Friday, June 29, 2018

Cortez the Killer

Good news!
Insurgent Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to take her budding political career all the way to The White House, her mother told The Post on Wednesday.

“Her aspiration is to be the president,” Blanca Ocasio-Cortez, 55, said at the candidate’s childhood home in the Bronx.
President Chavez, that is. Your most reliable source for leftist nonsense, The Nation, has more:
Echoing the slogan of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s movement, [Ocasio-Cortez] asserted that

In the wealthiest nation in the world, working families shouldn’t have to struggle. It’s time for a New York that’s good for the many. I am an educator, organizer, Democratic Socialist, and born-and-raised New Yorker running to champion working families in Congress. It is well past time that we in NY-14 had a true, lobbyist-free representative who lives in our community and fights on behalf of Bronx + Queens families. This movement for Congress is about education and healthcare; it’s about housing, jobs, justice, and civil rights. It’s is about preparing for the future of our environment, energy, and infrastructure. It’s about championing the dignity of our neighbors. And it’s about getting money out of politics.
She'll be in Washington five minutes and she'll be up to her elbows in lobbyists. But there's more! Did you ever wonder what socialism really means? Allow Ocasio-Cortez to explain:
When we talk about the word socialism, I think what it really means is just democratic participation in our economic dignity, and our economic, social, and racial dignity. It is about direct representation and people actually having power and stake over their economic and social wellness, at the end of the day. To me, what socialism means is to guarantee a basic level of dignity. It’s asserting the value of saying that the America we want and the America that we are proud of is one in which all children can access a dignified education. It’s one in which no person is too poor to have the medicines they need to live. It’s to say that no individual’s civil rights are to be violated. And it’s also to say that we need to really examine the historical inequities that have created much of the inequalities—both in terms of economics and social and racial justice—because they are intertwined. This idea of, like, race or class is a false choice. Even if you wanted to separate those two things, you can’t separate the two, they are intrinsically and inextricably tied. There is no other force, there is no other party, there is no other real ideology out there right now that is asserting the minimum elements necessary to lead a dignified American life.
Dignity looks like this in Venezuela:

And the headlines look like this:

A true wrong turn in Albuquerque
But I'm sure it will be different this time.

Madness in Annapolis

Another shooting, this time in Annapolis, Maryland:
A gunman blasted his way into the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis with a shotgun Thursday afternoon, killing five people, authorities said.

Journalists dived under their desks and pleaded for help on social media. One reporter described the scene as a “war zone.” A photographer said he jumped over a dead colleague and fled for his life.
The guy who did it? A nut with a grudge against the paper:
Police took a suspect into custody soon after the shootings. He was identified as Jarrod W. Ramos, a 38-year-old Laurel man with a long-standing grudge against the paper.

Ramos was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, according to online court records. He did not have an attorney listed; a bail review hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday in Annapolis.
What was the issue?
Ramos’ dispute with the Capital Gazette began in July 2011 when a columnist wrote about a criminal harassment case against him. He brought a defamation suit against the columnist and the organization’s editor and publisher. A court ruled in the Capital Gazette’s favor, and an appeals court upheld the ruling.

Neither the columnist, Eric Hartley, nor the editor and publisher, Thomas Marquardt, are still employed by the Capital Gazette. They were not present during the shootings.
The article in question was called "Jarrod Wants to Be Your Friend" and Slate has an excerpt:
“’I just thought I was being friendly,’ [the woman] said… That sparked months of emails in which Ramos alternately asked for help, called her vulgar names and told her to kill herself. He emailed her company and tried to get her fired.

 But when it seemed to me that it was turning into something that gave me a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach, that he seems to think there’s some sort of relationship here that does not exist … “I tried to slowly back away from it, and he just started getting angry and vulgar to the point I had to tell him to stop,” she told the judge.

 “And he was not OK with that. He would send me things and basically tell me, ‘You’re going to need restraining order now.’ ‘You can’t make me stop. I know all these things about you.’ “I’m going to tell everyone about your life.” “An email in April 2010 said, ‘Have another drink and go hang yourself, you cowardly little lush. Don’t contact you again? I don’t give a (expletive). (Expletive) you.
Not the sort of friend anyone would want. In other words, this guy was operating in his own world, independent of anything otherwise happening around him. There won't be any place for the usual ghouls who enjoy using mass murder to push their agendas on this story. Then again, who knows?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Game On

So, Anthony Kennedy is finally moving on. And the Democrats aren't taking it well. Apologies for again going NSFW, but let's face it, when you quote Leftists you're going to be NSFW:

To sir, with love

She bought her "u" in bulk
And then there's this brilliant suggestion:

Help us, Obi-Wan Merrick, you're our only hope

We are not dealing with rational people here. You probably knew that. A few observations:

  • Mitch McConnell is not a great legislator, but he's smarter than he sounds. And his ploy to keep the Court at 4-4 until the election looks better by the day. Gorsuch has been great and it's likely the next pick will be equally good. And because Chuck Schumer tried (and failed) to block Gorsuch, the door is wide open now.
  • Some lefties think gay marriage will be on the chopping block. I doubt it. That ship has sailed. It's possible we'll see long-term negative effects from changing the definition of marriage, but it's not evident at the moment. Roe v. Wade has always been a much more important issue.
  • I'm Catholic. I oppose abortion because it devalues human life. So I do think Roe needs to go. Having said that, banning abortion is premature. Those of us who are pro-life have to win hearts and minds. Even if Roe were to be overturned in the next year or two, I'm certain abortion would remain legal in most of the country. The only thing that will end abortion is winning hearts and minds. The Supremes can't do that.
  • If I were to guess about which person Trump will pull off his short list, I think it will be a woman. The three favorites, in my mind, are Amy Coney Barrett, Joan Larsen, and Margaret "Meg" Ryan. Barrett is 46 years old, the youngest of the three, and would be a home run, but she will also be the toughest lift. Not that it matters otherwise, but Ryan is a graduate of Benster's alma mater, Knox College. All three have outstanding credentials. 
  • I do not think Trump will nominate Mike Lee or Ted Cruz, at least not this time. He's going to need every vote in the Senate he can get, so pulling a sitting senator out of the mix is a no-go. If Ruth Bader Ginsburg moves on to her reward later in his presidency, those gentlemen will be in play.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Awaiting Janus

The most important case before the Supreme Court this term has yet to be announced, but it could come today. Janus vs. AFSCME concerns Mark Janus, an employee of the State of Illinois, who is not a member of the AFSCME public employee union, but is compelled to pay "fair share" dues to AFSCME. It's the same topic that led Wisconsin Democrats to the mattresses when Act 10 passes in 2011. If the Court rules in favor of Janus, it will be a crippling blow to public employee unions, which are now a huge part of the financial and power structure of the modern Democratic Party, especially here in Minnesota.

On balance, this term for the Supremes has been very good for conservatives. If this ruling goes in favor of Janus, it will be more or less a clean sweep. And if Anthony Kennedy retires after the end of the term, Trump will get a chance to name a second justice who should be more reliable than Kennedy, who enjoys a little moral preening as a perk of his job.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tin soldiers and Maxine coming

This summer, I hear the drumming:
Staffers and allies of President Donald Trump face a new normal in today’s heated political environment: the potential for harassment and protests anywhere they show their faces — both in their public and private lives.

Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters shocked political observers over the weekend by encouraging liberal mobs to harass Trump officials at restaurants, gas stations and even at home.

“Already you have members of your cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants,” We have protesters taking up at their house who are saying, ‘No peace, no sleep. No peace, no sleep,'” Waters told a liberal crowd on Saturday, pledging to “win this battle.”

“If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd,” the congresswoman added. “And you push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome any more, anywhere!”
I know I blogged about this yesterday, but this needs to stop now. And some smarter Democrats realize it:
Pelosi urged caution Monday about expanding the protests against Trump Cabinet members beyond official events. Linking to an article about Waters’ comments, Pelosi took to Twitter to urge civility.

“Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable. As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea," she said.

Other high-profile Democrats, like former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod, called it counter-productive.

“Disgusted with this admin’s policies? Organize, donate, volunteer, VOTE! Rousting Cabinet members from restaurants is an empty and, ultimately, counter-productive gesture that won’t change a thing,” he said in a tweet.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York went even further on the Senate floor Monday, saying that copying the president’s abusive tactics isn’t the answer.

"No one should call for the harassment of political opponents. That's not right. That's not American," he said. “The president's tactics and behavior should never be emulated. It should be repudiated by organized, well informed and passionate advocacy."
I doubt Schumer can manage the "well informed" part, but he can get the other two. But the Dems have unleashed forces they can no longer control, which Schumer also realizes. We've already seen what happened to Steve Scalise. It's inevitable that some SJW is gonna make someone a martyr. And when that happens, it's going to get really ugly.

Useful advice for Jamie

NSFW at the very end, but for a reason. I can't embed this, so click on the link.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Little Woke on the Prairie

Last year it was knocking down statues. Now it's Laura Ingalls Wilder getting smashed:
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name will be removed from a major award because of how the “Little House on the Prairie” author portrayed minorities in her novels, the children’s division of the American Library Association voted Saturday.

“This decision was made in consideration of the fact that Wilder’s legacy, as represented by her body of work, includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness,” the Association for Library Service to Children said in a statement after the unanimous vote.
Wilder really should have been more woke. On the bright side, Wilder has no living descendants who could get hassled in a restaurant, meaning the SJWs will be able to marshal their resources to jump down the throat of Trump administration officials seeking nosh.

This will end well

Let's go all Antifa on their asses, Maxine Waters suggests:
“History will record while he tried to step on all of us, we kicked him in his rear and step on him,” she yelled, whipping up the crowd.

“If you think we’re rallying now, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” she warned.

“Already, you have members of your Cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants,” she continued as the crowd erupted, “who have protesters taking up at their house, who say, ‘No peace, no sleep. No peace, no sleep,'” she continued.

“And guess what,” she predicted, “we’re going to win this battle because while you try and quote the Bible, Jeff Sessions and others, you really don’t know the Bible.

“God is on OUR side!” she declared, as the crowd went wild. “On the side of the children. On the side of what’s right. On the side of what’s honorable.”

“And so, let’s stay the course. Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up and if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she yelled.
Mob justice, baby! I'd surely love to see Rep. Waters express those sentiments to Steve Scalise, by the way.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Easy Rider

It's been almost 50 years since Peter Fonda was relevant, but I give him this much -- as an incoherent raging SJW, he's got mad skillz. His now-deleted tweets, for the record, with apologies in advance for the language:
Posterity cuts both ways, pal
He had more to say:

Not a particularly helpful suggestion
But then he had his best idea yet:

The Secret Service will take your suggestion under advisement
He's a charming man.

In case you've forgotten, or were confused

The invaluable Andrew McCarthy reminds us why Hillary Clinton's homebrew email server was such a horrible idea:
A detailed description of the grossly improper communications system Clinton established would have illustrated that she knew full well the risk she was running. A large percentage of the secretary of state’s job involves classified matters. We are not talking merely about the exchange of documents marked classified but, more commonly, constant deliberations about sensitive intelligence in classified documents, briefings, and conversations. Clinton’s willful concoction of a home-brew communications network — not a harried official’s occasional, exigent use of private email for official business, but her rogue institution of a private, non-government infrastructure for the systematic conduct of State Department business — made the non-secure transmission and storage of classified information inevitable.

Horowitz’s fleeting conclusion that the decision not to charge Clinton was rational and not necessarily motivated by political considerations hinges on the assumption that the intent evidence truly was as sparse as the FBI and Justice Department described it. Of course the decision to decline prosecution was defensible, if not incontestable, if one accepts that false premise. And Horowitz does not just accept the premise; he treats it as a background assumption, writing as if there’s no other conceivable way to look at the case.

What made Clinton’s conduct outrageous was not that national-defense officials emailed each other frequently. That happens in every government agency that deals with national security. The unique fact here was that Mrs. Clinton willfully set up a system in which those communications would transit through and be retained on a non-secure system, outside the government’s layers of protection. That system was extraordinarily vulnerable to penetration by hostile actors, a fact of which Clinton was undeniably, intimately aware. (See, e.g., Clinton’s banning of State Department employees from using private email for official business due to security concerns; Clinton’s citing of an ambassador’s use of private email for government business in firing him; Clinton’s acknowledgment that she “received a security indoctrination concerning the nature and protection of classified information”; Clinton’s memoir, Hard Choices, in which she vividly recounts the thorough training she received about protecting intelligence from the omnipresent threat of espionage, including instruction to leave communications devices on planes with batteries removed during her frequent foreign travel, as well as the need to use an “opaque tent” or “a blanket over our head” when she and her staff read “sensitive material” outside the secure U.S. government setting.)
The primary advantage of being a Clinton, or a Democrat generally, is being given the benefit of the doubt. Even when you destroy evidence, as Ted Cruz reminded us in this parody back in '16:

As usual, there's a ton more at the link. Worth your time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Narrative and Obsession

I don't want to write about the largely manufactured crisis on the border. The issue is real enough, but the current hysteria is manufactured. While there are alternatives to the MSM available, and many people avail themselves of what's available, the MSM still controls the narrative, so that's what people are talking about this week, instead of FBI corruption, or the World Cup, or something else.

You might remember this cheeseball song from 1984:

I feed you I drink you 
My day and my night 
I need you I need you 
By sun or candlelight 
You protest 
You want to leave 
Oh, there's no alternative

We're living under a lot of obsessions these days. And for a lot of us, we don't see it. More than anything else, that's what I find frightening about this moment in time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Read the whole thing

I'm assuming there's another side to this story, but it's a hell of a story:
[Michael Chambers's] nightmare began when a Mississippi social worker, Kyra Reed (who also goes by Kyra Carson), knocked on his door demanding entrance without a warrant. Chambers was never told what the charges were. "She didn't tell me what I was accused of and demanded to interview my 6-year-old daughter without my presence," Chambers told PJM. "I told her that was unacceptable, but she was more than welcome to talk to her with me there without me interfering. She seemed perturbed, but accepted that. She then told me she wanted to search my house," said Chambers. "I told her I had no problem with that, but wanted her to get a court order or a warrant as I am a bit of a constitutionalist and would just feel better having that respected. She was immediately angry. She hopped in her car without another word and drove off."

An American asking for a proper warrant signed by a judge to search his private property is 100 percent within his rights to do, or so we thought. "The next day, I got my daughter early from school and went to the CPS office with her to speak to a supervisor to make sure they understood that I wasn't hiding or attempting elusiveness of any sort," said Chambers. "I allowed the supervisor to look her over and explained my concerns about my insistence on a warrant before the search. I was told that the warrant wasn't a problem to get and that they would do that so we could close the case and finish out the interaction."

But that's not what happened.

"I returned home and got a call from my new landlord, saying that they had contacted him demanding that they be let in," continued Chambers. "He told them that they needed a warrant." CPS did not stop trying to get around Chambers' insistence that his Fourth Amendment rights be invoked. "A different supervisor then called me and once again demanded entry," said Chambers, exasperated. "I again explained that I needed a warrant before I could allow this and reminded her that, according to their own statements, this was easy for them to get and I would prefer that they did." It is perfectly reasonable to ask for a government agency to obtain a warrant before searching someone's home.

"The original worker [Kyra Reed] showed up at my door again, this time with two sheriff's deputies," said Chambers. "She said that she didn't need a warrant and I needed to let her in," he said incredulously. "At this point I became afraid, but I pointed out to her that if she didn't need a warrant, she wouldn't be asking for entry. The officers would simply force me to let her in." Luckily for Chambers, the police officers knew better. "The officers stated that they would not [illegally search his home] as she had no judge's order," he said.

According to Chambers, "She [Kyra Reed] told me that if I made her get a warrant, she would take my child instead." Reed left again, unable to obtain illegal entry. But she didn't stay away. "She returned with another sheriff's deputy," said Chambers. "I answered the door thinking that surely she would have [the warrant] this time and hopefully, we could just get this done and over with. I was instead handed a subpoena to appear in court in the morning and was told that they had taken my child from school." No warrant was ever obtained.
That's a long pull quote, but there's a lot more to the story. You should read it. And if you've been paying attention, you'll not be surprised to learn the same sorts of people who are in full shriek about the current situation at the border are the ones who are trying to take away Michael Chambers's daughter.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Back from SLU

We are back from our visit to St. Louis. Since we're catching up, let's drop a few bullets:

  • Saint Louis University (SLU) has a lot of resources, including an endowment of over a billion dollars. That gives SLU a competitive advantage over many of its usual competitors. Money in and of itself doesn't guarantee successful outcomes for students, but it makes a big difference in things like physical plant and opportunities for overseas programs. 
  • The city of St. Louis has a lot of issues, but the campus area is pretty nice. It sits a few miles to the west of the downtown area and immediately to the west of the SLU campus is the Central West End neighborhood, which reminded Mrs. D and I of the nicer sections of Chicago. Forest Park, a mile to the west of SLU, is a magnificent urban park that's more like Central Park in New York than anything here, although Como Park in St. Paul has some similarities. It looks like a good place to spend four years.
  • Turning to politics, I have a question -- if you commit a crime in this country, are convicted, and are sentenced to prison, what happens to your children? Depending on your circumstances, a lot of things could happen. Your kids may end up living with your spouse, grandparents, other family. They could end up in foster care. One thing is certain -- they will be separated from you. Is that cruel? Sure, but it's one of many reasons you shouldn't get sent to prison. What's happening at the border now means parents are getting separated from their children. That's cruel, too. But it's also predictable. If anyone you know is shrieking "this is not what we are" on social media, they're not telling you the truth, or they're dumb.
  • It sure seems like people in the DFL are in a hurry to send Ilhan Omar to Congress to replace Keith Ellison, Wonder why.
  • We saw Incredibles 2 yesterday. I recommend it. It's not as flat-out brilliant as the original movie, but it's full of fun and it has some interesting things to say about our current world, especially social media. But to say too much would lead to spoilers, so I won't do that. Worth your time, for sure.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

On the way

Arches are a thing down there
More traveling today. Light posting for a few days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Wait and see

Grip and grin
No one knows if the agreement Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will mean anything. If someday there is peace in Korea, that would make the world a safer, better place. Considering we were wondering if Kim was going to nuke Guam a year ago, we are seeing progress.

Trump is a dealmaker -- it's been the basis of his life. I have reservations whether Kim can be trusted and I'm guessing Trump does, too. The hard work will come later on. For peace to truly come to Korea, the North cannot continue to have an existential military force pointed across the demilitarized zone. Once even a hint of openness comes to the Hermit Kingdom, it will be almost impossible for Kim to keep control. He has to know that, too. But for this moment, it's worth noting that something we never thought we'd see has happened.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Rejected Tim Pawlenty Campaign Slogans

Haven't done one of these in a while.
  • Why the hell not?
  • New, Improved, Old Fashioned
  • You could do worse. In fact, you have
  • More baggage than American Tourister!
  • Woke? Nah, barely awake!
  • Ain't too proud to beg, as I have demonstrated for the past 8 years
  • I won't scare the horses, at least not much
  • More of a lounge act than a lobbyist
  • Probably better than a blunt stick in the eye
  • A convenient way to meet recycling mandates!
  • Every generation throws a Stassen up the pop charts

Calliope, Part Three -- Minnesota CD5

When incumbent Keith Ellison jumped into the race for attorney general, that meant there would be a free-for-all for his seat in Congress. In my mind, this race becomes the most interesting race of this cycle, because it will tell us a lot about where the metro DFL really is these days.

If the DFL is still sane, Margaret Anderson Kelliher will be the obvious choice. The former speaker of the Minnesota House and 2010 endorsed DFL candidate for governor, Kelliher is a reliable liberal but. . . how do I put this? She's a recognizable political type, the earnest liberal who is willing to talk with conservatives. She would represent CD5 much in the way Ellison's predecessor, Martin Olav Sabo, once did. Kelliher is about the best one could expect out of the district. But she has plenty of competitors. Patricia Torres Ray has been in the state Senate for a dozen years now and hasn't done a lot to make a difference there, but she'd not embarrass anyone. Then there are two candidates who represent the two sides of Ellison. Ilhan Omar, a Somali immigrant with an, ahem, interesting past,  was just elected to the House in the last cycle. She seems to have a lot of push behind her candidacy, as she carries Gov. Mark Dayton's endorsement. Then there's state Senator Bobby Joe Champion, an Ellison protege with a trail of ethics investigations in his past, along with two other minor candidates. On the Republican side, there are candidates, including the endorsed candidate Jennifer Zielinski, but Republicans aren't going to win CD5.

So what happens? The motivated group wins. Kelliher would be the smart choice for the district and for Minnesota, but I would not be surprised if Omar wins. Advantage -- Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Calliope, Part Two -- The Race for Attorney General

While the race for governor is certainly the most consequential of this election cycle, the attorney general matters quite a lot, too. And it's going to be interesting now that Lori Swanson has decided to run for governor.

The big fish on the DFL side is Keith Ellison, who has been in Congress for six terms and until recently served as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee. The term "problematic" is overused, but that's Ellison. He's never quite gotten around to disavowing his previous support of Louis Farrakhan and he's mostly gotten by with a compliant local press burying his misdeeds. A guy who likes to skirt the law ought not be Attorney General, but he has to be the favorite, even though there are plausible alternatives. The endorsed DFL candidate, Matt Pelikan, has no chance, despite the value of the endorsement. He's a DFL activist from Northfield who was able to run Swanson off by trashing her intermittent support for gun rights and by being more woke generally, but he's a silly candidate in every other respect. There are also three other plausible candidates on the DFL side, including Rep. Debra Hillstrom of Brooklyn Center, who is an Anoka County prosecutor for her day job. Hillstrom would likely perform in office like Swanson has; if you have to have a DFLer in the position, she'd be competent. Another candidate, Mike Rothman, served as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. He's a bright guy but he's coming out of the bureaucracy and it's not clear he has the presence to get past the other candidates. Also in the race is Tom Foley, who was Ramsey County Attorney years ago. He could certainly do the job, but he's getting long in the tooth. Ellison has to be the favorite, but he'd be a disastrous pick for the job. It would have been better if Rothman and Foley had dropped out, leaving Hillstrom to run, but that didn't happen. Advantage: Keith Ellison.

On the Republican side, the endorsed candidate is Doug Wardlow, who served one term in the Minnesota legislature. In an ordinary year, he'd be the latest Republican sacrificial lamb, but he might have a chance, particularly if Ellison is the candidate for the DFL. Wardlow is a bright guy and a solid conservative; if he could win, he'd be great. Just before the filing deadline, Wardlow got a challenger, the longtime state senator from International Falls, Bob Lessard. Lessard is a legend, but he's a legend because he's 87 years old. While I have great respect for his service to the state, he's past his sell-by date by at least 15 years. Advantage: Doug Wardlow.

We'll look at some more races in the coming days.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Calliope -- the Race for Governor

We're back from celebrating graduation ceremonies for Benster and Fearless Maria. These were joyful events and we're all proud of their accomplishments. It was also good to get away from writing about politics for a few days.

As we left town for Benster's graduation, the nominating conventions for the DFL and the Republicans took place. As it happens, a party endorsement doesn't mean much these days, as we're clearly headed for primaries in most races. And it's going to be a circus. I'm going to run the races down, but it's going to take multiple posts. We'll start with the governor's race:

Governor: On the Republican side, no surprises. Jeff Johnson, who is a very nice man, won the endorsement over what turned out to be token opposition. His actual opponent is former governor Tim Pawlenty, who is back in the game after making his pile in the lobbying biz. No one in the party really likes Pawlenty, but he's won statewide office twice, a claim no other active Republican can make, and he's got more financial backing than King Canute. I've met Jeff Johnson and, as I said, he's a very nice man. But Mark Dayton kicked his butt in 2014 and there's no evidence Johnson is any more formidable now than he was four years ago. Advantage: Tim Pawlenty.

Meanwhile, the DFL race is going to be entertaining as hell. Somehow Tim Walz, who had all the advantages going in, lost the endorsement to Erin Murphy, a gun grabbing state rep who was Majority Leader of the House at one point. She picked another gun-grabbing Erin, the publicity-hungry state rep Erin Maye Quade, as her running mate. Meanwhile, Walz, who gave up his seat in Congress to run for governor, finds himself in a tough spot, because the outstate support he was counting on may not be forthcoming, since he had to go all-in with the gun grabbers to seek the nomination. And to make it even more amusing, Attorney General Lori Swanson threw her hat into the ring after she lost her AG endorsement to something called Matt Pelikan. Swanson has the charisma of lint, but she's a cagey operator and made a smart pick for a running mate in Rick Nolan, the crusty old congressman who is retiring from CD-8. There's a significant advantage in having the endorsement for Murphy/Quade, but they will be a hard sell anywhere outside of the 494/694 loop. From what I can tell, Walz is screwed -- he's not going to get enough votes from the activists to get through. If the DFL were smart, they'd probably pick Swanson, but I'm guessing they'll be erring with the Erins. Advantage: Erin Murphy.

I expect we'll be hearing a lot about guns in the general election. The gun grabbers have been highly visible in the run-up to the election, but there are a lot of Second Amendment stalwarts in this state, as former DFL candidates such as Mike Hatch discovered to their pain. I also expect we'll hear a lot about the bizarre and petulant performance of outgoing governor Mark Dayton in the election. Dayton is not on the ballot, but his crazytown performance in office over the last two years is going to be a problem for the DFL, especially outside the 494/694 loop. There will be significant appetite not to reward the DFL for their perfidy, but Pawlenty has a lot of baggage. It's going to get interesting, and certainly it's going to be expensive.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Caps and gowns

Light, or maybe no, posting the next few days. Benster gets his college diploma on Sunday, Fearless Maria gets her high school diploma on Tuesday. If something merits attention, I'll get to it soon!