• Amy Klobudhar has excellent state wide name recognition through her Father.  For years he wrote a folksy column that appeared in the Sunday Papers that covered greater Minnesota -- he was something of a cross between Garrison Keillor and Charles Kuralt.  He is and will be campaigning with Amy in Greater Minnesota, and is a terrific asset to the campaign.  It doesn't create any sort of lock on votes -- but it does assure that events will be well attended, and those events will be filled with Minnesota Lore and Humor.  

    For any DFL'er, the strategy for winning is to maximize total turnout votes in the Twin Cities, do very well in the 8th District (NE Minnesota which includes the Iron Range), and then pick off what you can in the rest of the state -- redicing the Republican margin.  Amy has a real advantage in one Republican Congressional District, the Third -- because a good deal of it is in Hennepin County, and she has done well there in her last County attorney races.  If that carries over into the Senate Race, it will be a real asset.  

    I see very few DFL'ers who would cross over and vote for Kennedy -- but suspect a good many moderate Republicans in the suburbs are persuadable.  The Minnesota Republican Party just had a coup on the part of the far right -- the former Christian Coalition head won the chairmanship over the opposition of the Governor, and most elected officials.  There may well be residuals from that.  

    The problems I see are on the margins.  Someone will probably run on Jesse Ventura's party line -- the Independence Party, and that can draw from the center -- particularly in Anoka County.  Likewise it looks as if there may be a primary by the self-funder Doyle even if Amy gets a clean endorsement at convention.  That means the DFL will have to mount a GOTV effort in the primary in early September.  But sometimes the necessity of doing that can be an asset -- we had to do it in 1990 for Wellstone, and it was very healthy for our general election organizational effort.  

    By the way -- Minnesota does not really have a pattern of one of each party for its Senators.  In the 50's and 60's the senators were called Hubert Humphrey and Gene McCarthy -- and that team lasted nearly 20 years. (with Humphrey replaced by Mondale). Then in the 80's we had the duo of Boschwitz and Durenberg -- both Republicans.  Instead, I would suggest that Minnesota predicts national trends as in 1978 the Republican wins predicted Reagan in 1980.  

  • comment on a post How Do White Christians Feel About George W. Bush? over 9 years ago
    It is a good idea to run this kind of analysis, but I agree with the comment above -- in many cases the general names of denominations tell you nothing.  

    The general notion in Sociology of Religion research is to follow the notion that belief in the inerrancy of the scripture -- either by an individual or the teachings of a particular church congregation you favor -- is the best method for constructing a liberal-conservative index.  

    This has worked for several generations -- worked on Race, on Anti-Semitism and many other items survey researchers have measured.  

  • comment on a post Repercussions for Nazi Comments over 9 years ago
    Is the record archive from the Nuremberg trials
    "Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression"

    The reason I cite "Theory and Practice of Hell" by Eugen Kogon is because it was the basis for the testimony at Nuremberg.  

    Kogan spent six years (39-45) in Buchanwald, and very soon after liberation, he was hired by an Intelligence Team of the Psychological Warfare Division -- US Army to prepare a full report for SHAEF regarding the organizational structure of Nazi Concentration Camps, and how they fit into the Nazi State System.  He gathered initial sources and completed the first 400 page manuscript within a month of liberation -- and he then became a consultant to the Nuremberg Prosecutors.  Following the completion of the first manuscript, Kogan sought much additional material and re-wrote the manuscript for publication in late December 1945.  It first appeared in the US in 1950 published by Farrar Straus and Giroux -- and has been through at least 25 printings.  

    While there are many more recent works that have the advantage of released German records (Browning's work for instance) -- this first work should be understood for what it was -- A first analysis of "the system" by trained German Social Scientists who had spent years as inmates in that system.  To put it mildly, it is not a nice book -- certainly not casual reading.  But it provided the basic structure for the "Crimes against Humanity" charges at the War Crime trials.  

    I am personally not sorry Durbin pulled back from this debate -- though it is one that is needed.  I just don't think the Senate and the Bolton Nomination is the right venue.  I don't really expect politicians to comprehend all the nuances in this debate.  But it needs to be pushed.  

    One must understand that a myth has crept into the public debate (many more than one) regarding whether anyone paid attention to "all this" in the immediate aftermath of the war.  Some say not till the 70's did anyone pay attention.  That's a huge lie.  The whole subject became a field of study in Social Psychology and Sociology -- the journals beginning about 1946 are filled with monographs and experimental reports -- and it became the underpinning for all sorts of psychological warfare efforts -- with the history of what the Nazi's did viewed as a vast experiment.  The Army and the CIA paid lots of attention, and did massive research.  My own thought is that much of the "training" for those who were responsible for Gitmo, and all the rest  depends on the legacy of this tradition and work.  This was clearly true during Vietnam.

    The question is not just "What did the bad old Nazi's do?"  It is "What intellectual use did we make of our received knowledge of what they did, and how they did it?"  Yes we prosecuted war crimes -- but we also learned many lessons from the details, and made very few moral judgments about how such knowledge should be used.    

  • comment on a post Repercussions for Nazi Comments over 9 years ago
    I heard Durbin's reading into the record the FBI report -- before the Republican Noise Machine went into full blast effort, --- what I immediately thought about was my need to go find the Sociological -- no Social Psychology work that is somewhere on my book shelf titled "The Theory and Practice of Hell" -- which (modern lingo) deconstructs the elements of behavorial psychology that were incorporated into Nazi Practice.  

    Look -- the Nazi's, the Stalinists, and eventually the little guys like the Stasi actually provide evidence as to how you take over an otherwise rational population, and by exercising the levers of fear normal to every human being, accomplish their ends, which are to get and keep power.  

    Stop suggesting that all the work that has gone into scientific study of the Nazi practice, the PR theory of Gobbels, the Stalinist practice, and all the rest is irrelevant.  It is very relevant.  The fact is the Republicans have seriously read the social science, and while of course they will deny it, they have adapted it to 21st century American conditions.  We need to explain that clearly to the vast public -- and rather than using the handy "hitler" tag -- we need to identify the actual elements of the phenonema that concern us.  

    For instance, All the camps, bar none, were about dehumanization.  Is what the FBI described of that nature?  of course it was.  So call it that, and forget the Hitler logo.  Stop letting them get away with the logo -- and take them into the realm of social psychology from which they have directly adopted their Gitmo regime.  

  • I would suggest there was a great deal more to the Rosa Parks story than apparently was in the documentary -- and actually looking into the background of it all may help us all understand the relationship between "necessary movement" and "political Party."

    Understanding Parks acts, and the community support she received requires us to look back all the way to the failure of reconstruction in the 1880's -- and the slow process by which leadership in the Black Community evaluated that failure, and planned a new thrust toward civil equities.  It begins with the founding of the NAACP -- the Niagra Movement -- then you have to comprehend the debate between WEA DuBoise and Booket T Washington about goals and means.  Then move on to the failure of the "Progressive Movement" (TR Roosevelt) and even the New Deal (FDR) to be able to deliver politically civil equity for Blacks.  The Labor movement also has lessons -- better in some ways (CIO) than even the New Deal.  Then there is the necessary study of efforts to reform legislatively -- anti Lynching Laws is a good topical way into the impossibility of seeking change legislatively.  Then heavy duty study of the Double V campaign during World War II.  Then you sort of have to side track into how and why American Blacks studied so carefully Gandhi's movement in India -- who went to India to study, how did they interpret and convey the usefulness of Non-Violence as tactic -- and get the Baptist Preachers to comprehend it as leadership form.  The history of CORE -- founded by students of Gandhi at the University of Chicago is a great help here. (but you also have to read about 20 years worth of how the Chicago Defender wrote it up, and how the Pullman Porters distributed it through the South. Only then do you get to the concepts that were shared by Rosa Parks and those who supported her and the movement principles.  

    I am not trying to take anything away from Parks -- she was one brave woman -- but she stood on the shoulders of nearly 50 years of planning about  how a movement could be ignited.  She also was -- know it or not -- a cold war actor.  The US was taking a beating world wide what with Emmitt Till and other horror stories -- and needed to change it's racial practices sufficient that it could do business in Africa and Asia, and cease being a grand target for Soviet Propaganda regarding Jim Crow practice.  Rosa Parks + Non Violent Direct Action + Montomgery Bus Boycott added up to a minimal set of demands that could be accomodated.  She came between the Supreme Court decisions on school desegregation and the much more far reaching demands of the movement toward the 1964 and 65 Civil Rights Acts -- and with a few added things such as the Fair Housing Law, this did complete the agenda as it had been planned out in the 1930's when the anti-Lynching efforts came a cropper, and it was evident we could not accomplish goals legislatively given the power structure of the country.  

    But movements, when they actually accomplish their prime objectives tend to decline unless they can quickly adopt new ones.  The Civil Rights movement failed to really do this, and while in a formal sense it is still about, you cannot sustain the sense of purpose without new goals.  That's what distinguishes a movement from a political party.  A party always has a near goal, which is the next election.  

  • comment on a post Yet More on the Two Spheres over 9 years ago
    I really would like to see a concerted effort on the part of leading Left and Progressive Blogs to address the "diversity" issue.  You look at the pictures of our conventions -- forums and all, and yep -- our diversity stands out.  Women and racial and ethnic minorities are included.  But in the Blog World there are simply too many instances where it is nearly an all male club.  Now I realize (and read) women's blogs that assume a particular feminist perspective, but what I don't find is women featured as regulars on the blogs that draw multi-eyes.  I was particularly disappointed with Josh Marshall's line up in this respect.  I am decidedly NOT suggesting that women's issues necessarily come to be featured on Lib and Progressive Blogs -- what I see is a different problem, that of integrating women into all the issues, as regular columnists.  The same thing also goes to other minority classes.  
  • on a comment on GOP Senate '06 targets over 9 years ago
    I suspect Amy Klobucher will ultimately win the endorsement at State Convention next June -- though it does look like she may have a very well funded conservative democratic builder-developer run against her in the Primary.  Amy had reasonable fund raising numbers for her first report.  

    People have to understand Minnesota selects candidates through a Precinct Caucus -- Convention system, but then the decision of the Party can be challenged in a late Primary.  This system very much impacts strategy.  Endorsement by a convention (60% required) depends entirely on solid organization within the party -- getting your supporters elected delegate, and moving them forward.  Done right, this can create a super grass roots campaign structure for primary or general election -- and if you can keep the convention civil, you can easily integrate supporters of other candidates into the campaign organization.  And done properly, a Primary can actually be used to build voter support for the General Election.  I know it is screwy -- but it is how the DFL does it, and there are real values to the system.  

    For those who don't know her, Klobucher is Hennepin County Attorney, re-elected for a third term in 04 without opposition.  She is the daughter of one of the most popular (and populist) journalists in the state, and thus has very significant name recognition.  Jim Klobucher still runs Bike camping trips for hundreds around the state (and writes them up) -- and his speciality was always the unique character of various parts of the state.  He is a huge asset to the campaign.  

    The key to winning state wide for the DFL in Minnesota is getting a huge turnout in the Cities and Metro -- 4th and 5th CD, and doing very very well in the 8th (Iron Range and Duluth) -- and then reducing the Republican margin in the rest of the state.  You have to look at Klobucher against this most obvious strategy.  

    It looks like we have two other elements of the DFL ticket in hand.  Former FBI agent (and TIME woman of the year) Colleen Rowley will be running in the 2nd CD.  This is potentially a swing district, won by John Klein by 6 points in 04 against a DFLer who had little name ID in most of the district.  (Klein is former CIA).  Rowley is a great fit for this district which is Suburban south of the cities running from the Mississip over to about Rochester.  I suspect this will be a very well funded race, and a potential pick up.  

    The DFLer in the 6th district probably will be an interesting pick -- former Mayor of Blain, Tinglinnberg (sp) who left the DFL for 4 years while serving in Jesse Ventura's administration as Commissioner of Transportation.  Apparently Jesse is going to support him and the 6th District DFL likes the prospect.  The district is also very much a swing district with the right candidate -- Anoka is Ventura's power base but it also includes high income rivertowns such as Stillwater and Taylor's Falls, and stretches into Central Minnesota to the St. Cloud area.  Tinglingberg is a former Lutheran Pastor who is anti-abortion and also opposed to Gay Marriage (very much like this district) but he also has already "slammed" the political evangelicals for their inappropriate use of Scripture in policy debates and elections.  (the 6th is where the Republican Evangelicals have great strength).  One of the more earthy issues however has to do with whether this district should get a commuter rail line.  (Thousands of residents are 'domned' to park on freeways for hours trying to get to city jobs.)  The Republican Evangelicals are in solid opposition to "trains" -- but commuter rail is how the DFL picked up 12 legislative seats last fall.  Again -- it could shape up as an interesting race.  

    Both of these are important because if people get out to positively vote for these representatives, they probably will also vote for Amy Klobucher in most cases.  (She is also for trains, and has worked closely with Colleen Rowley on law enforcement matters.)  Mark Kennedy is against trains, and he has no real claim to law enforcement creds.  

    I contend that right now the matter that is most interesting (and not well covered) is how, across the country candidate recruitment is going, and in that process of selecting candidates -- how is the 06 campaign being scripted.  

    Oh -- one other bit of trivia Minnesota News.  The Viking Football team was sold on Monday -- new owner is from New Jersey, former owner was from Texas and a Bushie.  New Owner was a maxed out donor to Paul Wellstone in 2002 and gave earlier -- and supports progressive Dem candidates around the country.  NFL owners give about 85% of their money to the GOP.  So if you are in the market for a football team to support -- well, maybe we now have one.  

  • comment on a post Liberal Blogosphere Surpasses Cable News over 9 years ago
    I have Questions.  Apparently sometime this summer Al Gore's TV Cable Channel will start up -- a channel that apparently is specifically designed to attract 16-35 year olds, and will feature audience made short-subject video.  Will this have any impact on current Cable News viewership?  I rather suspect it will quickly mesh with blogs in a fairly dynamic way as video makers engage in discussions with audience and members of the audience elaborate subjects and themes.  

    What do others think might be the riches in this new format?  

    I too question the comparison of Cable News Viewership with Blogs.  Cable News has its uses when things are "happening" -- under normal conditions I mute the sound, and let the pictures roll and surf blogs with good old Public Radio on low so as to pick out when to turn it up and listen to something interesting.  But reading and actually watching TV with the sound up is distracting.  You can do neither very well at the same time.  But low volume Radio and Blogs work fine together.  

  • comment on a post Ohio coin scandal beginning to rock the GOP over 9 years ago
    We have here a great fraud story with legs, but we need to keep in mind the need to frame it in terms of the profile of the citizens who have been defrauded.  Who, afterall, gets Workman's Compensation?  What is the moral message of those who would violate their public stewardship roles and "hurt" this particular part of our community?

    We need to lard the overall fraud story here with profiles of people who have been hurt on the job and have no other resources other than the ability to sell their labor.  That is the slice of the electorate that needs to be alienated from Republicanism, and that is an audience that is most open to seeing this case in morality tale terms.  

  • Oh yea, one added little factlet.  She apparently gave an interview where she was asked if she was going to get a "makeover" -- you know, hairstyle, new clothes, makeup and more feminine shoes.  No -- she hasn't used Make up since High School, and she wears blazers all the time so she has a place for her gun.  That's right, her gun.  Apparently even retired FBI agents sometimes pack heat, and maybe she does, maybe she doesn't.  
  • comment on a post Kicking off a Senate pickup - news from Montana over 9 years ago
    This week the AP had an early-bird story about the 2nd Congressional District Race.  Colleen Rowley will indeed be running for DFL endorsement to challenge John Klein.  Rowley if you remember is the FBI agent who outed the coverup of the Moussoui investigation pre 911 and had to be granted whistleblower status.  TIME then named her Woman of the Year.  Klein has served two terms, though he has run four times (lost twice) and is a former CIA Officer.  

    Second District is Suburban and Rural -- South of the River suburbs to the Twin Cities, and then down to Rochester, and some of the river towns south of St. Paul.  Though Klein won by a reasonable margin last time, the DFL candidate was weak and underfunded.  Rowley, I expect will have something of a national fundraising base, and she has the added advantage of growing up just south of the district, but being active in the Lutheran Circles important in that district.  It sets up an interesting FBI - CIA clash right in the middle of the Heartland.  You can't get more "Heartland" than South Central Minnesota.  

    The DFL tried to recruit her for 2004 -- but her retirement date from the FBI was too late for the critical camapign dates.  

    I should add on Rowley -- before there was a 911 to talk about, she was already well known in Minnesota because she investigated and arrested the last of the Simbonese Liberation Movement leading to the California trial of Kathleen Solah (sp).  Otherwise irrelevant, this does in a sense "protect" her from claims she is "left" or "radical."  

    Klein, on the other hand just served Dobbson's cause by authoring the amendment restricting military jobs for women -- which got knocked out when DOD comprehended the implications.  

    Should be an interesting race -- attention should be paid.  

  • comment on a post Identity Politics over 9 years ago
    Look, Rural America is filled with people who wear basball caps advertising their tractor (John Deer, International Harvester,) or the type of Hybrid Corn they grow.  These are the means for producing their income, and they are more than happy to wear the advertisement.  

    What has Liberal America ever done to ask these guys to add a real social or political idea to their outfit?  What have we even done to contest the Right in their environment?  

    Let me lay out an example.  Back in the mid 1940's just after FDR died, the aid to Harry Hopkins (Aubry Williams) spent a day with Eleanor discussing his reluctance to stay in the Truman Administration.  He wanted to go back to Alabama from whence he came, buy a monthly magazine, and try to contribute to changing the south.  Aubry Williams was distinctive in the New Deal, because he was the first Federal Official who had forced the legal issue of Equal Pay for Equal Work in the context of WPA and for (then called) Negroes.  He did it in Tennessee, and in the process FDR had to fire the Tennessee State Administrator because he was paying blacks 20% less than standard WPA wage, and stealing what he withheld.  Anyhow Williams had long done double duty in the New Deal and during the War -- doing Eleanor's thing while also working for Hopkins.  

    Anyhow he wanted to be free of the White House, and so Eleanor went to the Marshall Field Foundation and helped with the arrangements so that Williams could buy "Southern Farmer" -- a then nearly bankrupt publication.  If you read it through in the late 40's and early 50's -- it is all about how to convert to mechanized farming, end sharecropping, and all about racial justice.  

    Who provided the scholarship for Rosa Parks to attend Highlander and learn the principles of Non Violence?  Aubry Williams actually.  Who hired her as a "seamstress" when in fact she was an editor? -- well Aubry Williams.  

    We don't need to repeat this -- but we do need to create a new version of the event.  

    In Rural America today a very small slice of the folk own land and actually benefit from the ag industry.  Many owners don't even live in Rural America, the land is absentee owned, and in some measure owned by insurance companies.  Twenty years ago this kind of arrangement was called Collective Farming when it existed in the USSR or E. Europe -- maybe we should be about asking what differences really exist between totay's rural America and the Collectivized former USSR and E. Europe?  

    If you ever read Southern Farmer back in the late 40's or 50-'s you'll understand why the importance of putting "how to make a living" and "how to use the new technology" side by side with the cultural revolution of equality for Blacks made total sense.  

    You8 can't repeat history -- but who is going to be today's Aubry Williams?

  • comment on a post Dear Internet: Help Free Our Churches over 9 years ago
    I can think of lots of messages I'd put on lawn signs and billboards around the area.

    "Judge not that you may be Judged" covers many matters, but the idea sure is relevant here.

    But another question needs to be asked....

    Does Brother Bush accept votes when part of the price is to exclude folk from Jesus's message?

    I think that question can be asked all over the country.  We need to force Brother Bush to denounce this sort of coercion.  

  • on a comment on The Evangelical Noise Machine over 9 years ago
    You can file on line at the FCC.  You need to file with appropriate details -- specific times, specific programs, call letters and place on the band.  It is also good to have the complaint backed by testing the phenonema with several radios -- some do not have the best tuners.  I know people who have successfully filed using tape recordings on cassetts demonstrating the problems -- and doing so from several locations with a variety of receivers.  

    Complaints are more likely to be given investigative attention if a reasonable number of people make the same set of complaints.  And it is also useful if elected officials are notified the complaints are being made and asked to support the effort.  

  • comment on a post Time To Pull The Plug on PBS over 9 years ago
    Look, both PBS and NPR serve a very large Liberal and Progressive Audience, as well as a Moderate Republican slice.  It's worth fighting to keep it healthy but it would be smart to look at how the system is organized and recognize that what's true in one part of the country is not necessarily the case in other parts.  

    Republicans started threatening back in the mid 90's when they won the House -- and were very surprised that members who stepped forward on NPR in particular, really got a ton of letters from very mad Moderate and Middle-Upper Middle Classed Republican voters.  They backed off as a result, and many of the stations took this as fair warning, and built up endowments for their systems.  It's not true everywhere -- but it is in many places.  The result is the system can more or less survive without CPB funds for several years or more.  More important, NPR knows their audience well.  Many will fight with them to keep partisian politics out of management, though the initative needs to come from the audience.  

    Here in Minnesota we complain all the time about our "Big Corporate MPR" -- so big that it owns stations in Idaho, Michigan, and Southern California -- and seems to always be buying other stations that are not well supported locally.  But MPR is also not vulnerable to CPB.  It has long had a strategy of owning a "for profit" side that produces capital that can and is re-invested in the "non-profit" side of things.  If you like listening to "As it Happens" from Canada -- well your local station is buying it from Minnesota -- as are they doing if your station carries BBC overnight.  MPR produces radio documentaries and sells them to out of area stations -- no CPB money at all.  MPR produces arts programs, Jazz programs, Author's series and of course Garrison Keillor.  It is a big business but it is so far above anything else that is available it's silly.

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