Analiese’s Reading 5/30

Coleman backers are bad; Cheney, the annoying ex VP; Pawlenty makes it harder to vote; and progressives persuade Obama on Panama free trade.

Coleman backers also steer inchoate peace group

Minnesota businessmen Nasser Kazeminy and John Goodman both back Norm Coleman and both serve on the board of Step into World Peace, a curious local nonprofit that Harper’s Ken Silverstein probes this week. Silverstein finds vague goals, a shuttered Web site and no direct ties to Coleman — whose campaigns the pair have funded heavily and whose finances have drawn increasing scrutiny since Silverstein alleged last year that Kazeminy bought Coleman’s suits.

But Silverstein finds plenty to ponder when it comes to SIWP’s finances. The group has little to show for $88,000 it has spent out of the $110,000 it has raised — some $40,000 of which went to unspecified “contract labor” from 2002 to 2004.
Minnesota Independent

How Cheney Turned A Right-Wing Meme Mainstream

It looks like we’ve figured out what Dick Cheney meant when he said President Obama has “reserved unto himself” the right to order enhanced interrogation techniques.

Pawlenty’s voter-registration vetoes cut new drivers and ex-cons no slack

The words “veto” and “vote” may share the same letters but they’re at odds on Gov. Pawlenty’s desk the last two days. He won’t let Minnesotans get registered automatically as voters when they get licensed as drivers, and he won’t let felons get a letter about it when they get their voting rights back, either.
Minnesota Independent

Facing Progressive Pressure, Obama Backs Off Panama Free Trade Agreement

If you regularly read OpenLeft, you know we’ve been tracking this story, including the AFL-CIO announcement and the announcement today by the Populist Caucus to put major pressure on the White House to stop this NAFTA-style agreement. Indeed, as someone who has been working on this issue for a decade, I never thought I’d actually see the day where we, the progressive movement, could actually make a president back off (even temporarily) the NAFTA trade model.
Open Left

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