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Rep. Keith Ellison: Trump could be the GOP nominee

Plus: Vikings still lead the NFL in off-field incidents; paddleboarding around Lake Superior; the state’s first yoga festival; and more.

keith ellison portrait
Rep. Keith Ellison

No harm in a little wishful thinking, right? The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh says: “Don’t underestimate the likelihood of billionaire and reality TV personality Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination for president, a Minnesota member of Congress cautioned the nation Sunday, pointing to his own state putting a onetime feather boa-flaunting pro wrestler in charge. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., during an appearance on ABC-TV’s ‘This Week’, said voters ‘better be ready for the fact that [Trump] might be leading the Republican ticket.’ Challenged by host George Stephanopoulos that ‘I know you don’t believe’ Trump can actually be the challenger to the Democratic nominee in November 2016, Ellison reminded viewers that Minnesota voted in Jesse Ventura as governor in 1998.” Just for the sake of the argument, let’s imagine the constituency they share.

She did get attention for her cause. The WCCO-TV story says, “A Hollywood actress was in Minnesota this weekend trying to bring attention to a disturbing problem. Actress Julia Ormond met with Gov. Mark Dayton and top corporate leaders to raise awareness about the use of international slave labor. Ormond is the founder of ASSET, an organization dedicated to ending enslavement and trafficking in supply chains like mining and agriculture. Raw goods that come from slave labor can make their way into many of the products we use or eat.”

A total breakdown of the “buddy” concept. Reports Stribber Walsh: “A drunk and shoeless motorcyclist crashed at night on a central Minnesota highway, left his passenger behind in the ditch and kept going until he was pulled over by law enforcement several miles from the scene, authorities said. The abandoned passenger was found 45 minutes after the crash Friday night by a Benton County sheriff’s deputy and was suffering from ‘severe’ injuries, Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson said Sunday. Thomas D. Knott, 43, of Rice, Minn., was hospitalized and is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol  … . Passenger Dawn M. Larson, 42, also was hospitalized. The two live together and have an 8-year-old daughter.”

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Come on, coach! Off field infractions are the only thing we lead the league in. ESPN’s Ben Goessling writes, “When he became the ninth head coach in Minnesota Vikings history in January 2014, Mike Zimmer became the latest to try to clean up the team’s long string of off-field trouble. … According to USA Today, which keeps a database of NFL arrests, the Vikings have had more players arrested than any team in the league since 2000. [Jabari] Price became the 48th Vikings player to be arrested or cited in that time.” Skoal!

Did you know? According to Sam Cook in the Duluth News Tribune, “Minnesota resident veterans with 100 percent service-connected permanent disability can apply for a free permanent card that allows them to receive a free small game and either-sex deer hunting license each year.”

I’m sure Guinness is on it. Mr. Cook also tells us, “Jared Munch is bringing it home. The stand-up paddleboarder from Duluth is on the final leg of his 1,350-mile circumnavigation of Lake Superior. The 23-year-old is on a mission to become the first person to paddle a stand-up paddleboard all the way around the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area. Munch left Bayfield early Sunday morning on his 14-foot paddleboard and hopes to arrive in Duluth about 5 p.m. Wednesday.”

Are we talking artisanal yoga? Bespoke yoga? Sam Louwahie of the St. Cloud Times says, “For years, Jeanna Hensler looked longingly at photos on Facebook of yoga festivals around the country. The 39-year-old Minneapolis native is an avid practicer of hoop yoga, or using hula hoops to ‘move in a joyful way.’ … The cOMmon Grounds Yoga and Music Festival returned from Friday to Sunday to El Rancho Manana Campground near Richmond for its fourth annual event. It appears to be the state’s only festival specifically dedicated to yoga.” Is there Beer & Bacon yoga?

Guy Fieri is clearly fair game. Neil Justin of the Strib says, “The $60-plus tickets to see an Anthony Bourdain lecture at the State Theatre Friday  in Minneapolis probably should have included some fancy French appetizers. But while there were no appetizers, there were plenty of laughs on the menu, many of them aimed at Guy Fieri, who Bourdain suggested spells ‘culinary’ with a ‘k.’ ‘If you can’t make fun of Guy Fieri, comedy is pretty much dead.’ Bourdain said. Fieri, whose hit series ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ is produced in the Twin Cities, was lambasted for dumbing down the Food Network series in a wide-ranging, hilarious presentation that also went after vegetarians, Tom Cruise and the term ‘farm to table.’” So can we make fun of “artisanal”?

Is this more, or less, than if he’d fired a gun? The AP says, “A South Dakota man will be spending 11 months in prison for spitting at a law enforcement officer. U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Moreno has sentenced 27-year-old Anthony One Star for his conviction on one count assaulting, resisting or impeding a federal officer. The Rosebud man pleaded guilty to the charge in June. Authorities say the charge against One Star stems from an incident on Nov. 25 in the community of Two Strike on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.”

Walker Watch: a.k.a. scorpions in a bottle. Thomas Beaumont of the AP says, “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump opened up a line of attack Saturday on Gov. Scott Walker, accusing the leader in recent polls in Iowa of putting Wisconsin in financial trouble. Spurred on by a raucous audience of more than 1,000 at a central Iowa high school, Trump said Walker has an advantage in Iowa because he’s from a neighboring state but that the edge is undeserved because Walker has mismanaged Wisconsin’s budget.” That is an outrageous accusation, sir! Surely there are no facts to support your claim!