There’s something about Al

Featured image As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Minnesota Senator Al Franken was accorded time to question Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his regularly scheduled appearance before the committee yesterday. Riding his old hobby horse(s), Franken read a long statement implying that Sessions perjured himself in a colloquy with Franken during Sessions’s confirmation hearing. According to Franken, Sessions was lying when he denied having conversations with Russians. By Franken’s dim »

“Green” Energy Fails Every Test

Featured image Liberals will tell you that Minnesota is one of the nation’s leaders in “green” energy, so its experience represents a good test: can green energy fulfill the extravagant promises made by its backers? The answer is a resounding No, according to a blockbuster paper by our own Steve Hayward and Center of the American Experiment’s Peter Nelson. The paper, titled “Energy Policy in Minnesota: the High Cost of Failure,” can »

The unfunniest senator

Featured image The Autumn 2017 issue of City Journal is forthcoming from the Manhattan Institute. It carries my short column “The unfunniest senator.” The column is about Al Franken and his McCarthyite ruminations on two of President Trump’s judicial nominees. Given Franken’s contribution to the blue slip controversy this week, the editors have made the column available online this afternoon. Please check it out. I am grateful to editors Brian Anderson and »

Franken in mind

Featured image Yesterday we covered the fate of the blue slip used by home state Senators to block judicial nominees. We heard from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell via Fred Barnes and from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley via Taylor Foy. What’s happening here isn’t exactly clear, but Senator Grassley’s reference to disregarding withheld blue slips on a case by case basis involving “abuse” of the practice — can in my »

Goodbye, blue slips!?

Featured image In news of interest to those of us who have been following the judicial confirmation wars in the Senate in general and in the matter of the nomination of Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit in particular, Fred Barnes reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken the reins, whipped the horse and expedited matters. Fred supplies this bill of particulars (the first of which I have slightly »

A tribute to Rudy Boschwitz

Featured image Former Minnesota Rep. Vin Weber helped put together a tribute to former Minnesota Senator Rudy Boschwitz in the Cowles Auditorium of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs last night. The University of Minnesota’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance was also on board as a host. Before his election to the Senate, Rudy had made his name as the down to earth retail businessman who built Plywood Minnesota. »

Minnesota machinations

Featured image Over the past several months I’ve reported the machinations involving President Trump’s nomination of Minnesota Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit. The nomination dates back to early May. The nomination remains in limbo. President Trump has yet to nominate candidates for four other vacancies including United States Marshal, United States Attorney and two federal district court judgeships. All these pieces are in play. The principal players dealing with the »

In the Damond shooting

Featured image The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has turned over its file in the shooting of Justine Damond by Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. (Digression: Freeman is the son of former Minnesota Governor and JFK Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman. On the desk I am working at, I have a photograph of my father checking Orville Freeman in to a room at the Comstock Hotel »

Klobuchar shows her blue slip

Featured image Minnesota Senator Al Franken has declared that he will not return his blue slip on President Trump’s nomination of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit. By withholding his blue slip Franken seeks to block Stras’s nomination from consideration by the Senate. Franken’s statement on the Stras nomination is posted online here. I have been working like a beast of burden to ascertain whether Minnesota Senator Amy »

What we’ve got here is failure to kommunicate

Featured image Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has issued her statement on President Trump’s nomination of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit. There is a quality of unintentional self-parody to Senator Klobuchar’s statement. The statement reads like it might have been written by a staffer satirizing Senator Klobuchar’s public persona. This is the statement in its entirety: Justice Stras has served on the Minnesota Supreme Court for seven years. »

Minnesota cage match, 2017 edition (7)

Featured image When we checked in last week on the ongoing cage match between Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and the Republican-majority legislative bodies, the Minnesota Supreme Court had ordered the parties to mediation and the parties had filed memoranda on the Court’s authority to order continued funding. Governor Dayton has vetoed the legislature’s appropriation of operational funding in order to induce it to renegotiate the terms of the tax bill he himself »

Montemayor’s mysteries

Featured image Stephen Montemayor covers the courts for the Star Tribune. As the local courts reporter, for example, Steve has covered the several cases of the “Minnesota men” yearning to take up the jihad to smite nonbelievers and extend the sphere of Islam. That’s not the way Steve sees it, of course. If I may borrow from the diagnostics of former blind sheikh prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, what we have here is a »

Minnesota cage match, 2017 edition (6)

Featured image I have been following the ongoing cage match between Minnesota Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota’s majority-Republican House and Senate in this series. At the end of this year’s slightly extended legislative session Dayton signed all tax and budget bills. He could have vetoed any of them. Even though he professed extreme unhappiness with certain items, he signed the bills The package of budget, tax and state government bills that »

Ellison spokesman: Current or former?

Featured image In the adjacent post I took a look at the hateful Twitter stylings of Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison’s press secretary Isaiah Breen. Breen describes himself on his Twitter profile as Ellison’s former press secretary. Corresponding with Breen in an exchange subsequently posted on Twitter, the Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo confirmed that Breen “had not been fired for sending the series of sarcastic Tweets.” Calling Ellison’s office early this »

Ellison spokesman speaks

Featured image Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison is no longer just a backbencher in the House of Representatives and he is no longer just a Minnesota story, if he ever was. As the first Muslim elected to Congress, his ascent to the House of Representatives was covered around the world in 2006. Now he is also the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee. I believe that Ellison is a leading »

The Franken factor

Featured image With his his descent to crude and dishonest attacks on judicial nominees in the Judiciary Committee, or in his capacity as a nominee’s home state Senator, Al Franken degrades the Senate and the high office he holds. First among Franken’s intended victims at the moment is Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras. In withholding his blue slip to prevent the Senate’s consideration of Justice Stras to the Eighth Circuit, Senator »

The gutless Mr. Franken (2)

Featured image President Trump has nominated Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Barrett to the Seventh Circuit and Professor Barrett once gave a speech to the legal rights organization Alliance Defending Freedom. The ADF has recently been designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the absurdly misnamed hate cult known as the Southern Poverty Law Center. Drawing on the SPLC’s assault on the ADF and Professor Barrett’s appearance to speak before the group once »