Aaaaand We’re Off

The goal of the Soros-funded district attorney is to make people distrust the system – by punishing the law-abiding and coddling the depraved – to the point where they demand a dictator to keep them safe.

We warned Hennepin County that that was Mary Moriarty’s goal.

The Good News: The tl:DR version of the story found in Alpha News’s tweet isn’t a great summary of the case.

The Bad News: the actual facts are even worse:

Her campaign was opposed by 32 senior Hennepin County prosecutors, including Catherine McEnroe, who is now under investigation by the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, according to the Star Tribune.

McEnroe was leading the prosecution of 35-year-old Marco Tulio Rivera Enamorado, who was charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He allegedly raped his 14-year-old cousin when he was invited from Honduras to come live with her family in the summer of 2019.

McEnroe is accused of fabricating the contents of a note that was passed to her by a victim advocate during Enamorado’s trial Jan. 6.

So – so far, what we have is a prosecutor who went on record opposing Moriarty (bad career move) lying to a judge (bad legal move). Hard to tell, to a layman, if this is incompetence, revenge, or both.

But it gets worse; rather than take the hit and go forward with a different prosecutor in this rape case, Moriarty dismissed the chargfes:

A source with knowledge of the situation said there was no reason for the case to be dismissed, especially since two other prosecutors offered to take over the case.

“The conduct of the county attorney trying the case had nothing to do with the substance of the actual trial,” the source said. “That attorney absolutely could have continued on with the case. If there was concern about her candor to the court, then a supervisor could have acted as co-counsel to ensure the court that there would be truthfulness.”

Moriarty said her priority from the beginning was “trying to see if we could continue to prosecute this case, whether now or later after a mistrial might be declared.”

So Enamorado is free, can never be tried for the case again, and Mike Freeman is looking better and better.

You voted for this, Hennepin County.

Body Count

Last February 9, in response to the shooting of Amir Locke, schools around the Twin Cities let their students walk out of school “in protest”.

Let’s be clear – these protests are about as spontaneous and organic as a Nuremberg Rally. The “student activists” who “plan” these walkouts are puppets. Muppets, really.

But I digress.

Amid all the hysteria over school shootings, one facts that gets lost is that schools are generally, statistically, the safest place for kids to be, there days, especially in places like North Minneapoli.

As Minneapolis discovered.

One of their students, DeShaun Hill – a football player and honor student – was shot while walking home.

A court has ruled that this was negligent, and awarded Hiill’s family $500K. I’ve added emphasis:

North High principal Mauri Friestleben was put on leave by the Minneapolis School District for her decision to let students walk out of class Feb. 9 to attend a sit-in at Minneapolis City Hall to protest the police shooting of Amir Locke. Friestleben was later allowed to return to her position.

Hill family attorney William Walker maintains Friestlben’s decision ultimately led to Deshaun’s death. 

“If that principal had not released these children over the instruction of the district… D. Hill would be alive today,” Walker told KARE 11 during a phone interview Tuesday, just hours before the vote. “They (Hill’s family) are devastated… You can talk to a mother who cries every day. D Hill Jr. was loved by everybody. He was the hope for this family.”

Walker said particularly disturbing is the fact that North families and caregivers were not informed about the decision to let students leave early, saying the Hills would have picked Deshaun up at school rather than let him walk home or to a public bus.  

The alleged killer – an apparent psychopath with a 12 year long criminal record – allegedly shot Hill for bumping into him on the street.

So, to sum up:

  • Keep kids in school: $0
  • Release them out onto the street, unsupervised, without telling families? $500,000
  • Remaining at the leading edge of the social justice fashion curve: Priceless.

Clarity

On Friday morning, someone tried to jack a van in the Phillips Neighborhood.

The would-be victim tackled the suspect and held him til the cops arrived.

Point of order: in a Minneapolis where Mary Moriarty is the district attorney, is the suspect…:

  • The vanjacker, or
  • the guy who tackled the vanjackier?

With Mary Moriarty in office as Henco “prosecutor”, one must not assume.

Root Causes

“It’s Been a Minute” (henceforth IBaM) s one of the current plague of podcasts repackaged as radio shows that plagues both public and commercial broadcasting. As we discussed yesterday, some are better than others – some are OK radio, some are utterly dreadful as radio.

IBaM is pretty clearly trying to sell infotainment coverage smothered in public broadcasting convention, but to a black audience. It is, by public radio standards, breezy, sometimes to the point of sounding just a little contrived. But radio standards, it’s not the worst podcast on the air.

But this past weekend’s episode – about the wave of social media misogyny aimed at rapper “Megan Thee Stallion”, after she was shot in the foot by her…uh, paramour, rapper Tory Lanez. It features a “senior producer” from, guess what, another NPR podcast – Gabby Bulgarelli from a podcast called “Louder than a Riot”, and you’re on your own with that one.

Dog Bites Man. There’s an old newsroom bromide, passed down through Journalism 101 classes throughout the past 100-odd years. “Dog bites man isn’t news. Man bites dog is news”. If something is the norm, the expected, the utterly mundane? If you’re not the man being bit, it’s not realy news.

Anyway – I listened to this epi of IBaM, so you don’t have to. But if you’re curious – smoke ’em if you got ’em.

Here’s the part I wanted to focus on. It’s around 6:00 into the segment:

BRITNEY LEWIS (HOST): The coverage of this trial feels somewhat muted compared to the coverage of another trail that gained a lot of public attention this year, Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard. Why do you think that this case feels so different?

BULGARELLI: One, nobody cares about black people. Two, it’s close to the holidays. Three, because it’s a closed court…in some ways they feel similar. A lot of the arguing (sic) against Megan feels similar to how people rallied against Amber in support of Johnny Depp…

LEWIS: Mmm Hmmm

BULGARELLI: …the way Megan has been made out to be a liar – I don’t think anyone believes Megan to be a victim, so they don’t care…

I can’t comment on the merits of Bulgarelli’s argument, presuming there are any.

But she’s ignoring two elephants in the room:

  • Rappers shooting rappers is, regrettably and tragically, dog bites man. No, seriously – the list is long, and spans genres, coasts, even nations. It’s been a generation, and we still haven’t a conclusive idea who killed Tupac and Biggie. Ms. Thee Stallion was shot in the foot during a domestic squabble. It’s senseless, and stupid – but Ms. Thee Stallion survived, and will no doubt see her profile increase as a result. Oh, yeah – violent misogyny in the world of hip-hop doesn’t even rise to the level of dog-bites-man; it’s more like “Dog Licks Dog” . It’s ugly, and awful, and it’s the norm, to the point that pushing back against it is, in fact, the news in the show-biz press.
  • On the other hand, what – besides skin color – distinguishes the Depp/Heard trial from the Lanez/Thee Stallion dust-up? A woman’s claims of victimhood have been torpedoed by overwhelming, sworn evidence that she was in fact an emotional and violent abuser – something mainstream narrative denies exists. Millions of men who’ve suffered, either in silence or in the face of open derision from cops, social service professionals and society at large saw at least some vindication, even if only vicarious. The dominant narrative – “the power differential means only men can commit abuse” – was stomped flat, opening the door for millions of men to perhaps, one day, be taken seriously.

The inconvenient truth for identity-thrashers like Bulgarelli is the Lanez/Thee Stallion is “Dog Bites Man”; Heard/Depp is “Man puts mayo and a slice of tomato on a dog and takes a big chomp”, trashing a different bit of identitarian dogma outside Bulgarelli’s career specialty.

Think anyone at NPR will cover that angle?

A Mostly Peaceful Year In Saint Paul

While people focus on Minneapolis’s ongoing decay, Saint Paul just broke its homicide record:

And there’s plenty of time to run up the score before New Years.

Remember – in 2016, there were 81 homicides in the entire state – 30 in Minneapolis, and (IIRC) 18 in Saint Paul.

Hard to believe Saint Paul is the sane city…

Mission Creepy

I used to think DFLers merely counted on voters being ignorant.

I was young and naive.

They actively promote ignorance:

Senator Morrison is an M.D, so she certainly isn’t stupid. She must know that the imponderably vast majority of those “children”. are boys aged 14+ who are involved in crime, mostly murdered by other young men like themselves, likewise started on the wrong path bright and early in life.

She must know that the only things that actually work to prevent that sort of carnage are:

  • Using the sentencing enhancements for gun crimes that so helped in cleaning up New York City thirty years ago – the type that Mike Freeman and John Choi never use on criminals of any age, and that Mary Moriarty hahahahahahaha I can’t even finish the sentence with a straight face.
  • Intervening with youth at risk of going into The Life.

Certainly she’s had this shown to her. There’s no way that hasn’t happened.

So she’s counting on promoting ignorance.

Look for a lot of that this session.

Body Count

Two people murdered at downtown Saint Paul’s Central Avenue transit station on Monday night:

Officers responded about 8:30 p.m. to the corner of Fifth and Cedar streets, where they found two people suffering from apparent gunshot wounds in the stairway/elevator structure that connects the skyway to the Green Line Central Station light rail stop, according to Metro Transit Police spokesman Drew Kerr.

Both of the wounded people were taken to a nearby hospital, but they both later died, Kerr said.

Another man was murdered on the same station’s platform last spring.

The “Transit Memorial Day” post next June is going to be a doozy.

Let Them Eat Pasta!

Anyone remember Mika McFeely? He’s sort of the Filene’s Basement version of Ed Schultz, another guy who got his start talking about grown men chasing balls around fields, and decided to go into being a political, talking head. He’s the Heitkamp family’s token liberal on KFGO in Fargo, and proof that the talent bench for progressive talk hosts in Fargo is even shallower than in the Twin Cities.

I wrote about him (checks notes), a little over 12 years ago, when he wrote easily the stupidest hatchet piece I’ve ever seen, about Mary Franson, during the 2012 elections.

Anyway – he came to Minneapolis over the weekend. Ironically, it was to see Les Mis, a play featuring an out of touch patrician class that attacks a plebaian class whose travails they neither share nor understand.

Oh, yeah – he had a great time!

In other words, he went to a show, with hundreds of other people, and then went to a tony restaurant on the south end of the gentrified North Loop. Back to the hotel – or on the road back to Fargo? – by 11!

And look – no crime!

Guess all those people talking about crime in Minneapolis are wrong!

Speaking of crime – tourist McFeely has an interesting perspective on recent Twin Cities history:

Not sure it’s “Anti”-Fa that’s shooting up crowds after bar closing on First Avenue.

But he’s getting a little warmer: “Anti”-Fa are the children of the Twin Cities bon vivant class. But they didn’t burn the Ordway, or Kenwood or Linden Hills. They burned East Lake and University – the places where immigrants and lots of entrepreneurs and workers try to earn a living.

But he didn’t go to a show on Lake, or Uni, or up at Plymouth and Sheridan, now, did he?

Well, I guess that settles it!

Obviously Toxic Masculity

Minneapolis father chases car thieves who stole his car, with his four kids inside:

Derek Gotchie, the father of children, was close by and jumped into the stolen vehicle the suspect arrived in and chased his stolen car until he rear-ended the car near Plymouth Ave. N and Penn Ave N., according to the Minneapolis Police Department. 

The suspect then exited the vehicle and fled on foot. 

Let me be the first to day – hooray for toxic masculinity!

Open Letter To All Progressives

To: Every Single Progressive
From: Mitch Berg, Obstreperous Peasant
Re: Berg’s 18th Law

To some extent, I created Berg’s 18th Law to protect me, and people like me, from going out on long, brittle factual limbs.

The law is pretty clear:

Nothing the media writes/says about any emotionally charged event – a mass shooting, a police shooting, anything – should be taken seriously for 48 hours after the original incident.  It will largely be rubbish, as media outlets vie to “scoop” each other even on incorrect facts.

But after a couple of days of listening to people like you claiming that all conservative social and economic thought was a form of “stochastic terror” aimed directly at LGBTQIAetcetc people, it’s worth noting that I wrote it even more for you.

Thoughtcrime

Shooting at an LGBTQetcetc club in Colorado over the weekend.

While the perp was apparently “on the radar” (in a state where the progressive prosecutor ensures there are no consequences for being there), expect this atrocity to be used less for gun control and more to demonize any criticism of LGBTQetcetc activism of any kind in any place – pushing the notion of “stochastic terrorism”:

“Stochastic terrorism” is just a silly concept that dovetails with “words are violence” and opens the gate for any favored group to shut down all debate because the very existence of the debate will drive people to violence. Of course, no one, at least no sane people, believes it exists, but it is a handy cudgel with which you can belabor your opponents.

“If you say you disagree with me, it must be because you want me dead”.

That’s how society gets to Orwell’s “Duckspeak” – when it becomes impossible to commicate in any but the most innocuous terms without fear of some consequences, rational or not.

Hard to live in a civil society with that hanging over every social question.

Expectations

I’ve always detested “Generational” politics. Among all the things that divide us as a nation, artificial, externally-defined demographic trends have to be the dumbest of all.

Still, a huge chunk of the population perceives them – and perception is reality.

David Hogg – like many “prog” human message bots before and many more to come – repeats a set of chanting points that years of indoctrination have inflicted on a disproportionate share of Generation Zs:

Among all the ideas that are sapping the vitality of American civilization, there may be few more corrosive than the devaluation of the term “right”. To much of GenZ, the term is interchangeable with “virtues” at best, “stuff we want” at worst.

The notion that inalienable rights come with ineluctible responsibilities eludes many of all generations – but Millennials and Zeepers appear to be the most vocal in imposing their misapprehension on the world.

So if you’re a Zeep and reading this:

  • There is no more “right not to be shot” (or to “Go to school and survive”) than there is a “right not to have a car crash” . There is a right to live – with a concomitant responsibility and moral imperative to see to your safety, and the safety of those you’re responsible for (a responsibility that law enforcement at Parkland fell dismally short at).
  • You desire peace and tranquility – but it’s not an inalienable right. It can, indeed, be taken away arbitrarily and horrifically. One has a responsibility as an adult to maintain both of them – neither is guaranteed in anyway in the real world.

Hope that helps.

Open Letter To Hennepin County Subjects [1]

You voted for Mary Moriarty for Henco Attorney.

Granted, it was a closer race than one might have expected; the endorsed DFLer won by 20 points, rather than the expected 40-50.

Still, Henco spoke: they’re OK with carjackings, home invasions, random gunfire ripping through (black and brown people in North Minneapolis) houses, and criminals getting sprung over and over.

They made their choices. Now, they’ll be getting the consequences, good and hard:

Great job, voters. Enjoy the abortions.

[1] Yes, formally you’re still “citizens”. But honestly, “subjects” is a better term.

Straws

Since some prog will bleat “Why aren’t you condemning the attack on Paul Pelosi?” if I don’t say it – violence is bad. Don’t hit people with hammers, or anything else.

Speaking of people trying to exploit the episode…

The Star Tribune:

Rob Reiner, the intellectual thought leader of the modern Democrat party?

And look – here’s Ilhan Omar, on the attack on Paul Pelosi:

A far right white nationalist tried to assassinate the Speaker of the House and almost killed her husband a year after violent insurrectionists tried to find her and kill her in the Capitol, and the Republican Party’s response is to either ignore it or belittle it.

Here’s Angie Craig:

Here’s Amy Klobuchar:

On Meet the Press, Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar rued how Pelosi “has been villainized for years, and big surprise, it’s gone viral, and it went violent.” She said we have “to make sure we’re not electing more election deniers who are following Donald Trump down this road,” and “we have to do something about this amplification of this election-denying hate speech that we see on the Internet.”

I don’t expect Dems to be familiar with Berg’s 18th Law – but there may be no better case of it in all of history. Indeed, there might be a corollary to the the law – if the Democrats can use the story for political gain, 48 hours is waaaaay too short.

The facts? Much more prosaic:

All of this requires imposing a coherence on David DePape’s mind that simply doesn’t exist, which would be obvious to anyone who paused for a minute to consider and absorb the evidence.

Listen to the person who perhaps knows him best — the mother of his two children, a woman named Oxane Taub (a.k.a. Gypsy), herself a whack-job serving jail time for trying to abduct a 14-year-old boy she was infatuated with.

(As a press release from the local DA’s office put it: “Over the course of 14 months, she sent him numerous obsessive emails, created blogs directed at him, used his friends to send him messages and eventually tried to abduct him a few blocks from his school in Berkeley. While the case was pending, Taub also tried to dissuade the victim from testifying.” And she was the rational half of the couple.)

In an interview from jail, conducted by a local TV station, Taub said, “He is mentally ill. He has been mentally ill for a long time.” She said he was missing for a year and then showed up again “in very bad shape.” According to Taub, “he thought he was Jesus.” She added, “He was constantly paranoid, thinking people were after him. And it took a good year or two to get back to, you know, being halfway normal.”

My theory? Democrats – especially Minnesota DFLers – are looking at next week’s election, and figure painting themselves as victims of MAGA, and the “wave of conservative/white supremacist terror” they’ve been promising for the past 15 years, can’t hurt.

Same As It Ever Was

The story: woman in Hibbing arrested and charged with stealing Pete Stauber’s campaign materials.

In a Friday press release, the Hibbing Police Department announced that Lisa Linnea Fitzpatrick, 61, has been charged under Minnesota Statutes for intentionally removing mail from a mail depository without claim of right.

The offense is a felony and carries a maximum sentence of 3 years in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.

The story behind the story:

Go ahead, Ms. Fitzpatrick. Take the deal, and give up the MNDFL officials who told you to do it.

If the SPPD and Ramco Attorney arrested and charged sign thieves, they’d need to rent a barge on the Mississippi to hold the suspects awaiting arraignment.

Or they would, if Republicans in Saint Paul bothered putting up signs anymore. Back when I still tried, the half-life was about six hours. Not sure we’d even be able to test John Choi on this.

Whiffle

SCENE: Mitch BERG has found a cache of hard-to-find chili paste at a Vietnamese grocery store, and is putting a half dozen in his basket. Distracted, he doesn’t see Avery LIBRELLE rounding the corner, wearing an N95 mask.

LIBRELLE: (Muffled behind mask) Mrrg.

BERG: Oh, ffffaaaaercrying out loud, how ya been…

LIBRELLE: (Muffled) Jw Shlll hm nmmr prfmkmmd m kem in crm.

BERG: Jim Shultz, the GOP candidate, has never prosecuted a case in court?

LIBRELLE: Ylm .

BERG: Huh. OK. Got a list of cases that Keith Ellison has prosecuted?

LIBRELLE: Hm pm Drmk Shmvm m prmm.

BERG: He put Derek Chauvin in prison? Sure – in exactly the same way that I fixed the plumbing in my bathroom. I hired a professional. The prosecuting attorney of record was a private practice lawyer that Ellison hired.

LIBRELLE: Hm rm thm cmmm!

BERG: He ran the case? Sure – the same way the MNDOT Commissioner runs a road construction project. MNDOT guy manages. He doesn’t do the surveying, engineering, or driving the steamrollers. Ellison managed the lawyers. But if he ever went into the courtroom, he was there as an interested spectator.

LIBRELLE: Thm Slmstm gmrm um fm Unumfm stem thmm “hm brm hm ekfpmfmm em m lorr tm br emrm deh”!

BERG: The Solicitor General of the United States said he”brought his experience as a lawyer to bear every day”? Perhaps. But that didn’t make him a prosecuting attorney. He has never sat at the prosecution table in a trial.

Long story short – do you list of cases where Ellison has been an actual lawyer of record for the prosecution in a criminal case?

LIBRELLE: Duh ym hem umm frm Schlmmm?

BERG: Do I have one for Schultz? No – but he’s never claimed to have one, and he’s not the one using his vaaaast courtroom experience to try to separate himself from Schultz.

So – you have that list of cases for which Ellison has been the prosecutor of record?

(Brief pause. Then LIBRELLE’s face goes red, and steam starts shooting from under the N95).

STORE CLERK: Did he…er…sh… (BERG shrugs shoulders) did this person try the chili paste?

BERG: You’d think.

And SCENE

All The DFL’s Fault

Mike Freeman on why he doesn’t bother prosecuting straw buyers:

So let’s sum it up.

Minneapolis has an epidemic of shootings because:

  1. The city is full of illegal guns, because
  2. the DFL county prosecutor doesn’t prosecute gun crimes, in part because…
  3. the DFL-controlled House hasn’t increased the penalties, and also because…
  4. the DFL-controlled City Council, Mayor and the state’s DFL Attorney General think public safety is a “privilege” and crime is society’s fault

The common factor is the DFL.

Dirty Harry Meets Batman

Shot: Representative Omar with a devastating riposte to Jim Schultz, GOP candidate for Attorney General, giving us all a civics lesson:

Chaser: Keith Ellison, himself giving, in turn, a, uh, civics lesson of his own:

Which is it?

Is prosecuting violent local crime a job the AGO does when asked? Or is Keith Ellison a caped crusader patrolling the streets and heading off crime…

…badly and half-heartedly, and not at all until a month before an election?

But Why Is Keith Ellison Running All Those Ads Portraying Him As Tougher On Crime Than Dirty Harry?

Ted Nugent/Oathkeepers poll shows a supermajority of Americans blame “woke” politicians for the crime wave.

Wait – did I say Ted Nugent/Oathkeepers? I meant Harvard:

The correct answer to the poll is “yes’ to both, of course.

Fake News

Rebecca Brannon – one of about seven or eight actual journalists in the Twin Cities – went to downtown Minneapolis Friday night/Saturday morning.

Or so she would have us believe:

Of course, it can’t be; I’m reliably informed that “downtown is back“, and that anyone who disagrees is a suburban tourist who gets his entire world view from Tucker Carlson.

But boy, if it weren’t fake news, it would be pretty grim, wouldn’t it?

The Show Suit

Keith Ellison, after three years and 9 months of glorifying, aiding and abetting crime and the collapse of the rule of law…

…is “tackling gun crime“.

The lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County District Court, alleges Fleet Farm sold at least 37 firearms to two straw purchasers over the course of 16 months, despite red flags that some buyers were trafficking the guns to criminals and those otherwise prohibited from legally purchasing guns themselves. 

But – is it really “tackling gun crime”.

Pay attention. It’s Keith Ellison. Of course it’s a cynical artifice.

The alleged straw buyers were already arrested, tried and sentenced…

…by the Feds. Not by Mike Freeman, John Choi or Keith Ellison, none of whom cares about straw buyers, since it’s not a “sexy” crime (until five weeks before the election, anyway); nobody ever got elected Senator for chasing down a gang-banger’s grandmother.

It’s their job – but none of them are doing it.

Rob Doar at the MN Gun Owners Caucus explains the stuff the media won’t re Ellison’s deeply cynical action. Read the whole thread:

This lawsuit is just for show – to deflect away from three years and nine months of sloth and indifference…

…no. That goes too easy on Ellison.

He’s trying to deflect way from almost four years of using crime as a campaign prop.

Roll Model

Henco Sheriff David Hutchinson continues to get concierge service from the “criminal justice” system.

Minnesota’s Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) has suspended the license of Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson for 30 days, starting next month…The board voted to suspend his license for 180 days, however 150 days are stayed on the condition he doesn’t commit any similar offenses in the next three years.

So – he got his whiz test delayed, he got a VIP booking involving no jail time, he got the lightest possible charge, low enough not to cause his cashiering from the Sheriff’s Department, and now he’s getting a slap on the wrist from the POST board.

Think a GOP politician, to say nothing of a private schlub, would get this sort of treatment?

In Cold, Alcohol-Thinned, Probably Mentally Ill Blood

UPDATE: Welcome, fellow Power Line fans!


Let’s talk about Cayler Ellingson.

Berg’s 18th Law” says that after any politically and emotionally fraught event – mass shootings, police killings, riots, pretty much any event over which people disagree – we need to wait at least 72 hours before taking anything we hear seriously from the media, since they will be more interested in scooping the competition than getting facts straight. I made an executive decision to stretch that deadline to a full week, since on a good day the mainstream media might know how to find North Dakota on a map.

Here are the things we know after a couple weeks:

  1. After a street dance in McHenry, ND (population 64) on September 18, an extended altercation of some sort happened between the 18 year old Ellingson and 41 year old Shannon Brandt, of nearby Glenfield (population 94).
  2. After a back-and-forth that went long enough for Ellingson to call his mother several times to ask for a ride home, Brandt hit Ellingson with his truck, and drove home.
  3. Brandt, who has a DUI and some other low-level crimes on his record, was arrested there a few hours later, intoxicated. Ellingson died shortly after.
  4. While being interviewed later, he said he thought Ellingson was an “Extremist Republican” who was calling friends to come and get him.
  5. The Foster County [1] prosecutor (They’re called “states attorneys“ in North Dakota) initially charged Brandt with vehicular homicide, and released him on $50K in bail.

This – and a complete absence of coverage in mainstream media outside North Dakota – led to a tsunami of anger in conservative media, based around two points:

  • the charges and bail seemed ridiculously lenient – and, according to some, politically so.
  • the media coverage was lackadaisical, given the politics involved.

Let’s talk about both.


On the show, I pushed back on the first point; the job of Foster County’s State’s Attorney Kara Brinster is to bring charges she and her (tiny [2]) office can prove beyond a reasonable doubt given the evidence they have, without regard to public opinion or pressure. My theory – Brandt’s statement made “Criminal Vehicular Homicide” a slam dunk right away the morning after Ellingson’s death. Anything beyond that would take investigation – and the States Attorney has all the time they need to do that. The national criticism – up to and including Tucker Carlson – apparently didn’t faze Brinster. She investigated, got the evidence she needed, and had Brandt re-arrested on murder charges. He’s being held in the Stutsman County Jail [3]. If convicted of murder, he could get life without parole.

Some think it happened because of the national attention. I say BS – Brinster ignored the media (none of whom came within 100 miles of the story, literally) and did her job. Keith Ellison should so as well [4]. Criminal justice everywhere should be as lucky.

As to calling the original charge, and (statutory) bail, politically motivated? That’s a good way to show you have no idea about North Dakota politics. It’s perhaps the most conservative state in the union. Trump won by 30 points – and most of the Democrats live within ten miles of the Minnesota border; the Democrats who live west of ND Highway 1 would fit into two booths at Kroll’s Diner in Minot. State’s Attorney Brinster was elected in a county that likely voted 3:1 for Republicans.

So let’s park those allegations in the back 40 and let them quietly rust away.


Now let’s talk about the politics that are involved.

I’m not even talking about the fairly trite point – if a Republican had run down an 18 year old Democrat, it’d be national news, with commentators furrowing their brows and declaiming about tribalism and right-wing violence., regardless of the actual facts.

That’s a given; it’s background scenery with today’s media.

But let’s focus on the details of this case.

Shannon Brandt, according to reports, as a reputation around Glenfield of being a little mentally ill, possibly with a bit of a drinking problem. By appearances and reports, he’s the kind of doughy but dimly malevolent loser that everyone from a small town recognizes, polishing bar stools in double-wide taverns off of two-lane roads until they get enough liquid articulation to start talking, then yelling, and so on.

So he went to a street dance, gets into a fight with a kid less than half. his age, allegedly chases him down, runs him down and kills him…

…and the first thing he thinks of to try to excuse, or get sympathy for, his action is to claim he thought his victim was an “Extremist Republican?”

Last month, in an address full of bizarre thirties-retro authoritarian imagery, President Biden called Republicans “fascists”. An awful lot of Democrats took that statement very, ebulliently, gleefully seriously; they want to believe that the other half are part of a political philsosophy against which our grandparents went to war, fighting whom 412,000 of their generation died; people that anscestors, some of the still with us, spent the best years of their lives killing.

And lo and behold, mere days later, a demented drunk, whether acting out of considered political malice or drunk and mentally ill self-preservation, picks *that* excuse to ennoble, excuse, or at least try to explain killing a human being?

Have we connected those dots yet?


[1] Trivial but topical disclosure – I lived in Foster County, briefly, while working at the radio station in the county seat, Carrington. Being a ND native, I’d imagine I know people who know both the perp and victim, and likely the county attorney and the law enforcement involved, if I asked around for thirty seconds.

[2] The population of Foster County – the whole county – was 3,231 in 2020. About 2,000 of them live in Carrington alone.

[3] Further trivial disclosure – it’s two blocks from the house I grew up in.

[4] But can’t, and won’t.

Feeding Our Supporters

The “Feeding Our Future” (FOF) scandal just keeps getting better and better.

Let’s sum up where we are so far:

  1. 48 people were indicted on Thursday by the Feds.
  2. Governor Walz claimed that Ramsey County Judge John Guthman, had ordered the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) – on pain of a contempt charge and potential jail time – to resume payments to the non-profit, as a result of litigation between FOF and MDE.
  3. Guthman responded with a rare and complete rebuke of the Governor, saying that MDE and FOF had reached an agreement that FOF’s various deficiencies had been fixed, making the litigationi moot. That was one round of lies by Walz.

Then, yesterday, this came out; its an extended thread from Fox9 producer Seth Kaplan, and I urge you to read the whole thing:

Money shot:

There was never a mention by Judge Guthmann of criminal contempt and jail time being a possibility. It was always civil/financial contempt and penalties. There is a footnote on page 6 of the June 24, 2021 order reading: “The court’s order does not include a jail sanction so there is no need to address purge conditions.” It also reads “imposing financial and penal consequences for constructive civil contempt of court.”

So the fraud occurred on the administration’s watch – and when caught, Walz tried to throw a judge under the bus. The judge grabbed Governor Klink by the lapels and got his head wedged in there just a little further.

The media will memory hole this but good. But it’s got to be getting harder and harder to do.