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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

A Memorable Memorial Day

Posted: 05/28/18 18:57

by Alan Anderson

Today is a day to remember our fallen soldiers, those who have sacrificed their lives to keep our country safe and secure. These are true patriots who should be remembered with love and true honor.

And this day is memorable because our national leader, the president, has defiled the day by suggesting that our fallen soldiers would be proud of what he has done to make our country successful. He turned a day of remembrance and pride into one of self-adulation and boasting of things that he inherited from previous administrations.

The worst part is it comes from a man who refused to serve his country. A man who used his wealth to dodge the draft and refused to put his life at risk to serve his fellow citizens. In many ways his actions produce a country that is the polar opposite of that which our dear soldiers would lay down their lives.

So this Memorial Day remember our fellow citizens who have protected us all from enemy threats. And hope that some day our country will return to its former pride and have a leader who can honor our fallen with dignity and respect.

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DFL MN Governor's Endorsement Race

Category: 2018
Posted: 05/24/18 03:52

by Dave Mindeman

The DFL convention is coming up in about 10 days - so let's see where we stand.

In the race for Governor, we still have three candidates. Rep. Erin Murphy, State Auditor Rebecca Otto, and Cong. Tim Walz.

General consensus says that Walz has a lead in delegates but it is not a commanding lead. Murphy seems to hold a within striking distance 2nd place and Rebecca Otto follows very closely behind Murphy.

In other words, this is still anyone's ball game.

Walz claims to have broader state wide appeal - and I can go along with that. He comes out of the first district and although not considered a "progressive" candidate, he says a lot of the right things....even denouncing his NRA support from the past. Walz paired with Peggy Flanagan as Lt. Gov. early on. She is very popular with the progressive wing of the party. We shall see if that pays dividends at the convention.

Erin Murphy has garnered a lot of endorsements. More than I would have expected. Labor has been coalescing around her and she already had the Nurses Association on board. She has worked very hard on outstate visibility and it looks like she has made some inroads. Murphy chose to hold off on a running mate to keep options open during the convention.

Rebecca Otto stands with the Environmental community and has solid credentials in that regard. She offers a bold agenda. Her Lt. Governor selection was very interesting - Zarina Baber has been in IT for many years and could speak authoritatively on the MN IT problems.

All three have clear strengths - but there are weaknesses as well.

Walz will battle his perceptions on guns and his previous NRA affiliation will be brought up more than once. His progressive "conversion" will be something he will have to prove to make for broader appeal.

Murphy has made progress, but her statewide name recognition still has some holes. Coming from deep in the metro, her rural appeal will be questioned; although she has already come a long way in that regard. She did not "retire" from the legislature, so some may question her full commitment to the executive office.

Otto has the boldest agenda of the three and it is a very progressive one. Single Payer health care, environment legislation, $15 minimum wage, and more. It is ambitious and probably impossible without a full Democratic legislature, but give her credit for the boldness.

This endorsement will probably need several ballots. There is even the possibility of coming out with a no endorsement finale - which means a big primary contest. Walz may even go that route if he doesn't get the endorsement anyway.

We will try to keep you updated. I'll be at the convention.
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NFL And The Trump Flag

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 05/24/18 03:16

by Dave Mindeman

The NFL capitulated to Trump. Yes, they prostrated themselves in front of the orange one and followed the will of the President.

And the First Amendment is the victim.

NFL players are not disrespecting the flag. They aren't stomping on it. They aren't burning it. Although those acts would be justified under the first amendment as well.

But they are kneeling. With their hand over their heart. The flag is no worse off then it has ever been. But one person has decided that this is a sign of disrespect, and he is forcing others to accept his opinion.

There is no question that black Americans are being treated differently in many avenues of daily life. The NFL players were trying to draw particular attention to police treatment of the black community. They did it quietly. They did it non-violently. They did it respectfully....yes, respectfully.

The First Amendment has been protected for good reasons. Soldiers have fought and died for it's authority in our speech. But it cannot be respected when we allow particular points of view to be negated by authoritarian interventions.

Several years ago, Nazi's decided to hold a march and rally in Skokie, IL. A predominantly Jewish community. Skokie officials wanted it blocked, for good reasons. They feared violence and retaliation. It went to the courts and the courts sided with the Nazi marchers because the First Amendment has no favorites regarding what people can lawfully say and do.

They marched with city protection in place and heavy security. But it did not destroy the community. It provided some intense dialogue, but no one got hurt and the community soon got back to normal.

A triumph of reasonableness under the First Amendment.

But the NFL, under pressure from Trump, has mocked First Amendment rights. They are desecrating the flag themselves because they do not seem to believe in what it really stands for.

Liberty and freedom are not just for you and what you think. It is also for those that disagree with you and vocalize that disagreement. Yes, we are talking about liberty and freedom - the real liberty and freedom which sets us apart from every country on earth.

If the NFL insists on this dubious policy, then I hope the NFL Players challenge it - on the field and in the courts.

And they will be right and they will be patriots.
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