Rep. Steve Green, MN House District 2B

Late last month, I read an article in the Park Rapids Enterprise:

Constituents flock to town hall meeting

It’s about a Town Hall meeting where state Rep. Steve Green lied openly, throwing out a wildly false statement about voter fraud along the lines of tRump’s millions of fraudulent votes.  24,000 fraudulent voter registrations in the 2008 Senate race?  WHAT?!?!  And though the crowd apparently recognized that he was lying, the paper reported the statements and crowd’s reactions, but didn’t challenge him on the fabrication.  WHAT?!?!?!  The press has a responsibility to expose liars.  So I fired off a missive to the reporter… and just now, got notice from a friend that they published it!  Here it is:

Letter: Rep. Green’s claim is false

Here’s the quote: “The Republican lawmaker suggested that most voter fraud occurs in Hennepin County. Green claimed there were 24,000 new voter registrations that had no one living at those addresses in the 2008 election of Senator Al Franken.

The audience audibly sniggered their disapproval. A few called him a ‘liar.'”

And look what kind of legislation he’s behind… HF 551HF 551 would gut Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, from the description, “Pollution Control Agency and Natural Resources Department rulemaking authority eliminated, and sunset or enactment of existing rules provided.”  Click for larger version:

 

Yes, it’s been a long march.  We’ve been slogging through for years — this Public Utilities Commission rulemaking began in 2012. We’ve been going to these PUC sponsored Advisory Group meetings, holding our own small group and public meetings about these rules, reviewing and commenting, and by we, I’ve been joined by Suzanne Rohlfing, of North Route Group (CapX 2020 intervenor group in Hampton-La Crosse docket) and Marie McNamara, of Goodhue Wind Truth (intervenor group in Goodhue Wind/AWA docket) who have hung in there all these years.  So early next month, we’re going before the Commission with the draft rules.  Four plus years!  It’s about time!

We sorely needed rulemaking, there were major statutory changes in 2005 (2005 Session Laws Ch 97 – Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell), and substantial holes in the process, which all came out in the CapX 2020 Certificate of Need and Routing dockets (CapX 2020 is why the 2005 statutory changes were rammed through, to facilitate Xcel’s transmission dream).  I’ve filed a few Petitions for Rulemaking to push these forward, the one below was 2011!

Overland – Petition 4 Rulemaking-7850

And we’ve been working on rules for Minn. Ch. 7849 and 7850 for over four years now.  The docket was opened and first Comments solicited in December 2012.  Finally, this Notice yesterday, that the drafts that will go to the Commission:

February 2017 Draft 7849

February 2017 Draft 7850

And notice of the Commission meeting issued today!

20172-129322-01_Notice of Commission Meeting

To look at the docket, go to the PUC SEARCH PAGE and search for docket 12-1246.  I’ve posted links to the drafts on this docket.  It’s important that the public be able to review what’s gone on over the last four years!

And after this, wind rules, Minn. Rules Ch. 7854, are next!  Yes, PUC, we will hold you to this!

 

tRump sycophant on the train

February 15th, 2017

Whew, what a long train ride.  This was not exactly relaxing, and was an example of the extreme weather of climate change.  There were two avalanches in Montana that shut down the rails, one, then tracks closed and reopened, then another, and tracks reopened the day before our train left (panic, looking at flights just in case), and then a mudslide that took out Amtrak service between Portland and Seattle and it’s still out, that affected both Coastal Starlight and Empire Builder, though they did get Empire Builder back in service in time for us to get to Portland.  Then the Oroville dam, OMFG, 180,000+ people evacuated  (and late yesterday, order just lifted for some).  Horses evacuated too, people taking over county fair grounds, how on earth do you evacuate 180,000 people?!?!?  And that meant that the Amtrak Coast Starlight couldn’t go through northern California past Redding, and had to go around the evacuation area, so it was to be a bus from 2:30 a.m. in Redding to 6:30 a.m. Sacramento, but that was delayed too as we sat on sometimes napping on a siding in the train until the busses of passengers arrived from the delayed northbound train at 6:30 a.m.  We were lucky and got to go on the nearly vacant crew bus down to Sacramento, and from there back on the train to Paso Robles.  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  More on that later…

On the train, over dinner, it’s luck of the draw for dining companions.  One dinner on the Empire Builder, we were in the mountains where the avalanche was (dark, couldn’t see a thing). They seated us with a guy our age, and then a younger woman came in and joined us. Near the end of the meal (whew, good timing!) she said she’d seen this huge building in Chicago, and snapped a photo, and looked at it later and saw it was TRUMP! She said she was surprised and aghast!  Wanted to do some photoshopping.  Well, that opened the door, and the guy next to her, a recently retired intelligence service staff, boasted he was a Trump supporter and there was no excuse for all the violence (who’s being violent, 1 million women, NOT!) and he started going off on refugees, particularly Syrian, that the camps are ISIS infiltrated, and then how the courts were all wrong about the EO13769 because tRump’s Executive Order was about “national security” (doubt he’s even read the Executive Order or the Court Orders). The latter, he knows nothing about.

Blatant misstatements like that, despite our captive situation in the booth, AAARGH, I just can’t let slide.  I brought up the challenged language of the EO pretty much verbatim, the sections challenged which gives priority on those who are minority religions in those seven predominately Muslim countries, so on its face is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

… to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.

And of course there’s tRump’s repeated anti-Muslim campaign promises, and pledge to end Muslim immigration, which he leaves up on his website (I-N-T-E-N-T anyone?):

And then there’s the court order, held up by the Federal appellate panel that upholds the District Court Order granting the Restraining Order, where it was noted that even though specifically asked, the gov’t had provided no proof of any security basis, nothing, no evidence at all, and WA/MN had provided much evidence that it was religion based. The diner advocated for it to work its way through the legal system, but didn’t even acknowledge that 5 of 5 judges taking this on ruled against it, and this case is the general constitutional challenge, not plaintiff specific, and it IS in the legal system, losing at every turn.  He of course did not acknowledge tRump’s vocal public dissing of the judge and the Order, and now the 3 judge appellate panel and their order — HELLO — we’re looking at a constitutional crisis (tRump’s choice to hang a portrait of “Pres. constitutional crisis” Andrew Jackson should be evidence too!).

But our dining companion is not a lawyer, and not a reader or curator of the facts or law of EO13769,  just an “intelligence” worker if he’s going to raise it should be conversant of the Executive and Court Orders, who should know the backgrounds of those who have been terrorists in the U.S. (clue: not those 7 countries), and who should be well aware of the white U.S. citizen terrorists in our midst that tRump is removing from scrutiny by focusing only on those 7 countries and Muslims generally.  This tRump devotee is one of so many who don’t care about facts.  Expect that you will be challenged!

Then Flynn’s ejection happened, and I looked for our “intelligence” retiree yesterday to get his take (SNORT!) as I’ve been seeing rumblings of intelligence community revolt.  One would think that as a former member of this “intelligence community” that Flynn’s (and others) Russian involvement would trigger significant concerns about his leader tRump.  But as my ex would say, “Goes to show you don’t think.”

The tRump Regime is slowly coming apart, each day there’s something new.  Access to ability to challenge these things in the courts takes immense resources that most of us don’t have.  But each of us does have the ability to spend a little time every day to make more phone calls (202-456-1414, they answer now, but won’t take a message, forward to staff person, or open Comment line), send more emails, fill out more contact page forms, attend more Town Hall Meetings, and spread the word.  Figure out your focus, what issues you know best, and get to it.  It is having an impact.

Now, where is it that we apply to be “paid protesters?”

Not my President.

Trump’s Inaugural Address:

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: thank you.

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.

We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.

Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.

This is your day. This is your celebration.

And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now.

You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.

Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves.

These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

We are one nation – and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.

The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry;

Subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military;

We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own;

And spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.

The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.

But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future.

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.

From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.

From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.

I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down.

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.

We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.

We will get our people off of welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.

We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world – but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow.

We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.

At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.

When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.

The Bible tells us, “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.

When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.

There should be no fear – we are protected, and we will always be protected.

We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God.

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger.

In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.

We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action – constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.

The time for empty talk is over.

Now arrives the hour of action.

Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.

We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.

We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.

A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.

It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.

And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.

So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words:

You will never be ignored again.

Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams, will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.

Together, We Will Make America Strong Again.

We Will Make America Wealthy Again.

We Will Make America Proud Again.

We Will Make America Safe Again.

And, Yes, Together, We Will Make America Great Again. Thank you, God Bless You, And God Bless America.