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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Trump Makes America An Easy Mark Again

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 09/23/16 08:11

by Dave Mindeman

Wow. The American people are a pretty easy mark.

Donald Trump predicted in 2000.... "I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it."

And doggone it, he's pretty darn close.

His business premise of using other people's money is like his campaign slogan. Just look at the list:

Rent for his campaign offices ($1.3 million)

Food and facilities for events and meetings ($544,000)

Payroll for Trump corporate staffers ($333,000) who helped with everything from his traveling security to his wife's convention speech.

Reimbursement from Secret Service (yes, they pay to fly) ($1.6 million)

And his business structure is carefully hidden:

The degree to which Trump or his corporations may be benefiting from his campaign is unclear, partly because the financial and legal structures of his businesses -- and their relationships with his campaign -- remain opaque. Trump has stubbornly refused to release his taxes, which could shed light on the issue.

Here are some of the specific bills...

(The campaign) paid more than $1 million to Trump Tower to rent office space for its main campaign headquarters. Trump Ice, his bottled water company, got $1,300, while his son Eric Trump's Virginia winery was paid almost $5,000 for catering and event space.

This is an elaborate scam, just like many of his other business dealings.

The old saying, "there's a sucker born every minute", rings true.

And boy are we an easy mark.
comments (3) permalink

Don't Panic

Category: Hillary Clinton
Posted: 09/21/16 15:47

by Dave Mindeman

There seems to be some Democratic panic out there....Well, don't.

At least not yet.

I know this is not a year to be talking about campaign fundamentals. They haven't exactly been true to form. But I still think in the end, it will all come back to that.

Here are reasons not to panic....

1. Barack Obama is a popular incumbent. His approval numbers are on an uphill trajectory and he is motivated to get Hillary elected. That is the biggest plus for her.

2. Democrats have a superior GOTV structure. Hillary has quietly been working on this for over a year and the organization is solid. If this really is a close race, that has to be worth 2 to 3 points on its own.

3. Hillary has several paths to 270. Trump has very few. In fact, if he loses any one of these three states - Florida, North Carolina, Ohio - it's over.

4. While Trump touts his rallies - the Democrats have been going door to door for months. Voter identification is critical in any election.

5. Hillary still has a large war chest and although the ad spending has not been very effective up to this point, people do pay more attention in the final weeks of any campaign.

6. Hillary still has the best army of surrogates that Democrats have every put together. Liz Warren, Bernie, Bill, Barack, Michelle - she even has the entire cast of West Wing stumping a full week in Ohio for her.

7. Trump has no real campaign infrastructure. He is totally dependent on the RNC for fieldwork. By contrast, Hillary has her own structure, besides the full DNC network. That will be a big advantage in the late stages.

8. The Obama coalition has not been enthusiastic up to this point, but the President is not only fully on board with Hillary, but he feels he has a personal stake in this election that affects his legacy. And besides, he dislikes (mildest word I can use) Trump in a very personal way. He will be relentless on the trail.

So there are some inherent positives in relation to the Hillary campaign. But the actual voting is the only thing that counts.

Be there for all Democrats.
comments (0) permalink

St. Cloud

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 09/21/16 01:10

by Dave Mindeman

I'm not very proud of my country right now. The rising hate speech and the openness of white supremacist groups is not making America great again by any means. We are going back to a dark ugly time of racial division and xenophobic blame.

To a lot of people who only look at the surface...the headlines...the black and white of things, a lot of stereotypes are being classified as sealed in granite.

Muslim = Terrorism. Black = Dangerous. Mexican = Illegal.

We only listen to the things that reinforce our fears and seem to have forgotten the realities of a diverse society.

America is a melting pot. That means that American citizens come in all races, all creeds, all ethnicities, and all religions. When we start to divide ourselves along those lines, we lose our own identity.

The St. Cloud Mall attack was horrendous. The response, for the most part, was American in the best sense. But underneath there was still some things that were sinister and ugly.

There is a significant Somali community in St. Cloud and they have embraced the city and want to call it home. But, of course, there is an element that does not want them here....and the political calculus of fear that Donald Trump seems to thrive on gives that element a feeling of legitimacy.

Read the commentary in the Star Tribune today. It comes from a St. Cloud Somali-American resident. Born here. Raised here. Goes to school here. It is her home.

Yet, the St. Cloud attack filled her with fear. Fear of the violence but mostly fearful of the reaction. The comments on social media. The potential retaliation, as if everyone with Somali heritage is now suspect.

When Dylan Roof killed all those wonderful people in that Charlotte Church there wasn't an assumption that all southern white people were racist. There wasn't a cultural backlash by the African-American community against Southern white Christians. No, in that case, there was only forgiveness and quiet grief. It was remarkable and so courageous.

It was encouraging to see a rally for unity in St. Cloud today. Of course, it was young people who organized it. Young people who seem to have more respect for each other than many of the adults who are raised in a different less tolerant time....and cannot let go.

I wish I could say the same about all of St. Cloud. But this rally has been an exception to a lot of less than pleasant thoughts, words and deeds of late.

You can dismiss me as a partisan in what I say next, but I still believe it to be true. Donald Trump exacerbates all of this. He does not commit the acts, but he allows his hateful rhetoric to dictate a good portion of the response. He makes it OK to blame innocent members of a religion or ethnicity. Merely because they come from the same culture as the one person who commits the foul deed.

Horrible as these incidents have been, we must not react the way the terrorists hope we do. We must not turn on each other. A lot of the people who have recently come here have experienced their own country's terrorism far more than we have. We need to help them make this their new home. We need to work together to drive away the hate and suspicion. We need to work together to prevent radical hate to poison many of the young people who struggle here.

I keep hoping we are better than the dark forces that have been given a foothold in our country these days. We are indeed in a serious struggle for our identity.

Let me be so bold as to quote Ronald Reagan here...."Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid." I don't really care who said it, it is still very true.

The enemy seeks to divide us - to make us turn on our own people. And yes, the different cultures that have come here to find a new life - they are our own people. All of us, at some time in the past, have ancestors that struggled to find a new life in this great country.

And it is a great country. It always has been.
comments (0) permalink

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