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Minnesota-State-CapitolThis post is about three races in tough, red districts that would be oh so very, very sweet to win.
Josh Haseman is running in 23B.

This race, this effort is not about me. It’s about the hard-working families, senior citizens, farmers and small business owners in District 23B who represent the backbone of rural Minnesota. It’s important to have someone fighting for them.

The incumbent is Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center). I doubt that on this blog, or in any place where I’m posting the link to this, more needs to be said. But I’m adding items anyway about where he’s at on guns and race relations.
Elise Diesslin is our candidate in 21B.


New developments on Minnesota sulfide mining

by Dan Burns on September 14, 2016 · 0 comments

Tailings Pond Breach 20140805Twin Metals is going to court to try to get old mineral leases renewed.

Paul Danicic, Executive Director of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness issued this statement in response:
“We’re deeply disappointed that Twin Metals is suing to prevent the Bureau of Land Management from conducting a diligent and comprehensive review of their mineral lease application.
Over 65,000 public comments were submitted this summer opposing renewal of these leases near the Boundary Waters. The BLM and U.S. Forest Service have heard from thousands of people that sulfide mining on the edge of the wilderness is an unacceptable risk. Twin Metals’ lawsuit seeks to silence them…

(Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness)

The Duluth City Council shot down proposed PolyMet hearings.

Backers of the proposal argued that a contested case hearing — as this process is also known — would add something new to the regulatory process. J.T. Haines of Duluth said such a hearing would weigh competing claims of whether PolyMet can mine safely.
“Unlike public meetings … where much of the time people simply state their opinion without scrutiny, a contested case hearing would provide a more rigorous forum, including subjecting testimony to cross-examination, a key distinction,” Haines said. “That’s something both sides should welcome.”
But after lengthy debate, the City Council voted against the resolution. Councilor Barb Russ said it was the job of the Minnesota DNR to decide whether evidentary hearings on PolyMet are needed.

You have your good days and your not-so-good ones. The saga is ongoing.


I am shocked, SHOCKED, that in the midst of so egregiously lying through his teeth, that Pence was not fried in his tracks by a bolt from heaven.


Hillary Clinton is correct when she describes substantial numbers of Trump supporters (and therefore Pence supporters) as deplorables.


It does not matter if you are a hard working American or a religious American, IF you also are a hateful bigot.


You are a bigot if you try to deny the LGBT the rights to be treated as full and equal human beings.  LGBT people work hard too. You are a bigot if you are racist; you are a bigot if you support the many ways the right treats women as second class citizens.  You are a bigot if you have fear and antipathy towards immigrants and towards people of different religions than your own – notably Muslims, but in some cases on the right, also anti-Judaism.


Those things make an American a deplorable person; they do so because these people are harmful and unfair to other Americans.  There are Americans who genuinely suffer and are victimized by these deplorables, while their contributions are no better than those towards whom they are bigoted.


David Duke is one of those deplorable human beings.  Mike Pence refuses to call him out as a deplorable human being, or to call out his behavior and beliefs. Mike Pence uses the excuse that he is not a name-caller.


This from the man who daily calls Hillary crooked Hillary, despite the lack of any corruption or other wrong-doing conviction.


This from the man who is on the same ticket as a man convicted of racism, and who is credibly accused of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape, as well as a long history of rampant misogyny and ethnic bias, a promiscuous serial adulterer married to a porn queen, who engages in widespread fraud and corruption.


Oh, Mike Pence — BEWARE!  That much lying and hypocrisy could still get you that zap from above!  That goes for you Mike Pence, and the guy next to you, with the bleached, dead racoon on his head and the tiny but greedy grasping hands.


trump3When people who at least try to be clear thinkers, rather than go through life in benighted fogs of motivated reasoning, are shown to be wrong, we endeavor to figure out what went wrong, in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes. (“Motivated reasoning” is basically all the mental gymnastics people do to justify believing what they want, based on dogma, emotionalism and cognitive biases, when said beliefs have little or no apparent grounding in fact and/or reason.) Sorry to sound all lecturing and pretentious.
When Donald Trump became the GOP presidential nominee, I believed that by this time, mid-September 2016, the only remaining question would be just how big the Democratic electoral tsunami would be. Kinda f*cked that up, didn’t I?
To be clear, I still believe that Hillary Clinton will win the Electoral College quite handily. And that it’s considerably more likely than not that we’ll take the U.S. Senate, although quite possibly with no more than 51 seats at best. And that we’ll take the MN House and have legislative majorities for Gov. Dayton’s final two years. And all of those will be wonderful things.
But, at least for now, the Landslide of Historic Proportions appears to be off. And the reason that I didn’t see that coming is that I had no idea that corporate media would take its coverage to the fetid extremes that it has, on behalf of both a misogynistic, racist, bloodthirsty, pathologically narcissistic lunatic, and on behalf of the wretched failure of a political party and ideology that he represents. I knew there would be plenty of bias, but not like this. For far from the first time I’ve underestimated how far the Establishment would go to try to protect its interests, even to the point of risking a Trump presidency and what that would mean. I should have known better by now, but I didn’t.
I’m not alone. Not with those remarks about corporate media, anyway:


ottertaillakeriverinletWhen I was a kid neighbors of ours had a cabin, actually bigger and more like a house than what is often meant by “cabin,” on Otter Tail Lake (pictured), and I was up there a bunch of times. Pleasing memories.
Shawn Olson is running for MN Senate. These are all tough races, R+9, but who cares in a year like this?

It’s time for some fresh blood in the Minnesota State Senate from District 8 after 10 years. Otter Tail and Douglas counties deserve a voice for the people that live here, not big corporations with headquarters in some far off metropolis. It’s time to move beyond the failed leaders of the past who are driven by establishment politics. This election is about who has the best vision for a better future, and it is my belief that just voting no to everything all the time is not the solution. It is in fact the problem.

Got that right. Especially considering that the incumbent is Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), who has been the sort of right-wing grandstander that any legislative body can most certainly do without. Check out, for example, his antics regarding “English-only,” and all things cannabis.

CJ Holl is our candidate in House 8A.



I remember where I was when the Twin Towers were struck in New York City.  I was watching Good Morning America, which had outside cameras on their building that caught the entire event, and where the anchors cut to immediate coverage.


Like Pearl Harbor, like presidential assassinations, it marked an extraordinary catalyst that changed our history, that dramatically changed how we live and think.


As someone over the age of 15, and reasonably familiar with the 9/11 congressional investigation and the 9/11 commission report, I was surprised that I either overlooked or passed over a remarkable story about the heroic action of a female fighter pilot.  The WaPo did an excellent profile of this remarkable and patriotic female member of our armed forces:

F-16 pilot was ready to give her life on Sept. 11

Penney was to stop Flight 93 — knowing the pilot could be her father.
Maj. Heather Penney, and her father Col. John Penney, both pilots. Maj.
Penny flew an F-16 on Sept. 11, 2001, that was destined to intercept and
possibly bring down Flight 93.
Penny Family Photo


Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything,   Lt. Heather
“Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it. The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.
Except her own plane. So that was the plan.
Because the surprise attacks were unfolding, in that innocent age, faster than they could arm war planes, Penney and her commanding officer went up to fly their jets straight into a Boeing 757.

“We wouldn’t be shooting it down.
We’d be ramming the aircraft,” Penney recalls of her charge that day. “I
would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”

This is all the more remarkable in the context of the current presidential election cycle, where the GOP candidate is praised by retired high level military officers who signed an open letter supporting him, who want women out of the military in any significant numbers and especially in front line and combat positions.  We have a presidential nominee for the GOP who blames military rape on women serving in the military, while ignoring that the serious problem with his argument, and the same fault with his campaign’s statements: most military rapes are men being raped by other men.


That fails correctly to define the problem of sexual assault, and it blames the victim.  More to the point, in a volunteer military, it deprives the armed forces of the services of highly patriotic and highly competent personnel.


Sadly we have the divisive push from the right that is anti-women, anti-Muslims (and those mistaken for Muslims), anti-immigrants, the anti-LGBT, and the usual other deplorable assorted racists and intolerant bigots. We are weaker now from ignorance, not because of what we did to oppose terrorism, but because of what we did not learn, because of hate and suspicion and bigotry, because of political division that benefits the right in propagandizing their base for fund raising and right wing voter turn out.

From the Independent:



MN Auditor Otto loses Round 1

by Dan Burns on September 9, 2016 · 0 comments

ottoThough unfortunate this was not unexpected. Judge Marek is a Pawlenty appointee. Down the road there’s a good chance that there will be a less ideological, more fact- and reason-based decision that will carry the day in the end.

Gov. Mark Dayton expressed support Thursday for State Auditor Rebecca Otto’s promised appeal of a legal setback over who reviews county government finances, with the governor saying it’s something the Supreme Court should evaluate.
Dayton said the court challenge by a fellow DFLer raises a “very important constitutional question” about the separation of powers and the duties of a statewide elected official. The law in dispute gives all counties the right to hire private firms to do annual financial reviews instead of having to use and pay the state auditor’s office.
In a ruling publicly released Tuesday, Ramsey County District Court Judge Lezlie Ott Marek upheld the 2015 law. The judge said the state auditor preserved the right to set auditing standards and demand follow-up even if it doesn’t conduct the initial audit. More than half of Minnesota’s counties have served notice they might hire or are under contract with a private company starting with the 2018 audits.


Minnesota-State-CapitolI chose this north/northeast metro district because at R+5, 6, and 4, respectively, these are precisely the sort of seats that should be highly competitive in a strong DFL year. Like this one.

Patrick Davern is running for the Minnesota Senate.

As a union member of Amalgamated Transit Union 1005 (AFL-CIO) I look forward to helping and improving wages, hours and working conditions for working minnesotans and raising the standard of living for the working class, ensuring safe working conditions and increasing benefits for working people and their families. Unions will continue to play an important role in our states workforce. Minnesota’s working people need representation, pride in work, and fair treatment in the workplace.

The incumbent, Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), has been termed “lightly armed in the battle of wits.” Spot-on.

Our candidate in 38A is Kevin Fogarty. Here’s a Facebook page.


Some in the media are giving unwarranted attention to the open letter in support of Donald Trump, with 88 high ranking military officer signatures.  The media is being lazy in failing to provide a context which shows how deplorable the double digit support really is.


The Atlantic, US News and World Report, and the Congressional Research Service all do a much better job of providing contextual figures.  Trump has 88 signatures; Mitts on our Money/Romney had the support of 500 last election cycle, and war hero Sen. John McCain had 300 such endorsements.  Wow! Triple Digits!


Except NO. Not a big deal.  Rather we have nearly 900 CURRENTLY serving top brass, and THOUSANDS with that rank who are retired.  Our armed forces are top heavy to the point of being dangerously ineffectual and inefficient.


From the Congressional Research Service, this past February:


…the general and flag officer corps has increased as a percentage of the total force over the past five decades. GFOs made up about one-twentieth of one percent (0.048%) of the total force in 1965, while they made up about one-fifteenth of one percent (0.069%) of the total forcein 2015, indicating that the share of the total force made up of GFOs increased by 43%. Some argue that this increased proportion of GFOs is wasteful and contributes to more bureaucratic decision making processes.

From the US News and World Report, regarding the efforts by then DOD head Robert Gates’ efforts in 2010 to reduce the high costs of this arguably unnecessary parts of our military:


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I UnVoted ~ Social Media Graphic #4

by Invenium Viam on September 7, 2016 · 0 comments

Please feel free to share in your social media.