Where Obama’s Promises of Change Fell Short, by Mark Erickson

Official portrait of President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 13, 2009.(Photo by Pete Souza)

I twice voted for Barack Obama for President of the United States of America. Now that he has less than six months left in his job as President, and since I have been rightly critical of his predecessor (and Obama’s successor . . . → Read More: Where Obama’s Promises of Change Fell Short, by Mark Erickson

More on the Pig Manure Pollution Controversy, by Mark Erickson

The Chicago Tribune has printed a four-part series on a subject I wrote about last year:

http://www.eastportlandblog.com/2015/09/22/the-pope-pig-manure-and-minnesota-water-quality-by-mark-erickson/

Here’s one Tribune article regarding pig polluters:

http://digitaledition.chicagotribune.com/launch.aspx?pbid=3e7227b1-e3b7-4fac-aa07-5f943e58b4c5

As I read the article that landed on my doorstep today I recall the book The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, which exposed the production and sale of . . . → Read More: More on the Pig Manure Pollution Controversy, by Mark Erickson

From the NYT: Unfiltered Voices from Donald Trump’s Crowds

The NYT posted a video today of Trump’s supporters letting it all hang out at his rallies. The footage is instructive, but not for the squeamish.

– Vino Knight-Trané

http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000004533191/unfiltered-voices-from-donald-trumps-crowds.html

Donald Trump Comes to Town, by Chuck Strom

I may live in a blue state, but the politics of my immediate neighborhood tinge red. Obama doesn’t come here to raise money, but a lot of right-of-center political celebrities stop by, including Sarah Palin when she did her Going Rogue book tour in 2010. It made sense, then, that Donald Trump and his . . . → Read More: Donald Trump Comes to Town, by Chuck Strom

McCain Aide and Lifelong Republican, Mark Salter Insults Trump and Endorses Clinton

This one’s one of the best podcasts I’ve heard in a while in terms of knowledgeability and candor. Mark Salter was on McCain’s staff for a long time, including during the 2008 campaign. One of the points he makes draws from that experience, when they knew for the last couple of months that they . . . → Read More: McCain Aide and Lifelong Republican, Mark Salter Insults Trump and Endorses Clinton

What About Paul Ryan? by Vino Knight-Trané

I suspect the Republican nomination will either go to Trump or be a big-time mess, or both. Someone like Paul Ryan could emerge as the nominee, but only after a public bloodletting in a non-brokered free-for-all of a convention that might put 1968 to shame. He would start the general election with serious disadvantages . . . → Read More: What About Paul Ryan? by Vino Knight-Trané

Cuba vs. US: From Secret Assassination Attempts to the Present, by Mark Erickson

President Barack Obama has spent the last few days in Cuba as part of his effort to normalize relations with the island that has endured a 50 year embargo. The Chicago Tribune reported that Obama advocated for “human rights, including freedom of speech and assembly and religion” during the trip to which President Raul . . . → Read More: Cuba vs. US: From Secret Assassination Attempts to the Present, by Mark Erickson

Cleveland Rocks! by Vino Knight-Trané

Quicken Loans Arena, home to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, will host the 2016 Republican Convention

Norm Ornstein’s one of my favorite political writers, even though the think tank he belongs to, the American Enterprise Institute, leans right. His most recent piece in the Atlantic addresses the images of 1968 that are . . . → Read More: Cleveland Rocks! by Vino Knight-Trané

The Axe Files Interviews Mark Leibovich, by Vino Knight-Trané

I’ve enjoyed David Axelrod’s podcasts of late. His most recent interview with Mark Leibovich of the New York Times is pretty insightful.

Axe seems to be pretty good at getting his subjects to relax and open up, and he asks good questions.

One of the more interesting exchanges was about Hillary Clinton’s limitations as . . . → Read More: The Axe Files Interviews Mark Leibovich, by Vino Knight-Trané

Mavis! Staples Documentary is Excellent, by Pat Thomas

I just watched Mavis! on HBO – this documentary is so good, it even caused me to have warm feelings towards Jeff Tweedy!

There’s great vintage clips and commentary from Chuck D & Dylan, plus a warm moment with Levon Helm not long before he passed.

– Pat Thomas is the author . . . → Read More: Mavis! Staples Documentary is Excellent, by Pat Thomas

Donald J. Drumpf: What’s in a Name? by Vino Knight-Trané

Don’t know if this makes any sense if you haven’t seen John Oliver’s (above) epic takedown of Trump (my wife was nonplussed), but the image below is my first effort at agitprop. This is the perfect time to point out that Trump was accused, today, of leading his followers in a pledge which . . . → Read More: Donald J. Drumpf: What’s in a Name? by Vino Knight-Trané

Election 2016: The Path to Statesmanship, by Vino Knight-Trané

Recent coverage of the U.S. Presidential campaign has been interesting in its perspective. After a 5% loss in Nevada, all of the prognosticators suggest that Sanders is done–one article suggesting that he’ll be at a disadvantage because his twenty-something army will be on spring break during upcoming primaries. This seems very premature.

On the . . . → Read More: Election 2016: The Path to Statesmanship, by Vino Knight-Trané

Art Garfunkel Endorses Bernie Sanders With “America” Song

I must admit I didn’t see this coming. Who’d a thunk Aht Gahfunkel would be the last hippie standing? This makes the photo of Trump and Neil Young so much sadder.

Let’s Get Serious and Start Helping Syrian Refugees, by Mark Erickson

On Christmas Eve, before eating the roast beast, my family reads the Nativity story found in Luke. Verses 1-2: “At that time Emporer Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. When the first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria.” Matthew 2 explains King Herod felt threatened that . . . → Read More: Let’s Get Serious and Start Helping Syrian Refugees, by Mark Erickson

Let’s Go Over This Again, by Randy Rendfeld

One more time. Films that purport to show Planned Parenthood selling baby parts are deceptively edited fraud. They spin the truth into lies. If you believe these videos, as Republicans in Congress apparently did, you’re a dunce.

Planned Parenthood is not selling baby parts. They are allowed by law to let mothers donate fetal . . . → Read More: Let’s Go Over This Again, by Randy Rendfeld

Chi-Raq: As in Chicago and Iraq, by Mark Erickson

“16 shots, 14 months. 16 shots, 14 months. 16 shots, 14 months.” I attended a protest rally on Black Friday that was easily attended by more than 5,000 people. The protest closed down Chicago’s “Mag Mile”, which is the high-end downtown shopping mecca. We congregated at the majestic Chicago Tribune building and proceeded north. . . . → Read More: Chi-Raq: As in Chicago and Iraq, by Mark Erickson

After Paris: Is War the Answer? by Mark Erickson

In the wake of the recent bombings and killings in Paris, I offer this. But first, I must step back. Shortly after 9/11, I opined in a pre-Twitter universe to a creation similar to Twitter, something called “xnpc”, that the United States had stoked hostility by imposing sanctions and a killing machine upon Iraq. . . . → Read More: After Paris: Is War the Answer? by Mark Erickson

Nixon’s attorney: GOP obstructionists ‘near treasonous’, by Randy Rendfeld

John Dean circa 1973

Nixon’s attorney John Dean calls today’s tea party, specifically the U.S. House Freedom Caucus, “near treasonous” and says their actions might be unconstitutional with “criminal implications.”

Robert Scheer has a new podcast on KCRW. In it, he talks to Dean, former White House Counsel under Richard Nixon, who served . . . → Read More: Nixon’s attorney: GOP obstructionists ‘near treasonous’, by Randy Rendfeld

The Pope, Pig Manure and Minnesota Water Quality, by Mark Erickson

Pope Francis has landed at Andrews Air Force Base for his first visit to the United States. There’s a lot of speculation about what he might say, especially when he addresses Congress Thursday morning in light of first visiting Cuba. I am hopeful that he will discuss American capitalism’s flaws, a theme he has . . . → Read More: The Pope, Pig Manure and Minnesota Water Quality, by Mark Erickson

Army Spends $500 Million to Train Syrians, by Mark Erickson

Last night while watching neutral Al-Jazeera TV, I saw a clip about the US Army having committed $500 million to train Syrians to fight ISIL. The clip was a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing chaired by Senator John McCain. General Austin testified about the program that strove to train 15,000 Syrians to fight. General . . . → Read More: Army Spends $500 Million to Train Syrians, by Mark Erickson