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Language Lesson
Voting Blizzard
October 20, 2020

It's snowing today. It's early to have a shovel-able amount of snow in Minnesota. Early snows are thick and wet.

We interrupt this weather report to bring you a language lesson.

The Dakota word for vote is:  WOWAPI IYOHPEYA

The Ojibwe word for vote is:  AAZHIDEBII `IGE

The Norwegian word for vote is:  STEMME

The Spanish word for vote is:  VOTA

The Hmong word for vote is:  POV NTAWV

The Somali word for vote is:   CODEE

Now back to the weather report. Minnesota talks about the infamous Halloween blizzard of 1991 as a shared disaster for those around at the time. Green, red, and yellow-gold maple leaves were still on trees, lawns, and filling road gutters.

The rain started as a heavy afternoon downpour -- a monsoon rain -- unfamiliar in the upper Midwest. Our storm drains do not have monsoon capacity, and the leaves helped clog the drains. After the roads flooded by dusk, the freezing rain hit, followed by several feet of blowing, drifting, gluishly sticky snow. The ground never froze. The upper water on the roads became several inches of a weak Styrofoam-like ice-snow, covered with snow. Plows couldn't plow the roads. They sunk and couldn't free themselves. Heavier vehicles became stuck while lighter vehicles skated by, somewhat. Tree branches knocked down power lines, and utility vehicles couldn't get to the downed lines.

Oh and the winds blew the snow horizontally, aiming for the eyes, no matter which way you faced.

It was hell-frozen-over but nothing compared to the pile on of 2020 disasters.

Music Association: Molly Hatchet - Flirtin' With Disaster

vote - vota - pov ntawv - codee - wowapi iyohpeya - aazhidebii`ige

Slow Fall
So Fly
October 10, 2020

October has already been an incredible decade. Yesterday's Star Tribune newspaper headline was astounding.

Trump Calls For Arrest Of His Foes

Maybe people are just numb to how wrong this is. It's a corruption of everything that should be. And because Bizarro-Bozo is in the White House, we are expected to ignore 83 degrees in Minnesota's October and more significantly that September 2020 was the hottest on record.

Climate change should be the number one issue, with the Covid-19 pandemic a close second. Instead we have to salmon our way past voter suppression to make voting count, while ignoring the circus sideshow...

The week's best sideshow of a sideshow comes from the freakishly robotic Michael Pence of Indiana and his excrement loving fly. The fly landed on Pence's head during the Harris v. Pence Vice Presidential debate. I didn't watch the debate, but the fly garnered all sorts of attention.

A fly landed on the lifeless head of Mike Pence during the Vice Presidential Debate, Oct 7, 2020

Mike Pence's Head Fly Action Figure

Pence: each fly egg must be carried to term (stonecold2050)

Mike Pence and Fly bobblehead
The National Bobblehead Museum in Wisconsin is selling the Mike Pence and Fly bobblehead set, complete with Plexiglass shield and mini-flyswatter. Not to be outdone, the Biden-Harris campaign store sold out of the Truth Over Flies flyswatter after selling 35,000 flyswatters for $10.

"Truth Over Flies" - Biden-Harris 2020 flyswatter

Music Association: Frank Sinatra - Fly With Me

October Surprise
The Trump Virus
What Is It?
How Did He Get It?

October 2, 2020

President Trump announced his first positive test late yesterday. It was the first case of someone catching a hoax. His first symptom was a lack of taste.

Trump is high risk due to being elderly, obese, and low-income. But he has quality, government-sponsored health care despite wanting to take health care away from others during the pandemic.

And he is most at risk to a Covid-19 lie now after having failed to debate former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday and having the bone-spurs that kept him from serving in Vietnam.

It is what it is.

Music Association: Rod Stewart - Tonight's The Night
Stay away from debate
Stay away from the campaign trail
Disconnect your Twitter feed
Turn off Fox Newsortainment too

Take off the orange skin crap
Unknot your $70,000 hair cap
You'd be a fool to meet Joe again
Just lay in bed and take a nap

Cause Trump has Coronavirus
Time to use all the idiotic cures
That you've been blabbing about
for more than six months now

Maybe you'll get some pitiful votes
Maybe the news will write positive notes
Maybe you'll win and stay out of jail
But Donnie this ploy will probably fail

Cause Trump has Coronavirus
Time to use all the idiotic cures
That you've been blabbing about
for more than six months now

Cause Trump has Coronavirus
He can't win another debate
With all the voter suppression
There ain't no stopping him for four more years


A Clown Living On Credit
$750 = Trump's 2017 Tax
September 28, 2020

For ten of the last fifteen years, Trump had zero federal taxes. For 2017 federal taxes, he and Melania paid $750.
He paid Stormy Daniels $130,000. For 2016 federal taxes, he and Melania paid $750. But in 2017, he paid $15,598 in taxes to Panama, $145,400 in taxes to India, and $156,824 in taxes to the Philippines. Wasn't his slogan -- make the Philippines great again, or something?

Trump's 2016 federal taxes = $750
Trump's 2016 hush money to Stormy Daniels = $130,000
Trump's 2017 federal taxes = $750
Trump's 2017 Panama taxes = $15,598
Trump's 2017 India taxes = $145,400
Trump's 2017 Philippines taxes = $156,824

Trump cheats on his taxes, he cheats on his wives, and he cheats at golf.

At a rally on July 17, 2019, Trump said, “If you don't support me, you're going to be so God damn poor. Evangelicals had a problem with his swearing... not with his lies, his racism, his adultery, his sexual assault, his rape of a 13 year old, his treatment of migrant children, his contributions to the climate crisis, his betrayal of the military, his malignant narcissism, or his closeness to Putin (kompromat). Evangelicals haven't had a problem with Trump making the Covid-19 pandemic worse by denying its existence and damaging the economyEvangelicals haven't had a problem with Trump attacking the election and damaging the Postal Service. Trump crossed the line with his blasphemy. It's not like he uses the Ten Commandments like a checklist:
adultery                                                 ✔
false witness, lying                             ✔
coveting what others have               
Lord's name in vain, blasphemy     
(Politico | WP | YouTube)

Music Associations: The Beatles - Money, Pink Floyd - Money, & The Flying Lizards - Money

Trump, a clown living on credit

Hopes and Dreams

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Unstack The Deck
September 19, 2020

The last wish of Ruth Bader Ginsburg was to wait until after the election to nominate her replacement to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Of course, President Trump will not do that. He's already said that, and Mitch McConnell agrees. With only 45 days until the election, he will rush the nomination for one of the most important positions in the country.

The Democrats have a way of unstacking the deck. Federal law, not the Constitution, establishes the number of justices on SCOTUS, which is currently nine.

One way for Democrats to make clear they will not tolerate Republicans trying to fill this seat in advance of the election would be for them to pledge that, if they take the White House and Senate in November, they will increase the size of the Supreme Court to 13 justices.
 - Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law, for the Los Angeles Times

SCOTUS with 13 justices could make it more inclusive, to better represent the population of the United States.

Music Association: Stevie Nicks - Leather and Lace

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) 13

Hopes and Dreams

Vote Minnesota!
September 18, 2020

It's here!  It's finally here!vote

At 46 days away from November 3rd, early voting has started in Minnesota.*

Vote at your county office (if possible) or vote early by mail. Check the Minnesota Secretary of State's website for details or call 877-600-8683(VOTE) .

Music Association: Van Halen - Right Now
* Also South Dakota, Virginia, & Wyoming

“Have you no sense of decency?

Trump Thief
September 9, 2020

Trump stole a copy of the 1785 painting of Benjamin Franklin
Two articles recently have shed some light on President Trump's visit to France on the weekend of November 9-11, 2018.

On Saturday, November 10th, Trump was scheduled to go to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris, but he didn't want to go for fear his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.
A retired four-star general said that Trump “can’t fathom the idea of doing something for someone other than himself. He just thinks that anyone who does anything when there’s no direct personal gain to be had is a sucker. There’s no money in serving the nation. Trump can’t imagine anyone else’s pain.”  [The Atlantic]

On Sunday, November 11th, after spending the night at the official residence of U.S. Ambassador Jamie McCourt, the palatial Hôtel de Pontalba in Paris, Trump pointed his stubby little fingers at a Benjamin Franklin bust, a painting of Franklin, and a set of silver-chrome figurines of Greek mythical characters, and insisted the pieces come back with him to Washington. Ambassador McCourt was startled but didn’t object. The artwork was loaded onto Air Force One and brought back to the White House. The Greek figurines that caught Trump’s eye found a new home on the fireplace mantel in the Oval Office.

It gets worse.

The figurines dated to the early 20th century and were made by Neapolitan artist Luigi Avolio, who was trying to pass them off as sculptures from the 16th or 17th centuries, according to London-based art dealer Patricia Wengraf. Wengraf described the figurines as “20th century fakes of wannabe 17th century sculptures” and of little value.

White House art curators told Trump that the Franklin bust was a replica and the Franklin painting snagged from Paris was also a copy. The artist's name sounds like Duplicate. The original was painted by Joseph Siffred Duplessis in 1785 and held by the National Portrait Gallery a mile from the White House. The
original Duplessis was borrowed from the National Portrait Gallery and now hangs in the Oval Office, not the replica Trump ferried out of France.  [Bloomberg News]

Music Associations: Santana - Evil Ways & Robbie Dupree - Steal Away
Quote Association: “Have you no sense of decency?” - Joseph Welch to Sen. McCarthy on June 9, 1954

There is nothing more temporary
than the new low
Donald Trump sinks to
every day.

Economic News
Trump Bankrupts America

September 3, 2020

Trump's deficit spending

President Trump's continued bumbling of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the United States deficit to skyrocket to $3.3 trillion or 98% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

Under Trump, the United States is set to out-spend the entire U.S. economy. Record government borrowing to cover deficit spending on presidential golf games and trips to Florida has caused the debt to spiral out of control to $20.6 trillion. The entire U.S. economy is only $20.3 trillion. [CBO report 56517]

Instead of managing the Covid-19 pandemic (with 187,000+ dead) or improving the U.S. economy, President Trump has been golfing, dismantling the Postal Service, and telling his voters in North Carolina to vote twice (voter fraud & a felony).

total U.S. Debt = total U.S. economy, for the 1st time

Music Association: Talking Heads - Psycho Killer

Trumpkin - orange on the outside, hollow on the inside, and should be thrown out in November

Trump re-election strategy

"Joe Biden will undo all I have done." - Trump at the 2020 RNC

Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman (1976-2020) as Black Panther

Economic News
U.S. Consumer Confidence Falls To Lowest in 6 Years
August 27, 2020

U.S. consumer confidence fell for the second consecutive month, sinking to the lowest levels in more than six years as the Trump Administration's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic heightened pessimism. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index declined to a reading of 84.8 in August, the lowest level since May 2014.

Because consumer spending accounts for 70% of economic activity in the U.S., a drop-off in confidence gets a lot of attention from economists.

About 25% of the 1,000 shopping malls in the U.S. are expected to close in the next 3 to 5 years. That seems optimistic, just look at the list of 2020 bankruptcies, including Lord & Taylor which closed today.

The list of retailers declaring bankruptcy in 2020 includes:

Ann Taylor, Justice, Loft, Lane Bryant (Ascena Retail) (filed for Chapter 11 protection on July 23 with more than $1 billion in liabilities)
Art Van (filed on March 8 with $100-500 million in liabilities)
Brooks Brothers (filed on July 8 with $500 million - 1 billion in liabilities)
California Pizza Kitchens (filed for Chapter 11 protection on July 30 with $500 million - 1 billion in liabilities)
Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica (Centric Brands) (filed for Chapter 11 protection on May 18 with $435 million in liabilities)
Chuck E. Cheese (CEC Entertainment) (filed for Chapter 11 protection on June 25 with $1.91 billion in liabilities as of Dec 29th)
GNC Holdings (filed on June 23 with more than $1 billion in liabilities)
Gordmans, Peebles (Stage Stores) (filed for Chapter 11 protection May 11 with $500 million - 1 billion in liabilities)
J. Crew (Chino Holdings) (filed for Chapter 11 protection May 4 with more than $1 billion in liabilities)
J.C. Penney's (filed for Chapter 11 protection on May 15 with more than $1 billion in liabilities)
Lord & Taylor, Jos. A. Banks, K & G Fashion, Men's Warehouse (Le Tote) (filed for Chapter 11 protection on August 2 with $100-500 million in liabilities) closed today
Lucky Brand denim (filed on July 3 with $100-500 million in liabilities)
Modell's Sporting Goods (filed for Chapter 11 protection on March 11 with $1-10 million in liabilities)
Neiman Marcus (filed on May 7 with more than $1 billion in liabilities)
New York & Co (RTW Retailwinds) (filed on July 13 with $100-500 million in liabilities)
NPC (1,227 Pizza Huts, 393 Wendy's) (filed for Chapter 11 protection on July 1 with $903 million in liabilities)
Paper Store (filed for Chapter 11 protection on July 14 with $50-100 million in liabilities)
Pier 1 Imports (filed for Chapter 11 protection on February 7 with $340.6 million in liabilities)
Sur la Table (filed for Chapter 11 protection on July 8 with $50-100 million in liabilities)
True Religion denim (filed on April 13 with $182 million in liabilities)
Tuesday Morning (filed for Chapter 11 protection on May 27 with $42 million in liabilities)

Meanwhile the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota is three months behind on its $1.4 billion mortgage.

Music Association: Semisonic - Closing Time

Hopes and Dreams

Voter SupressionPostmaster General, and man who doesn't have time for the election, Louis DeLay DeJoy
Mail Sorting Machines Removed
August 12, 2020

About two weeks ago I warned of mail-slowdown tactics by
Republican mega-donor and Trump's new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who has $30-$75 million invested in USPS competitors.

During the pandemic, voting by U.S. Mail (absentee ballot) is more important than ever before.

DeJoy has not just eliminated overtime hours. DeJoy has taken mail processing and mail sorting machines out of postal facilities in Iowa, which has become a swing-state for 2020. (He's DeJoy, and he's DeLay.) We only know about the removal of the machines because the Iowa Postal Workers Union complained to NPR. What other swing states have had their postal machines stolen?

When the Grinch stole the Christmas tree of Cindy Lou Who, he explained the crime by saying he was taking it in for repairs.

What's Trump's excuse?

Music Association: Marvelettes - Stop! Wait A Minute, Mr. Postman


In A Nutshell
Back To School
August 10, 2020

What's the difference between closing the country then opening schools and opening without closing?

One is a nutshell.

The other is a nut's hell.

Another thing that doesn't make any sense is sending teachers and students back to school, expecting kids to behave in ways that no child has ever behaved in the history of children.

Anyone who thinks that every kid is not going to spit on their hand and chase each other around shoving their hand in each other’s faces yelling out “Covid! Covid!”... has clearly never been around children. A kid goes to school with a Pikachu mask and comes home with a Spiderman mask, after trading the Pikachu mask for a Ninjago mask, which he traded for a Hulk mask, and finally settled on Spidey on the bus ride home. Masks were used as headbands, blindfolds, slingshots, and parachutes for action figures. And that's just the first day.

Could state education departments work with PBS to broadcast educational programming like Massachusetts set up? Could educational TV be set up on a national level like Mexico is doing?

Not in this country with this president it couldn't.

This president has spent the year barking that Covid-19 was a hoax or would go away with warm weather or encouraging quackery cures or ridiculing mask wearers, instead of providing actual leadership to fully close the country and stop activity for a few weeks. Trump, the king of crybabies, couldn't make the tough call. He still can't.

New Zealand could fully close and then reopen because clearly they are smarter than us and have national leadership. Covid-19 is dead to them. It's as if the perfect vaccine had already been created and distributed to all New Zealanders.

about 165 candidate vaccines, Covid-19 vaccine is right around the corner, just like the self-driving car. But just like tomorrow's self-driving car, the vaccine will not be perfect. It will not be a cure all. The range of common vaccines goes from the one-time polio vaccine to annual flu shots. The Covid-19 vaccine is expected to be more like the flu shots and less like a polio shot. Not that New Zealand needed any shots at all.

New Zealand teachers and students can go to school without repercussions, because they had a national lockdown. New Zealand has gone 100 days without a new case of Covid-19.

Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools will distance learn this fall. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari is calling for a national lockdown for up to six weeks to stop Covid-19, save lives, and save the economy.

Better late than never.

Music Association: Alice Cooper - School's Out


U.S. suffered the worst economic contraction with the GDP dropping a record 32.9%

US GDP Drops 32.9%
July 31, 2020

The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell a record 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020, the worst quarterly contraction on record. By comparison, Europe's GDP fell 11.2% in the second quarter.

“The decrease in real GDP reflected decreases in personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by an increase in federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased. The decrease in PCE reflected decreases in services (led by health care) and goods (led by clothing and footwear). The decrease in exports primarily reflected a decrease in goods (led by capital goods). The decrease in private inventory investment primarily reflected a decrease in retail (led by motor vehicle dealers). The decrease in nonresidential fixed investment primarily reflected a decrease in equipment (led by transportation equipment), while the decrease in residential investment primarily reflected a decrease in new single-family housing. Current‑dollar GDP decreased 34.3 percent, or $2.15 trillion, in the second quarter to a level of $19.41 trillion. In the first quarter, GDP decreased 3.4 percent, or $186.3 billion.
[source: Bureau of Economic Analysis]

U.S. GDP drops a record 32.9% under the Trump Administration

Music Association: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Free Fallin'

George Floyd, murdered by police, May 25, 2020
George Floyd

Covid-19 disease - the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

Presidential Timeline of Donald Trump
Trump Timeline (PDF)

voter suppression
Voter Suppression

music videos
Music Videos
October 2018 Twin Cities Calendar
Landmine Hopscotch


Impact Investing
Impact Investing

Gifs of Kittens (part 1)
Holiday Gifs of Cats and Kittens Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5  

Climate Solutions
Climate Change Solutions

Hennepin County Library at Southdale (Edina, MN)
Southdale Hennepin Library,  Edina Library  

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman

food fraud
Food Fraud

prior posts

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