2014 Hennepin County Commissioner race already underway

Just after this year’s election, Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman announced that she won’t seek reelection next year. Her Third district seat covers the southwest quadrant of Minneapolis and all of St. Louis Park — as a result, the action in this open seat race won’t really be next November, but rather in the DFL endorsement and primary processes. Continue Reading

Syria: We live in strange times

A Democratic President gets the Republican Party to turn dove-ish on military intervention in the Middle East, but holds back from military action thanks to his ex-KGB Russian counterpart’s diplomatic proposal, which tosses that Democratic President a lifeline in both foreign and domestic affairs. All this, after the two have been at loggerheads for months over issues ranging from trade to an NSA leaker who escaped the US and sought asylum in Moscow. The President’s base reflexively opposes his call for military strikes, the base of the party opposite will flip flop like a dying fish if it means opposing whatever he says is good, but in a single prime-time speech, he managed to (temporarily, at least) convince 61% of listenersof the value of what his stance. Continue Reading

With Bachmann leaving (!), are Graves’ chances better or worse?

Hey, did you hear the news? We won’t have Michele Bachmann to kick around anymore, come January 2015. In the face of ever-growing controversy, increasing federal scrutiny of her failed Presidential campaign’s activities, and downright ishy poll numbers, Bachmann has made what might be the first rational decision of her congressional tenure and decided not to run for reelection. Continue Reading

Boston, Syria, Texas: Thoughts elsewhere

I’ve made my home, my career, and my family here in Minnesota. But I’m originally from Boston, Massachusetts, born and bred. So I’ve been watching the news over the past week on a roller coaster of horror at the bombings, sadness for the victims, fear for friends and family back east, amazement at the tenaciousness of volunteers and professionals on the ground helping or tracking down the alleged bombers, relief that despite some close calls, all my friends and acquaintances are unscathed (despite some being a bit too close to the blasts for comfort), and a host of other emotions too. Continue Reading

Obama budget: A useful exercise in political theater?

I’ve been watching with a mixture of disdain and wonder the release and public flagellation of President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal. Disdain mostly because a Democratic President actually just proposed cutting benefits to current Social Security recipients (along with the rest of us, when we get there) through this Chained CPI bullpucky, and wonder because of what a brutally aggressive political gambit it represents. Continue Reading