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July 26, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

Debt ceiling chart

Credible source (The Atlantic). Please read, inwardly digest, forward this post and/or copy the chart and share liberally.

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The worst of times in the midst of the worst of times

July 25, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

"But there was also public discontent."

That's a snippet from this Doug Grow interview with Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. Dayton reflects on the necessity, as he viewed it, of ending the MN government shutdown.

Public discontent.

That's a carefully crafted way of saying, "They're mad as hell and they won't take this any more."

"This" is secrecy vs. transparency.

"This" is GOP political vendetta vs. responsible and responsive governing.

"This" is inheriting the disastrous trickle-down aftermath of Tim Pawlenty's "I'd rather be president because this governor thingie is not big enough to accommodate my run-amok ego" reign, and blaming our social and economic toxic waste situation on Mark Dayton and the Democrats.

"This" is allowing party machinery to dictate to legislators. Minnesotans didn't elect Sutton and Brodkorb.

"This" is pretending that all is well, even temporarily. It's not.

"This" is stomping all over the rights (r-i-g-h-t-s) of Minnesotans and essentially saying, "Well, that's just how we roll."

"This" is Minnesota at its absolute worst. The Pawlenty legacy.

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A black and white situation

July 23, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

I am a white, Scandinavian-heritaged, quasi-Protestant female. I was a Republican decades ago. I got over it.

Today, there is foremost on my mind something that has lurked for months and was not allowed outlet. Others have suggested this, and until this week, I've been reluctant to buy in.

Today, I'm in, and I must speak of it.

I believe that if Barack Obama were white, there is no way on creation's green earth that Boehner, Cantor, et al would treat him with such massive contempt and complete disrespect as they've displayed recently. Would. Not. Walking out of an extremely urgent negotiation meeting about the nation's future. Refusing to return phone calls. Spewing angry bile. That kind of thing.

Here's what I think. To the radical right, to Tea Party radicals, Barack Obama is not one of their good ol' boys. He's just "boy." And Republican icon Abraham Lincoln groans in his grave.

Summary: Racism is an integral and radical part of the radical right's radical agenda. (Oh, did I say "radical" out loud?)

To this, the radical right likely will say, "Oh, there she goes, playing the race card." Damn straight. Benefit of the doubt just expired.

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Paul Loeb weighs in, but is anybody listening?

July 22, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

Worth reading. Stuff to ponder. Loeb is a thoughtful, well-informed, articulate progressive with a national rep, fyi. But in his article, he references a group doing good progressive stuff that has named itself Rebuild the Dream. (Article link below)

Paul Loeb article

I have a bias that “Rebuild the Dream” sounds like poofy-fluff (even though it may not be). It’s another squishy descriptor for what needs to be an in-the-trenches, sweating-like-pigs effort to take back America (a title unfortunately replaced a few years ago by the now Campaign for America’s Future, in deference to the hope we placed in Obama). It has no gut-grabbing appeal. It floats.

A dream is not what’s called for.

What is called for is grassroots, kick-ass activism and monumental moral indignation, writ and spoken large. And p.s., all of that based on facts, all documented, all the time.

We have tried unsuccessfully for decades to be nice little liberals. And make no mistake—at heart, that’s who I'd prefer to be, too. But in so doing, we have allowed the radical right to stomp all over civil liberties, economic and social justice, and now they occupy the catbird seat. We gave that to them. Gave.It.To.Them. Beginning with Gore’s too-soon concession in Florida and every day since.

We are generally characterized as the party of unprincipled union thugs and mealy-mouthed literati. How very appealing to voters (not!)

George Lakoff must be spinning in his chair at the “frames” we ceded/cede to the right. We are complicit in this perception evolution. We are. But for a few notable dissenters (Nancy Pelosi and Al Franken come to mind), we have allowed, even nurtured, the radical right’s increasingly successful attempt to seize control of everything we value.

Nurtured? Yes. When the Tea Party emerged, we chuckled amongst ourselves about those loonies. Tsk-tsk’d their radical notions. Were initially annoyed but somewhat amused when they ran for office in huge (and coordinated) numbers, believing the people would reject their trash talking, simple-minded, neo-Dark Age notions. We all know how that turned out.

Meanwhile, it appears that the man at the top of the political hierarchy has lost touch with ordinary people. Did he ever have that? I've begun to wonder. As Franken said in his response to Focus on the Family's Minnery this week, it's difficult to believe in something/someone cloaked in dissembling.

Blah, blah, blah.

I'll rise up out of this slough of despond yet again, I suppose. But it’s getting harder and harder to do.

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Neo Edgar Bergen

July 16, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

It's a matter of no small concern that the Republicans in the Minnesota legislature who were elected to....well, that remains a bit of a puzzle....let's just say "legislate"....take their marching orders from party hacks vs. real people.

As noted elsewhere, the loud and larger than life Tony Sutton (GOP party chair) is the mouthpiece for the far more dangerous Michael Brodkorb (GOP vice chair)--the party hack's party hack, whose professed hero is Karl Rove. Brodkorb is a mega-radical and a very scary dude. One assumes he has great political aspirations for himself, because the ventriloquist role is not going to satisfy him indefinitely.

Brodkorb's fingerprints are all over Sutton's lips, all the time. Take, for example, this recent, relatively subtle gem:

"In the wake of what has been a highly partisan, campaign-like atmosphere since Gov. Dayton shut down state government on July 1..."

Gov. Dayton shut down state government.....seriously?! I smell this spin message, and it has the odor of legislator puppet-masters. Oh, yeah, mixed metaphor. I do that because...well, because I can. I guess I should have been a Republican.

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Radically wrong

July 15, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

It's a darkly dreary, humid (as in thunderstormy) day in the land of Wellstone. Been seeing Facebook posts, emails, op-eds from folks who are feeling temporarily beaten down by the deceit, lies and bully-boy tactics of the radical right -- in Minnesota and throughout our country. Oh, yeah, I said "our," and that's an essential point.

This all takes a humongous toll. But days like today allow for reflection about what comes next.

What happens now that Governor Dayton has been more or less metaphorically beaten into submission (temporarily) by the radical right?

What happens when we kick Minnesota's budget woes down tobacco road, living out Scarlett O'Hara's "tomorrow is another day" delusion?

I don't have answers -- in part, because no one asked me to produce them. And also in part because I'm not smart enough to figure this out.

What I do have, under the momentary cloak of despair, is a measure of dogged determination. We know who they are--the leaders and the followers of the radical right. We know what they've done.

Sometimes memory is short. But not this time.

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The last straw?

July 14, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

You can mess with our civil rights, the rights of people with disabilities, unions, jobs, the economy, health care, safety, voter ID, GLBT folks, babies, toddlers, old people, poor people, reproductive rights, separation of church and state, bridges over the Mississippi (pauses for breath), but do not -- repeat, DO NOT, mess with my beer!!

Will the no-beer issue finally grab the attention of Minnesotans and bring 'em to the streets? I'm way looking forward to what those rallies might look like.

I picture beer afficionados holding empty steins aloft, and crying out, "Please, sir, may I have another?" Or.....???

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Governor Mark Dayton speaks for the people

July 13, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

Governor Dayton does not use a bully pulpit because he's not a bully. He's a principled leader surrounded by the fractious and obstinate radical right -- who, by the way, are destroying our state.

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Zero integrity zone

July 11, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

It appears that the Republicans are (pardon the expression) constitutionaly incapable of winning elections by backing candidates who have at least a modicum of integrity and/or prefer to be surrounded by handlers who do.

To wit:

GOP dirty tricks in Wisconsin

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