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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Massive Cover Up

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 01/05/18 22:29

by Dave Mindeman

For nearly a year the Senate Judiciary Committee under Senator Chuck Grassley, has been, at least in theory, been investigating the Russian interference in our election. At least we think that is what they are doing.

But most of Grassley's attention has been taken up with Fusion GPS and the Christopher Steele dossier. It would seem that Grassley has been assigned the task of discrediting that part of the Russian evidence.

His method of this is to stonewall any release of the Fusion GPS testimony (even though they have asked that it be released) and today, they decided (Grassley and Graham) to recommend charges be investigated or brought, by the FBI, against Christopher Steele - for theoretically getting some facts or dates wrong in his testimony.

A year of this and that is your best effort?

Grassley tells us that he cannot release the Fusion GPS testimony because making it public would interfere with Mueller's investigation. At the same time, Grassley says that he would be happy to have Fusion GPS testify again in an open session if they wish. So why would a public hearing NOT interfere with the investigation? Would Grassley be limiting the questions? I would assume the Democrats inquiries would follow the same pattern. Why would that be so different?

These Congressional (clearly partisan) hearings are producing nothing. The only things of relevance we find out about the Russian caper come from leaks and from the reactions of Trump. Whatever the Republican committees are doing is interfering more than helping.

When this all began nearly a year ago, the Republicans seemed genuinely troubled by Russian interference. They actually seemed concerned enough that they wanted to get the "facts". But as revelations came forward that implicated the Trump administration in several avenues of wrongdoing, suddenly the Republican investigation has been trying to look for alternate paths to relevance. So it is back to Hillary and the Clinton foundation and other Democratic plots in waiting.

This is one party government, America. This is what you get. You get lies, deceit, cover up, and tricks. No where do you get truth and discovery.

I once believed that eventually we would get to the bottom of all this. I thought there was a path to truth. But with all the Republican attempts to discredit the facts and individuals involved in finding that truth, it is clear that we are being obstructed in that path.

We have the entire government of the United States sent into massive dysfunction and dishonest manipulation of the facts. This is much, much worse than Watergate. At least at that time, there were people who believed in the truth.

Right now, we do not have anyone in power who cares one pebble about it.
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AG Sessions Wants To Go Back To Fed Marijuana Enforcement #Bad

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 01/04/18 09:41

by Dave Mindeman

Our drug policies are a nightmare and AG Jeff Sessions is about to make them impossible. Marijuana is not a dangerous drug. It is not a gateway drug. It HAS medicinal value.

The future is clear. Marijuana will be a legal drug for medicinal and recreational use. For AG Jeff Sessions to take us back to the "mad reefer" days and the foolish incarceration of marijuana possession is just ridiculous.

We have an opioid crisis - everybody agrees on that. But pain is also a serious problem and we do not have many alternatives. Marijuana could be one. And not just for pain, but it shows promise in epilepsy, autism, muscle diseases, and neurological function. And yet, we are prevented from researching these possibilities by archaic drug policy.

The war on drugs is over. Drugs won. And frankly, that is a good thing. We don't have to create new criminals. Let marijuana join the ranks of cigarettes and alcohol. Regulate it but make it legal.

AG Sessions is a proponent of an archaic past. He has not progressed out the '60's - the part of the regressive sixties, when we feared duck and cover and Cheech and Chong. Drug laws on marijuana have become a farce. We overcrowd the jails with non-violent offenders - who sometimes become career criminals because of being jailed for these drug laws.

Law enforcement has bigger problems to deal with -- free them up to combat the dangerous criminal behavior. Jailing a person for getting the munchies after a stoking session is as dumb as it sounds. We handcuff the police on guns and we waste their time on marijuana enforcement.

Sessions may personally have bigger things to worry about. Maybe he will get to know those marijuana "criminals" up close and personal after he is indicted himself..... for real crimes.
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Ranking The DFL Governor Candidates

Category: 2016
Posted: 12/31/17 05:11

by Dave Mindeman

2016 is upon us and the mid term election is looming. So many candidates and so many contribution emails. One of the bigger races in 2018 will be the race for Governor in Minnesota and the field is big.

Like it or not, you are about to get my first ranking of candidates. First, we are going to take on the DFL - and please remember, do not kill the messenger; it is ONLY an opinion.

#7. Lori Swanson - The oft rumored governor run for Lori Swanson has still not materialized. Since there is a healthy contingent of Attorney General candidates, one has to assume that she is not seeking re-election. However, there is one wrinkle in the mix. There is that extra Senate seat nomination to consider - and Swanson is not above challenging Tina Smith for the endorsement. As a Hatch protege, I have to say that I think this is a likely Swanson scenario. Swanson always has solid potential financial resources to get in late for either office. But for the moment, at least when it comes to the governor's race, she gets the low ranking.

#6. Tina Liebling - At the moment, I still consider Tina a regional candidate. And since that region is southern Minnesota, Tim Walz takes up a lot of the air down there. She has reached out to Bernie supporters but so far there is only a small amount of reciprocation. I haven't seen any evidence of stellar fundraising either. Dark horse.

#5. Erin Murphy - Murphy may be the hardest working candidate right now. She has traveled extensively and has made a serious pitch to greater Minnesota. It is difficult to gauge how well that is being received. And, again, the evidence of big fundraising numbers are not rumored, so financial reports in the new year will be a better gauge of where the Murphy campaign is at. She is building some name recognition and that could come into play for the endorsement.

#4. Paul Thissen - Paul has the credentials and experience. It is just difficult to break into the top tier with this field. I think his emphasis on transparency will give him an issue to work with - but it is difficult to say how his message on his tenure as speaker will play out. I'm afraid too many people have forgotten the progress made during his time in the Speaker's chair. And the rapid turnover back to Republican plays a part in that perception. Still, the record is good to draw on.

#3. Chris Coleman - OK, the top tier are where it gets difficult to rank. The level of name recognition and party work are very good for these three. And Coleman has had a high profile office as Mayor of St. Paul. His record is pretty good - St. Paul has done well. However, taxes will be an issue that the GOP will be pushing. Part of that issue is the reductions in LGA money during that time - but that will be difficult to explain, especially in greater Minnesota. Coleman has a strong campaign staff and is well liked by the party activists. But the competition is tough.

#2. Rebecca Otto - Otto has emerged as a very strong candidate. The difference between one and two are closing and becoming an even trade. Financial reports will be interesting. Rebecca's statewide credentials are stellar and even the Iron Range issues that dragged her candidacy seem to have been addressed...although still worth noting - especially regarding endorsement. The Otto campaign has a lot of energy and she is vocal and out front on detailed policy plans.

#1. Tim Walz - Walz still seems to have the most statewide appeal - at least for now. He will have some challenges when it comes to his appeal to the progressive base, but he has met most of that head on. It is like his inner progressive is coming to the fore since he is not having to defend his Congressional seat in a center right district. But those same votes may get him some support in the 7th and 8th districts, as well as his own 1st. I would definitely not put Walz way ahead of the pack - not yet. But, in my opinion, he is the front runner.

More on other races later.
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