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veteransI wouldn’t call this a “new low” if it happens. Just another one of the many, and counting, shameless and despicable ways in which Traitor Trump and Co. are targeting both active service members and veterans.
 

The Trump administration is taking aim at a law designed to protect military service members from getting cheated by shady lending practices.
 
NPR has obtained documents that show the White House is proposing changes that critics say would leave service members vulnerable to getting ripped off when they buy cars. Separately, the administration is taking broader steps to roll back enforcement of the Military Lending Act.
 
The MLA is supposed to protect service members from predatory loans and financial products. But the White House appears willing to change the rules in a way that critics say would take away some of those protections.
(NPR)

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The convention hall as seen from visitor and alternate seating.

The convention hall as seen from visitor and alternate seating.

This is the promised follow up to Changing how the DFL endorses gubernatorial candidates where somehow I had a long post and didn’t get to what the title implied. So, the primary is over, and we have another data point. A gubernatorial endorsee lost again.
 
The main reason Erin Murphy lost should be obvious, at least if you looked at the results by CD: she did terrible outside the Twin Cities metro area. She did win CDs 4 and 5, but not by much, whereas Tim Walz cleaned up in his district, CD1, and got right around 40% everywhere else. Murphy needed to do that well in her central city base, and she didn’t.
 
Murphy did catch a break when the Lori Swanson campaign imploded. I noted, as the results came in, how if Murphy’s percentage went up, Swanson’s went down by the same amount, and visa-versa. The preelection polls had massive numbers of undecideds, and Murphy and Walz went way up from their poll numbers as undecideds decided, but Swanson actually went down. I’m convinced Murphy was the big beneficiary of Swanson’s problems (self-inflicted — I don’t think Murphy pulled something) but that wasn’t enough to overcome the perception she was too metro-centric. That gets us to the error in choosing a running mate.
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trump20Couldn’t have said it better than the following, myself, and at the risk of appearing conceited I note that I don’t type that very often. The reason I’m passing it along here is that it’s been absolutely true, for a long time, for every major news outlet – TV, radio, print, and online – in Minnesota. And I’m sorry to have to note that that includes MPR and TPT.
 

Hundreds of newspapers across the country ran editorials Thursday pushing back on Donald Trump’s slur against the media as the “enemy of the people.” These are the very same newspapers that offer a litany of mealymouthed excuses for not labeling Trump’s lies as lies and helped put him in the White House by focusing on imaginary Hillary Clinton scandals while ignoring real Trump scandals, but now that he’s openly campaigning against the free press, they are bringing the weight of their editorial pages, if not their news coverage, to push back…
 
The media continue to bend over backward to both-sides every issue that can possibly be both-sidesed and to avoid that L word that comes up so much when Trump opens his mouth.
(Daily Kos)

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Loren Niemi (left) and Howard Lieberman (right) consider Trumpism and Clowny’s ongoing appeal to those among us who find comfort in being grifted over and over again.  This video is featured on the August 2018 edition of Democratic Visions.  We handcraft these programs with volunteers and no budget at Bloomington Community Access Television (BCAT) by arrangement with Southwest Community Television (SWTV).

 

Important tip:   Residents, non-profits and senate district political parties in Bloomington, Edina, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Richfield who take a few hands-on training classes can qualify to use the BCAT studio without charge.  Think about that.  A technically advanced TV studio for your cause, issue and candidates.  Your videos are shown on community access channels and you can upload them to all kinds of social media.  Visit the links provided for more information.

 

Another important tip:  Get your pals with professional TV and video experience off their butts to work with you at this mighty fine resource.
 

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Key Minnesota primary results, real quick

by Dan Burns on August 15, 2018 · 1 comment

From the Secretary of State website:
 
DFL winners: Gov: Walz/Flanagan; Senate: Klobuchar, Smith; MN-05: Omar; MN-08: Radinovich; AG: Ellison.
 
The noteworthy GOP result was that Tim Pawlenty got beat by Jeff Johnson, and (as with the races noted above) it wasn’t close. I’ll have an obnoxious, gloating post about that one in due time.
 
Comment below fold.
 
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Minnesota primary election today

by Dan Burns on August 14, 2018 · 2 comments

vote
 
You can find your polling place and a sample ballot, here.
 
Comments below fold.
 
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lewisYeah, he got busted again for something he said on his radio show, back in the day. The important thing is that there is no real indication that his belief system has changed in any significant way, since then.
 

Rep. Jason Lewis, who is running for reelection in Minnesota’s 2nd District, has offered the Republican Party’s go-to line on opposing same-sex marriage since he was elected to Congress in 2016 — that the decision should be left to states.
 
But before then, Lewis promoted extreme opinions about gays and lesbians on his radio show, comparing them to rapists, criminals, and polygamists. He contended that gay rights activists were “shredding the Constitution,” and that same-sex parents “could harm the kid.”
 
On the Jason Lewis Show in 2013, he argued it was acceptable to single out gay couples with discriminatory marriage bans, just as rapists and speeding drivers could be targeted by criminal laws. But if a court ruled that the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause granted same-sex couples the right to marry, he said, that would be equivalent to providing constitutional protections to a wide variety of lawbreakers.
(BuzzFeed)

The following comes with a double dose of the usual caveats: no complacency, fight like you’re behind to the end, etc., etc.
 

And in a sign that they are already preparing for substantial losses, Republican officials are contemplating political triage, weighing which districts may be beyond hope and determining where money can be saved.
 
Among the seats that Republicans see slipping out of reach are those held by Representatives Rod Blum of Iowa and Jason Lewis of Minnesota, along with more than half a dozen open seats currently held by Republicans in New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
(New York Times)

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Swanson scandal risks giving away governor

by Eric Ferguson on August 10, 2018 · 2 comments

If what The Intercept reports about Attorney General Lori Swanson making employees do volunteer work for her campaign is even half-true, this a scandal the must be making the Republicans think about foregoing their own primary and crossing over to vote in ours to make sure she’s the DFL candidate.
 

On Monday, The Intercept reported that Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson relied on her official government staff for political work, sourced largely to unnamed employees. In the 48 hours after the story’s publication, more than a dozen individuals, including seven more former employees, contacted The Intercept and shared stories of being asked to volunteer politically that corroborated our report. Multiple sources named key Swanson deputies engaged in political activity in the attorney general’s office, repeating the names of staffers who’d previously been identified to The Intercept.

 
My concern isn’t that she would be a bad governor in terms of chosen policies and running a functional government. I’m concerned that this will blow up into a big, front-page-every-day scandal that will allow the MNGOP candidate to win the governor’s office. Remember that with the legislature also being Republican, holding the governorship is the only thing that saved Minnesota from turning into Wisconsin or Ohio. It’s a risk we simply can’t take.

 
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trump15I’m quoting and linking the original report. Per a search I did this morning, it is being widely disseminated, even throughout corporate media, which is good.
 

(Bruce) Moskowitz is a Palm Beach doctor who helps wealthy people obtain high-service “concierge” medical care.
 
More to the point, he is one-third of an informal council that is exerting sweeping influence on the VA from Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Florida. The troika is led by Ike Perlmutter, the reclusive chairman of Marvel Entertainment, who is a longtime acquaintance of President Trump’s. The third member is a lawyer named Marc Sherman. None of them has ever served in the U.S. military or government.
 
Yet from a thousand miles away, they have leaned on VA officials and steered policies affecting millions of Americans. They have remained hidden except to a few VA insiders, who have come to call them “the Mar-a-Lago Crowd.”
(ProPublica)

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Endorsing Richard Painter for US Senate

by Invenium Viam on August 9, 2018 · 5 comments

Painter familyBut she was…
Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night
Blinded by the light…

Mannfred Mann’s Earth Band, 1976; lyrics by Bruce Springsteen

 

Let me be clear at the outset – given nearly any other scenario that I can imagine, I would be supporting and endorsing Tina Smith for the US Senate.

 

Instead, I’m endorsing Richard Painter. (Insert cries of derision and outrage here).

 

The reason is simple: Richard Painter is a better candidate and will make a better US Senator for the people of Minnesota.

 

And Richard Painter, unlike Tina Smith, wants Donald Trump impeached and imprisoned. That’s a BIG plus for me, even if Painter didn’t support many of the progressive policies I believe in. But he does. He comes at them from more of a wonkish angle than I would take, but he gets there in the end all the same. For example, he supports single-payer because it makes the most economic sense. For me, health care is a human right and we can pay for it by eliminating corporate welfare.

 

I’ve said before, here on MNPP, that if two candidates of different gender stack up roughly equally, I’ll preferentially support and vote for the woman. That’s because, as a member of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, I believe in Democratic principles of political representation. With only 23 members of the US Senate currently women, we need to double that figure to achieve something close to gender equality. So I’d much prefer not to replace Smith with Painter, if it were avoidable.

 

But this US Senate race is another situation where the party leadership has jammed their preferred candidate down our collective throats and expects us, as always, to fall in line. Had it been former Speaker of the House and Champion of All Things Righteous the Honorable Rep. Paul Thissen, I might have been able to handle their uninvited intimacy with good grace. But they picked another Bogan top-sider and I, for one, am Reggae Tired of t’all, mon. I’ve said many times that all the party leadership really wants from its activists is money, time and shoe-leather (our candidates excepted). When it comes to influencing the appointment of candidates that we’d like to see in office, the attitude among the party leadership is: Stay in your lane and let the grown-ups make the important decisions. We got this.

 

That’s exactly what they did with Tina Smith: a vacuous tool of the party bosses, an uninspiring wallflower of a political candidate, and no-show when it comes to many of the issues that the DFL rank-and-file care most about including environmental protections, opposition to nickel-sulfide mining in the Boundary Waters, single-payer healthcare, economic relief for the middle-class, and so on.

 

It’s nothing new. That’s exactly what they did when they fronted Skip Humphrey for Governor in 1998. Humphrey, a feckless gadabout in the Minnesota Senate who was never heard from again, was shaping up to lose the election against former DFL’er and St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, now (then) running as a Republican. That is, until a former Navy Seal, former bouncer at Moby Dick’s, former WWF pro wrestler, former Mongols M.C. biker, former action film actor, and former Mayor of Brooklyn Park, threw his hat into ring. Minnesota voters loved it.

 

That’s politics. The stakes are so high that everybody’s trying to queer the game in their favor. It’s not that I really blame them for doing it. I blame them for getting it wrong. As a friend once told me, “It ain’t illegal until you get caught.”

 

Well, the DFL over-seers done got caught. Nobody really knows Smith. She looks like the shy girl who came with a friend that everybody ignores at the after-game party. Her campaign is lifeless. Her campaign team is clueless. Plato Boulevard is on auto-pilot. And the political cross-currents created by #45 among progressives of all stripes across Minnesota are threatening to swamp her boat.

 

Tellingly, the word on the street is that internal polls show Painter running neck-and-neck against Smith. Oh, you’ll hear plenty of denials, but a big reason for all the sulfur and brimstone coming from DFL-HQ against Painter speaks volumes: The numbers ain’t lookin’ too pretty. If Painter were 20 points back, Ken Martin would be extolling the virtues of an inclusive, Big Tent Party. But it looks like Smith could lose. With less than a week to go, panic is starting to set in.

 

Add to all that the likelihood of a massive turn-out of primary voters on August 14 due to a high energy, high interest gubernatorial contest – not to mention a high energy, high interest congressional contest in the 5th CD – and you have the makings of a … a … my god, dare I say it … a popular referendum on the current leadership of DFL party. It won’t be the party rank-and-file who decide this primary election. It’ll be any voter who decides to vote the Democrat side of the ballot. A lot of them will be unhappy millennials, current Berniecrats and new voters. In light of the progressive contingency that detonated the DFL State Convention last June, dude, that can’t be good.

 

One week from today, it will all be over but the weeping and the shouting. If things turn out the way I suspect they’re going to, a lot of resumes will hit the job boards on August 15.
 
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