Friday / June 24, 2016

Scan 44

“But for Christians to come out and testify to Donald Trump’s good and sound moral character as if he is one of them I think is wrong. In fact, there’s an explicit commandment in 1 Corinthians – or one Corinthians, as Donald Trump would say – that when someone holds themselves out as a Christian and yet is filled with greed, licentiousness, adultery, you name it, and hasn’t repented that you shouldn’t even break bread with this person.”

– Erik Erikson, conservative radio talk show host.

(See “Radio Talk Show Host Warns’, below.)

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High Flyin’ – Hacker Leaks Secret DNC Master Files On Hillary Clinton & Her Family Foundation

If you wanted Hillary Clinton to come speak to your Kiwanis Club lunchtime meeting this is the Gulfstream 450 executive corporate jet you would have to provide her to fly in on. Her staff would need to be flown in separately on commercial business or first class. (www.independentjets.com)

One trip from New York to Washington, D.C., aboard a Bank of America jet cost just $45.75, an amount that a researcher called “weirdly low.”

By Nika Knight
Common Dreams (6/22/16)

The anonymous hacker calling themselves Guccifer 2.0 released a second trove of internal documents from Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers on Tuesday, including a hefty 113-page file titled “Hillary Clinton Master Doc” that includes research the party performed on behalf of Clinton’s candidacy—months before she declared an intention to run.

The documents reveal that the DNC was particularly worried about Clinton’s speaking fees, her book advance, and her somewhat exacting luxury travel requirements for appearances.

As the Daily Beast summarized:

Several documents leaked […] show that DNC researchers, whose annotated notes can still be seen in the electronic files, looked for the tiniest potential infraction or questionable item in Clinton’s travel expenses, for instance, asking why one trip from New York to Washington, D.C., aboard a Bank of America jet cost just $45.75, an amount that a researcher called “weirdly low.”

A whole section in the “Master Doc” is devoted to questions and criticism about the money Clinton made from her book advance, book tour, and her public speeches, which generally ran around $250,000 per appearance and required the host to provide first-class travel and accommodations. In Clinton’s defense, the DNC cites articles stressing that fees went to the Clinton Foundation, and characterizing the work that the former secretary did in her private life not as an attempt to enrich herself, but to benefit her and her husband’s charitable work.

Also in the dossier were documents gathered by the DNC related to Clinton’s sky-high speaking fees, including an email from her booking agency that contradicts Clinton’s defense that she merely accepted “what they offered” when she was paid over $200,000 per speech—a claim that reporters have previously critiqued.

Scan 25(Daily Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2016. Open source and free to use with link to www.thedailycall.org )

 

The Smoking Gun notes the other amenities Clinton required in her speaking contracts:

In addition to a “standard” $225,000 fee, Clinton required a “chartered roundtrip private jet” that needed to be a Gulfstream 450 or a larger aircraft. Depending on its outfitting, the Gulfstream jet, which costs upwards of $40 million, can seat 19 passengers and “sleeps up to six.” Clinton’s contract also stipulated that speech hosts had to pay for separate first class or business airfare for three of her aides.

Image result for Gulfstream g450 jet

Interior view of Hillary’s preferred executive Gulfstream 450 jet.

 

As for lodging, Clinton required “a presidential suite” and up to “three (3) adjoining or contiguous rooms for her travel aides” and up to two extra rooms for advance staff. The host was also responsible for the Clinton travel party’s ground transportation, meals, and “phone charges/cell phones.”

Additionally, the host also had to pay “a flat fee of $1000” for a stenographer to create “an immediate transcript of Secretary Clinton’s remarks.” The contract adds, however, “We will be unable to share a copy of the transcript following the event.”

[DC Editor’s Note: So we know those transcripts exist! It will be interesting to see what the say when they are hacked in the closing weeks of the general election. Hey, I’m just guessing here. DC Editor]

Moreover, the DNC appeared particularly worried about the “vulnerabilities” of the Clinton Foundation, such as its acceptance of million-dollar plus donations from private corporations and foreign governments, its veiled finances, and its record in Haiti.

One file (pdf) titled “Clinton Foundation Donors $25K+” documents the high-rolling donors to the Clinton Foundation, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (in the $10-$25 million column), the Saudi Arabian construction magnate Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi ($5-$10 million), Barclays Capital ($1-$5 million), ExxonMobil ($1-$5 million), and Chevron ($500,000-$1 million), among many other private corporations—including healthcare, oil and gas, and media giants—and foreign governments.

In a master file called “Clinton Foundation Master Doc,” DNC researchers appear to have gathered reporting spanning years on the “vulnerabilities” of the Clinton Foundation’s record and finances, revealing a particular point of anxiety for the party: {Follow link below.]

The documents, most of which appear to be dated from the spring of 2015, reveal a party entirely focused on propping up its establishment candidate, critics contend, while failing to support or even predict the success of outsider candidate Bernie Sanders.

Indeed, much of the “opposition research” on other Democratic candidates focused on Lincoln Chafee, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and even Vice President Joe Biden, who never declared an intention to run.

Some argue that these leaks lend more weight to accusations that the primary was “rigged” in favor of the former secretary of state.

And whoever Guccifer 2.0 may be, they appear to be taking a more active role in the leaks—saying they’re now willing to speak to the press via Twitter—supporting whistleblower Edward Snowden’s statement that such hacktivists are “now demonstrating intent—and capability—to influence elections.”

(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.)

Link to Story

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Ask Not What Sanders Wants, But What His Grassroots Army Demands

‘They want real change in this country,’ Bernie Sanders writes in Post op-ed, and ‘they want it now.’

By Deirdre Fulton
Common Dreams (6/23/16)

Ahead of a speech in New York City on Thursday, Bernie Sanders has published an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for “real change in this country” on behalf of the millions of people who support his grassroots campaign for political revolution.

Sanders acknowledged Wednesday that he is unlikely to win the Democratic presidential nomination, saying on C-SPAN: “It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee.”

He is scheduled to deliver a speech titled “Where We Go From Here” on Thursday evening in Manhattan.According to CNBC reporter John Harwood on Twitter, when asked if the speech would have “big concession/endorsement news,” a Sanders aide said “No.”

Instead, his speech will likely cover similar ground as the Post op-ed, in which Sanders wrote: “As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, ‘What does Bernie want?’ Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

“And the answer is,” he continued, “They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.”

The op-ed goes on to call for:

  • “an economic and political system that works for all of us, not one in which almost all new wealth and power rests with a handful of billionaire families;”
  • “a vibrant democracy and a well-informed electorate that knows that its views can shape the future of the country;”
  • “a criminal justice system that addresses the causes of incarceration, not one that simply imprisons more people;” and
  • “the United States to lead the world in pushing our energy system away from fossil fuel and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”

“What do we want?” Sanders concludes. “We want to end the rapid movement that we are currently experiencing toward oligarchic control of our economic and political life. As Lincoln put it at Gettysburg, we want a government of the people, by the people and for the people. That is what we want, and that is what we will continue fighting for.”

Last week, in a live-streamed address to supporters, Sanders declared that the political revolution had in fact just begun.

“We have begun the long and arduous process of transforming America—a fight that will continue tomorrow, next week, next year, and into the future,” he said. “My hope is that when future historians look back and described how our country moved forward—into reversing the drift towards oligarchy and how we moved forward in creating a government which represents all of the people not just a few—that they will note that to a significant degree, that that effort began with the political revolution of 2016.”

(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.)

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‘Atlas Mugged’ – This Is Exactly Why Paul Ryan Didn’t Want To Be Speaker Of The House

By Rob Garver
Fiscal Times (6/23/16)

Paul Ryan never wanted to be speaker of the House, and Wednesday was a perfect example of why. The guy who made his reputation as the Republicans’ wonk-in-chief as chairman of the Budget Committee and then, briefly, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, started the day expecting to spend a good chunk of it talking about the GOP’s new plan to replace the Obama administration’s signature domestic policy achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

Things didn’t go as planned.

Ryan was able to deliver his scheduled remarks Wednesday afternoon, but much of the remainder of his day was dedicated to addressing issues that were not remotely related to what he had hoped would drive the day’s coverage.

Late Wednesday morning, Democratic lawmakers staged a “sit-in” on the floor of the House of Representatives. Led by legendary civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), dozens of Democrats at a time sat on the in the well of the House chamber, aiming to prevent action on anything until Republican leadership allowed a vote on a proposal to bar individuals on the government’s no-fly list from purchasing firearms.

Scan 30

“Atlas Mugged” – House Speaker Paul Ryan.

(Daily Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2016. Open Source and Free To Use with link to www.thedailycall.org)

This was a no-win situation for Ryan from the start. Gun control is a complicated and emotionally-charged issue, particularly in the wake of an apparent terror attack that killed and wounded 100 people in Orlando barely a week ago. Democrats are pushing for action on proposal that has enormous public support on a superficial level — who doesn’t want to block suspected terrorists from buying guns? — but is really far more complex than it seems.

The government’s no-fly list is notoriously flawed. Large numbers of people who should never have been put on it have found themselves not only prevented from flying, but nearly helpless to have themselves removed from the list. This creates obvious constitutional problems for proposals to use a person’s appearance on the list as evidence in a case for denying them the right to buy a firearm.

This put Ryan in the awkward position of having to refuse the Democrats a vote on a popular proposal, made worse by his decision to declare their sit-in a “publicity stunt.”

Then, remarkably, his day got worse. He appeared on CNN for an interview and host Wolf Blitzer asked him a question that in a normal time would be so silly that laughter would have been the only reasonable response.

“Do you trust Donald Trump?” Blitzer asked.

Ryan did, at least, laugh. But this isn’t a normal time. Instead of saying that of course he trusts his party’s presumptive nominee, he wriggled like a fish on a hook, refusing to commit to what most people would probably consider the most fundamental prerequisite for supporting a presidential candidate.

About the best he could manage was to say that whether or not he trusts Trump “depends on the issue.”

Endorsements don’t come more tepid than that.

Around 10:30 Wednesday evening, Ryan and his fellow Republicans returned to the House floor in an effort to conduct business over the jeers, shouts, and singing of the Democrats. Rather than exercise his right, as speaker, to have the Democratic lawmakers removed from the floor, Ryan simply talked over them, taking the House in and out of recess several times and conducting votes on various pieces of legislation despite the protests.

At different points, arguments became heated. Colleagues stepped between Republican Louie Gohmert of Texas and the Democratic protesters during one exchange, out of concern that a shouting match would escalate further. Republican Don Young of Alaska was similarly restrained by colleagues and aides.

The spectacle reached its climax after 3 a.m., when after forcing a controversial vote on an appropriations bill that included funding for the fight against the Zika virus, Ryan declared the House adjourned until July 5. The Republican majority’s published calendar had indicated that the House would remain in session through Thursday, and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, declared the retreat “cowardly.” Some Democrats remained on the floor in protest, while others vowed to continue the sit-in when lawmakers return in July.

AshLee Strong, spokeswoman for Ryan, countered, “Democrats can continue to talk, but the reality is that they have no end-game strategy…The Senate has already defeated the measure they’re calling for. The House is focused on eliminating terrorists, not constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. And no stunts on the floor will change that.”

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Top Reads from The Fiscal Times:

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Off Target: Dramatic House Sit-In On Guns Is Undercut By Focus On Deeply Flawed Secret, Racist Watchlist

By Zaid Jilani
The Intercept (6/22/16)

CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS TOOK the unprecedented step of conducting an actual sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, demanding that Republican leaders allow votes on gun control legislation.

But this unusually bold and moving tactic was undercut by the fact that its chief goal is a political gimmick that would do little to stop gun violence, while expanding the use of a deeply flawed anti-terror watchlist.

While sit-in participants are also advocating for expanded background checks and an assault weapons ban, their primary call to action is for a vote on a measure that would ban gun sales to people listed on a federal government watchlist — a move clearly designed more for its political potency than for its effectiveness.

Watchlist deeply flawed

And the government’s consolidated terrorist watchlist is notoriously unreliable. It has ensnared countless innocent Americans, including disabled war veterans and members of Congress. Nearly half of the people on these watchlists were designated as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation,” according to documents obtained by The Intercept in 2014.

Indeed, many of those involved in today’s sit-in have themselves recognized these problems in the past. In a 2014 letter addressed to the Department of Homeland Security, lawmakers  including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the civil rights hero leading today’s sit-in, complained that the current process for appealing designation on the federal no-fly lists “provides no effective means of redress for unfair or incorrect designations.”

Some members exaggerated the measure’s potential impact. “If the laws had been in place that the Senate tried to pass in the horrific tragedy of Orlando, there would not be 49 dead. If the laws had been in place — no fly, no buy,” Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, said. “Let’s do this for the victims of the Pulse night club in Orlando,” intoned Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore.

But even though Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was reportedly once on the terrorist watchlist maintained by the FBI, he was removed from the list before the tragic mass shooting.

House Democrats can force a bill to come up for a vote on the floor if they are able to get 218 signatures from members on what is called a discharge petition. A discharge petition for New York Republican Rep. Peter King’s version of legislation to bar Americans on the terrorist watchlist from purchasing firearms currently has 181 signatures. Ironically, King is notorious for targeting Muslims, having held hearings in 2011 accusing them of not properly cooperating with law enforcement to identify terrorists.

Democrats have no similar discharge petition on other gun legislation, such as Rhode Island Democratic Rep. David Cicilline’s bill to ban assault weapons.

Update: 9:20 p.m. ET

Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green tweeted that his organization has been lobbying for a discharge petition for an assault weapons ban for a week: “Zero takers. [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi is the problem. …Very frustrating.”

Link to Story

  • Democrats’ War on Due Process and Terrorist Fearmongering Long Predate Orlando – BEFORE THE BODIES were removed from the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last week, Democrats began eagerly exploiting that atrocity to demand a new, secret “terrorist watchlist”: something that was once the domestic centerpiece of the Bush/Cheney war-on-terror mentality. Led by their propaganda outlet, Center for American Progress (CAP), Democrats now want to empower the Justice Department — without any judicial adjudication — to unilaterally bar citizens who have not been charged with (let alone convicted of) any crime from purchasing guns. Worse than the measure itself is the rancid rhetoric they are using. To justify this new list, Democrats, in unison, are actually arguing that the U.S. government must constrain people whom they are now calling “potential terrorists.” Just spend a moment pondering how creepy and Orwellian that phrase is in the context of government designations. … Read the Rest
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The ‘Russ Bus’ Is Stopping In Wauzeka This Saturday

The Russ Bus will be visiting Wauzeka this coming Sat. from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Century Hall.  This is a most welcome addition to all the other events going on for our joint Crawford/Grant Counties 1st Annual 3rd CD Picnic.. We are ordering the catered food today.  Mmmm mmm good.

Lots of things happening and the excitement is in the air.

Check Out The Russ Feingold Website, HERE.

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Rethuglican State Rep. ‘Goofball’ Gannon Goes Off Deep End … Again

By Brad Reed
Raw Story (6/23/16)

The NRA might think arming drunken bar and nightclub patrons is a bad idea, but not everyone agrees.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Wisconsin State Rep. Bob Gannon (R-Slinger) has proposed a new bill called the “Disarmed Citizen Compensation Act” that seeks to actively punish businesses that don’t allow guns on their premises.

Specifically, the bill would force businesses that ban guns to pay triple damages to compensate anyone who is harmed by any gun violence that occurs on their properties.

“This bill will give the citizens of Wisconsin a better chance of defending themselves and their loved ones against this scourge of terrorist activity,” Gannon said in a press release.

But even if no shootings actually occur at businesses that ban guns, they will still be punished by the bill indirectly since their insurers will likely raise their rates in response to it.

Steve Baas, senior vice president for governmental affairs with Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, told the Journal-Sentinel that he and his organization were not enthusiastic about Gannon’s proposal.

Specifically, he said that his members are generally “for tort reform and liability limits” and not liability increases.

Gannon, for what it’s worth, stepped into controversy earlier this year when he said Milwaukee’s black residents were an “anchor holding back the ship of state as far as jobs is concerned.” He also flipped off a Democratic State Rep. who called him out for his comments.

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Radio Talk Show Host Warns: Not All Conservative Christians Back Trump

National Public Radio (6/22/16)

Donald Trump on Tuesday met with evangelical leaders in New York. Conservative radio show host Erick Erickson tells Rachel Martin he believes that they are “trading on Jesus’ name for politics.”

Interview Transcript:

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Evangelical and conservative leaders greeted Donald Trump with a standing ovation yesterday, but not all Christian conservatives are ready to line up behind the Republican nominee. Conservative writer and activist Erick Erickson wrote yesterday that, quote, “the more a Christian goes to church, the more that Christian is likely to oppose Donald Trump.” Erick Erickson joins us now from Atlanta.

Thanks so much for being with us, Erick.

ERICK ERICKSON: Thank you for having me.

MARTIN: We heard a few moments ago on this show from Ralph Reed. He’s the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. He was at that meeting with Donald Trump yesterday. He said he has had a change of heart about Trump. He now supports him. And he said some of that has to do with how well he thinks Trump has raised his kids. He said, and I’m quoting here, “you don’t raise people who are this phenomenal if you’re a person of bad moral character.”

So clearly, many of your conservative colleagues have found things to hold up and admire about Donald Trump. Why haven’t you?

ERICKSON: Well, you know, many of them have. Many of them are also getting checks from Donald Trump these days. I just think that when you have a guy who says that I have never had to ask God for forgiveness, is told that that’s part of Christianity – asking for forgiveness – and still says he’s never had a need to ask for forgiveness, you’ve got a guy who’s trying to use people of faith. I mean, take the audio you played earlier. Donald Trump telling Christians not to pray for their leaders is explicitly a rejection of biblical commands from both Peter and Paul, both of whom were executed by the Roman emperor and yet told their followers that they needed to pray for the emperor.

MARTIN: Well, and I think Donald Trump was suggesting that the current leadership isn’t supporting the issues that Christian conservatives are prioritizing.

ERICKSON: It doesn’t matter. You know, for – listen, if Christians want to say that Donald Trump is better than Hillary Clinton, I don’t fault them for that. But for Christians to come out and testify to Donald Trump’s good and sound moral character as if he is one of them I think is wrong. In fact, there’s an explicit commandment in 1 Corinthians – or one Corinthians, as Donald Trump would say – that when someone holds themselves out as a Christian and yet is filled with greed, licentiousness, adultery, you name it, and hasn’t repented that you shouldn’t even break bread with this person.

Again, Donald Trump is a man who claims to be a Christian, threw money into the plate of the lord’s supper and says he’s never had to ask for forgiveness. So don’t try to tell me Donald Trump is some sort of great Christian. You can tell me he’s better than Hillary Clinton if you need to, but don’t try to justify his faith.

MARTIN: But isn’t that what it gets down to? I mean, this is politics. This is the presidential election. And conservative Christians, many of whom hold abortion up as an issue that is paramount in making their choice, and so some candidates who supports their position is going to get their vote and Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be someone who would be attractive to people who vote singly on abortion issues.

ERICKSON: Listen, I completely agree. I vote on abortion issues. I won’t vote for a pro-choice candidate, which is why I won’t vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. For people to say that Donald Trump has had a change of heart, he’s a pathological liar. He changes his mind. Every sentence – every clause of every sentence of every breath of his subject to change.

MARTIN: So what do you do? You say that you’re not going to vote for Hillary Clinton so that means you’re in the end going to vote for Donald Trump – and we only have a couple seconds here.

ERICKSON: No way. I won’t be voting for either one. Hopefully someone will step forward that I can vote for, but as someone of faith who takes it very seriously, I’m – I take Charles Spurgeon’s position. Between two evils, choose neither. Just because his has an elephant next to it doesn’t mean it’s worth voting for.

MARTIN: Erick Erickson is the founder of the conservative website The Resurgence.

Thanks so much.

ERICKSON: Thank you.

Link to Story and 3+-Minute Audio

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North Dakota Voters Side With Family Farms and Continue 84-Year-Old Ban on Corporate Ownership

By Alex McCleese
In These Times (6/16/16)

North Dakota voters have rejected a measure that would have permitted corporations to own and to operate dairy and pork farms of up to 640 acres. On Tuesday, 75.7 percent of voters opposed Measure 1.

North Dakota is one of only nine states that prohibit or limit corporate farming. A 1932 law has long forbidden nonfamily corporate ownership of farms. But in March of last year, the state legislature passed a bill that loosened restrictions for dairy and pork farms only.

The North Dakota Farmers Union opposed the law and gathered more than 20,000 signatures to force a statewide vote on Measure 1. The group spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat the measure, far more than the several thousand committed by the dairy and pork interests. According to its president, Mark Watne, about 1,000 people participated in its campaign, making 90,000 phone calls and knocking on 5,000 doors.

North Dakota Farm Bureau President Daryl Lies, who supports legalization of corporate ownership, said he expected the outcome. “Considering that the vote no campaign was financed in excess of a million dollars and basically zero dollars were spent on the yes side, it’s not surprising,” says Lies.

The measure’s victorious opponents contend that the law would have invited large corporations to buy land, creating competition that would harm family farmers. They add that the measure could have threatened the North Dakota’s values and heritage. The state’s politics have long been distinctive. It was the site of the People’s Party (the Populists) organizing during the late 19th century, and the Bank of North Dakota, the only state-owned institution of its kind, was founded in 1919.

Watne argues that family farms are more efficient than corporate farms. “Farm families tend to train the next generation, to take care of the land,” he says. “Corporations reward shareholder profits, which may or may not be in the long-term interest of the land.” Allowing corporations to own land causes consolidation, and “creates a competition level for family farms” that can be “seen in other states, where there is a decrease in family farms with consolidation.” If farmers want to cooperate, he said, they do not need the corporate business model, and can instead form a partnership. Farmers might also organize cooperatives.

In addition to their economic benefits, Watne believes family farms promote healthy communities. Family farmers “tend to live in or near communities where the land is located,” he says. “They’re part of society.”

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote on the referendum, one farmer expressed his opposition (in a letter to the editor of a regional ag publication) this way:

“[Measure 1] will only drive up the price of land and rent as corporate farms expand their land base to gain ‘efficiency’ by spreading costs over more acres. This will cause farming margins to be thinner yet for all farmers and make it difficult for family farmers and especially beginning farmers to compete for land against the deep pockets of corporations.”

He continued:

“Proponents also falsely tout that Measure 1 is needed to allow current family farms to pass their operation on to the next generation. Current North Dakota laws already allow family members the ability to incorporate or form LLPs. This is really about money and power. Whoever has the most of one has the most of both.”

The yes vote

Supporters of Measure 1 argue that, after years of declining animal farming, the defeated law would have enabled family farmers to join forces to form corporations to better compete.

Lies says that the negative effects on small farmers would have been “minimal to none,” and added that the law could have created “opportunities for small farmers to do things together through corporate structures, to make business more sustainable through opportunities for investment and diversification.” In almost every other state, he says, these opportunities for corporate structures exist.

State Sen. Terry Wanzek, a Republican, sponsored the 2015 bill that would relax restrictions on corporate ownership. He believes fear about corporate competition is “way overblown.” He pointed out that his bill restricted corporate farms to 640 acres. It followed the lead of other states like South Dakota, where there are fewer restrictions but where, he said, large companies do not dominate. “I don’t think it would cause one iota of competition,” he says. “I see more opportunity.”

According to Wanzek, the state is home to only about 16,000 dairy cows compared to Wisconsin’s 1.3 million and about 10,000 hogs compared to Iowa’s 21 million. But North Dakota has resources including open space, low-cost feed, and plentiful water that Wanzek believes create “great potential.” If farmers could work together to form a corporation, he says, they could more easily make shared investments to succeed financially.

Wanzek does not believe his bill would have caused a break with his state’s traditions. “I don’t think it would affect how we feel about our heritage at all,” he says. “I can do in one day what took my grandpa a whole planting season to get done. Even with new technologies, I have the same family, conservative, traditional values as my grandpa.”

Though it prohibits nonfamily corporations, North Dakota is already home to many large farms. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a farm is considered small if it has an annual gross cash income of less than $350,000. North Dakota has the smallest share of small family farms in the nation at 71 percent.

Corporate rights

According to David Saxowsky, a professor of agriculture at North Dakota State University, if Measure 1 had passed, it would have “probably benefited the economy.” He says that both supporters and opponents of the law make valid arguments. Allowing corporations to operate dairy and pork farms would enable family farmers in those industries to incorporate with second cousins and neighbors, creating new opportunities. At the same time, loosening regulations would allow outside corporations to buy land, providing new competition for local family farms.

Saxowsky raised additional concerns about environmental damage. “If not properly managed, it could have an adverse effect on the environment,” and in particular might have caused “some contamination of water resources.” In addition to fertilizer and pesticide runoff, one of the largest agricultural threats to water quality, whether owned by a family or corporation, are Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Not to be confused with “manure”, aquatic ecosystems are not equipped to handle the sheer volume of urine and feces these industrialized operations generate.

Wanzek says he does not intend to re-introduce the law now that citizens have rejected it. But opponents of the 1932 law restricting corporate ownership have not given up. Last month, the Farm Bureau sued, asking  a federal judge in Fargo to invalidate the entire law. The Bureau informed the Grand Forks Herald that the case will be transferred to Southwestern Federal District Court in Bismarck.

Lies says his organization is suing because the existing law is unconstitutional and discriminatory. “As farmers,” he says, “we can’t use the corporate structure like any other business.”

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‘Call’ Readers Write – Hey, Dems, The Time For Milk Toast Candidates Has Passed

“She is what we’d all want our elected officials to be.”

Tom Crofton, candidate for the 50th Assembly District, and I took a drive to Buffalo City last week to be at Kathleen Vinehout’s birthday party. It was at her friend’s house right on the big river, and it was a lovely day.

We went because we’ve both known Kathleen for several years. Once you get to know her, it’s very hard not to grow very fond of her. Her wonderful smile and hearty laugh just draw you in. Once you pay attention to her, it hard not to have a great deal of respect for her as a Senator.

She is one of the smartest people in the capitol and arguably the most capable person when dealing with policy issues. Reading her weekly newsletter, which describes the issues facing the state in a simple human way, is the very best way of getting an understanding of our challenges. If you listen to Kathleen’s presentations on the state budget, the pieces of that 2,000page book will start to fall in place as you say with her, What in hell happened here? Finally, she is passionate about things that are important to the disadvantaged, working people, and the middle class. In short, she is what we’d all want our elected officials to be.

Another person who cares

I’m supporting Tom Crofton in his bid for the Assembly because I see many of the same qualities in him. While it’s true that Tom’s personality can sometimes have a sharper edge than Kathleen’s, he is one of the very smartest people I know. He can get to the heart of an issue as fast as anyone. He has been passionate about the things that are important to real people his entire adult life. His work in his unions, his activism in southwest Wisconsin, and his time on the County Board, were all guided by that passion.

The quality that most excites me about the idea of Tom in the Assembly is his tenacity. When he sinks his teeth into an issue, he won’t let go until something happens. As I’ve told people while working for Tom, He’ll raise a little hell in Madison, and we need that!

The prospect of having another intelligent, articulate, and passionate person in the capitol excites me. It gives me hope.

Think about it. Our party has been supporting middle of the road, gotta-getalong candidates for the past 30 years. What did we get for it? We’re now the minority party. Our Progressive state traditions are a memory. Our state’s fiscal matters are royally mucked up. And, our economy is one of the worst in the nation.

The time for centrist, milk toast, candidates has passed. Now is the time for people who have Progressive ideals and who are willing to support and implement Progressive programs. Now is the time for people with intelligence and passion. Now, is the time for people like Kathleen and Tom.

Ernie Wittwer
Richaand Center, WI

Posted in 2016-06-24, Newsletter | Comments Off on ‘Call’ Readers Write – Hey, Dems, The Time For Milk Toast Candidates Has Passed

Dept. Of Much Needed Humor – Fantastic! Teen Guest Stars On ‘The Tonight Show’ With Killer Politician Impersonations

By Karen Ann Cullotta
Pioneer Press (6/23/16)

Arlington Heights teen enjoyed a night in the spotlight Wednesday when he guest starred on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Though severe weather back home prevented the show from airing as scheduled on NBC Chicago, Jack Aiello starred in a brief sketch with Jimmy Fallon and sat on the “Tonight Show” couch for an interview.

Reprising his impersonations of the 2016 presidential candidates from a wickedly funny eighth-grade graduation speech he recently delivered at Thomas Middle School, the sketch featured Aiello and Fallon identically dressed as presumptive GOP presidential nomineeDonald Trump, wearing matching suits and sporting Trump’s trademark coiffure.

Introducing Aiello to the audience as his “clone,” Fallon and the Arlington Heights teen proceeded to make “prank phone calls” to Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, resurrecting the spot-on impersonations that led to the teen’s graduation speech going viral, and garnering nearly 2.3 million views on YouTube.

Link to Story and 4-Minute Video

Posted in 2016-06-24, Newsletter | Comments Off on Dept. Of Much Needed Humor – Fantastic! Teen Guest Stars On ‘The Tonight Show’ With Killer Politician Impersonations

Thursday / June 23, 2016

“Only cowards hide behind silence.”

– Paulo Coelho

(See “Rep. Kind Has Yet To Respond”, below.)

Posted in 2016-06-23 | Tagged | Comments Off on Thursday / June 23, 2016

It’s been Four Days And Rep. Kind Has Yet To Respond To Myron Buchholz’s Invitation To Debate TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership was negotiated in secret among 600 corporate lawyers. It has been described as NAFTA on steroids. There is talk the agreement will be jammed through the lame duck congress after the election. Ron Kind has been Obama’s point man on promoting the TPP.

Among many other things the TPP will…

  • Boost the price of prescription medications by extending copyright protections.
  • Make all federal, state and local laws subject to lawsuit and being overturned by international tribunals of overseas corporate lawyers.
  • Give those corporate lawyers the ability to kill off our food, safety, environmental and work safety regulations.
  • Provide incentives for exporting even more jobs.

Tick-Tock … What’s The Matter Congressman Kind? Why Won’t You Debate Your Promotion of TPP Before the Voters? 

Scan 15

 

The TPP is filled with secrets that will directly affect corporate control of our government, your family, community and job. So why is Ron Kind afraid to debate his reasons for supporting the TPP?

What are you are hiding from us, Ron?

We’re waiting…

*****

For More Information on The TPP Check Out the Extensive Daily Call Archive of Articles on TPP. This is important to do because whenever Mr. Kind is pinned down on the facts about TPP he has a way of, shall we say, streeeetching the truth. Citizens need to be informed.

Link to Daily Call Archive HERE.

Posted in 2016-06-23, Newsletter | Comments Off on It’s been Four Days And Rep. Kind Has Yet To Respond To Myron Buchholz’s Invitation To Debate TPP

True Courage: John Lewis Leads Democratic Sit-In On House Floor To Demand Action On Gun Control

A photo shot and tweeted from the floor of the House by U.S. House Representatives.(Image: Rep Scott Peters)

“Where is our courage!”

Democracy Now! (6/22/16)

Georgia Rep. John Lewis is leading a sit-in on the House floor Wednesday to force a vote on gun control in the wake of the Orlando massacre. “Now is the time for us to find a way to dramatize it, to make it real,” Lewis said. “We have to occupy the floor of the House until there is action.” Dozens of Democratic lawmakers joined Lewis in the sit-in.

Link to Story and 5+-Minute Video

*****

Daily Call Editorial Comment

Wisconsin Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan called the sit-in a “political stunt”, when in actuality what happens every day in the House avoiding dealing with the mayhem and bloodshed of America’s gun crisis under the leadership of Mr. Ryan is the true political stunt. A crude, cynical stunt designed to curry favor with the NRA and a small cadre of extremists who are willing to see your family endangered to keep the NRA and the firearms industry rolling in the cash.

Next to civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, a man who was beat nearly to death by state troopers, Mr. Ryan looks the part of the immature and callow boy of privilege that he is.

– Mark L. Taylor

Posted in 2016-06-23, Newsletter | Comments Off on True Courage: John Lewis Leads Democratic Sit-In On House Floor To Demand Action On Gun Control

People Power: Protesters Gather Outside U.S. Capitol To Push For Vote On Guns

A huge crowd gathered to show support for Democrats staging a sit-in.

By Paige Lavender
Huffington Post (6/22/16)

Protesters gathered outside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday night to show support for House Democrats staging a sit-in to pressure Republicans to vote on gun control legislation.

Democrats literally sat down on the floor of the House chamber Wednesday, forcing the House into a temporary recess. Nearly 11 hours after the sit-in began, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) gaveled the House back into session, but still refused to hold a vote on gun control legislation.

The crowd outside the U.S. Capitol grew through the evening:

HuffPost caught up with a couple of the protesters.

Marge Landis, of Fairfax, Virginia, hadn’t planned on spending her night outside the Capitol. But when she heard that Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) was leading a sit-in about gun violence, she got in her car and made the 40-minute drive to the House.

“John Lewis decided what he was going to do today, so I decided what I was going to do today,” she said. “So here I am. I have to be here.”

Landis said she’s long been in favor of sensible gun control — “sensible” she repeated — and said she, like just about everyone she knows, has a personal experience with gun violence. In her case, she was on the scene at the National Zoo, when seven kids were shot in 2000.

“I was driving by on Connecticut Avenue and pop, pop, pop, I heard the guns. I pulled over and dialed 911, got out and walked around. There was this child with blood coming out the back of his head,” Landis said, pausing before continuing. “You hear it all day long. If you don’t have a story, the person next to you has a story.”

A DC resident who gave his name as Sean said he blocks from the Capitol and rode his bike to the protest to check out the scene. He said he’s not particularly involved in gun control issues, but agrees with the push for action and thinks it makes a difference for lawmakers to see average people rooting for them.

“Hopefully it at least gives them some sort of support,” he said. “They can see their constituents are behind them.”

At one point, several Democrats — including Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the civil rights icon who led Wednesday’s sit-in — came out to speak to the protesters …

Link to Story 3-Minute Video and Various Social Media Posts

Posted in 2016-06-23, Newsletter | Comments Off on People Power: Protesters Gather Outside U.S. Capitol To Push For Vote On Guns