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WhiskeyGrinder's Journal
WhiskeyGrinder's Journal
September 6, 2018

U.S. House candidate Pete Stauber (CD8) used government email for political correspondence

He cheats at hockey, and apparently at work, too.


St. Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber, the Republican candidate for Congress in the Eighth Congressional District, communicated with a key GOP group in Washington using his government e-mail address, according to a review of county records.

The e-mail traffic would appear to be in violation of a St. Louis County policy, which states “elected officials will not use St. Louis County equipment in support of their own campaigns for re-election, other candidates for public office, or political organizations.”

Stauber, a retired Duluth police officer, is locked in a tight race with Joe Radinovich, a former DFL state lawmaker, to fill an open seat being vacated by Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, who is retiring.

The Eighth District, which President Donald Trump won by more than 15 percentage points, is considered one of Republicans’ best shots at flipping a Democratic seat in the entire country, and control of the United States House of Representatives could turn on the race.

August 28, 2018

John McCain Was a White American Hero


John McCain was a white American man, whose whiteness and Americanness and maleness were his most prominent and predictable characteristics. He was also considered to be a hero. Barack Obama spoke on McCain’s “courage to put the greater good above our own.” Joe Biden remarked that McCain’s life was “proof that some truths are timeless.” There are many other tributes like this from many other prominent American and international figures, each extolment more gracious and fawning than the last, fitting for a man who put his life on the line for his country as a young man and then, for his remaining years on Earth, continued to serve it.

This sort of veneration will likely be the legacy that prevails when he’s regarded by history. I do not disagree with it. He was, in the context of whiteness, in the context of Americaness, in the context of maleness, and in the context of what those things fused together are intended to mean, a hero.

That McCain is considered and will continue to be considered heroic is less a way of synopsizing his life and more a testimony on whiteness and Americanness and maleness. Or, more accurately, an indictment. And we do not have to look further than the very recent past for proof. We know, for instance, that despite his conspicuous animus for President Trump and the type of nasty, dishonorable, and cowardly Americanness Trump represents—an Americanness that John McCain considered himself above—he was so aligned politically with this man he detested that he voted with him 83 percent of the time. And we know that his choice to select the squirrelly and thick-witted Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008 paved the way for Trump’s ascension, the way a fart leads way to a shit.

There were many other decisions like this; careful and measured political choices that aligned McCain with what was (and is) the status quo for white American men. There was his dogmatic support of the Iraq War. Which, to be fair, he later admitted was a mistake. But, as Splinter’s Paul Blest articulated, he didn’t seem to learn many lessons from it.
August 28, 2018

We Saw Nuns Kill Children: The Ghosts of St. Joseph's Catholic Orphanage


It was a late summer afternoon, Sally Dale recalled, when the boy was thrown through the fourth-floor window.

“He kind of hit, and— ” she placed both hands palm-down before her. Her right hand slapped down on the left, rebounded up a little, then landed again.

For just a moment, the room was still. “Bounced?” one of the many lawyers present asked. “Well, I guess you’d call it — it was a bounce,” she replied. “And then he laid still.”

Sally, who was speaking under oath, tried to explain it. She started again. “The first thing I saw was looking up, hearing the crash of the window, and then him going down, but my eyes were still glued—.” She pointed up at where the broken window would have been and then she pointed at her own face and drew circles around it. “That habit thing, whatever it is, that they wear, stuck out like a sore thumb.”

This is a very long, disturbing read. Lots of content warnings for abuse and sexual abuse of children. It's not shocking -- the Catholic Church has been corrupt since day one. Everyone in the church knows an abuser or a victim. Reform is not enough. Burn it down and start over.
August 26, 2018

Sheriff reports "mass shooting" at Jacksonville Landing complex


Authorities in Florida say they are responding to a mass shooting at an outdoor entertainment complex in Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office warned residents to stay "many blocks away" from Jacksonville Landing, an outdoor shopping mall along the St. Johns River.

Unconfirmed reports on social media indicate that the shooting happened at a video game tournament.

No other details have been released.

A Madden tournament. Some reports are saying 9 shot, with four dead so far.

Adding for this reminder:


August 17, 2018

NYPD paid Spike Lee $200K for work on ad campaign


The NYPD paid Spike Lee — one of its fiercest critics — more than $200,000 to help launch a new policing program aimed at improving relations with minority communities.

The department tapped the “Do the Right Thing” director in 2016 as a consultant for the campaign, a spokesman for the department’s nonprofit New York City Police Foundation confirmed Thursday.

The contract with Lee’s advertising firm, Spike DDB, was for $219,113 — which was paid for by the Police Foundation.

“The Foundation approached and consulted several creative teams including the Spike DDB agency to help develop a public awareness campaign that would aim to strengthen the partnership between the NYPD and the communities it serves,” said spokesman Brady Littlefield. “We received tremendous input and ideas, and that process ultimately resulted in last spring’s neighborhood policing ad campaign.”

I would have charged them half and told them to acknowledge that the modern concept of a police force is based in white supremacy.
August 15, 2018

Races called for Klobuchar and Smith.

Via AP.

July 30, 2018

No charges for officers who shot Blevins (Minneapolis)


No charges will be filed against two Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot an armed Thurman Blevins during a foot chase last month in a residential neighborhood, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

Witness testimony, body camera video and forensic testing all proved that Blevins had a 9-millimeter semi-automatic handgun in his hand and refused multiple commands to drop the gun during the foot chase that ended in his death on June 23, Freeman said in a statement.

"When Mr. Blevins fled from the officers with a loaded handgun, refused to follow their commands for him to stop and show his hands and then took the gun out of his pocket and turned toward the officers, Mr. Blevins represented a danger to the lives of Officer Schmidt and Officer Kelly," the statement quoted Freeman as saying. "Their decision to use deadly force against Mr. Blevins under those circumstances was authorized [under the law]."

The officers fired 14 shots from their weapons, four of which struck Blevins, Freeman said.

July 19, 2018

Nolan's leg director left office amid sex harassment accusations, then the campaign hired him.

Well, this is ugly and unpleasant.


Congressman Rick Nolan’s former legislative director has been accused of sexual harassment — and in one case, repeated groping — by several women who used to work for the Democratic representative of Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.

Former staffers say that in the summer of 2015, Nolan and his two most senior aides allowed Jim Swiderski to resign his post and tell colleagues he was looking for new opportunities rather than make him face formal disciplinary consequences after several female staffers raised harassment allegations. Months later, Swiderski was hired to do work for Nolan’s 2016 re-election campaign. He was only let go after a group of Nolan aides put pressure on the congressman to remove him.

MinnPost spoke to eight former employees of Nolan’s congressional office and of his campaigns, a group that included three women with specific harassment allegations, and five other staffers who corroborated details about Swiderski and provided information about the work environments in the congressman’s office and campaign. Most of these former Nolan employees remain active in Minnesota Democratic politics and requested anonymity to speak candidly without fear of retribution.

These staffers remain disturbed over the way Swiderski’s behavior was handled by Nolan and his most trusted lieutenants, particularly chief of staff Jodie Torkelson and district director Jeff Anderson.
July 6, 2018

Defense contractor detained migrant kids in vacant Phoenix office building


A major U.S. defense contractor quietly detained dozens of immigrant children inside a vacant Phoenix office building with dark windows, no kitchen and only a few toilets during three weeks of the Trump administration’s family separation effort, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has learned.

Videos shot by an alarmed neighbor show children dressed in sweatsuits being led – one so young she was carried – into the 3,200-square-foot building in early June. The building is not licensed by Arizona to hold children, and the contractor, MVM Inc., has claimed publicly that it does not operate “shelters or any other type of housing” for children.

Defending the administration’s policy to separate families at the border in a May interview with NPR, White House chief of staff John Kelly promised: “The children will be taken care of – put into foster care or whatever.”

Whether or not these children were taken from their parents, that “whatever” for them was the vacant building tucked away in a midtown Phoenix neighborhood. It is not listed among shelters operating through the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement or on the state child care licensing website.

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