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White House pushes back on Ellison’s bid to lead DNC

Plus: Winona County votes to ban frac-sand mining; 21-year-old woman severely injured at Dakota Access pipeline protest; Twins to sign new catcher; and more.

Rep. Keith Ellison speaking at the DFL election night party.
MinnPost photo by Bill Kelley

The New York Times has the latest on Rep. Keith Ellison’s efforts to become chair of the Democratic National Committee: “… after steadily adding endorsements from leading Democrats in his bid to take over the party, Mr. Ellison is encountering resistance from a formidable corner: the White House. In a sign of the discord gripping the party, President Obama’s loyalists, uneasy with the progressive Mr. Ellison, have begun casting about for an alternative, according to multiple Democratic officials close to the president.”

Well, this is interesting. Karen Zamora and Josephine Marcotty of the Strib report, “Winona County commissioners voted Tuesday to ban the highly contentious industry of frac sand mining, making it the first county in the state to take such a stand. After a 40-minute discussion in front of a roomful of community members, the ban passed, 3-2. Commissioner Marie Kovecsi, who voted for the ban, said there are seven frac sand operations and an active mine in her district.”

Apparently the threat is so severe they’re now throwing grenades. Brandt Williams of MPR reports, “The father of a 21-year-old woman seriously injured Monday at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in North Dakota says doctors don’t know if they will be able to save her arm. Wayne Wilansky said his daughter, Sophia Wilansky, who lives in New York and is currently at Hennepin County Medical Center, will likely undergo multiple surgeries. Wayne Wilansky said Sophia told him she was hit by a concussion grenade. The force of the explosion, he added, nearly took off her arm.

Something great will come along eventually. WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler says, “Republicans won majority control of the Minnesota Senate during the 2016 election. … Their top priority: repealing Obamacare and abolishing MNsure. ‘We are hitting the ground running,’ said incoming Republican leader Paul Gazelka, a State Senator from Nisswa. ‘Take Minnesota back to being the number-one place that you would, that provided health care for Minnesotans.’” 

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Semi-related. A PiPress story says, “Minnesota officials are lauding gains made in reducing obesity rates among low-income children. A study released Tuesday notes that the state’s obesity rate for children ages 2 to 4 in low-income families participating in the Women, Infant and Children Program (WIC) fell from 12.7 percent in 2010 to 12.3 percent in 2014. … The national rate was 14.5 percent in 2014, the latest year figures are available.” So they’re primed for six weeks of butter and sugar.

This has occurred to you, right? For Rewire, Lisa Needham writes, “Recently, a parent in Minnesota filed a lawsuit seeking to block her transgender daughter from receiving further gender-affirming medical services. If this mother succeeds, the resulting legal changes could have profound implications for trans youth and minors who need abortion access in Minnesota.”

Also, if macroeconomics and big egos is your thing, you might enjoy this piece by Bill Black at Naked Capitalism. “There are many economists who have said for years that modern macroeconomics is an abject failure. But all economists are not equal, and [Paul] Romer is both an extremely distinguished economist and the World Bank’s chief economist. When he writes that macroeconomics is absurd his position gets vastly more attention from the field. … There is no better place to be writing this than from (nearly) Minneapolis, for the University of Minnesota’s economics department is the most devoted coven worshipping the most extreme form of ‘rational expectations.’ The most famous cultists have now relocated, but the U. Minnesota economics department remains fanatical in its devotion to rational expectations theory.”

Today in precious Second Amendment freedoms: Chao Xiong of the Strib says, “The bullet from a handgun that was fired inside a St. Paul elementary school last week nearly struck a boy in the foot, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. No one was hurt in the Nov. 17 incident at Crossroads Elementary.”

Meanwhile, in threats to … grade school kids, Kevin Giles of the Strib reports, “A Minnesota Islamic leader called Tuesday for heightened protection of Muslim students statewide after a threat was reported toward a Washington County grade school student. Sheriff Bill Hutton said the incident was under investigation but that there had been no indication so far that a hate crime was committed.” I’ve always thought a registry for knuckledraggers would be a good idea.

And in the same theme, but this time with meth. Stribber Libor Jany writes, “Hennepin County prosecutors on Tuesday charged a 56-year-old man with making racial slurs and assaulting a man for speaking Somali aboard a Metro Transit bus over the weekend. …Authorities said that on Nov. 19 police responded to a silent alarm for a report of a fight aboard bus #3353, in the area of Chicago Avenue and E. Lake Street, in south Minneapolis.”

Look out, Cubbies! Dayn Perry at CBS Sports says, “According to multiple reports, the Twins and free agent catcher Jason Castro have agreed to terms of a contract. Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal will pay more than $24 million over three years. Two other sources peg the exact value at $24.5 million. Castro, 29, is coming off a 2016 season for the Astros in which he batted .210/.307/.377 (88 OPS+) with 11 home runs in 113 games.” .210 We’ve already got 15 guys who are hitting that much.

Try keeping ‘em out of the woods until then. Says the Brainerd Dispatch, “Northern Minnesota received its first significant snowfall last week and many snowmobile enthusiasts are rushing to take their first ride of the season. The Minnesota DNR wants to remind snowmobilers that despite the early snow, most of the state’s snowmobile trails are not yet ready for riding, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Minnesota’s snowmobile trails officially open Dec. 1 each year, and several conditions must be met before trails are open and ready for travel: The ground must be frozen to allow for crossing wet areas. Adequate snow cover, about 12 inches, must be on the ground to allow for packing and grooming of the trails. Trails must be cleared of fallen trees, signs put in place and the gates opened.” Right.