Doctors and nurses should never fear losing their jobs simply because they treated patients seeking abortion, or because they support abortion access. Yet across the country clinicians are fired, threatened, and otherwise punished for providing abortion services, seeking abortion training, or engaging in advocacy around abortion. This kind of discrimination is unacceptable, but it is little known or addressed. (National Women’s Law Center)
During every legislative session in Minnesota forced-birth fanatics come up with a new focus. TRAP laws, requiring a doctor’s presence for medication abortions…this year it’s ultrasound.
HF3194/SF2849 This bill requires providers to offer patients the option of having an ultrasound just prior to an abortion. This is unnecessary as patients already have the right to an ultrasound. Doctors should determine the health care needs of patients, not legislators. This bill is about shaming women who choose to have an abortion by implying they do not have all the information they need to make that decision. (Women’s March Minnesota)
“What never should have happened” is of course Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN), formerly just another dime-a-million right-wing media clown, getting into the United States Congress.
Lewis hasn’t made waves during his time in the House so far. By the standards of the populace as a whole both his agenda and his way of presenting it are ridiculous and extreme, but in the current GOP caucus he fits right in. For example:
Yep, we hear Congressman Lewis preach that everyone can “tighten its belt” … and that should obviously include Congressman Lewis, right ?
Let’s look at the most recent report of his Members Representational Allowance … and see some of his spending.
$1,500.00 TVEYES Inc. service contract for the period of October 1 through December 31, 2018. FYI : TVEyes Media Monitoring Suite is a subscription-based product used by anyone who needs to know what is being broadcast on TV and radio in real-time — no waiting for it to appear on YouTube ! Heaven forbid missing the opportunity to see cable talking heads discussing Jason Lewis’s most recent appearance on FOX, CNN, etc. … surely, you are a subscriber ???? (FunFact … TVEYES just lost in court when FOX News sued over copyright use … if Congressman Lewis cannot see himself on FOX clips, he may want to see about a refund.)
$297.91 to FineArtAmerica.Com in August
(Gosh, wouldn’t ya think a Congressional millionaire with a $174,000 salary would be able to purchase his own office art work instead of putting it on the taxpayer’s bill.)
And there are some meals the taxpayers paid … like September payments
$1,256.30 at CAVA MEZZE
$1,139.72 at CARMINE’S
$ 612.92 at CAPITOL HOST (RIDGEWELL)
(Gosh, since the taxpayers are paying the tab, shouldn’t they get to know who “Representative” Lewis invited to these meals and what was discussed?) (MN Political Roundtable)
A group of about 20 protesters showed up at U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis’ (R) house in Woodbury (last August). They coursed up his driveway bearing signs, crowded around his front step, and chanted about healthcare loudly enough for his neighbors to hear. Lewis had supported the Republican health care bill, which included deep cuts to Medicaid.
Lewis wasn’t at home, but when he heard about the “invasion” later, he was incensed, calling the protest a “wanton disregard of civility,” and a “dangerous ramping up of rhetoric that already has one of my House colleagues in rehab from a vicious attack.”
…A video of the protest accompanied Lewis’ post as evidence, though instead of threatening mobsters, protesters are elderly ladies, a senior gentleman in a wheelchair, homecare workers, and a handful of young activists with TakeAction Minnesota. (City Pages)
This proposal would be a good thing for people who are not engorged with unearned privilege. Which makes it very out of character for Minnesota legislative Republicans. So you wonder if their own people are telling them that this November could indeed be massively ugly for them, if they don’t try to do something that actually affects most Minnesotans’ lives for the better. (It’s also interesting to consider, in this context, that one of Tim Pawlenty’s “legacies” as governor was slashing LGA.)
Minnesota cities that rely on local government aid to fund a number of crucial government services have seen appropriations follow a downward trend for 15 years. But those appropriations could reach their highest amount since 2002.
Sponsored by Rep. Paul Anderson (R-Starbuck), HF3493 would raise the appropriation for city local government aid from $534.4 million to $564.4 million beginning in calendar year 2019.
The bill was held over by the House Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division Wednesday for possible omnibus bill inclusion. Its companion, SF3082, sponsored by Sen. Bill Weber (R-Luverne), awaits action by the Senate Taxes Committee. (Session Daily)
(Just a reminder that all MN House seats are up this year, but the state Senate is not.)
According to a recent study. There have been a number of big studies of voter thinking and behavior, in the past few years. The big question, for me, is how do we use the knowledge they provide to help win elections. I can’t answer that, yet, with anything better than what amounts to just vague speculation.
For instance, “moving from the least identified to the most identified with an ideological label increases preference for marrying inside the ideological group by 30 percentage points.” In other words, if you are a committed liberal, you’re much more likely to want to live next to other committed liberals. But if you just disagree strongly with them about a specific issue like abortion, not so much.
She writes, “The effect of issue-based ideology is less than half the size of identity-based ideology in each element of social distance. … These are sizable and significant effects, robust to controls for issue-based ideology, and they demonstrate that Americans are dividing themselves socially on the basis of whether they call themselves liberal or conservative, independent of their actual policy differences.”
“There’s been a debate within political science for a long time about whether or not the American public is polarized,” Mason said in an interview with The Intercept. “I’m sort of making this argument that as you have multiple social identities that line up together, people hate their out groups more regardless of their policy positions.” (The Intercept)
This is very important to understand because if Republicans take control of Minnesota state government next year, they’ll do the same thing, and it will produce the same results.
In 2015, Wisconsin enacted its RTW law. Since that time, average hourly earnings growth in the Badger State slowed relative to Minnesota. From 2015 to 2017, Minnesota average hourly earnings increased by $2.35, compared to a $1.27 in Wisconsin. Minnesota’s average hourly earnings in 2017 were $28.42—$3.69 more than in Wisconsin ($24.73). Within a two year period, the hourly earnings gap between the two states increased by 42%.
In 2017, average hourly earnings in Minnesota are 8.0% above the U.S. average and higher than in any other Midwest state. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s average hourly earnings slipped 6.0% below the national average. (North Star Policy Institute)
When Republicans do well in elections in Minnesota, it’s generally because outstate DFLers didn’t vote. It seems like many only do vote when they’re angry, anxious, really disgusted, etc.
The president of the American Soybean Association (ASA) issued a scathing statement Wednesday in response to Donald Trump’s escalating trade war with China that suggests just how “devastating” Trump’s offensive could be at the polls in November.
“It should surprise no one that China immediately retaliated against our most important exports, including soybeans. We have been warning the administration and members of Congress that this would happen since the prospect for tariffs was raised,” ASA President and Iowa farmer John Heisdorffer said, adding that China’s plan to impose 25 percent levies on soybeans would be “devastating” to American soybean farmers. (Daily Kos)
It’s probably more likely than not that something will get worked out before the next harvest. But in any case uncertainty makes it harder to get loans and so forth. And the last thing a lot of farmers need is more stress.
The April Edition of Democratic Visions begins with MN State Representative Laurie Pryor (DFL, HD 48A) and The Uptake’s Mike McIntee. The two discuss the current legislative session, sexual harassment, gun violence and some Hopkins School District girls who are making a difference. And then, North Branch Mayor Kirsten Hagen Kennedy and BelAhdan’s Ahmed Tharwat talk about her bid for the DFL endorsement to run for Congress in Minnesota District 8. Yes, Kirsten is that rare DFL candidate with an easy to take sense of humor! Democratic Visions is handcrafted by southwest suburban Democrats and lefties through Southwest Suburban TV and Bloomington Community Access Television. We also have a YouTube Channel and are seen on public access channels in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Richfield, Hopkins, Edina, Minnetonka, Champlin, Anoka, Rogers and Andover.
This one is full of good – indeed, essential – advice.
While progressives lament their recent failure in an Illinois primary to knock out Dan Lipinski – a conservative, anti-abortion, Congressional Democrat who voted against the Affordable Care Act – they mostly fail to note where and how they won elsewhere in the state…
These victors had a number of things in common, including endorsements from labor unions and progressive advocacy organizations. But another startling commonality among at least three of the four candidates was a strong support for public schools – Ortiz, Ramirez, and Johnson all made increased funding for public schools key stances in their races. Ortiz and Johnson are public school teachers, and Ramirez pledged to “protect our public-school system from corporate interests which attack teachers and students to destabilize public neighborhood schools and profit from privatizing education.”
Contrast the victors’ strong stances for public schools to Lipinski’s failed challenger, Marie Newman, whose education platform was about “education that leads to real jobs” – a position suitable for a Republican candidate to run on. (Jeff Bryant/OurFuture.org)
And plenty of GOPers seem to be going out of their way to make themselves vulnerable on this. That will likely also be the case here in Minnesota.
A little more than a year ago, Betsy DeVos assumed her post as secretary of education, eager to roll out the first-ever national school voucher program. But that was before reality came crashing in (March 23).
Congress, in its omnibus spending bill, rebuked the proposal by DeVos and President Trump to redirect scarce public dollars from public schools to private schools with a voucher scheme. Trump and DeVos pursued their voucher plan despite volumes of research that shows vouchers do not work, that they undermine accountability to parents and taxpayers, and that they have failed to provide opportunity to all of our students. Lawmakers did not include in the spending bill the $250 million private school voucher initiative the president and DeVos sought, as well as their $1 billion program designed to promote charters, on-line schools and home schooling.
That Trump and DeVos were unable to get their priority funded in a Republican-controlled Congress speaks to the distrust of the American public, 90 percent of whose children attend public schools…
The rejection of DeVos by Congress notwithstanding, there are several gubernatorial candidates who want to pursue her voucher agenda. (Education Votes)
Well, it’s not Fox half-wit Pete Hegseth (cf. four posts down on this page), at least not yet, but it is someone similarly unqualified by any valid standard – though highly skilled at smooching Donald Trump’s butt.
President Trump has chosen his doctor, Ronny Jackson—the man who went on TV to publicly affirm that the president’s brain is not a bowl of rotting peas—to be his new Secretary of Veterans Affairs. And now, we have confirmation from an anonymous White House official that Jackson got the job in part because of just how well he went on TV and said yes, the president’s brain is good.
According to CNN, “Trump liked the way Jackson handled himself with reporters” when he gave a press conference on the results of the president’s physical, which included his insistence that the president is NOT obese and that his brain is NOT falling apart like a cake left in the rain, but instead is Normal. At the press conference, Jackson said he had “no reason whatsoever to think that the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought process.” (Splinter)
Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin used an op-ed late Wednesday to blast “the environment in Washington” that “has turned so toxic, chaotic, disrespectful and subversive that it became impossible for me to accomplish the important work” of his job. (CNN)
Looking at what came up when I did an online search right now, corporate media is generally spinning this as being mostly about a pricey jaunt Shulkin took on the taxpayers’ dime. In other words, they’re largely downplaying the reality, which is that Shulkin is gone because he was seen as an obstacle to the greedheads’ plans to start strip-mining veterans’ medical care for profit, ASAP.
I suppose that the four names that come to mind quickly, for me, these days, when you’re talking about the worst – and most offensive – right-wing insanity in the Minnesota House are Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe), Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover), and Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria). It’s the last of those who is drawing the wrong kind of headlines, this time.
As if launching sexist and racist attacks against Parkland student activist Emma Gonzalez over the weekend wasn’t enough, one pro-gun conservative is now bolstering her attack on young activists by likening their demands for gun control to Nazism.
In a series of tasteless Facebook posts, Minnesota Republican Rep. Mary Franson compared March For Our Lives protesters to Hitler youth. She then apparently deleted her Facebook account. (AlterNet)
Franson’s DFL-endorsed opponent in 8B is Gail Kulp.