In Washington County, Emmer officials changed their strategy on Tuesday. On Monday, Republican observers asserted that ballots that had no marked vote for either gubernatorial candidate implied a vote for Emmer. On Tuesday, Emmer representatives abandoned that practice, said Kevin Corbid, Washington’s elections director.

No, really.  What the hell kind of strategery is this?  For those who have been following the recount, this level of cynicism is actually a little surprising.  It’s not to say that the Coleman/Franken battle wasn’t bad, but it exposed a lot of problems in the system.  We thought we took care of them.  We created a category of “Frivolous” challenges that didn’t move the count so that it was harder to game the narrative on the news.  But why do we tolerate that screaming little bastard, Sutton, and his constant attacks on the Minnesota electoral process?

Challenging a blank ballot should be a sanctionable offense.  We made rules after all.  We decided what made up for voter intent.

The sheet was created by then-Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson when he served on the ’08 recount Canvassing Board….But now Magnuson is a lead attorney for Republican Tom Emmer in the disputed governor’s race, and the sheet is proving little guide for Republicans disputing ballots in this recount. Ballots that would have been deemed valid by Justice Magnuson in 2008 are being aggressively challenged by attorney Magnuson’s team this time.

At the end of it all, I want to know what the price is for Eric Magnuson’s soul.  All we know is it’s under 1 million.  He should have bargained for more.


Just wanted to write on this one real quick…a rumor that blackwater was operating in saint paul for the RNC.

I won’t say for sure that they weren’t, but i strongly, strongly doubt it.

Yes, the number only riot gear cops are intimidating, but let’s face it. They have ID numbers on their helmets. That’s #7 on the top ten list of things Blackwater would never do. It’s a pale and empty nod to the St. Paul policy of handing out ID cards that have names and badge numbers to any citizen who complains.

Also true, that in the afternoons and evenings, there were spotters on the bridges leading into town from both north and south. I’m not sure who’s they were…my best info says they were Ramsey Cty Sheriffs. Fletcher, the idiot in charge of them, is dangerous in his own right…but is more penny-ante dictator than true fascist. Ham handed voter suppression and money laundering is actually more his style.

What happened over the last few days was in many ways wrong, and we’re going to be working for a long time to right things.

But i think it’s important to keep some perspective on what did and did not happen.

Blackwater is an unlikely story.

The truth was bad enough.


ps: photo credit to nezua

The Church in Saint Paul by The House of Mercy Band

Last Sunday was the last service of the House of Mercy in the historic First Baptist Church…a place that I had found as a home. It was a heavily emotional service, a farewell that I was simply not ready to bid. The change of homes reflects a change in denominations, throwing a serious wrench into my potential plans to be ordained. It’ll be Mister Civilian for some time, it looks like.

As usual, scribbled on the program with notes for sermons I wish I had the time to finish, and thought about what God is calling me to do in response to the grace I have known.

As we left, we brought our hymnals out to the moving van, and the police state came riding by, a troop of cops on bikes, apparently making their heavy presence known in advance. It felt profane.

I mutter under my breath…

“Render unto Caesar…”

And I realized that I probably had. If you give them your trust, you owe them your obedience.


Just catching up on news from home

Apparently, when there is poor communication between a family that has sought justice for their bullied 11 year old son and the courts…the correct response is to bring the victim to court in chains.

Do I need to mention that the kid is from the rez?

“He told me he didn’t understand what was going on. I could hear the tears, the fear in his voice…”

The DA responsible says the ruckus is unjustified, and “is a way to make Mille Lacs County look like it’s racist.”

Damn skippy. MN AG Lori Swanson has promised an investigation, but it sounds like CYA. The point is to “determine if the State has jurisdiction.” That’d better mean looking for a civil rights violation of the MN Constitution, but I’m not certain that it is.

“At the court hearing the next morning, in which the boy was brought into court in an orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles, prosecutors announced that they wouldn’t press charges and that he was free to go.”

Because Guantanamo isn’t just for Cuba anymore.

“Davis-Deyhle said her son is different since the experience. He used to enjoy and do well in school; now, she said, he doesn’t want to go.

‘Nothing can take away the memory I have of my son in the prison uniform and shackles and handcuffs,” Davis-Deyhle said. “Nothing will take that from his mind. Nothing will make him forget how tight those shackles were.”‘

Recall the quotes from Taylor I posted the other day…the spectacle of militarized and hyper-aggressive police states cows those affected, trying to neutralize the ability of the citizen to stand up to the injustice of the state. Shock and awe is an extension internationally of what communities of color have known for years domestically.

“The American Civil Liberties Union is also seeking a government investigation, and Brunkow said the family is likely to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.”

I happen to know the good folks of the MN CLU, and to my friends there…

Go get ’em, and bring these racist suckers down.


The Minnesota Senate has just voted to make seatbelt laws a primary offense, meaning that a traffic stop can be initiated for the sole justification of failure to wear a seatbelt.

Anyone wanna guess what the average person stopped for this looks like? Or how many “voluntary” drug searches will follow these seatbelt stops?

My guess?

Young, Black, male.

Sometimes, I hate my state.


As a quick break from studying for my last exam, part not sure in a continuing series: Minnesotans you oughta fraking know.


A member of the celebrated and infamous Doomtree crew, Dessa is a unique voice in the Minneapolis hip-hop scene, and spoken word artist extraordinare. Poetic with a beautiful voice, and lyrics that draw you in to think and feel…

I’ll just leave you with some lines from “Cubano” and tell you to go over there and find yourself a new musical addiction.

kiss the bottle, spin the girl
i forgot
but reconfirm that life can be fine
if you make it sacred

little bit of melancholy, never hurt anybody
even if it is a sickness
i’m oddly convinced that at least it’s honest
when life gets so tragic comic
a mattress with no sheets on it
fact is you have it, the task is to want it

if there’s a damsel in this dress
she’s too far gone to say, out of time
it won’t get better, baby
you can’t talk me down from this decline
you haven’t got a chance
but you can ask me to dance…


Jane Hodgson, a pioneer in reproductive justice, died this week.

She was a name in our state that embodied our brand of liberalism. Not born a radical, she was moved by the senselessness of watching patients come in after botched illegal procedures. While the Midwesterner is not often by nature a theoretician, we do not tend to suffer foolishness lightly. Especially when it concerns the welfare of another.

Jane put herself on the line for the good of her patients. A good doctor and a pioneer has passed away.

Rest in peace.


Via Feministe.

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