This woman is an incredible human being.  This is really good material for a movie.

More on Pia Kemp. 

Even Harris, who had been the only major Democratic candidate not beating him in earlier polls.

Yeah, I know.  “The polls miscalculated the 2016 vote.”

Except that they didn’t.

There is some good news for Trump.  His approval rating bumped up to 42 percent.  And the majority say that the economy is in good shape, even if they don’t attribute it to him.


I will look for an article with more details.   The jury for the trial of the border activist who was charged with providing shelter, food, and water to immigrants is hung.

The case is much more complicated than it seems.  Providing food and water is not inherently illegal, and “harboring” can be ambiguous.  I’ve only skimmed this Intercept article, but it appears that they were trying to tie Scott Warren to actions of another by way of “conspiracy.”  That can be a very complicated proposition as a matter of law.  I will read it tonight and update with my thoughts.

I haven’t really been following the story.  Environmental activist Natalynne DeLapp has been promoting the latest proposal for Monument Ridge and Bear River Ridge involving up to 60 turbines, and much like the Shell Oil proposal of a few years ago which was defeated by a coalition of intransigent environmentalists and conservative NIMBYs, this project is receiving opposition from a very vocal collection of usual suspects who feel self-entitled to interrupt and demand that questions be answered in precisely the way they want.

One stupid question was “when is the project going to become carbon neutral?”  Of course any answer but “never” was going to draw a negative response from the self-important.  Certainly their trip to the meeting to deliver their oh-so-important feelings against anything new wasn’t carbon neutral.

Look, this is much like the other projects like the proposed closed-system fish farm which will face knee-jerk opposition from those who would have us return to the stone age in power production while somehow allowing them to maintain their cars and computers to voice their brilliant opinions and cynical rejection of anything which might change their community in any way.

We have to generate power.  We aren’t going to give up our computers and televisions.  So we have to find ways of making it which minimize the footprint.  There will always be a footprint.  Wind energy is renewable and with less impact than fossil fuels and less dangerous than nuclear.  Yes, it will kill some birds, but with the mitigations it’s been pretty well established that all of the birds killed by all of the current wind farms in the US will not even approach the numbers of those killed by the Exxon-Valdiz spill for centuries.  The turbines can only bring power to the grid if they’re placed somewhere.   There is no place where wind blows which does not present danger for birds.  Nor is there any place for hydro-power which does not present danger to fish.  Solar power has not yet addressed the issue of disposal of batteries.  Geothermal can cause all kinds of problems, even acid rain.  There are problems with every power source and all we can do is improve technology and practices to mitigate them.  Get over it.

I’m not necessarily endorsing this very project as I don’t know the details, but I recognize the intransigence and self-righteousness of the oppose-everything crowd, and it reinforces the image of the environmental movement as class-privileged and intransigent.  Make demands about transparency of process and be part of the solution to make it work, and fight like hell if the companies involved don’t keep their promises.  But we need power and working people need to feed their kids.  That’s an important part of the conversation lest Humboldt County just become a retirement community of grumpy old ex-hippies chasing kids off their precious lawns.


Granted, conservatives in Europe are center-left in U.S. ideological framework.  The conservatives have been in power for years – even joining Bush’s invasion force coalitions and trying to move policy away from environmentalism.  They never dared tried to dismantle the social democratic reforms in earnest.  I think they learned from the Swedish conservatives who manage to win an election every once in a while then overstep their mandate and become one-termers.

But it appears that to keep their coalition together the conservatives had to pander to the xenophobia of nationalists and it cost them with the voters.  The nationalists themselves took a huge hit.

Now Denmark will be led by a 41-year-old woman.

I’m very well aware, as is the case of my own family, that there always remains a very religious conservative right wing.  The Kirks left Scotland during the Rose Wars because they chose the Catholic side of things and in Denmark broke into two factions by the 1800s – deeply religious farmers in the countryside and communist fishermen in Copenhagen.  The latter side of my family were in the anti-Nazi underground and used their boats to help 7000 Jews across the water to Sweden as Germany was invading.  My first cousin twice removed was a famous communist author who wrote the Fishermen (again about the cultural divide in Denmark as also reflected in films like Babette’s Feast).   Hans Kirk was captured by the Nazis at one point as they were burning his books, but he escaped and remained underground through the duration of the war.  He died before I was born.  Kind of dogmatic Stalinist from what I understand, but a very complex person nevertheless as reflected in the nuances of his writing.

Lots of stories, including one of an aunt of mine who carried a gun with her during the occupation.  According to legend she was stopped by a German sentry who asked her what was in the bag, and when she respond “a gun” he slapped her and sent her on her way.

Alas, I am not part of the Kirk branch of Denmark which invented Leggos.  The communist legacy doesn’t come with money, even though The Fisherman was reportedly the most popular Danish novel in the 20th century.

Hans Kirk’s first cousin was my grandfather Kris, who was raised on a pig farm and quite religious.  He didn’t want to remain on the farm so in 1929 when the crash happened and his family lacked money to send him to school he took a shipping job.  When the ship delivered or collected goods in San Francisco, he decided he wanted to stay and jumped ship, swam to the short at about Fort Point, got a job as a riveter in a shipyard, met my grandmother who was a waitress, and fell in with communists.  He obtained citizenship later after joining the army and participating in the invasion of Italy.  Unfortunately, whatever he experienced there – he didn’t talk about it much – he took to drinking when he returned.  But he did manage to write a novel which takes place in the Mission District of SF.  I have it – broken English and all – as my mother typed it out when she was pregnant with me.  Unfortunately he died of liver failure before I was born.

He and his then wife, Hilda, (whom I’ve written about) had been active for many years but left the CP with the exodus following the Kruschev revelations.  Stories for another time.

Back to Denmark itself, let’s see what the Copenhagen side of politics does for the country for awhile.  In the meantime, if you haven’t seen Babette’s Feast, I think it really captures the essence of the more “conservative” side of Denmarks anthropology and history.



In case you were wondering.

Updated with fixed link.

Here’s an account of the cable news coverage for each candidate.  I don’t even know who Marianne Williamson is!

Here’s an article about the relative popularity of each candidate – apparently Democrats like the candidates they know (except de Blasio).

So all but a few candidates qualify for the first debate.  Obviously anybody who doesn’t make it into that debate is done.  Obviously Sanders, Biden, Harris, Warren, Beto, Buttigieg, and Booker will survive the first debate and the summer.  Probably also Gilibrand and Klobuchar.

I figure it will be down to about 12 by late fall, although some may hang on because they have the money and nothing else to do – Hickenlooper for instance.  And maybe Yang.

Tulsi Gabbard and de Blasio have too many negative points to survive very long.

Hickenlooper, Yang, and Delaney are technocrats, with Delaney perhaps claiming a niche as a token conservative (though Hickenlooper may have earned that designation at the SF convention this last weekend by getting himself booed for defending private health insurance companies and opposing Medicare for All).

Julian Castro may impress at the debates and increase his support long enough to survive the first cleansing.

I don’t know much about Seth Moulton, but he seems to be the kind of “something for everybody” kind of candidate and like some other candidates running in the hopes of getting some national name recognition for future endeavors.

The others I haven’t really read about.  But maybe some of you are impressed with one or two of them?  Setting aside your politics, here are two questions.

  1.  Aside from the “Big 7” which of the candidates do you think will still be in the race by the end of summer?  By the end of the year?
  2. Setting aside their chances of winning in the primaries – assume a miracle – which of the candidates do you think has the best chance of defeating Trump in the general and why?
  3. Which of the candidates do you think will drop out shortly after the first debate?

Redheaded Blackbelt has some history and photos.

This headline is a lie.



1Right now most Americans (and much of Congress) doesn’t actually know what’s in the report.  Barr and Trump’s people got out in front of it to claim that it exonerates Trump.  Nobody who actually reads the thing with even a modicum of objectivity can draw that conclusion.  But few have or will actually read the report so they will accept that there is some kind of dispute as to what it says and either take their party line or just chalk up the “dispute” to “politics.”

The Democrats want Mueller to testify, even though he won’t say anything new.  They want him to testify for the same reason the Republicans don’t – because what is in the report will be recorded on live television and reframe the whole discussion away from a “dispute” about what it says to a “holy sh–, the Russians tipped the election in Trump’s favor and Trump did everything to keep me from knowing that!”

Mueller really doesn’t want to testify so he hoped that his statement would lead more people to actually read his report.  That was the gist of his message:  “Read the report.” He just wants to be done with it.  He want the Democrats to push impeachment, but the leadership is hesitant because it can backfire if nobody actually reads the report and the sections with indict Trump ethically if not criminally don’t make the headlines.  Mueller was hoping that the statement would satisfy the Democrats, but everything is stated in such an equivocal double-negative way that it’s subject to dispute and even though Trump himself is slamming Mueller in his tweets his people are all over the media saying that the statement itself exonerates Trump even though the statement itself is that Trump is not exonerated.  And the media’s idea of “balance” is to simply report each side’s interpretation of the statement rather than actually report what the report and the statement say.

I think the Democrats will continue to press for Mueller to testify on live television to repeat the following portions of the report as reported in The Atlantic which will only be read by educated liberals (and you, maybe).

“The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion,” Mueller wrote. This help “favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.”

These contacts were covered up by a series of lies, both to the special counsel and to Congress. Lying by the Trump campaign successfully obscured much of what happened in 2016. The special counsel in some cases “was not able to corroborate witness statements through comparison to contemporaneous communications or fully question witnesses about statements that appeared inconsistent with other known facts.” In particular, the investigation never did determine what happened to proprietary Trump-campaign polling data shared with the Russians.

Within hours of the appointment of a special counsel to investigate 2016 events, Trump began defaming him. Trump had already fired the FBI director who investigated these events. His first order to fire the special counsel appointed in the director’s place was issued on June 17, 2017, a month after Mueller’s appointment. That order would be followed by many more. Trump directed his staff to lie about these orders.

Over and above his efforts to fire the special counsel, “the President engaged in a second phase of conduct, involving public attacks on the investigation, non-public efforts to control it, and efforts in both public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the investigation.”

The subversion of the investigation was brazen. “Many of the President’s acts directed at witnesses, including discouragement of cooperation with the government and suggestions of possible future pardons, occurred in public view.”

The Trump administration’s rhetorical tactics have been skillful (even if his tweets undermine the strategy, but everybody knows his tweets are batsh– crazy so they accept the words of his handlers.

Mueller testimony will cut straight through that.  If it happens.


June 2019
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