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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

MN Legislature: I Guess We Are Going With "Nothing Is Needed"

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 05/05/16 00:44

by Dave Mindeman

They don't HAVE to do anything.

As we wind down the 2016 session, the House Republicans are stalling. They say we need a transportation bill - but they have nothing proposed that is realistic. They say they want to give tax relief - which means putting the budget back at risk, and still no defined proposal. They say that when those priorities are finished, then and only then will they consider a bonding bill - and even that will be no more than $600 million.

None of that HAS to be done. The budget was set last year. Nothing needs to be added.

And yet, outside the St. Paul bubble, people are looking for something to get done. The Chamber of Commerce is anxiously awaiting some transportation action....including transit. Rural Minnesota wants broadband help, as well as water projects and transportation. Southwest Light rail needs a state portion funded right now or we lose any chance at Federal help, as well as throwing the money already spent down the well.

Yeah, the House Republicans can play that end game they like to play so well. They can do nothing and wait for Bakk and company to come crawling to their position.

But nobody has to do anything.

And it will be the fault of the intransigent House Republicans. The obstruction Republicans. The Trump Republicans. The "no broadband" Republicans. The "no transportation" Republicans.

If that is what they want to go into the fall elections with....

so be it.
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Putting Coal Out Of Business

Category: Hillary Clinton
Posted: 05/03/16 13:57

by Dave Mindeman

Hillary Clinton is never going to do well in West Virginia.

Bernie will clobber her there. Donald Trump will have no trouble winning in November. West Virginia is far from being Clinton country.

That is why it says something about Clinton as a person, that she went there to campaign and take the disdain of coal mining country.

What is the reason? It is this statement made at a CNN Town Hall in March:

"We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."

She has walked that statement back to some degree. But the original statement has to be the reality. We have to got to eliminate coal as an energy source going forward. It is dirty. It is a pollutant. And it cannot be a part of our future energy consumption. There is no such thing as "clean coal."

But what Secretary Clinton needed to clarify, and she has tried over the past few days, is that the coal miners themselves are not the ones to punish. It is their livlihood, it is all they know, and they feel disenfranchised and dismissed.

That is one of the challenges of a changeover to renewable fuels. We have to account for the industries that we phase out. West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky have political clout when it comes to making these changes. Mitch McConnell is the Majority leader and he comes from Kentucky. Joe Manchin is a West Virginia Senator with a lot of say with the Democratic Senate. Rand Paul, the other Kentucky Senator, ran for President. Efforts to phase out coal run into political obstacles.

Before we can make a change in coal consumption, we have to find a way to transition miners out of that industry and into the new renewable economy. Clinton didn't intend to disparage the miners. They are certainly not the target. They are the victims of an industry that refuses to move out of an energy source that counters our attempts to combat climate change.

That transition for miners needs to be addressed now. If the coal mining industry is going to fight to maintain their share of energy consumption, then we have fight back and end their subsidies and retrain their workers.

Democrats will not be doing very well in West Virginia or Kentucky for the foreseeable future. But if the only way to gain their favor is to go back to coal, then the Democrats will have to forget about it.

Hillary Clinton may be walking back her statement on coal country for political expediency - but there was nothing untruthful about it.

That is the future reality.
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A Republican Future Coming To A Mall Near You

Category: Society
Posted: 05/02/16 20:42

by Dave Mindeman

A story of the future in the Republican United States....

I was doing some shopping at the Mall with my wife. When we got to the food court, I said:

Me: Hey, honey, I need to hit the bathroom, I'll be right back.

Her: OK, I'll check out what's available. Meet you in the back.

So, I head down the corridor and get to the bathroom entrances. For some reason, there is a security officer standing outside. As I approach the Men's Entrance, he holds up his hand.

Officer: Sir, can I see your ID.

Me: What?

Officer: Your ID, I need to see your ID.

Me: Why would you need to do that?

Officer: I have to make sure you are gender compliant.

Me: Gender compliant? What the heck is that about?

Officer: New regulations that took effect today. Only gender compliant males can use the Men's bathroom and only gender compliant females can use the Women's bathroom.

Me: Come on. Isn't it obvious that I am a male. I have facial hair and I dress horribly.

Officer: That is not a gender compliant criteria. Show me some ID.

Me: Oh for Pete's sake.

I pull out my driver's license and hand it to the officer.

Officer: Sorry, this ID is not gender compliant.

Me: What the hell are you talking about? It has my picture and under Sex, it say M for male.

Officer: That is no longer definitive. Do you have your birth certificate on your person?

Me: What? Are you nuts? NO! I do not have my birth certificate.

Officer: I am not appreciative of that attitude sir. I am afraid I cannot let you use this bathroom. Sorry.

Me: Oh come on. I have to pee pretty bad. I assume you do have urinals in there? Come on. I promise not to loiter around and do weird things.

Officer: Sorry, I have my orders.

Me: There must be something we can do.

Officer: Well sir, maybe we can straighten this out if you will come with me to the Gender Compliance Office Area....or GenCom, as we call it.

Me: You are serious aren't you?

Officer: Never more, sir.

Me: OK, but let's make this quick.

Officer: Step through this door and we will get started. What gender do you consider yourself?

Me: I am a male. My wife says I'm a male. And my doctor has me on record as a male. I am a male.

Officer: Do you have a pen*s?

Me: What?

Officer: Do you have a pen*s?

Me: Last I checked, yes. It's a pretty damn good one, too.

Officer: No need for sarcasm. Please drop your pants.

Me: Are you kidding me? Isn't that some kind of a personal violation?

Officer: Just following protocol.

Me: I think my bladder is starting to shrivel. Ah, for Pete's sake, OK, OK.

I unbuckle my pants and let them drop to the floor.

Officer: Now your underwear.

Me: (As I look at the glass windows, I start to see a crowd gather)
Good Lord...can't we do this somewhere a little more private.

Officer: Sorry sir - we have to do this in the open for your own protection.

I turn my back to the window and drop my underwear.

Officer: OK - looks like a pen*s. Little nervous are you?

Me: Don't get funny. Are we done?

Officer: Oh no sir. I need to get my sample kit.

Me: What?

Officer: My sample kit. We have to take a sample.

Me: For God's sake, a sample of what?

Officer: I have to get a pubic hair.

Me: Get a what?

Officer: I have to get a pubic hair and do a DNA test.

Me: Oh good Lord. Are you kidding me?

Officer: Never more serious sir. It is the only way we can be 100% sure. Let me just do a quick pluck.

Me: Ooooouuuuucch!

Officer: Sorry, must have nicked a couple of the little buggers.

The officer takes his tweezer full of pubic hair and places it in a specimen bag.

Officer: OK - as soon as we get the results we can make you gender compliant.

Me: How long will that take?

Officer: Oh, about a half hour.

Me: (a bit agitated) You have got to be kidding me. (As I gingerly dance on my toes back and forth)....I still have to go really bad. How the heck am I supposed to hold it that long?

Officer: Well, there is one other alternative.

Me: Anything...what is it?

Officer: You can get a personal urinal and I'll let you use that in our broom closet.

Me: Personal urinal? Where the heck am I supposed to get that?

Officer: Well, right next door is a store that sells them - UrinalsAreUs. I think they have a modest one for about $39.99.

Me: Oh. My. God. You don't happen to have an interest in that store, do you?

Officer: Not my place to say.

I pull up my pants and run out the door and back down the corridor. My wife looks at me and down at her watch.

She: What the heck took you so long?


I say this as I turn the corner and run into UrinalsAreUs.
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