Expressing her confidence that Hillary Clinton would do well, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar declared it “Power Pantsuit Nation Day” in Minnesota. It is unclear whether this less-than-scientific method of predicting voting results will prove accurate, but Klobuchar appears to be trying to give progressive feminists another slogan to use in the event of a Clinton victory. Or not use, one could hope.
The horrific deaths of Philando Castillo in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, give us an updated and up-close glimpse of police encounters gone bad—but they are rooted in decades of problematic policing in America. “Historically in this country, the police have never really been the friends of the black community,” says Neill Franklin, a former officer with the Baltimore Police Department and current executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P).
Franklin talked with Reason TV Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie at this year’s Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, Nevada, pointing out that slavery may have ended officially in the late 1800s, but a lot of policing was born out of that era and the one that followed, when police deliberately enforced laws in ways that targeted black citizens. Even today, police are tasked with enforcing laws—from driving without a license to missing a court date—that tend to target poor communities and communities of color.
“You know a $250 fine doesn’t mean much to people who have money,” says Franklin. “But when you enforce these policies in poor communities, a hundred dollar fine can devastate a family.” Read the rest of this entry »
Legendary musician Prince has died at the age of 57
The artist known as Prince has died … TMZ has learned. He was 57.
Prince’s body was discovered at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota early Thursday morning.
Multiple sources connected to the singer confirmed he had passed.
The singer — full name Prince Rogers Nelson — had a medical emergency on April 15th that forced his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois. But heappeared at a concert the next day to assure his fans he was okay. His people told TMZ he was battling the flu. Read the rest of this entry »
The bill is crucial to preserve academic freedom and the ability of faculty members to blow the whistle when they observe wrongdoing.
Joseph Cohn reports: 2016 is right around the corner, and it promises to bring good news to college students and faculty members in Washington state. When the Washington State Legislature reconvenes in January, State Representative Matthew Manweller plans to introduce HB 3055, a bill that includes items on FIRE’s wish list.
“The bill’s wide-ranging scope includes a provision that would prevent campus administrators from forcing faculty members to affix “trigger warnings” on class syllabi that caution students that certain topics might be unsettling.”
Included in the bill’s meritorious provisions is the Campus Free Expression Act (CAFE Act), similar to a new law in Missouri, which would prevent public institutions of higher education from limiting expressive activity in the open outdoor areas of campus to tiny, misleadingly labeled “free speech zones.”
“The legislation also forbids institutions from punishing students or faculty for so-called ‘microaggressions’—defined by proponents as ‘everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.’”
Another important part of Representative Manweller’s legislation is a provision aimed at ensuring faculty at the state’s public colleges have the freedom to speak out on institutional policy and matters of public concern without fear of reprisal. The bill is crucial to preserve academic freedom and the ability of faculty members to blow the whistle when they observe wrongdoing.
“Due process protections are also front and center in Representative Manweller’s comprehensive bill. Like legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support earlier this year in North Dakota, the bill would provide students accused of non-academic offenses that could result in lengthy suspensions or expulsions with the right to hire lawyers to represent them and fully participate in the campus process.”
The bill’s wide-ranging scope includes a provision that would prevent campus administrators from forcing faculty members to affix “trigger warnings” on class syllabi that caution students that certain topics might be unsettling. Under the legislation, individual faculty members would decide if and when they want to include such warnings. The legislation also forbids institutions from punishing students or faculty for so-called “microaggressions”—defined by proponents as “everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” Read the rest of this entry »
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — An anonymous donor has offered a $1 million reward for credible information leading to the pair of Judy Garland‘s sequined, ruby red slippers stolen from a museum in her Minnesota hometown.
John Kelsch, executive director of the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, says the donor is from Arizona and is a huge fan of Garland and the 1939 movie.
The reward offer requires the exact location of the slippers and the perpetrator’s name.
The 10-year anniversary of the theft is in August. The slippers were insured for $1 million. Kelsch says they could be worth $2 million to $3 million now.
NEW YORK — The FBI has arrested three men who allegedly attempted to fly from New York to Turkey in hopes of eventually joining ISIS in Syria, according to a complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday.
The suspects — identified as Abdurasul Jaraboev, 24; Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19; and Abror Habibov, 30 — face charges that include providing material support for terrorists, authorities said.
The men allegedly discussed staging attacks in the United States, according to court papers. Read the rest of this entry »
From NRO‘s Morning Jolt:
Here’s the headline from a new poll of Minnesota likely voters commissioned by American Encore and conducted by Magellan Strategies:
Only 41 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Sen. Franken, while 45 percent had an unfavorable view of him. Only 44 percent approve of the job he is doing.
• 54% of respondents disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, and only 38% approve.
• Only 40% of respondents think Al Franken deserves re-election.
[VIDEO] CHILL: Festival Snuffs Pro-Fracking Documentary; Will Present Films Critical of Industry InsteadPosted: January 27, 2014
Speaking of controversial documentaries… The Washington Times‘ Valerie Richardson reports: A Minnesota film festival is being accused of pushing a political agenda by yanking a pro-fracking documentary from its lineup while keeping two anti-fracking films on the program.
Organizers of the Frozen River Film Festival in Winona, Minn., decided last week to cut “FrackNation,” a widely discussed 2013 documentary about hydraulic fracturing, reportedly citing concerns about the film’s financial links to the oil and gas industry and the filmmakers’ inability to attend the screening.
The decision represents the first time the festival has pulled a film in its nine-year history. Instead, the festival plans to fill Sunday’s slot with a forum discussion, “Documentaries Today: My Fact Your Fiction?”
Filmmaker Phelim McAleer, who produced the “FrackNation” with Ann McIlhenney, said he wasn’t buying the festival organizers’ explanation.
“It’s a cover story,” said Mr. McAleer. “They’re under pressure from environmental elites not to show this film.”
He noted that while “FrackNation” was pulled, the festival is still showing “Gasland2,” a follow-up to the intensely anti-fracking 2011 documentary “Gasland,” and “Dear Governor Cuomo,” a documentary about anti-fracking protests in New York.
Ezra Dulis reports: Extreme winter weather like the storms across the United States’ midwest and northeastern regions bring danger, inconvenience, and a huge mess for adults who have to commute to work.
However, for kids, it means no school—and plenty of time to play in the snow.
For this trio of Minnesota brothers, the week’s snowstorms have become a massive and quite impressive wintry art project.
Mark Andrew, 63, was at a Starbucks inside the mall at around 7 p.m. Thursday when a man grabbed his phone off his table and ran off.
When Andrew went after him, he was tackled by two teenage girls – aged 18 and 17 — one of which began beating him with a billy club. During the attack, they told Andrew, “We’re going to kill you,” police say.
Andrew was left with a large gash on his head that required nine stitches. He has since been released from the hospital.
Emily Cahn reports: Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., raised about $83,000 in the third quarter, according to his third-quarter fundraising report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Peterson’s fundraising haul is $10,000 less than last quarter’s fundraising total — both considered to be paltry sums for a long-time member of Congress. He reported $227,000 in the bank.
Such a small haul raises questions about Peterson’s plans for 2014 because weak fundraising can signal that a member is looking to retire. On Tuesday, Peterson’s campaign said in a statement that the congressman is still considering his plans for 2014.
“It’s premature to read too much into Congressman Peterson’s report this fundraising quarter given that he does not yet have an opponent, he is still considering whether he will run again, and the amount raised is similar to what he’s raised previously in off-year quarters,” the campaign said in the statement. “At this time, he remains focused on getting the farm bill completed.”
Republicans publicly pushed Peterson to retire earlier this year, knowing that Minnesota’s 7th District would be more competitive if he was not on the ballot.
GOP nominee Mitt Romney carried Peterson’s district with a 10-point margin in 2012.
There are no Republicans currently challenging Peterson this cycle. However businessman Scott Van Binsbergen has been eyeing a bid, and moved closer to making a decision last month, he told CQ Roll Call in a phone interview. Minnesota’s 7th District is rated a Democrat Favored contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call
When a visually impaired customer accidentally dropped a $20 bill at a Hopkins, Minn., Dairy Queen, employee Joey Prusak said he was shocked by what happened next.
“The lady behind him just picked it up and put it in her purse,” he told Yahoo News. “As if no one saw it.”
What Prusak did inspired another customer to write an email to the store manager praising the 19-year-old for his calm and kindness. The email went to Reddit, was picked up by the Daily Mail and quickly turned Prusak into a nominee for the Nice Guy Hall of Fame (if only such a place existed).
Prusak, who has been working at Dairy Queen since he was 14, told Yahoo News that he recognized the visually impaired customer. “He’s a regular and he always pays with a debit card,” he said. “He doesn’t use a wallet, so when he pulled out his card, the cash fell to the ground.” Read the rest of this entry »
BY GUY BENSON
The terrible news came yesterday:
Best-selling author Vince Flynn, who wrote the Mitch Rapp counterterrorism thriller series and sold more than 15 million books in the U.S. alone, died Wednesday in Minnesota after a more than two-year battle with prostate cancer, according to friends and his publisher. He was 47. Flynn was supporting himself by bartending when he self-published his first novel, “Term Limits,” in 1997 after getting more than 60 rejection letters. After it became a local best-seller, Pocket Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint, signed him to a two-book deal — and “Term Limits” became a New York Times best-seller in paperback. The St. Paul-based author also sold millions of books in the international market and averaged about a book a year, most of them focused on Rapp, a CIA counterterrorism operative. His 14th novel, “The Last Man,” was published last year…Flynn died at a hospital in St. Paul, surrounded by about 35 relatives and friends who prayed the Rosary, said longtime family friend Kathy Schneeman. She said his deep Catholic faith was an important part of his character. “That’s what he would have liked. He talks about his faith just as much as he would talk about politics and current events with our group of friends,” Schneeman said…Flynn is survived by his wife, Lysa Flynn, and three children.
A remarkable American success story cut tragically short. On last night’s Hugh Hewitt Show,Mary Katharine and I interviewed Flynn’s fellow thriller novelist, Brad Thor, who offered an upbeat yet moving tribute to his departed friend. An excerpt:
GB: Brad, talk about your relationship with Vince. How did you get to know him? And how did you two interact as sort of friendly rivals?
BT: Well, Vince was fantastic. When I wrote my first book, Vince was the first blurb that I got. I mean, not only that, but when I was looking for my agent, I had been introduced to Vince through a friend in the publishing industry, and Vince said you know what? Why don’t you talk to my agent? I mean, people are so protective of their turf, and yet here’s a guy who said yeah, we’ll throw the doors wide open. You know, you’re starting out. I remember what it was like when I was starting, and if I can help you, let me do it. So I mean, just generous to a fault, this guy. But you never saw a frown on his face, always very, very happy, very funny guy. You know, the last time I can remember seeing him on TV is he was doing press for The Last Man, his last book. And I remember seeing him on Imus. And Imus said you look fantastic, and he says well, I’m not going through chemo, I’m going through radiation. You know, people expect you to look terrible, and he looked great. And he was so positive that he was going to beat this. And it’s just, it’s stunning to hear this.
MKH: Yeah, such a sad loss, and really, I’m learning a few things I didn’t know before. I had known his name and of his books, but learning about a pretty amazing way to start in the fiction writing business, which is just to say I’m going to give this a shot, and when I get rejected a bunch of times, I’m going to self-publish. That’s a pretty cool way to go about doing things, sort of an inspiring story of breaking into the business.
BT: And May Katharine, that’s before you had all the self-publishing people that you do now.
BT: I mean, this guy…
BT: Yes, it’s like the Grisham story of going from bookstore to bookstore to bookstore in his own hometown saying will you take this book? Will you stock it? But that’s the kind of guy he was. I mean, this is a true American success story, because he’d wanted to be a Marine, and he couldn’t do it because he got medically DQ’d, and so here’s this fantastic guy that says I’m going to go after my dream, and I’m going to get it, and he did. God bless him. If this is what was in the cards, and if this was God’s plan for Vince, how fortunate is he to have captured his dream and to have gone after it as opposed to being 47 years old in a job he hated saying boy, I wish I’d only tried to write a book? How much better are we, the people who love his writing, and the people he touched because of his successful career, that he went after his dream?
The full transcript is available here. RIP.
via The Greenroom.
- Vince Flynn, RIP (books.blogs.starnewsonline.com)
- Minnesota Author Vince Flynn Dies At 47 (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
- RIP Vince Flynn (themindofscott.wordpress.com)
- Funeral Set For Monday For Novelist Vince Flynn (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
- Best-selling author Vince Flynn dies at age 47 (khou.com)
- Vince Flynn Dies; Best-Selling Author Was 47 (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- A Sad Day: Vince Flynn Dies at 47 (thewritesavage.wordpress.com)
- Best-selling author Vince Flynn dies at age 47 (kvue.com)
Representative Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) just can’t wrap his head around why Apple wouldn’t “step up” to pay more in taxes.
“It seems to me they ought to want to help to pay the expenses of this country, so that everybody can have a fair shot,” Ellison said on MSNBC’s The Ed Show over the weekend.
”I don’t think they’ve got warm blood, I really don’t.”
Ellison found it “really disappointing” that Apple wasn’t willing to pay higher taxes, arguing that it “wouldn’t be a multi-billion-dollar corporation but for the fact that the United States of America made it possible for them to be that successful.”
“Taxes are not a punishment,” he explained, “taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society.”
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook testified before a Senate subcommittee last week over the company’s tax-avoidance practices. Schultz later questioned whether what Apple was engaging in was “morally right,” concluding ”I don’t think they’ve got warm blood, I really don’t.”
Adding an unexpected dose of humor, and a welcome, long-overdue pledge of personal hygiene, two outspoken celebrities are including themselves in Axelrod’s courageous mustache-shaving wager.
Beloved television actor and outspoken socialist Ed Asner, and activist/actress Janeane Garofalo announced this week that they’re willing to part with treasured follicular adornments, in response to the shave challenge started by Obama senior advisor David Axelrod, who promised to shave his mustache of 40 years on national television if Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania on Election Day.
“I will come on Morning Joe and I will shave off my mustache of 40 years if we lose any of those three states”
“If Obama fails to win Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania, I will go on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, on election day, and shave my legs”
“If Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania to Romney next Tuesday, I’ll go on the Johnny Carson show, and shave my ear hair”
We assume Ed meant to say the Jay Leno show. Stay tuned for more celebrities volunteering to join David Axelrod in shaving on national TV, in support of Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.
- A New Mustache Challenge (thepage.time.com)
- Axelrod wagers to shave mustache (politico.com)
- Axelrod Wagers To Shave Mustache After 40 Years (alan.com)
- Things Getting Hairy for Dems: Axelrod Wagers Mustache in Election Outcome (boiseweekly.com)
- DAVID AXELROD: ‘I Will Shave Off My Mustache’ If Obama Loses Michigan, Pennsylvania Or Minnesota (businessinsider.com)
- Axelrod to shave mustache if Obama loses Pa., Michigan or Minnesota (seattlepi.com)
- American Mustache Institute: Axelrod’s Mustache Wager ‘Incredibly Irresponsible’ (usnews.com)
- Axelrod Bets His Mustache (politicalwire.com)
- Axelrod: I’ll shave if Obama loses Pa., Mich. or Minn. (usatoday.com)