual fake news. Continue reading The Star Spangled Banner Done Right
It appears that there never will come a time when we should do anything about the massacre of children or mass killings in general, according to the Republican leader: Continue reading Paul Ryan on the Massacre of Children
Donald Trump has ordered his military to stage a parade. This is not normal in America, but it is normal in dictatorships across the world and throughout history. Here are a few examples to give you a flavor. Continue reading Military Parades
A man works tirelessly for months, acquiring parts, assembling them, making a machine that grows larger every day and eventually takes the intended form. Eventually it is ready. He rolls the machine to the edge of a cliff, climes into a makeshift chair near the center of it, and with help from his neighbor (who we may assume does not like him too much), pushes off.
And it flies! Continue reading Peak Trump
This is a memo from the White House to Devin Nunes telling Nunes it is OK to release the memo, followed by the memo itself.
(At this point you may want to know about this guy, the person running against Nunes for his seat in the House.)
The memo is from the staff of the House Intelligence Committee to the majority (Republican) members of that committee, with the subject line “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” Continue reading The Nunes Memo is out, here it is
This Tuesday, February 6, Minnesotans will attend their precinct caucuses. There will be an essentially meaningless straw poll for Governor, and delegates will be selected to go on to the next level of conventioneering. I intend to vote for Auditor Rebecca Otto in the straw poll, and to join with others to represent my precinct in support of her candidacy for Governor.
There are a lot of reasons for this, but I’ll outline a few. Continue reading Why I will caucus for Rebecca Otto on Tuesday
Sorry to all my Evangelical Christian friends, but it is true.
Since this form of Protestantism has a built in way out based on its structural granularity, so most evangelical Christians can say, “Oh, that’s not me, that’s not my church, that’s the other guy,” most of you (talking to the Evangelicals here) will believe for a time that you are not tarnished by your religious leaders sidling up to a man who appears by all accounts to be a sex abuser, thief, and general asshat. But you don’t really get to do that. Continue reading Evangelical Christianity in America is Dead
It was a Republican shut down but Trump took a lead, so we shall call it the Trump Shutdown.
There is a non-zero possibility that a bill to keep things going will pass in the Senate and House, that Trump will veto it, and that Congress will override Trump’s veto. Not too likely, but it could work out that way.
First, a little clarification on the “Light Brigade.” This term originally referred to a British military unit of light (as in not heavy) cavalry that engaged with the Russians (the enemy in this story) during the Crimean War, in October, 1854. The brigade, made up of Light Dragoons, Lancers, and Hussars, was tasked to take over some territory from which Turkish (not the enemy) troops had been vanquished, in order to prevent the Russians from recovering artillery pieces left there. But somehow, there was a miscommunication, and the Light Brigade was sent to attack a well fortified and entrenched enemy unit that they had no business dealing with. This assault gained no ground and 110 of about 670 troops were killed, 161 wounded. Continue reading The Charge of the Light Brigade: A Cautionary Tale
In just a few days, Minnesota will have its precinct caucuses. All the different political parties will caucus at exactly the same time, at different locations, by law, to make it difficult for some joker to go to more than one (which would be illegal, but nearly impossible to enforce).
At the caucus, we will do the following: Continue reading Minnesotans Go To Caucus
Over the last five months, and with increasing frequency, I find myself listening to candidates for office talk about their environmental policies. I’ve looked at the policies of candidates for Minnesota Governor, for US Congress in three different districts, and for Minnesota Senate and House in numerous districts. There is a lot of variation across the candidates. Only one candidate so far has demonstrated a) rich knowledge of the subject, b) well formulated and detailed policy, and c) policy that I find very good and agree with. This is not a post about that candidate, but rather, all the other candidates.
The other candidates have positions that run from “seems kinda OK” to “is maybe mostly OK” but none are good enough. The most common position on a given environmental issue is for the candidate to indicate that they think it is very important. Sadly, when it comes to climate change specifically, the most common position is for the candidate to acknowledge that climate change is real.
Sorry, but you don’t get points for knowing how to write your name on the top of the exam. Continue reading Dear Candidate For Office: About your environmental policy…
And, more to the point, the Democrats will not be electing a president until they elect a celebrity. Continue reading Why the Next Democratic President will be a Celebrity
During the last 347 days of the Trump presidency, Donald Trump has lied 1,950 times, according to the Washington Post, which is keeping track.
The same newspaper tracks the number of times the police in the US shoot and kill a person. During the 365 days of 2017, that happened 987 times.
So, Donald Trump lies about 6.62 times a day.
So, american cops kill about 2.7 people a day.
This means that by the time Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address later this month, he will have lied approximately 100 more times. This does not mean that he will give us 100 more distinct lies. Many of his lies are repeats. Then, in the inaugural itself, we’ll probably get another big batch.
Between now and the inaugural address, about 40 of us will be gunned down in the streets or in our homes by the cops. (For perspective, the total rate of death of Americans in this country’s longest war, in Afghanistan, averages out to about one killed every three days, while the number of Americans killed in Viet Nam, which is actually hard to estimate, is two to three times the rate at which the cops kill us. So, the cops kill us at a rate that is about the same order of magnitude as a recent, modern, war.)
By the way, I’m enjoying Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.