February 7th, 2017
YES! On the move. BNSF has permit to trigger avalanches to mitigate risk of more in this HUGE snowstorm — over 5 feet of snow dumped on Montana. What a mess! Amtrak says service should start Friday… we shall see!
February 3rd, 2017
Bad news for regular people trying to get by, the protective measures to keep us safe from “Wall Street” grifters are being rolled back:
Presidential Memorandum on February 03, 2017
Executive Order on February 03, 2017
This is the one I’m most concerned about:
Executive Order on January 30, 2017
I’ve been focused on the Muslim Ban and the federal court festivities, so haven’t read these yet. Have at it! They’re your for the clicking…
February 3rd, 2017
From Geekwire – Press Conference on courthouse steps
Written ruling “soon.” Looking forward to that Order — covers the parts they challenged, the Constitutionally of parts 3 and 5, per AG’s Office.
On Monday, Washington State’s Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, filed a Complaint in federal court challenging the constitutionality of tRump’s Executive Order 13769, and a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order to stop enforcement of this Order. Several jurisdictions have filed for, and received, restraining orders regarding particulars of that Executive Order, but this Washington State filing was the first generally challenging the Constitutionality of the Executive Order.
Thank you, Washington State, for posting these pleadings:
And just a bit ago, Minnesota’s Attorney General Lori Swanson joined our state with Washington State in suing Trump.
Read the Complaint, it’s a delight, particularly because it quotes from tRump’s campaign page where he lays out his intent to stop Muslim immigration — and it’s still posted on his site as of earlier today — what an idiot:
AG Lori Swanson (with Taffy, above) had this statement today:
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has joined a lawsuit against the federal government that alleges that the January 27, 2017 Executive Order that imposes blanket entry restrictions to the United States for people from certain countries is unconstitutional.
Attorney General Swanson said: “It does not pass constitutional muster, is inconsistent with our history as a nation, and undermines our national security.” She added: “America can keep its people safe without sacrificing bedrock constitutional principles.”
The Attorney General joined the lawsuit filed earlier this week by Washington State, which is supported by major corporations concerned about the impact of the travel ban on the economy and their employees. The lawsuit alleges that the Executive Order violates the equal protection, establishment, and due process clauses of the United States Constitution and the federal Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which prohibits discrimination in the issuance of visas on the basis of nationality, race, or place of birth or residence.
The lawsuit alleges that the Order is overbroad in imposing a blanket travel ban on people from certain countries “and sweeps within its ambit infant children, the disabled, long-time U.S residents, those fleeing terrorism, and those who assisted in the United States in conflicts overseas” who do not pose a security risk.
The lawsuit describes the impact of the travel ban on people with a lawful right to be in the United States, such as parents and their children, students with valid student visas, and scientists and other employees with valid work visas, who either cannot leave or return to the United States under the Order and some who have been separated from family. The lawsuit also describes the chilling effect of the Order on recruitment for employers and academic institutions.
Four different federal judges have temporarily halted certain detentions under the Executive Order.
February 3rd, 2017
Some have said that the Renewable Development Fund is sacred. WRONG. The Renewable Development Fund is profane, not sacred, all the way from its origins to its uses. It’s now under scrutiny at Minnesota legislature, and institutional memory is nowhere to be found in this discussion. See HF 235 and SF 214.
The Renewable Development Fund (RDF) came into being in the 1994 Prairie Island bill, and was to be a per cask compensation fund for the Prairie Island Indian Community for storage of nuclear waste next door and extension of Prairie Island nuclear plant life. That compensation was turned into the RDF in a late night deal by “environmental” groups lobbying, of which Bill Grant (now Deputy Commissioner, Dept. of Commerce, formerly and then Izaak Walton League) was an integral part, Michael Noble (ME3, now “Fresh Energy”), and George Crocker (North American Water Office) too. Prairie Island Indian Community was supposed to get priority in grants, but that never happened. The RDF was administered by 3 from Xcel, plus Bill Grant, and one other “environmental” rep. The composition of the group giving out the grants has changed, and there is now someone from PI on it, but that’s recent. (Full Disclosure: I represented Florence Twp. fighting the “in Goodhue County” alternate site mandate for nuclear waste and the Township worked very mindful of, and often in tandem with, PIIC, where it fiercely refused to acquiesce to Xcel and say “STICK IT THERE” to PIIC. The working relationship continues and PIIC is now largest private landowner in Florence Twp.).
1994 Prairie Island bill — Ch. 641, MN Session Laws (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/?year=1994&type=0&doctype=Chapter&id=641).
The RDF was a material term of the 2003 Prairie Island bill, where as part of the deal millions of RDF money was to go to the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project. Bill Grant was primary again, and when the Mesaba Project was stricken in one House session, a red-faced Tom Micheletti came flying down the hall yelling at Grant “We had a deal, we had a deal!” That deal was later added back in, and Micheletti’s Excelsior Energy coal gasification plant, Mesaba Project, was added to the factors to keep PI open. “Environmental groups” got massive grants to promote coal gasification. Micheletti got $10-12 million from RDF for Mesaba (and lots more from IRRB and DOE) and other regulator perks in the 2003 law, like exemption from CoN, and a mandated PPA with Xcel. (Full Disclosure: I represented MNcoalgasplant.com against Mesaba Project, and with CAMP and help from Xcel, we got the details of coal gasification, that project was killed, and the info killed others nationwide, but Mesaba still has a site permit in Taconite from PUC valid until 2019!)
2003 Prairie Island bill – Ch. 11, MN Session Laws (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/?year=2003&type=1&doctype=Chapter&id=11)
On Monday, January 23, the Red Wing City Council voted to accept a $2 million grant from RDF to install a garbage grinder, a project they’ve been lobbying for for years, where they’ll take in garbage from the whole county, grind it up, and burn it in Xcel’s garbage burner here, its air permit expired in 2009! GARBAGE!!! DOH! GARBAGE is not clean, it’s toxic! The purpose of all this is to keep the incinerators open and burning. (Full Disclosure: I have been representing clients being screwed by Xcel’s plan for “ash mining” in their incinerator ash landfill in Red Wing, part of which includes a plan to build a Red Wing laydown yard and crusher on a site half of which is designated Water Tower Burial Mounds — yeah, really. That’s been exposed:
My partner, Alan Muller, is an incineration expert and has worked with groups to stop RockTenn; Midtown Burner in Phillips, Rockford City and Township; HERC uprate, etc. See the Tyler Hills Neighbors Comments: Comment Extension for Lab USA EAW & Xcel & Lab USA Solid Waste)
The RDF has been a slush fund for deals enabling nuclear, promoting coal gasification, and greasing the skids for scams of great financial and environmental magnitude and impact. It should be shut down and turned over to Prairie Island Indian Community as originally intended.
February 3rd, 2017
There’s at least one, and I believe 2, federal court hearings today on tRump’s Executive Order 13769, the one banning refugees and immigrants from 7 countries, the one that has left people detained at airports, prohibited to get on plans, people who have been thoroughly vetted over 2+ years, people who have green cards, people who are LEGAL immigrants to this country. One would think that with the scrutiny surrounding this Executive Order, they’d be cautious. Nope. They’re not.
Norway’s former Prime Minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, was detained! His passport noted the 2014 visit, he was a speaker at a human rights conference. His passport was a diplomatic passport, and said that he was a former Prime Minister of Norway.
Former Norway PM held at Washington airport over 2014 visit to Iran
Former PM Bondevik’s detention should be sufficient to get even the most reticent Norwegians sanding stoically in the streets!
Meanwhile, the long slow process of taking this administration down piece by piece has begun. May this be the beginning of the end of the tRump administration. So much damage and it’s only been two weeks.