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Enbridge begs for Line 3 approval

by Dan Burns on June 19, 2018 · 0 comments

enbridgeThey do seem to be feeling the heat.
 

Representatives for Enbridge addressed the (Minnesota Public Utilities Commission) first, adding new commitments in an effort to get a Certificate of Need from the state.
 
Enbridge said it would buy renewable energy credits to offset energy use after a new Line 3 is in service. In addition, Enbridge offered to work with those concerned about the old Line 3 to set up a trust fund to decommission all old pipelines in Minnesota.
 
Finally, Enbridge would put a guarantee in place by its parent company, Enbridge Inc., to ensure there would be cleanup money available in the event of a spill.
(MPR)

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has said (and, from the article above, is reiterating) that a new Line 3 is not needed. Tar sands oil pipelines are also opposed by Minnesotans by about 2:1. But the Public Utilities Commission generally does approve proposals like this. Which doesn’t mean it’s over. Not by a long shot.
 

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Manure_spreader_Record_2Because to not go with one final piece of petty, infantile crap – and a piece that is bad for public health, at that – just is not in Minnesota legislative Republicans’ playbook. A**holes to the end.
 

A new state rule aimed at reducing groundwater contamination by farm fertilizers could be delayed by a legislative move made formal on Monday…
 
The so-called Groundwater Protection Rule has been several years in the making and looks to reduce the amount of nitrogen reaching groundwater aquifers, which many Minnesotans rely on for their drinking water. In delaying the rule, the Legislature tapped an obscure 2001 law that appears to put a check on administrative rules by giving the next Legislature a chance to weigh in on it in 2019.
 
But Dayton said he has instructed the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to proceed as planned and has called the Legislature’s move unconstitutional.
 
It’s possible the matter will end up in court. On Monday, Dayton reiterated that he thinks the Legislature overstepped its bounds.
(MPR)

It’s important to understand that those referenced above would quite honestly view my remarks as unfair and offensive, if they saw them. Their motivated reasoning is such that they really do see themselves, in this, as heroically “combating government overreach” and “letting the markets work.” After all, Almighty Reagan would approve. So would Donald Trump.
 
My gut feeling, based on nothing specific, is that this one doesn’t really stink of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), either. I figure they did it on their own.
 

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trump18Yeah, can’t wait.
 

Donald Trump will make his first visit to Minnesota as president next week for a rally in Duluth, the battleground for the open and highly competitive 8th Congressional District seat.
 
Trump will come to Duluth June 20, his campaign announced Monday.
(MPR)

It is instructive to consider what just happened in one of our neighboring states. (The author’s home blog is Dakota Free Press.)
 

Lots of votes in South Dakota suggested a skin-deep weakness to Trumpism in our rural corner of Trumplandia. Neal Tapio demonstrated most vividly that the only guy who can turn Trumpism into votes is the unique monster that is Donald Trump. Trump wasn’t on any South Dakota ballot Tuesday, and Trumpism helped few if any candidates win.
(Daily Kos)

Some people, including (especially?) in corporate media, still can’t seem to get their heads around the possibility that a huge chunk of the citizenry really does have a problem with racist, misogynistic, horrifically corrupt, easily played and suckered, traitorous filth in the White House. But that’s their problem.
 
Update: In support of that last part, a Democrat accomplished yet another 20+ point swing for a state legislative special election win, yesterday, in Wisconsin.
 

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Newly emboldened Twin Metals plows ahead

by Dan Burns on June 11, 2018 · 0 comments

bwcaTwin Metals wants to create a big sulfide mine right next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It is a truly terrible idea, in every way, and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton seemed to have more or less killed the project when he publicly agreed with that assessment. But things have changed. First, the Trump administration reversed an Obama call and renewed the leases last month. And now the planners are a hive of busy bees indeed.
 

Twin Metals, the company planning to build an underground copper-nickel mine near Ely, Minn., said (May 24) it will open an office in Babbitt and wants to locate its processing facility east of Birch Lake…
 
Twin Metals officials said plans to locate the processing site east of Birch Lake differs from previous proposals. Before, the company had planned to build it south of the Ely airport and west of Birch Lake. Company officials said mine employees will access the underground mine from the processing site. The facility would be built on about 100 acres of land owned by Twin Metals.
(MPR)

The real power behind this is mining giant Antofagasta. This notes its billionaire owner’s suspicious tie to the current presidential administration, and also has more on the lease thing. The fact that it took the “election” of Trump to bring Twin Metals back from the dead should give anyone pause.
 

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Weird happenings with DFL Convention and Filings

by Eric Ferguson on June 6, 2018 · 0 comments

Pelikan pelican from outside DFL state conventionSo by now, you’ve likely had your head spinning from the news from the DFL side regarding who is running for what, and lots of candidates coming out of the woodwork to run for this and switch to that, and run for something when they were running for something else. It’s interesting, at least to a politics junkie, and you’re reading this web site, so…

 
You were likely looking at the governor race, and this involves that to be sure. You may not have been following closely enough to know the candidate filing period just closed, or you heard but didn’t care what that meant. The weirdness has a whole lot to do with that however. It all starts, however, with the race for state attorney general (AG). Yes, an office a lot of people haven’t even heard of.
 
…READ MORE

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OMB Deputy Director Chester Geldmacher

MN-OMB Deputy Director Chester Geldmacher

Dateline: June 5, 2018 – St. Paul, MN

 

Deputy Director Chester Geldmacher, Minnesota Office of Management and Budget, today unveiled a new, supplementary addendum the 2018 Budget and Economic Forecast released last February. The addendum adjusts the economic forecast sharply upward based on what he called “a bold new jobs program and brand new revenue stream for the state.”

 

“With all these new DFL candidates filing for office today,” Geldmacher said, “who we know will be hiring campaign managers, consultants and staffers; booking office space, furniture, computers and hotel rooms; leasing cars and vans, buying print media and advertising, feeding volunteers and hiring law offices and public relations firms, we expect to see an immediate 3-4% bump in the state GDP through the end of 2018. The DFL is truly a party of rainmakers.”

 

Geldmacher went on to say that the state may very well reach a 0% unemployment rate over the next few weeks. “We may have to import workers from economically depressed states like Wisconsin and Kansas. It’s sure to drive up wages for all Minnesotans. This is an achievement never before realized in the history of the state.”

 

Millennials were roundly congratulating themselves on the “genius of our collective” over Twitter using the hastag #canwekukorwhut.

 

“It’s almost as if those DFL’ers were looking for ways to fully fund the schools by boosting state revenues all by themselves,” Geldmacher said. “Who says Democrats don’t know how to create jobs?”

-30-

Comments:
From Eric Ferguson:

I know this is spoof, but seriously, the DFL found candidates to run in all state House districts. That’s maybe a first for either party. It’s tough and praiseworthy, especially given how many state legislators run unopposed in other states. The MNGOP got close. They left two districts uncontested.

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2018 DFL State Convention Day 3

by Eric Ferguson on June 3, 2018 · 3 comments

This is the day 3 live blog. Day 1 (US Senate, secretary of state, and my explanation of convention procedures for newbies) is here, and day 2 (governor and AG) is here.
 

The convention hall as seen from visitor and alternate seating.

The convention hall as seen from visitor and alternate seating.


 
And it’s auditor day, and maybe the lieutenant governor endorsement. The filing deadline is Tuesday, so Erin Murphy will have to announce quickly if she hasn’t already. I’m not there today and trying to tune in to the livestream, but so far it isn’t working. While we’re waiting, I’d like to handicap the auditor race: no idea. No information to go on at all. When I mentioned it to anybody, no one was even thinking about it with governor sucking up all the attention. Might be well to remember that governors Mark Dayton and Arne Carlson held the state auditor position. Rebecca Otto didn’t get endorsed, but being auditor made her an immediate serious candidate for governor or whatever else she should choose to run for. So even aside from the actual job, it matters.
 
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2018 DFL State Convention Day 2

by Eric Ferguson on June 2, 2018 · 7 comments

Yesterday’s live blog got really long, so I decided to start a fresh post for today. See yesterday for an intro to what a live blog is, disclosure of biases, yesterday’s events, and I’m unlikely to explain procedural stuff or regurgitate opinions explained in yesterday’s live blog.
 
If you want to watch the live stream, go to The Uptake web site. If you want to glance over at the MNGOP convention also going this weekend, go here.
 
Today is governor and attorney general. My wife snapped a photo of the Matt Pelikan pelican in the concourse outside the convention hall. That’s fun.
 
Pelikan pelican from outside DFL state convention
 
The convention has reconvened. Lots of delegates missed yesterday, unsurprisingly since governor is the big attraction, so rules and procedures are being explained again. The noise level on the floor is more obvious here than watching on the live stream. So if you’re streaming, feel smug that you can hear better than people here. Though those of us here can hear the videos since we’re not under Youtube’s thumb. So there.
 
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DFL State Convention Live Blog

by Eric Ferguson on May 31, 2018 · 3 comments

The DFL state convention starts tomorrow (or today if you’re reading this on June 1). A “live blog” means that I’ll be blogging about it as it happens rather than writing up something later. I’ll be explaining what’s going on, and maybe opining on some things. We’ll see what provokes me to opinionating. The current plan is to watch the livestream on The Uptake Friday, which obviously you can watch yourself and I’ll post a link so you can do that. Saturday, I’m hoping to be there watching in person, so hopefully I’ll pick up some stuff that’s not apparent on the livestream. Sunday will likely be another livestream day. Yes, I maybe could have gotten a hotel if I hadn’t been so cheap and tried to reserve a room early enough and blah de blah. Fortunately I live in daytripping distance.
 

Convening time Friday is 4. The rest of the schedule I assume will be adjusted according to circumstances. The proposed agenda is posted here. Emphasis on proposed, since delegates can move to change the agenda when the rules and agenda are debated, and you never know for sure what will be proposed and what will pass. I’ve run some conventions as a local party chair, and worked on some as a committee member or with a campaign, and can attest that unexpected changes get made. I’ll spare you the “expect the unexpected” cliche — except I guess I just didn’t. You should have expected that. What you can expect is I will explain some of the “what on earth are they talking about” parts that conventions have.
 
Probably, you care more about the state office endorsements and not committee reports or party office elections or rules debates. So, according to the proposed agenda, Friday will see the endorsements for the US Senate seats and Secretary of State. Attorney General and Governor are scheduled for Saturday, and Auditor is scheduled for Sunday.
 
Actual updates and reportage start below. Keep refreshing during the convention for updates. If you’re curious about the 2014 or 2016 convention, check out those live blogs. See if you can catch me griping the same gripes (yes, you can).
 

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Rep. Keith Ellison is Boycotting the NFL

by Invenium Viam on May 31, 2018 · 0 comments

ellison

“On the stone that remains
Carved next to his name
His epitaph plain:
‘Only a pawn in their game.’ ”

            Only a Pawn in Their Game, Bob Dylan 1963

 

There are a lot of things I like about Keith Ellison. One is that he seems a deeply moral man who hasn’t yet been tainted by political office. That takes strength. I also admire his courage.

 

Last Sunday, he sent out a tweet saying he would be boycotting the NFL due to the owner’s player-protest ban. I plan to join him and to let owners know. Not because he is my Congressman, but because it’s the right thing to do.

ellision tweet

Let’s be clear about a few things:

 

1) 70% of the players in the NFL are black.

 

2) The vast majority of football fans are white.

 

3) Standing for the national anthem is not a necessary component of any sporting event. It was originally intended as a political statement and a kind of loyalty demonstration during times of political turbulence, but has since lost all real significance and is largely ignored by fans.

 

4) It remains a political statement forced on attendees by owners, even though it has devolved into a sham show of patriotism and a crowd-control measure for stadium management.

 

5) When NFL owners decree that football players of any color cannot make a political statement in counter-point to a political statement made by owners, they are denying those players their civil rights to freely express themselves. No one can own an exclusive right to free speech, or assume the power to deny others that right, in the public space. A football stadium is a public space.

 

6) The owners could fire players who protest, but that would garner the wrath of fans. Fining them is the equivalent of suppressing them economically for holding unpopular political beliefs. I would view that as a civil rights violation and a management policy that creates a hostile workplace. At best, if NFL owners want to suppress the free speech of players in the form of peaceful protest in the public space during the national anthem, they should dispense with the national anthem altogether.

 

7) The NFL earned $14 billion in revenues in 2017. NFL Commissioner Goodell has said he’d like revenues to reach $25 billion annually by 2027. The player-protest ban seems less about expressions of patriotism than it is about making money.

 

8) By elevating the (presumed) discomfort of some white football fans over the civil rights of some black football players, the ban looks to me like a new form of political suppression and plantation rule.

 

9) Since most (not all) of the football players who take a knee are black – and do so in protest of police brutality and murder of their fellow citizens of color – the player-protest ban is a form of social and political emasculation of black men in that the ban denies those players their right to think and act as free men. That, too, looks like another form of plantation rule but one that revisits the brutalities of the past.

 

10) Taken in total, the player-protest ban is another form of institutionalized racism, which must be actively resisted by men and women of good conscience.

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