Transparency, My Ass

Quietly, in the dead of night, and out of the glare of public scrutiny, House GOP members voted to make significant changes to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). (Note: they have since rescinded their move after a backlash not only from the public, but also from their own speaker of the house and president-elect.) Now, rules changes aren’t abnormal acts for a party that controls a house of congress. But a change to a group that oversees and investigates ethics violations of the people making the changes is unusual....

The Truth May Be An Alien

We Americans seem to like to think we’re all independent thinkers, capable of rationally divining truth from fiction. We take this assumption from our own viewpoints, thinking that “because I can tell when someone is stating a non-truth, everyone should be able to do so as well.” Yet, as everyone should agree, opposing viewpoints can cloud what the truth really is. Why do I bring this up? It’s because of the recent loud vilification of “the media” by Donald Trump, and the ensuing debate about “the media” as source of...

Pardon Me, But I’ve Seen This Election Before

I hope that there are many of us in Minnesota who are watching the “Trump Train” and are shaking our heads. Except that we aren’t entirely shaking them in disgust–we’ve seen this show before, and we know how it reads from beginning to end. We’ve seen this before because way back in 1998, we Minnesotans elected Jesse Ventura–political outsider and former pro wrestler using his stage name on the ballot–to be governor of Minnesota. And in the interest of full disclosure and hoping for some absolution, I must admit that...

The Fault In Our Politics

I was reading  piece online that, while intriguing, isn’t worth linking to here, but brought up an interesting point which can be echoed across the political spectrum in this country as we hurtle ceaselessly toward another glorious presidential election next year. The writer’s entire point was that they are totally turned off by politicians they’d otherwise support, and in fact, have supported in the past. They’re turned off by the process and the bickering within their own party over the last year. And at this point, they see no...

Strategery

As the officially announced candidate field on the Republican side threatens to top four figures and one mop of hair this week, I was struck by some interesting points: the Republican party believes in gang warfare. Now, I understand the whole concept of playing to your base in the primary campaign, and let’s face it, with Iowa still a full eight months away, getting on the ground as much as possible will probably help an individual’s cause. But the whole tenor of the campaigns, with the exception of two...

Choices

Holy hell, this is a mess… Friends, I stand before you as one of about 27 people in the entire city of Minneapolis not running for Mayor, city council the park board or the school board. This position has come to be revered and celebrated, earning accolades and all kinds of mail asking for my support as any of the thousands of candidates seeks the office to which they have been called…This year. Ah, but don’t forget that our city fathers have saddled we lucky few voters with the...

Is “I Told You So” Wrong?

I recall feeling this same way about leadership I’d supported all the way back in 1979 and 1980. Jimmy Carter’s presidency, so hopeful at the outset because we were communally digging out from the morass that was Nixon/Ford, had become a mess. Unable to move forward in any substantial fashion in key areas of the economy, the energy crisis, and the hostage crisis in Iran, things just felt sad. These days, Obama’s presidency is marked with similar problems that feel insurmountable: the economy, spying scandals, the rollout of the...

Clarification

Welcome to 2013, kids. The bold future, the “brave new world” promised by the 21st Century. A time of amazing technology, great human achievement, and complete political gridlock.   Our nation is in a “sequester,” having passed a budget plan nearly two years ago that forced upon the entire country budget cuts–which may or may not really be cuts, depending on your point of view. These cuts are not miniscule, nor are they substantial. They won’t go terribly far in reducing our national debt, nor do they adequately address...

The Eyes–and Hands–Have It

The State of the Union address was last night–the one chance each year for the President to directly address the Congress and tell them just what he thinks.   Or not.   But I didn’t watch. I’d actually decided not to watch the speech because the messages and the images and the response were going to be the same tired rhetoric voiced over and over by both sides for the last four-plus years.   So I’ve been reading some of the follow-up, just to make sure I didn’t miss...

Tea Party Be Gone!

So after the election and the resulting apparent near collapse and all of the soul-searching that has gone on within the Republican party, one can find it easy to have forgotten about Karl Rove, the wunderkind who engineered the Bush(2) victories. After all, he was among those identified with the future of the party, and certainly, during those eight years, the future for the party looked quite good.   But then the Republicans ran John McCain–a likable enough guy on the surface, but with absolutely no passion or energy–against the...

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