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In a post to her blog, Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges responds to the #pointergate controversy started when local new station KSTP aired a news story on November 7th critical of the mayor using alleged gang signs when posing for a photo with a local GOTV volunteer.

The response was worth the wait, and is posted below the fold.

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Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 02:55 PM PDT

Begging for money in Mexico

by legendmn

I'm writing this diary after being inspired by julimyers well-written diary A LETTER TO FRIENDS OF A FRIEND; or HOW CAN YOU EVEN THINK THAT? describing ugly comments on Facebook about panhandlers. The irony is that the panhandler on the side of the road could just as easily have been one of them in the right circumstances. It's a lesson we all should keep in mind whenever we see someone begging for money, and one that fate (or God) forced me to relearn on a recent trip to Mexico.

So...here is my story below the squiggle of shame.

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MN House Marriage Vote passes 75-59...
Now it's on to the MN Senate and the governor's signature!!

Minnesota Senate will vote on May 13, so next week we will be the 12th state after the governor signs it.

 h/t Joe My God

Discuss

This story is rocking the sports world today.

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These are the remaining pictures I have to post from Netroots Nation, including pictures from the wonderful Waterfire event on Saturday night. I've been so busy that I haven't had time to process them until now.

Enjoy!

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Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 01:47 PM PDT

Chairman's Pub Quiz - photo diary

by legendmn

The official Chairman's Pub Quiz competition was a smashing success this year, especially compared to last year's Mayanmar/Burma debacle.

There were twice as many teams this year, and there was plenty of alcohol & munchies to nourish the brains of the attendees.

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Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:33 AM PDT

Cheers & Jeers party photo diary

by legendmn

The Cheers & Jeers party last night at Union Station in Providence was a smashing success, and had all the ingredients for a successful party...good food, good people and lots of beer.

Here are a few pictures I took...

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Like most of you, I receive periodic political e-mails from family with various right-wing or religious themes to them. I usually just ignore them, but a recent e-mail sent to me by my cousin made me curious, so I decided to do a little research. As a combat veteran, I take it a little personal when the right-wing uses the troops as a bludgeon to attack President Obama.

More below the fold...

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I don't know about you, but I'm tired of watching the same old televised presidential debates every 4 years. The topics discussed almost never go beyond whatever the punditocracy is currently obsessing over in their never-ending circle-jerk, while the issues important to most Americans go undiscussed.

Is it any wonder that most Americans rate the media's performance poorly?

But I have an idea for a Presidential debate Americans would actually watch and learn from.

Poll

Good idea?

75%12 votes
18%3 votes
6%1 votes

| 16 votes | Vote | Results

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Without music, life would be a mistake.
-Friedrich Nietzsche
A recent report from the Education Department shows that fewer schools are offering classes in the arts, as severe budget cuts take their toll. Even more disturbing is that while the availability of music classes in richer school districts held steady, poor students are being affected disproportionately by cuts in music programs. This fact should concern all of us that want our future leaders to succeed and thrive, as music education has proven benefits that help them both in school and life.
Poll

Does your local school have a music program?

94%18 votes
5%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 02:15 PM PST

BOOK REVIEW: "Ghost Wars"

by legendmn

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001
by Steve Coll

When the mob broke in, William Putscher, a thirty-two-year-old American government auditor, was eating a hot dog. He had decided to lunch in the club by the swimming pool of the serene thirty-two-acre United States embassy compound in Islamabad, Pakistan. The embassy employed about 150 diplomats, spies, aid workers, communications specialists, assorted administrators, and a handful of U.S. Marines. "Carter dog!" the rioters shouted, referring to the American president Jimmy Carter. "Kill the Americans!" Putscher abandoned his meal and hid in a small office until the choking fumes of smoke and gasoline drove him out. A raging protestor threw a brick in his face as he emerged. Another hit him on the back of the head with a pipe. the stole two rings and his wallet, husteled him into a vehicle, and took him three iles away to concrete dormitories at Quaid-I-Azam University. There, student leaders of Pakistan's elite graduate school, fired by visions of a truer Islamic society, announced that Putscher would be tried for crimes "against the Islamic movement." It seemed to Putscher that he "was accused of just being an American."

With that opening paragraph, Ghost Wars starts out with a bang as it describes the November 21, 1979 looting and burning of the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. Coming on the heels of the embassy takover in Iran earlier in the month, the author does a great job describing the attack in the context of a world seemingly gone mad. It ended up being the opening salvo in a string of events leading up the attacks on September 11, 2001, which this book describes in well-researched detail.

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Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 04:02 PM PST

Tales of a gay veteran...

by legendmn

On this Veteran's Day I decided to write about my experiences in the Army.

Not only is it a cathartic experience for me to deal with the conflicted emotions I have, but the recent repeal of DADT seemed to push me in this direction since I'm also a gay veteran.

My story below the fold...

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