Politics with Jennifer Brooks

Rangers like beer, snowmobiles. Yeah, so?

Good morning.

Death toll up to 300 in Mogadishu bombing over the weekend; local reverberations, including death of a Bloomington man who hoped to work for the UN and rebuild his native country. Government blaming Al-Shabab.

Dean Phillips to give a speech on campaign finance at the Westside Progressives forum tonight at 6:30 PM, Church of the Epiphany, 4900 Nathan Lane North, Plymouth.

Andy Slavitt, local guy who is also former head of the powerful Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and an influential voice among progressives on health care, endorses Rep. Tim Walz for governor.

Lee Schafer wonders how exactly the Twin Cities would be different than Seattle for Amazon, given the direction of, shall we say, activist city governments? He also points out what might be the biggest turnoff for Amazon: Things move slowly here. Exhibit A is the Ford site. There's obviously something to be said for deliberation, consensus and caution, but lordy you wouldn't believe how quickly they move in Vegas and other Sun Belt cities compared to here. In other places, you want to build something? You build it.

Gov. Mark Dayton has meetings today on the Amazon bid.

Lori Sturdevant is a sharp student of the urban-rural divide, and she picks up on a key driver: Huge age differences between metro and Greater MN.

A really great eye-opening, sad, crazy story from Joe Christensen on the trend of kid athletes specializing in one sport, spending oodles of time and money on it, often with burnout the end result.

My bylines this weekend: Enbridge Line 3 pipeline is dividing the DFL along the same lines as other infrastructure and mining projects, creating an opening for GOP with building trades unions. Fortuitous timing: Range uproar over comments by prominent enviro who told the New York Times Mag that the pro-mining folks just want to punch a clock, drink beer and ride snowmobiles with their pals. (To which one might say, what's wrong with that?) Rangers say they knew all along this attitude was prevalent. And, finally, TPaw speculation in full effect.

Fastest growing occupation in the nation? Wind technician. Mike Hughlett on the growth of wind and solar jobs, which now dwarf the coal industry. Cool (and courageous!) photos by Glen Stubbe. My question is when these industries (or more accurately, their workers) will get more political clout. For whatever reason, coal has the president's imagination, as well as much of the East Coast media's. (By the way: Which occupation will become totally obsolete first? Coal miner, or newspaperman!?)

VoteRunLead, which trains women to run for office, with a training in Minneapolis November 17-19.

No DFL candidates for governor at the annual pheasant opener, a birdie tells me. Better believe Sen. Amy Klobuchar was there.

Zach Kayser in Brainerd on Stewart Mills III throwin' some shade on Pete Stauber, who is running as a Republican in the Eighth CD. Mills said he'll decide whether to run again in good time.

Bluestem with a helpful rundown of CD1 fundraising. Strong showing by Dan Feehan.

Rep. Erin Maye Quade doesn't like the big estate tax cut some rich families will get after the Legislature approved it last year. Fun fact: She voted for it.

Great long read about a steelworker whose job has been shipped to Mexico. There's so much packed into this very personal story.

Douthat with an interesting take on the 70s vs. now.

Our era is less overtly sexually destructive in part because we are giving up on sex itself, retreating into pornography and other virtual consolations. In the 1970s people left their marriages because they believed some higher fulfillment awaited; in the 2010s they marry less, have less sex once married and have fewer children, opting out of promiscuity and procreation both. Abortion rates are down, but suicide rates are up. Hefnerism seems to have led us through orgiastic excess to depressing onanism.

Close readers of this newsletter will recognize my interest in the next two subjects: The zeitgeist is turning against Silicon Valley, Ben Smith wrote last month and you could hardly find a more shrewd seer of political culture than he.

This sort of political change happens slowly until it happens fast. Uber provided a new model for a transformative tech giant to crash through with a dark, negative brand. The company’s toxic internal culture and rogue business practices were pure extensions of Silicon Valley’s clichés, not particularly different from things Microsoft was once admired for, or Amazon’s more openly rapacious early years. But the narrative had changed — inequality and misogyny were central American concerns, not as easily brushed past.

 This week, it's the cover of the Sunday Review: If you aren't paying for the product, then you're the product: Noam Cohen hits on all the themes Smith warned were coming about Silicon Valley.

Finally, a shocking but somehow not surprising investigation on the opiate epidemic from Washington Post/"60 Minutes" on how the drug industry first used the Washington revolving door to hire DEA lawyers to beat back former colleagues, and then got Congress to pass a bill to weaken the DEA's ability to stem the flow of legal opiates to the streets:

The law was the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled narcotics to the black market. The industry worked behind the scenes with lobbyists and key members of Congress, pouring more than a million dollars into their election campaigns. The chief advocate of the law that hobbled the DEA was Rep. Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican who is now President Trump’s nominee to become the nation’s next drug czar.

What a world.

Correspond: patrick.coolican@startribune.com.

Have a great day all!

-- J. Patrick Coolican