U.S. Steel CEO invites Trump to Iron Range

On Thursday, U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi invited President Donald Trump to visit the company’s operations on Northern Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range. Ron Brochu at Business North reports on the exchange. “What a great company. I love Caterpillar. I’ve been driving ‘em for a long time,” the president said. “Well, come out and see us… Read More →

GOP backs off federal land sale for now

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) withdrew his bill that would have allowed the government to sell federal lands for mining and other commercial use. Some had feared that the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness might find its way on the list of lands that could be mined in the future. The U.S. edition of the Guardian reported… Read More →

From pipelines to mines, Trumpism on the march

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order clearing the way for the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects. Both projects were stalled under President Obama out of environmental concerns. Citing the jobs the projects would create and promising American-made steel in the construction process, Trump waved his order in front of… Read More →

Analyzing President Trump’s inaugural address

President Trump’s inaugural address eschewed the literary finesse that most presidents strived for, and instead drove home one of the most confrontational, populist speeches ever uttered in this setting. It could have been Huey Long up there. “While they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for people across our land. That all… Read More →

A cautionary tale from Duluth’s Russian sister city

U.S./Russia relations continue to make headlines during President-elect Trump’s transition. Setting aside reports of Russian interference in American politics, there is the fact that Russia has sought to reassert itself as a counterbalance to American power on the world stage. The Russian intrigue is guaranteed to continue into Trump’s presidency. Trump announced last week that his first foreign trip will… Read More →

Recalling a lovely day in John Lewis’s district

By now perhaps the hubbub of yet another Donald Trump Twitter battle has waned, soon to be replaced some fresh outrage. But this last one caught my attention.  The President-elect singled out civil rights hero and Democratic Congressman John Lewis at the dawn of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday weekend. Lewis, of course, is no fan… Read More →

‘Dig Deep’ with new KAXE/KBXE podcast

Readers here at MinnesotaBrown.com might be interested in one of my new projects. Starting this week, Northern Community Radio will release a new podcast and radio feature called “Dig Deep.” It’s a one hour program featuring Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns fame and yours truly, produced by Heidi Holtan. “Dig Deep” is a monthly conversation… Read More →

Rick Nolan considering run for MN Governor

J. Patrick Coolican of the Star Tribune reports that U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan is considering running for governor in 2018. Nolan, a Democrat, represents the Eighth District of Northeastern Minnesota. Nolan pulled off a remarkable victory in his 2016 re-election bid. He defeated his Republican challenger even though this toss-up district swinging decisively toward Donald Trump in the presidential race. Nolan… Read More →

Rural broadband grants reach far, but little in St. Louis Co.

This morning, the state of Minnesota unveiled its list of projects funded under the Border-to-Border Broadband rural internet expansion program. The grants total more than $34 million and will fund 42 projects throughout the state. Several Northern Minnesota projects made the list. Paul Bunyan Communication will continue its expansion in Itasca County, including new territory in Harris Township… Read More →

Hope for broadband in 2017 MN legislative session?

As I mentioned before, the state of Minnesota’s efforts to expand broadband access in rural areas had one big effect last year. MinnesotaBrown World Headquarters is now hooked to a fiber optic cable capable of delivering gigabyte internet speeds. And I pay less per month for my internet, phone, and television services than I did… Read More →