Ray Of Hopelessness

I wouldn’t say there was much in the way of “surprises“ in the primaries last night. Mostly confirmation of existing hunches, and a brief stab of hope followed by waves and waves of confirmation that Minneapolis is not only screwed, but seems hell-bent on participating in its own screwing.

The marquee race, Don Samuels tackling Ilhan Omar, ended up a lot closer than I, or anyone, I suspect, figured it might.

That is painfully close. A few hundred people who kvetch about crime turning out? A few hundred Republicans crossing over? An errand thunderstorm? All could’ve affected the results enough to retire Omar.

I have to expect the results surprised congresswoman Omar as well; she ran almost no television, and a fairly languid campaign up until the frenzied (and occasionally tone deaf) tour with The Squad this past week. Primaries usually draw the party’s loyalists to the polls – the hard-core who also go to caucuses and the next layer outward. In Minneapolis. that generally means white, upper-middle-class progressives, and public union employees. I haven’t looked at the precinct results yet, but I have to suspect Samuels started getting people to the polls who normally wait ’til November, if at all, to vote.

Omar pulled it off by two points. If she doesn’t focus on crime, and Minneapolis continues to deteriorate, someone else – Samuels, or some new law and order DFLer – might have a shot.

Which is probably the closest thing we can find to a silver lining on the next two races.

In Hennepin County races, the top two finishers in the primary go onto the general election. and if the choices of the county voters gave themselves last night are any indication, there is going to be a big opportunity for a “law and order“ candidate in two years.

It’s hard to come up with an adjective phrase even softer than “soft on crime” to describe the choices that will move to the November ballot. Mary Moriarty and Martha Holton Dimick will be the “options“ this fall for Hennepin county attorney. Mori

And for sheriff, committed progressive Dawanna Witt will square off against Joseph “Who?” Banks. When Witt wins, she will make Dave Hutchinson look like Ted Nugent.

Last night – at least as re the CD5 DFL primary – was a little spasm of common sense and protest voting in the highest profile race in the city, the results are fairly clear; the people who come out of the primaries are fine with Minneapolis’s status quo.

On the other hand, the DFL finally cut itself loose from its biggest public relations boondoggle of 2020; John Thompson got pummeled, with a level of voting that suggests orders went out from party HQ:

And in house district 52 a – the area around my radio station – the reliably moderate, center left Sandy Mason got pummeled…


Liz Reyer.

Liz who?

I don’t know who she is, but she pulled off the exceptionally difficult combination of “ELCA hair“ and pink. Not just literally, but figuratively and morally:

So Eagan has moved from center left to “Alandra Cano“ territory.

On the GOP side: Jim Schultz beat back a challenge from Doug Wardlow, to advance to run against Keith Ellison for Attorney General this fall.

Every time I see these, I have to ask – who are the 12 freaking percent of people who vote for Sharon Anderson?

I’ve got nothing against Wardlow; I’ve emceed or spoken at five of his fundraisers over the years. but I’m having a bigger and bigger problem with people defying the party endorsement. Especially after saying they would honor it.

Speaking of honoring endorsements: in the new 33B, endorsed candidate Mark Bischofsky prevailed over Tina Riehle, a candidate supported by most of the GOP brass (including Kurt Daudt and Karin Housley, who took a break from opining for the sanctity of the endorsement to float Riehle against the endorsed candidate, for reasons I am just not advanced enough an intelligence to figure out)

Here’s hoping the GOP can pull it together enough to get behind the primary winner, and flip that very winnable seat.

Open Letter to Rep. Phillips

To: The Hon. Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03)
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: Burning Daylilght, Bucko

Rep. Phillips.

You recently tweeted this:

Well that’s great.

But I’ve got some questions.

For starters: you’ve had two years with control of the presidency and both chambers of Congress. Why, 2.5 years into this period of complete control, are you suddenly concerned with jobs leaving, prices rising, debt skyrocketing, the price of medicine and “climate change”?

Did you used to wait to do your school projects to 9PM the night before they were due? Did your entire conference?

Also – as I asked your colleague Rep. Craig the other day – what powers to you, a Congressperson, have to affect any of those issues via your votes?

Open Letter To Rep. Craig

To: Rep. Angie Craig
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: Your Superpowers

Rep. Craig,

The other day, you tweeted this:

Please tell us what ability you, a Congressional Rep and member of the Legislative Branch, have to influence the price of commodities, like gasoline?

Also – you’re aware that gas prices are falling because the market is reacting to the recession that your party is trying to tell us doesn’t exist, right?

That is all.

The Battle/s For The GOP

Every election, and GOP primary, is a “referendum on Donald Trump”.

Just ask the Democrats and media (ptr), who want and need every election to be a referendum on Orange Literal Hitler.

Of course, as a conservative who wants to see DeSantis mop the floor with whomever the order of succession puts up against him – Harris? Pelosi? Buttigieg? Beto O’Rourke? – in 2024, I’d very much like the whole “referendum on Trump” thing to shut up and go away.

The Youngkin victory in Virginia last fall should have put that to bed – he was elected while the Democrats tried to make the vote about Trump, and still try to retroactively apply him to the race – but then, our media being dishonest about this sort of thing is hardly Man Bites Dog, now, is it?

This past week has given both sides evidence.

The primary in Pennsylvania earlier this week had Dr. Mehment “Doctor Oz” Oz winning the Senate primary – but by a narrow enough margin that Trump reportedly may start swearing off endorsing people.

On the other hand, in Georgia, Trump’s bete noir Governor Kemp cruised to a comically easy victory over Trump-endorsed Perdue in the race against Stacey Abrams, the unelected real president of the US and EU.

In the meantime, a week that saw Madison Cawthorne exit his race, saw Marjorie Taylor Greene winning her contest handily.

My two cents: The battle will center on the GOP fight against the depredations of Obama’s third term, versus the Democrats trying to stretch Donald Trump’s relevance two years beyond his exit from office.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, the CD1 primary ended in a recount-worthy race between Brad Finstad and Jeremy Munson…

…and a blowout of Jim Hagedorn’s widow and, uh, controversial former MNGOP chair Jennifer Carnahan.

Who may still seek a recount, for all we know.

Game Day

In addition to a number of primaries that may or may not be referenda on Donald Trump, depending on who you ask (more tomorrow, hopefully), today is the first of four drama-clogged elections in Minnesota’s First Congressional District.

As the Strib notes, there are twenty candidates in the running. The DFL (8 candidates) and GOP (10) ones are vying for a significant shot on the ballot in a special election coming up on August 9.

You can fairly feel the media, practically begging for a strong performance by Jennifer Carnahan, widow of the late Rep. Hagedorn and controversial former state GOP chair. It’d guarantee a couple months of soap-opera drama before a DFL victory – a win-win for the DFL and media (pardon the redundancy). Matt Benda has the money; State reps Jeremy Munson and (to a lesser extent) Nils Pierson have the political name recognition.

Tomorrow’s going to be a fun one.

Coming Not To Bury, But To (Strange As It May Seem) Praise

This blog hasn’t shown a lot of love for Ilhan Omar.

There are a lot of good reasons for that.

But as Greenwald points out, there’s more than one dimension to keep in mind:

The first point in particular – I was unaware of it, but am happy to see she stood on a principle most of us can agree on.

It almost physically hurts to say it, but ya gotta give her some credit.

The honeymoon won’t last, but let’s give her that.

Does Anyone But Me…

…get the impression that the members of the power-clique known as “the Squad” – AOC, Ayanna Presley, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar – got the way they are because they were the “Mean Girls” in Junior High, and either never grew out of it or recovered that inner character flaw when they got into power?

Not sure why that occurred to me…

Expect 30 Minutes Of Tina Smith Ads Per Hour For The Next 12 Days

Usual disclaimers about “the only poll that counts is on November 3 [1] inserted here.

But pessimist that I am, I really didn’t see this coming


Polls finding more-likely voters, ones who’ve actually been paying attention?

We’ll see.

I’ve heard more than a few fellow D-list pundits exclaim disbelief at “12% undecided”. I’m going to chalk that up to some misdirected Pauline Kael syndrome, from people who “write”/tweet about politics constantly, thinking everyone is the same as they are. Smith has tried hard to follow A-Klo’s model of being innocuous and invisible. We’ll see if it works.

Lewis beating the Butcher Of Vandalia would be an early Christmas present.

[1] And, let’s be honest, as we saw in 2008 and 2010, it still may not count, really, but let’s try not to go completely down the rabbit hole.

Serious Question

We’re told as of yesterday that Senator Klobuchar’s husband is in the hospital with National Healthcare VIrus.

In the statement, Klobuchar said [husband John] Bessler had a fever and was coughing up blood. He was checked into a hospital in Virginia and is receiving oxygen but is not on a ventilator.

“I love my husband so very much and not being able to be there at the hospital by his side is one of the hardest things about this disease,” Klobuchar said in a statement.

“While I cannot see him and he is of course cut off from all visitors, our daughter Abigail and I are constantly calling and texting and emailing,” she went on to state. “We love him very much and pray for his recovery. He is exhausted and sick but a very strong and resilient person.”

All these years pf campaign appearances and debates and fairground ops and every other kind of contact with her constituents, and I do not recall seeing any mention of John Bessier. Am I dense, or is the media softplaying his existence?

Or, for that matter their status (she’s in DC, he’s teaching law somewhere in Maryland)?

Speaking of Softpedaling: Ih this piece about John Bessier, the Channel 5 report helpfully finishes with this bit:

Klobuchar said she is working in the Senate to ensure Americans receive the help they need.

Sounds like reporter Rebecca Omastiak is bucking for campaign communications gig.

Twin Cities Media, Then And Now

Twin Cities Media and Left (ptr), 2015: “Black Lives Matter were heroes for shutting down I94 during rush hour! Speak truth to power! Up next – Amanda Shapely at the Boat Show”

Twin Cities Media and the Left (ptr) 2020: “Black Lives Matter are a bunch of hooligans! Why weren’t the police able to keep order at Amy’s…er, Senator Klobuchar’s event?”

A-Klo Belches, Calls It “Chanel Number 5”

Senator Klobuchar, fresh off having a third-place finish in a decreasingly important primary hailed like the victory march in Paris by a local who has acted like her personal PR firm ever since they were all getting pass-out drunk with her father, has this to say about gun control:


During the first 2020 Democratic primary debate, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said if there is a mandatory buyback, it would not involve gun confiscation.

“Gun confiscation, right, if the government is buying back, how do you not have that conversation?” moderator Chuck Todd asked.

“Well, that’s not gun confiscation because you give them the offer to buy back their gun,” Klobuchar said

Oh. It’s just a buyback.

OK. Not selling.

Now what?

They never answer this one directly, do they?

I may have to go to one of her “town halls” and ask her directly.

Oh, yeah – she said this:

“I look at these proposals and I say, ‘Does this hurt my uncle Dick and his deer stand?’ coming from a proud hunting and fishing state? These ideas don’t do that,” she added.

If her “Uncle Dick” is stupid enough to believe they won’t be coming for his precious dear rifle when, not if their current round of “gun safety” laws fail to make anyone safer, then Dick might just be a lifelong DFLer anyway.

Ilhan Omar – Libertarian Heroine

Rep. Omar on Twitter yesterday:

There’s hope here!

If your healthcare, tuition and housing are “Free” (ergo, paid by me, the taxpayer who gets none of those benefits), I am your slave, and being a slaveholder is a moral burden on you as well.

I’m pretty sure Rep. Omar didn’t intend it that way, of course – as her droogs make pretty clear in the thread (and if there’s a 2020’s analogue to “never read the comment section”, it’s gotta be “never read the thread of someone with a blue checkmark).

But you never know.

Maybe Omar will finally get into trouble with Squad leadership for this gaffe…

The Leading Causes Of Death In Minnesota

#3) Cancer

#2) Heart disease and its complications

#1) People dying while holding their breath waiting for the Star/Tribune, MPR News, and the Big Four TV stations to cover Ilhan Omar’s successive bits of corruption.

Fortunately, we’ve got that conservative-biased New York media to do it for them.

Rep. Ilhan Omar paid another $150,000 to Tim Mynett’s political consulting group in the three months after The Post first revealed allegations the pair were romantically involved, records show.
The 37-year-old Minnesota congresswoman’s campaign has funneled $146,712.63 to Mynett’s E Street Group since The Post in August reported allegations she was having an affair with her paid consultant, records show.
The latest payments to Mynett’s group were for digital advertising, fundraising consulting and video production.
When news of the alleged affair broke, Omar had already paid $223,000 through her campaign since 2018 for fundraising consulting, internet advertising, digital communications, and travel expenses to the E Street Group — taking the latest total to $370,000.

The real question is, how much shaming can the Twin Cities media withstand before they start even making cursory motions toward doing their ostensible job?

Ilhan Omar Doesn’t Need To Think Things Through

Ilhan Omar on Twitter over the weekend:

Wouldn’t make property taxes the equivalent of a poll tax?

Of course, politicians in safe blue sinecures don’t have to make sense.

This Time Without Daddy Warbucks’ Money

Let’s not be coy about it – Jason Lewis lost the 2nd District congressional election because Angie Craig floated to a close win on a tsunami of out-of-district money during a first-term midterm that was bound to bring out the knee-jerks and the soccer moms. The Bloomberg fortune alone pumped seven figures of filthy anti-gun lucre into the district – testimony to how much Big Left hated the most articulate conservative in the House.

But it’s a whole ‘nother election, and Angie Craig has exactly as much to show for her time in office as you’d expect an “HR Executive” to have accomplished – the same as they accomplish in the real business world. Bupkes.

Or – rematch? Nah. Maybe a swing at the Butcher of Vandalia, Tina Smith.

I’d go for that.

Minnesota’s Intellectual Titan Strikes Again

Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan lights up Rep. Ilhan Omar – and Muslim extremism:

“Omar does not represent me as a Muslim, (she) does not represent millions of Muslims in the Middle East. You know like in Arab countries we call her the Muslim Brotherhood,” Idan, 29, said on the podcast The Sara Carter Show on Aug. 4.

Now, do you remember when Omar was sworn in? The way she got lionized for representing the future for Muslim women in America?

Apparently Rep. Omar does not (I’m adding emphasis):

Shortly after the interview aired, Omar, 37, fired back at Idan on Twitter, saying, “Hey, I might be wrong but I don’t think you are a #MN05 resident and like that makes be [sic] not your representative.”


The former Miss Iraq replied, “Seriously @IlhanMN this is your intellectual come back?” She then went on to lambaste Omar as anti-American and antisemitic. In a series of follow-up tweets she accused Omar of pursuing a “Muslim Brotherhood agenda using this democracy to further YOUR & YOUR FRIENDS Islamic socialism goals of dividing & weakening our country.”

I don’t know who I want to see reading this piece more; DFLers, or the rump Xenophobe coalition in the GOP, who keep asking “where are the Muslims pushing back against the extremists?”, and ignoring when…well, Muslims push back against extremists:

On Friday, Idan also blasted Omar for using her platform as congresswoman to advocate for the freedom of Hoda Abdelmonem, a senior member of the Muslim brotherhood, but not to help women “enslaved by mandatory sharia/in jail awaiting an imminent death for speaking out against dictatorial regimes.”
Idan, who now lives in the US, called out antisemitism taught in Muslim countries and voiced support for Israel at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, last month. She was forced to flee Iraq with her family after receiving death threats in November 2017 for taking a selfie with Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman at the Miss Universe beauty pageant.

Maybe Idan can be persuaded to come to Minnesota and run against Omar?

I doubt the DFL will have her, of course.

If You Live In The Fifth CD

I interviewed Lacy Johnson during his run for the State House two years ago. He was a very impressive guy – North side businessman, incredibly sharp.

And he’s thrown his hat in the ring against Ilhan…well, Omar, officially. Who knows anymore?

Anyway – any race in Minneapolis is a long shot for Republicans, but give Lacey a listen.

I’ll be getting him on the show sooner than later.

When The “Context” Is Worse Than The “Smear”

What the heck – let’s make *everyone* angry.

Rep. Omar has been taking flak over a video in which she says:

“[the Council on American Islamic Relations] was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

Now, the local media and the Associated Press leapt into action to tell the reader that the video is edited to show the remark out of context – which is great, and would be even better if they’d be as diligent on being honest about context on both sides of the aisle. And no, they are not. Only for Democrats.

But it’s true. Here’s the part that came before:

“For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it”

The part the GOP oppo researchers clipped out basically makes the remark in the video just a little bit dishonest. Let’s be honest – Omar is not an articulate woman, and it’s easy to nitpick peoples’ statements after the fact. And for those of you who’ve never had to try to operate on a functional, much less professional, level in a language other than your native one, don’t get too cocky

And of course, the media *are* dishonest when they fail to give the same fact-checking diligence to similar smears against conservatives. They fact that they do not – nearly never – is itself proof of corrosive media bias.

But here’s the deal – Omar’s original, in-context statement is even worse than the part in the video.

Second class citizens? Please.

Name a country in the world in which Muslim immigrants have been treated *better*, and been able to more thoroughly integrate into society, than the US? Not “claiming asylum” and “getting benefits”, mind you – actually getting accepted in a society and prospering? In what country in the world, with or without a massive terrorist attack by their radical coreligionists, have they been *more* welcomed and, when they so choose, prospered and enjoyed the *real* benefits of our society *more* than in the US?

Because one can not “become” German or French or Swedish. You can immigrate. You can learn the language, send your kids to school, become a citizen, get a job maybe – but being a German or Dane or Pole or Italian is a matter of birth, language, shared history and ethnicity.

You CAN *become* American – and most Muslim immigrants to the US (Somali teething problems notwithstanding) have, and vastly more successfully than in Europe, which is why there are no “no go” Muslim neighborhoods in the US (and none can every be allowed to happen – for them or any other ethnic group).

What she *actually* said was more ungrateful, more disgusting, more un-American than what the video actually showed.

(This post is about Rep. Omar. Not Islam at large. The usual wave of taqqiyah-theory memes will be purged without comment. Don’t waste your energy. Stay on topic, or find someone else to yap at).