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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Trumpianity

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 08/31/15 17:11

by Alan Anderson

I have been struck by the meteoric rise of Mr. Trump. He is a star like no other. I tried to imagine what the world would be like if he had lived in a different time and had a very special role. Perhaps like in the time of Jesus.

Donald would have ridden around Bethlehem on a big Ass (donkey) spreading the gospel of wealth and riches. He would have had one large sign on each side of the donkey with his name, TRUMP, broadly displayed.

He would have told the people to save. " Save your gold. Save your family. Save your city." We would have called him our "save yur" for encouraging us to be rich and making us proud of our country again.

He would have told us to go to different lands and take their oil. Bring it back to our home so we could celebrate the aura of lights. We could put the oil in small pots to burn, perhaps calling them "man auras" to honor the beauty of man's illumination.

He would have told us to build a large wall in Jerusalem, a really HUGE wall. He would say it should be a whale of a wall, to keep out the scum of the world, the rapists, the criminals, and the poor. He would call it the "whaling wall" to honor its hugeness.

And he would welcome the scum to return if they survived the starvation, the danger, the poverty, and the life threatening situations in their homeland. And when they returned he said we should ask them to wear a label so we could identify them easily. The label would say, because they were of low class, "I'm a Grunt." So, we would know them as the people they were, "imagrunts."

And he would spread his word throughout the world by building churches in his honor. They wouldn't be quite like churches we know, they would be more like towers, built with small shopping malls on the bottom, to remind us of the foundation of our faith, business and money.

And they would be adorned with the symbol of his life and death on the top. When he was called to heaven he was crucified. So he arranged to have two crucifixes designed to honor his memory. One was a cross, with his name emblazoned on the crossbar, TRUMP. The other was a more subtle remembrance, with the cross forming a T, and the letters RUMP under the right side of the cross.

And so it came to pass that the Donald became a profit. And the Universe was proud of its son. He had become a celebrity, famous among all in the world. And he was learning on-the-job to be leader of all people, a true Celebrity Apprentice.

That is what it might have been like if the Donald had lived long ago. How blessed we are to be alive while he struts the earth today in our presence.
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Hillary Clinton: We Are Ready

Category: 2016
Posted: 08/31/15 06:15

by Dave Mindeman

The most famous e-mail server on the planet.

I guess that is what Hillary Clinton's campaign has become. She does have a strong and viable campaign. She talks about issues. She works on building an organization. She is a solid candidate.

Yet, the questions and the rehash keep coming and coming.

At the DNC, I think Hillary Clinton gave her best speech of the year. She talked about the '90s economy and how we all grew together...not just those at the top. She said "paying for college should not be the hardest thing about going to college"....she talked about institutional racism and proclaimed loudly that "Black Lives Matter" to a standing ovation.

She said she is "not going to sit by while good people die"...and that means an end to gun violence with common sense gun reforms. She lamented that the party of "Lincoln has become the party of Trump."

She took on the Republican field calling the rest of them "Trump without the pizzazz and the hair." And she confessed publicly that her "hair is real but the color isn't."

And she accepted the GOP challenge on the gender card. She said if "equal pay and women's health is playing the gender card, then DEAL ME IN."

Her words were powerful. Her policy ideas sound. Her manner was confident and determined.

And she accepted the challenge to make this election not just about winning the Presidency. She promised to work to build the entire party. To make the next round of redistricting a Democratic advantage. To take back the Senate...take back the House...and work even harder to fill the state legislatures with Democrats. That is what we need to hear. That is what we need to do.

It is the kind of challenge that all of the candidates should work toward.

After that powerful moment, she goes to the press conference....and guess what the first question was? Yes, it was about her e-mail server.

I realize that this is the political issue of the moment. Republicans need to exploit it. The press feels compelled to press on it. But you know what? The public doesn't care.

I watched Ms. Clinton take that first question on e-mails and you could tell from her body language that she is tired of the explanations and the insinuations. But she gathered herself and calmly and directly gave the explanations. She mentioned for the hundreth time that she wishes she would have done it differently looking back. She stated for the thousandth time that none of those e-mails were classified when she sent them to her server. She went over for the millionth time that classifications differ from department to department. It is all in the hands of the state department and the FBI....and nothing new will happen until they make their reports.

Once we got through that obligatory exercise, Ms. Clinton noted some other things of more interest.

She talked about her campaign strategy...noting that she learned from her mistakes in 2008 and is now focusing on accumulating delegates and placing more importance on caucus states. She has a large lead in super delegates and is not taking anything for granted this time.

She detailed some of her thoughts on immigration....noting that, in this regard, the "small government" party wants a massive government solution regarding the undocumented. Her plan will mimic the Senate plan that passed several years ago...a plan she voted for and a number of GOP Senators also voted for.

She also noted that she will publicly testify (again) on another "Benghazi" hearing. Which she believes to be the 8th one?...and hopefully the last.

Hillary Clinton is always a target. Yes, the e-mail situation is a very big distraction, but her campaign is about a lot of other very important things. Her and Bernie Sanders are pushing for similar progressive agendas. They have some differences and maybe emphasize different policy, but they want the same thing for America.

A lot is made of her "unfavorables" but what other candidate could take the wall to wall scrutiny and attacks...and still be considered a heavily favored front runner? It is not like we do not know where she stands or don't have her life examined inside and out.

For the record, I have been "Ready For Hillary" for some time. I have nothing against the other candidates....and they may even have some unique qualities which may make them more appealing as this race goes on.

But to me, this is Hillary's time. She has earned her place. She attracts the negative attacks because she is so formidable. She makes the best candidate to take on, what has become, the Party of Trump. She is building a top quality organization.... and most important to me, she understands this has to be a full bottom to top campaign....with all party candidates supported and all party candidates given the chance to win.

In 2016, it is not just about winning the Presidency - although that is vital - it is also about the future and the strength of the Democratic Party moving forward.

Will Black Lives Matter in a GOP Presidency? Will Latino families fare well with Republicans in power? Will the middle class survive at all with Republican policies the norm? I think we know the answer to that. And we need to have our strongest candidate and strongest organization leading the way.

Taking everything into account, I think Being Ready for Hillary means being Ready to Win.
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Bernie Sanders: The Movement Is Happening

Category: 2016
Posted: 08/30/15 16:32

by Dave Mindeman

The enthusiasm for Senator Bernie Sanders is infectious. That gravelly voiced, Brooklyn born, mop haired socialist can bring down the house.

And he had the DNC audience rocking. The patented Bernie list of progressive policy points that pepper Bernie's speeches are strong and speak directly to the hard core progressive wing of the party. He not only talks a good game, his tenure in the Senate has lived it.

Bernie was asked about O'Malley's challenge to the DNC on debates and he voiced his support. But it is almost like he doesn't have time to dwell on the need for debate format change, he is too busy with "the movement", as he calls it.

His most direct challenge to Clinton talks about "taking on the establishment, without being part of the establishment." And few of his speeches pass without a reference to the fact that he voted against the Iraq War and Clinton voted in favor.

From a progressive point of view, there is very little not to like about Bernie. He talks of the banks...("If you are too big to fail, then you are too big to exist." ) He's against the TPP. He wants a minimum wage of $15 per hour. 12 weeks of paid family leave. And he supports defeat of the Keystone Pipeline.

He even goes so far as to say that as President, he would offer a Supreme Court nominee who would be on record to review and overturn Citizen's United.

In regards to criminal justice, his tag line is a good one...."Jobs and Education, not Jail and Incarceration."

But there is one thing that is missing from the Bernie list. It is a nagging omission. And that is gun restrictions. In a week where the news has been filled with another gun tragedy (this time with news reporters), Bernie did not even mention the gun issue in his speech.

In his press conference, he was asked about that omission and his answer points to the one weak spot in his campaign.

He points out that the gun issue looms large in his state of Vermont. Hunting and fishing are sacred in that New England area. He pointed out his recent votes regarding bans on automatic weapons, more background checks and closing gun show loopholes. He didn't mention that he voted against the original Brady Bill.

He pointed out that guns in rural states mean something different than guns in urban states. And because of his more nuanced stance on guns, he thinks he can bridge the divide on this issue.

Personally, the idea about the difference between urban and rural ideas on guns is all the more reason to take action. You can separate the needs of rural vs urban and deal directly with the urban gun violence while still separating out the needs of hunters.

Guns are the chink in the Bernie Sanders armor.

Still, Bernie Sanders is a powerful voice. Liberal, progressive, socialist...Sanders runs away from none of it.

And yes, the movement is definitely on.
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