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The Big E

So long and thanks for all the fish

by The Big E on February 4, 2014 · 13 comments

so-long-n-thanks-for-all-the-fishI’ve decided to retire from blogging. I’ve been at it for nearly 8 years. First at and since December 2010 here at (2600+ posts here at MPP). My heart is just not in it anymore.
Getting out and reporting events that the media can’t or won’t cover is something I can’t do much anymore. This kind of coverage and analysis is what is lacking. My two beautiful daughters put the kabosh on that.
I’m not sure what I’ll do next.
I have a wealth of fond memories. From helping Keith Ellison get elected in 2006 — I got to live blog his primary night party and they let me announce the results from the stage. What incredible energy there was in the room.
Blogging for Al Franken in 2009 was exciting. I was the first blogger to endorse Al and I caught (mostly good natured) hell from progressives who supported Jack Nelson Pallmeyer. Aaron Landry of MNPublius, TwoPuttTommy and I worked hard to force the media to cover Sen. Norm Coleman’s corruption. Weekly chats with Frannie were awesome. Posts I wrote at appeared in the top ten of any “norm coleman” search on Google.
I caused quite a ruckus when I wrote an open letter to the DFL Central Committee after the disastrous 2010 elections.
I’m so grateful to have worked with so many awesome people over the years. Y’all rock in your own unique way.
And who will forget the MN United campaign against the ballot measure? I advised the campaign on social media and helped build up their social media presence.
And not everybody gets called a pussy by Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington).
These aren’t the greatest hits or anything, just what popped into my mind.


Bulletins From The Asylum

by The Big E on January 29, 2014 · 3 comments

Bulletins-from-the-AsylumFirst, State of the Union insanity from the Republicans:
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) gave the official GOP response and laid down some stunning, bald-faced lies but did it in such a boring, Mom-next-door kind of way:

  • the “ trusts people to make their own decisions, not a government that decides for you” except of course when it comes to a woman’s right to choose. But that goes without saying, right?
  • the GOP “helps working families rise above the limits of poverty.” Except when they slash government aid and oppose raising the minimum wage.
  • the GOP “protects our most vulnerable.” Except when they slash social services for the mentally ill or oppose the Violence Against Women Act or slash funding to help vets returning from Iraq or Afghanistan.

Sen. Lindsay Grahama (R-SC): “The world is literally about to blow up and our president did not really paint a fair picture of the threats we face.”
Jim Garrow: Obama should be put down like a rabid dog. Nice.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) uses Twitter to attack Obama during SOTU then goes on Rachel Maddow’s Show and goes ballistic.
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) threatens reporter live on air after SOTU because reporter asked about his corruption scandal. Now nobody will ask about it for sure. Maybe it was the steroids talking. He has a history of threatening people. Grimm apologizes to reporter. Maybe that will make it go away?
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN): Obama is not a King so we’ll sue him.
6 craziest reactions to Obama’s SOTU speech.
Round-up of RWNJ tweeting about SOTU.


Bulletins From The Asylum

by The Big E on January 28, 2014 · 0 comments

Bulletins-from-the-AsylumYesterday, I noted RNC Chair Reince Priebus’ solitary and failing effort to put out the raging wildfire of GOP insanity. Nearly all of today’s kray kray could fall under rebranding fail. Priebus and the few Republicans who want to rebrand their party as less insane, bigoted, racist, sexist, etc. face the following behavior 365 days a year.
Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-MI) lashes out at “Gay Hollywood’s version of matrimony.”
RWNJ radio host Laura Ingraham: Let immigrants move to Detroit then wall it off.
4 men appear on Fox News panel to discuss the war on women. This in and of itself is not crazy. However, when the GOP’s media mouthpiece is this consistently tone deaf and immune to any rebranding efforts … that’s crazy.
Bishop John Paproki of Illinois hopes that his anti-gay exorcism shows gay people how much he loves them.
Here’s something else that’s crazy: agreeing to give the GOP State of the Union response. Look what it did to Michele Bachmann, Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindahl.


DontDroneMeBro1There is one thing that most Republicans and most Democrats agree on: drones are bad. The 2013 legislature will be taking on the drone issue with a bill that set limits when and how law enforcement can use a drone. Basically, in anything except a terrorist attack or imminent threat to someone’s life, they’d have to get a warrant.
It’s bad enough that our government collects all our emails, texts, phone calls and monitors our social media. But let’s make sure they aren’t using drones to expand how they monitor us.

Once thought of as a futuristic tool deployed only by the United States military, and only against foreign fighters, the use of unmanned surveillance drones has begun to hit closer to home. Rep. Brian Johnson, R-Cambridge, said he is aware of at least a dozen instances in which Minnesota police forces have used aerial drones in the course their regular duties.
Johnson’s bill, which he also entered last session, would set a strict statewide policy on when and how law enforcement drones could be used. Under the legislation, police would be allowed to use drones to prevent a terrorist attack or to help handle a situation involving “imminent danger to life or serious damage to property.” Aside from these emergency scenarios, all other drone flights would require the police agency to obtain a warrant, an element that Johnson — a former Isanti County Sheriff’s deputy — said is only a minor impediment to police work.

“It’s only going to be two or three extra sentences in a search warrant,” Johnson said.
(Politics in Minnesota)

Reps. Tom Anzelc (DFL-Balsam Township) and Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) are co-sponsoring the bill.

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Bulletins From The Asylum

by The Big E on January 27, 2014 · 2 comments

Bulletins-from-the-AsylumHere’s your roundup of insanity from Republicans. It’s simply too cold for me to think up a witty comment to accompany my introduction.
In Virginia, signs affixed to sticks or flags on sticks are not allowed in Capitol because they are dangerous. Guns are allowed. They are ****ing crazy.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) has been AWOL from Congress. He hasn’t been seen in Texas, either. He blames the media. That doesn’t even make sense.
Reince Priebus, the one-man fire crew fighting the raging fires of Repbulican insanity with a sippy cup full of water: Huckabee was wrong, GOP should be careful how it frames it’s positions.
Kansas State Rep. Allan Rothlisberg: Women over 50 do not need gynecological care.


Facepalm Drazkowski

Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) will briefly halt his single-minded assault on big government. The cause? Local governments making money from traffic scofflaws through safe driving classes which keep the scofflaws record clean.
Throughout Minnesota, if you get pulled over for a minor traffic violation, you can keep your record clean and help fill the coffers of your local government. You just have to pay for and take a class on safe driving.
But not if The Draz gets his way:

“We have a small handful of renegade counties with rogue county attorneys and sheriffs that continue to operate in violation of the law,” he said.
Drazkowski announced Tuesday during a Minnesota Capitol press conference that he plans to introduce a bill to shut down these programs. In an interview, he said these programs amount to corruption because all of the money collected from these classes goes straight into the cities and counties’ coffers.
“It’s all about the money for the local government,” he said. “The public’s trust has been violated by this and the law has been violated and the civil rights of those whose dollars were taken have been violated.”
(Rochester Post Bulletin)

Now why would local government units go renegade and get all entrepreneurial in everybody’s faces? Maybe because the MNGOP and Drazkowski repeatedly slashed LGA (Local Government Aid). It’s not like the potholes and poor cooperated with the MNGOP and The Draz and stopped being so needy when they slashed LGA year after year after year.
But here may be the real reason that The Draz temporarily halted his Get-Big-Government-Off-Our-Backs campaign:


Bulletins From The Asylum

by The Big E on January 23, 2014 · 0 comments

Bulletins-from-the-AsylumToday is officially International GOP Rebranding Day! Or something. Maybe every day is GOP rebranding day? Regardless, enjoy your round-up of insanity from the Republicans.
Instead of actually protecting women, House GOP plans to audit rape victims. So much for GOP re-branding.
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) believes that a wife is supposed to voluntarily submit to her husband. So much for GOP re-branding.
Fox News host Andrea Tantaros makes the case that America is less free because we don’t know our own history by displaying her ignorance of American history. So much for GOP rebranding.
Illinois GOP candidate Susanne Atanus believes autism and dementia are God’s punishment for the growing support for marriage equality. Zoinks.


Bulletins From The Asylum

by The Big E on January 21, 2014 · 1 comment

Bulletins-from-the-AsylumI’m actually shocked by how little right wing insanity I found involving Martin Luther King, Jr. from yesterday. I’m not saying there wasn’t plenty of the cray cray … enjoy your daily roundup.
Sarah Palin uses MLK Day as an excuse to troll President Obama on race.
Wisconsin NRA is advocating treason and armed rebellion.
Florida State House candidate Joshua Black demands that President Obama be arrested and hanged. Even FL GOPers think this crossed the line.
South Carolina US Senate candidate Lee Bright thinks teachers should be allowed to carry machine guns in school.

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m4h--headshotEric Margolis is running to replace Rep. Steve Simon (DFL-St. Louis Park) since Simon is running for Minnesota Secretary of State. Margolis is the DFL’s State Outreach Director. Margolis faces Cheryl Youakim for the DFL endorsement. Considering this is a pretty blue district, the endorsement will likely be the stage that matters.
Read Margolis’ press release for yourselves.
“My first political memory is attending a rally or parade with my Dad,” Margolis said. “It was some sort of anti-antisemitism rally. I don’t remember all that much, I think I was pretty young.”
He was a software engineer for Orace for years. Then 9/11 happened. He survived the first round of lay-offs, but lost his job in 2002.
“35,000 people got laid off before me,” he explained. He’d moved from California to Detroit Lakes to marry another Oracle employee. In Detroit Lakes he was able to cobble together a bunch of IT consulting work to make a living. In 2004, his wife got a scholarship to go to Hamline University (she’d lost her job, too) so they moved to Hopkins.
“The IT consulting market in the Twin Cities was a lot more competitive,” Margolis said. “Eventually, I applied for a job at Walgreen’s making $7.45 to pay the bills.”
“I know what it’s like to try and get by on $7.45 an hour,” Margolis said. He never quite got enough hours to be considered full-time. “You make choices between paying a bill or buying groceries. Working at Walgreens also taught me a lot about my community.”
He keeps in touch with several people who still work at Walgreens. Their job horizon is small and grim. That experience fuels his drive to bring more people into the political process.
Margolis is an advocate for living wage jobs. But he looks at the problem holistically.


Bulletins From The Asylum

by The Big E on January 17, 2014 · 0 comments

Bulletins-from-the-AsylumHere’s your roundup of the right wing crazy for Friday.
Ted Nugent compares film executive Harvey Weinstein to Joseph Goebbels.
Fox News’ Martha McCallum warns that another Holocaust might happen if Weinstein makes film attacking NRA. Weinstein is Jewish, BTW.
South Carolina US Senate candidate Lee Bright told a Tea Party group last August:

  • Obama Administration training IRS brown shirts
  • warned about the dangers of Muslim immigrants from terrorist nations
  • and warned of the Muslim Brotherhood invasion across our southern border.

California legislature Tim Donnelly is really quite nuts. He’s running for Governor. He has ties to a terrorist group and promises to hold onto power with violence if he wins.