Politics & Policy

This Black Friday, direct some of that cash toward #Ferguson organizers

(Photo by Neon Tommy published under Creative Commons License) Los Angeles protesters take to the streets after a grand jury on Monday announced that officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the shooting and killing of the unarmed teenager Mike Brown.

With the release of a grand jury’s decision not to indict Mike Brown’s killer, many of us are feeling a lot of anger and sadness about the racist systems in place in our country. It warms my heart to see all the Black Lives Matter hashtags and Ferguson protest invites popping up on my Facebook newsfeed.

Keep on posting and marching, but listen, there’s something we have to talk about:



Big Stone County residents speak out against Islamophobic remarks by county GOP chair

Update: At the Star Tribune, Jennifer Brooks reports 'Bigotry' on Facebook costs Big Stone GOP chair his day job. Brooks notes:

The Minnesota Republican Party, which condemned Whitley's remarks las week, has not yet responded to questions about whether Whitley will keep his postion as the chairman of the county GOP. [end update]

Since Bluestem posted Facebook status, Big Stone Co GOP chair calls Muslims "parasites," writes "frag em" at Mecca, Minnesota's branch of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has issued a press release calling for state and national Republican leaders to condemn county chair leader Jack Whitley's remarks.


The immigration reform trap (or how the GOP took the bait)

So Obama finally showed some backbone and did what he should have done before the election–he acted on immigration. Had he done this before the election as he said he would (if Republicans did not act) then maybe more Hispanics would have voted for Democrats and the November results would have been different. Now we see Republicans engaged in a faux act of anger, declaring that they will get even. The Republicans should be grateful that Obama acted–it takes immigration off the table without Congress having to act, or not act, and therefore it removes a thorny problem for the GOP. But foolishly and predictably the Republicans have protested, only guaranteeing that they will continue to guarantee that Latinos vote for Democrats, perhaps for the next generation.


In Facebook status, Big Stone Co GOP chair calls Muslims "parasites," writes "frag em" at Mecca

UPDATE: Whitley appears to have removed his profile from Facebook, following a wave of condemnation from both Democrats and Republicans following Jennifer Brooks' post about Whitley in the Star Tribune. We'll be posting about the reaction shortly. [end update]

A status posted today on the personal Facebook page of the Big Stone County Republican chair Jack Whitley suggests that an understanding of the Minority Liberty Alliance's message of inclusion hasn't quite taken hold among conservative leadership living beside Minnesota's western boundary waters.


Was it political cowardice or bad strategy?

UPDATE: Heard from the Speaker of the Minnesota House, sadly shortly to be minority leader (replaced by this guy), and looks like some state-specific comments of mine might not hold up. Details here.


Twin Cities immigrant community welcomes Obama's action

(Photo from El Colegio's website) El Colegio's school mascot, Los Jaguares.

Maria Cervantes was among dozens of Latino community members who assembled Thursday night at El Colegio High School in Minneapolis to watch President Obama’s televised announcement on immigration reform.


What you need to know about the India-US agreement at the WTO

Just ahead of the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, Australia (November 15-16, 2014), India and the United States announced a breakthrough in their trade negotiations impasse over agriculture. That fight had brought trade negotiations to a crashing standstill in July after the few months of tentative optimism among negotiators that followed the eleventh-hour agreement in at the Bali Ministerial Conference in December 2013. Confidence in the multilateral rules-based trading system had reached an all-time low, and while the response was muted (an agreement between two WTO members is not the same as an agreement among all), the media coverage made it clear the news of the U.S.-India agreement was very welcome in trade circles.


Minneapolis, St. Paul earn perfect scores on municipal LGBT equality

(Photo via Wikipedia) Minneapolis

Minneapolis and St. Paul are among just 38 cities across the country to receive a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.


New Minnesota House committee structure unveiled

(House Photography file photo)

House Republican leadership announced the chairs and committee structure for the 89th legislative biennium scheduled to convene Jan. 6, 2015.


Advocates: Minnesota needs more alternative fuel

As Minnesota lawmakers push for the use of alternative fuel, some say progress should be quicker.

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