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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

When "Purifying" Democratic Candidates: Pick The Right Battle

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 04/21/17 17:53

by Dave Mindeman

To all the Hillary bashers....past and present.

Complaint: Hillary took a lot of money from Goldman Sachs. Too close to Wall Street.

After election: Goldman Sachs runs the Treasury Department. The 1% are heading nearly every cabinet position.

Complaint: Hillary did not emphasize climate change enough.

After election: A climate denier is head of EPA. Climate cannot even be talked about in the government. And oil, gas, and coal get seats at the policy table.

Complaint: HRC ties to Clinton Foundation looked like "pay for play".

After election: Trump is a walking ethics violation. Trump businesses get paid by his campaign. Corporations gave money to inauguration fund - got direct access to NSC and foreign policy. Betsy Devos parlays donation into Ed Secretary. Ivanka promotes her goods directly from White House. Family members get prime positions in White House. Ties to Russia are explicit.

Complaint: HRC's e-mails were "careless" in handling classified info.

After election: Trump uses an unsecure phone. The admin has an unprecedented number of leaks. The chair of the intelligence committee, Nunes, talks to press about classified documents...and mischaracterizes what they say. Trump issued false accusation and ordered his staff to "find something" to corroborate it. Staff people aren't vetted - some even failed a security clearance.

Complaint: Hillary is too much of a "war hawk".

After election: Trump congratulates dictators in Turkey and Egypt. He bombs Syria. He is provoking North Korea. He has questioned the European alliance. He tries to befriend Russia and while doing nothing about Ukraine and Crimea. He insults Mexico, Australia, and Canada. And sends all sorts of mixed signals to China. And Russia and China are on military alert because they don't know what the hell is going on.

Complaint: Hillary is too friendly to bad trade policies.

After election: Well, at least TPP is gone. But Mexico is cozying up to China trade. Canada is causing a dairy crisis. He wants to keep obsolete manufacturing afloat. Does nothing for new job training (budget cuts a lot of it). Has no plan for Brexit. And thinks ending regulations will solve all of it.

I'm fed up with Democratic purists who think denigrating the DEMOCRATIC candidate is the best way to approach electoral politics. If HRC had been elected, everything on the complaint list would be better than what has happened.

I don't mind pushing Democratic candidates to be more progressive. That is a good thing to do. But once we have an endorsed candidate for the ballot, we need to fight like hell to get them elected. Then after the election we can fight harder for policy, with an actual chance of making it happen.

The next time you want to throw an endorsed Democrat under the bus, remember this Trump era.

Pick your damn battles.

An Eye for an Eye Makes You Blind

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 04/13/17 19:58

by Alan Anderson

President Trump recently responded to the chemical attacks in Syria by bombing an airport, reportedly involved in the killings. The missiles used cost more than $100 million dollars and the total cost of the response is probably closer to $125 million. Several civilians were killed in the attack. Their killings were claimed to be justified by the horrific deaths of people, especially children, in the chemical attack.

Mr. Trump believes it is OK to kill others in retaliation for them doing the same to people they oppose. And Mr. Trump was especially moved by the painful deaths of the children. Thus, painful deaths are one of the ultimate causes for retaliation.

Thousands of years ago those who had military power, like the Romans, held similar views. They, and some of their colleagues, sought to kill people who threatened their rule or undermined their power and authority. They were especially bothered by some who spoke out about killing others as a sin and as something that was not the right thing to do. They fought those who spoke about helping people who needed support, such as having food and shelter and a chance to live a normal life. They decried those who spoke about the need for people in power to do good, to create harmony among all, and to help others to work together to achieve a society built on love and respect, rather than hate and anger.

One of the ways the Romans chose to kill their enemies was to hang them on a cross. Drive nails through their hands and feet and let them hang until their death. Certainly a painful and awful way to die, but they, like Mr. Trump, felt it was important to have a sign to others that they would meet a terrible fate if they continued on their current path. They believed horrible actions deserved horrible actions in response. Yes, if you injure my eye, I am justified in doing the same to you.

So, we struggle today with our lives and our future. As we celebrate Easter and the remembrance of Jesus and his message and life, we wonder what our future will be. We hope our leaders will have vision and empathy and love. We hope our leaders will seek peaceful means to end conflict and will refrain from choosing revenge and anger over thoughtful efforts to mobilize all people to use peaceful, powerful means to resolve conflict. Killing others, as was done in the past, is not a solution to bring peace and love to the world. It only breeds an eye for an eye mentality that allows killing your enemy as a valid approach. It makes you blind to human suffering and struggles and emboldens you to act in horrific ways.

So, observe Easter, Passover, or any other religious moment and tradition by advocating for harmony and celebration of life. To do otherwise is to continue the ways of the Romans and all the rulers of the world throughout history, who see the deaths of others as a good rather than the horror and tragedy it truly is.

Syria: Obama's Deeper Thinking On What We Do There

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 04/10/17 23:21

by Dave Mindeman

All of this praise for Donald Trump's "attack" on Syria has been a little overextended. The problem with Trump's action is that it was probably done on impulse and not after studying the situation carefully.

In reality, it is fortunate that Trump's strike was essentially ineffectual. I know a lot of people were pleased at the message, but if he had actually done any serious damage, the many aspects that make up the Syrian situation would have come into play.

Last September, Obama did a forum with Jake Tapper and when asked about Syria, Obama outlined in clear and precise detail the consequences of taking actions like this in Syria.

It indicates how Obama analyzes a situation...how he takes into account, all of the potential reactions....and how, unlike Trump's bogus bluster of a slogan, he does think about consequences for America first.

You can tell from how clearly Obama explains the situation that he had thought long and hard about what we do in Syria. He is deeply troubled by the carnage that is ongoing, but he clearly is reluctant to make a bad situation worse.

His humanitarian actions revolve around refugees and how to support our allies, while Trump's actions are pure military for bluster and show.

Listen to Obama's answer below.

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