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Robbins: President Biden taking punches from the left and right

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Robbins: President Biden taking punches from the left and right

The immutable laws of politics and of human nature make one thing clear: It’s easier to be angry than it is to be rational, and it’s more satisfying. Leaders to whom citizens owe a great deal are often punished, undone by undercurrents of “What have you done for me lately?”

Just two months after he had finished rescuing his nation from the brink of national obliteration, winning a once impossible-seeming victory over Nazi Germany, Winston Churchill was overwhelmingly voted out of the prime minister’s chair. Churchill’s countrymen chose Labor Party head Clement Attlee to replace him in Britain’s 1945 election, persuaded that Attlee was the one who could deliver competence in government.

In 1946, American voters rejected the Democratic party of Franklin Roosevelt, who had delivered them from a Great Depression spawned by Republican policies under Republican presidents and who had defeated the Axis coalition in the World War just recently ended. Defections from within the Democratic party contributed mightily to massive Republican gains, resulting in Republican control over Congress for the first time since 1932.

In 2016, the fact that President Barack Obama had rescued America from financial collapse, and expanded health care for tens of millions of Americans, presiding over an administration that was clean as the proverbial whistle, did not inoculate him from the white-hot white rage that catapulted Donald Trump into an Oval Office in which he most assuredly did not belong

So it isn’t surprising that the laws of politics and human nature have combined to batter President Joe Biden’s approval ratings. A president who has done an admirable job of lifting America out of an abyss has been subjected to a frenzied whipsaw by both the right and the left.

Biden assumed the presidency of a country riven by divisions not seen since the Civil War, whose economy had been decimated by a global pandemic that was taking 43,000 American lives a month. His administration has battled through dumb and dishonest misinformation campaigns in order to orchestrate the delivery of at least one dose of COVID vaccine to 220 million Americans. Within weeks of being inaugurated he enacted a $1.9 trillion stimulus package for a country on the ropes, and he has nudged historic infrastructure and social safety net bills down the field, positioning them for passage in some meaningful form in the near future.

But half of Americans reside in a world of angry fantasy, lapping up the fiction that Biden lost an election that he won. They cheer what for them is the somehow excellent news that the president is unable to wave a magic wand and make a global pandemic disappear. Meanwhile Fox News personalities deride vaccinations, discouraging Americans from receiving them, thereby fostering illness and delaying our recovery. By mocking vaccinations, Fox’s entertainers encourage their viewers not to take simple measures that will save their lives — even as the entertainers make sure to get themselves vaccinated, and even as Fox itself demands that they do so.

For their part, progressive Democrats squat in the Land of Make Believe. They make believe that Democrats hold a majority of the Senate, rather than merely 50 votes. They make believe Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema do not exist. They make believe that Democrats have something more than a razor-thin majority in the House, one likely to be erased next year. They make believe that if President Biden simply stamps his feet the political realities that make it impossible for them — and him — to achieve all they wish to achieve will be replaced by different, more favorable realities.

So they take to the airwaves and social media to criticize the president in terms that are unfair, inviting others to join them in their bubble.

Caught in a vise between the unhinged and the irrational, Biden has his work cut out for him. As history has shown, a good and admirable job leading a country is no guarantee that his countrymen will judge him fairly.


Jeff Robbins is a Boston lawyer and former U.S. delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

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Business People: BWBR names Stephanie McDaniel president and CEO

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Election 2021: St. Paul school board candidates

OF NOTE – ARCHITECTURE/ENGINEERING

Stephanie McDaniel

BWBR, St. Paul, announced that Stephanie McDaniel has been named president and CEO, becoming the first woman to hold these titles in the 100-year history of the company.

ADVERTISING/PUBLIC RELATIONS

Fallon, Minneapolis, announced it has selected U.S. creative agency of record for Entenmann’s, a national provider of grocery store bakery product brands, including Little Bites, Minis and Donuts.

FOOD

Hormel Foods, an Austin, Minn.-based branded food company, announced that Jim Sheehan plans to retire as executive vice president and chief financial officer after 43 years with the company. Jacinth Smiley, group vice president of corporate strategy, has been named his successor.

GOVERNMENT

The Prairie Island Indian Community, a federally recognized Indian Nation located in southeastern Minnesota, announced the following new members of its Community Council (Tribal Council): Shelley Buck, Michael Childs Jr., Johnny Johnson, Valentina Mgeni and Cody Whitebear. The newly elected council will be sworn in on Dec. 5.

HEALTH CARE

HealthPartners, a Bloomington-based health insurer and operator of hospitals and clinics, announced that Dr. Mark Sannes has been named co-executive medical director of its care group.

HONORS

The national Tnemec Tank of the Year contest announced that three Minnesota decorative community water tower tanks were selected to receive awards: the Moorhead tank was selected as Tnemec’s Tank of the Year; Rochester‘s tank was People’s Choice, and Lino Lakes was No. 5 runner up. Engineers involved on the projects include Apex Engineering, WSB, Braun Intertec and KLM Engineering. Tnemec is an industrial paint and coatings company. … The Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce announced that Cindy Haas, senior vice president of private banking at Gateway Bank, is the first female business leader to receive the chamber’s Legacy Award.

LAW

Fredrikson & Byron, Minneapolis, announced the re-election of Kevin P. Goodno, Sean P. Kearney and James H. Snelson to the firm’s board of directors. … Larkin Hoffman, Minneapolis, announced that Cory Behrendt has joined the firm as chief information officer. … Dorsey & Whitney, Minneapolis, announced that it has named 19 new partners in the firm, effective Jan.1; Minneapolis partners are Trevor Brown, Labor & Employment; Evan Everist, Trademark; Morgan Helme, Mergers & Acquisitions; Alan Iverson, Healthcare Litigation; Alex Sellke, Real Estate; Vanessa Szalapski, Healthcare Litigation; Tiana Towns, Construction & Design, and David Townsend, Technology Commerce. … St. Paul law firm HAWS-KM announced the addition of attorney Aidan Zielske, practicing in the areas of product liability defense, transportation litigation, commercial litigation, and toxic torts.

MANUFACTURING

Donaldson Co., a Bloomington-based international maker of filter systems for industry, announced that it has elected Christopher Hilger to its board of directors. Hilger is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Securian Financial Group, St. Paul. … Sleep Number Corp., a Minneapolis-based maker and retailer of specialty mattresses and beds, announced the appointment to its board of Phillip Eyler and Angel L. Mendez; Eyler is president and CEO of Gentherm, a developer of thermal management technologies; Mendez is the former executive vice president and chief operating officer of HERE Technologies. … Dalsin Industries, a Bloomington-based metal fabrication manufacturer, announced the following changes to its board of directors: Board member and Co-Chairman Mark Dalsin has retired, and Diana Dalsin and Jim Glomstad have joined the board. Diana Dalsin is community relations manager at Bridging Minnesota, a homeless advocacy and support organization; Glomstad is chief executive officer of Sportech, a maker of cab components for sport-related, agricultural and industrial vehicles.

MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY

Intricon Corp., an Arden Hills-based developer of miniature interventional, implantable and body-worn medical devices, announced that Ellen Scipta has stepped down as chief financial officer; Annalee Lutgen, treasurer and director of finance, will serve as interim CFO as the company conducts a search for a permanent replacement.

ORGANIZATIONS

Launch Minnesota, a St. Paul-based group focused on helping businesses find strartup funding, announced that Maddy Kennedy has been named program specialist.

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The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12: Last-minute moves

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The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12: Last-minute moves

UPDATE: 10:45 a.m. Sunday

The big news this morning involves the running game, as a number of prominent backs are going to be back on the gridiron.

The ranks of the returning include the Giants’ Saquon Barkley, Jacksonville’s James Robinson, the 49ers’ Elijah Mitchell, Atlanta’s Cordarrelle Patterson, Seattle’s Alex Collins and two Patriots: Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson.

Still questionable is Green Bay RB Aaron Jones, which is troublesome since that’s a late-afternoon game.

Players ruled out for Week 12 include Giants WR Kadarius Toney, Jets wideout Corey Davis. and Giants TE Kyle Rudolph.

Those cleared to play include Rams QB Matthew Stafford, Ravens WR Marquise Brown, Cleveland WR Donovan Peoples-Jones and New England tight end Hunter Henry.

UPDATE: 10:51 a.m. Saturday
They share a surname, and a talent for catching passes. And this week, both Tennessee’s A.J. Brown and Tampa Bay’s Antonio Brown will be on the sideline.

Those absences are not equal. The Titans’ Brown will be greatly missed as he is a vital part of that team’s offense, especially since the departure of Derrick Henry. Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill should be downgraded this week because of Brown’s absence, and many other reasons.

Tampa Bay’s Brown is a shadow of his former self and just one of many receiving options for Tom Brady. He was not a must-start like A.J.

Titans running back Jeremy McNichols has also been ruled out of tomorrow’s game at New England. For the struggling New York Giants, WR Sterling Shepard has been ruled out, and sidekick Kadarius Toney is considered very doubtful to play against Philadelphia.

One big name should be back this week. Cleveland RB Kareem Hunt should return to his No. 2 role behind Nick Chubb.

Notables listed as questionable this morning (besides Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh awaiting his annual Ohio State beatdown) include Giants RB Saquon Barkley, Green Bay RB Aaron Jones, 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell, Seattle RB Alex Collins, Jets wideout Corey Davis, Giants tight end Kyle Rudolph and Patriots TE Jonnu Smith.

ORIGINAL POST: 11:12 a.m. Wednesday
We all have a lot to give thanks for this year. This week’s availability of top fantasy football stars is not one of them.

Two of the top contenders for Super Bowl LVI, the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals, are on bye this week. So, stars ranging from Patrick Mahomes to Kyler Murray to Travis Kelce and DeAndre Hopkins will be spending time with their families while you spend time ignoring your families while scrounging for replacements on the waiver wire.

The three-game slate of Thanksgiving games is also a problem because it makes the return of injured standouts more untenable. Teams are unlikely to risk their fragile stars coming back on a short week, whether we’re talking about Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott or New Orleans star Alvin Karama.

Is there anything you can find on the fantasy buffet to replace your missing gridiron calories? Here’s a half dozen prospects likely still available in your league, and could be hot dishes in Week 12:

Devonta Freeman (Ravens RB) — The veteran has emerged from the mish-mash that is the Baltimore backfield to become the undisputed No. 1. His yardage totals aren’t much, but he has a TD in four of his past five games. He likely will make it 5 out of 6 against Cleveland.

Baltimore Ravens Devonta Freeman celebrates his touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Chicago. The Ravens won 16-13. (AP Photo/David Banks)

Rex Burkhead (Texans RB) — Houston suddenly decided to give the former Patriot a first-string workload last week. He rushed 18 times in the Texans’ upset of Tennessee and could be in line for his first touchdown of the season Sunday against the lowly Jets.

1638037688 682 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Houston Texans running back Rex Burkhead (28) and Los Angeles Rams linebacker Troy Reeder (51) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Justin Rex )

Elijah Moore (Jets WR) — Speaking of the Jets, this rookie has emerged as New York’s most reliable fantasy option. He has four TDs in his past three games and is coming off a 141-yard effort vs. Miami. He could do just as well against Houston.

1638037688 875 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
New York Jets’ Elijah Moore runs with the ball for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)

Marvin Jones (Jaguars WR) — He’s one of the season’s biggest disappointments with only 42 catches and three touchdowns. But Jacksonville has played better lately, and the Atlanta defense has not. A good candidate for a late-season revival.

1638037688 902 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) runs a route during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers QB) — The Vikings’ defense was mostly shredded in the second half by Aaron Rodgers last Sunday, and the San Fran attack has been perking up. Garappolo has accounted for two TDs in four straight games and will likely make it a fifth Sunday.

1638037688 214 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

Trevor Siemian (Saints QB) — Hard to believe but the former Northwestern platoon QB has been one of the top fantasy QBs the past three weeks after replacing Jameis Winston. A lot of his stats have been padded in garbage time, and there will be more of that against the Bills.

1638037689 790 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) grabs his leg after being hurt during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

SITTING STARS
The Indianapolis defense has been pretty stout lately, which means Tom Brady and Chris Godwin might be the only Buccaneers you should start this week. … OK, and Rob Gronkowski. … Carolina QB Cam Newton will see his two-game streak of both throwing and running for a touchdown end against Miami. … Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, but we think you should avoid starting him against the Ravens. … The Chargers’ Austin Ekeler will find tougher going in Denver, so don’t expect another four TDs from him. … And we’re not expecting much from either of the running attacks in Lambeau Field on Sunday, so you might pause slightly before starting Green Bay’s A.J. Dillon or the Rams’ Darrell Henderson.

1638037689 338 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates his first touchdown at Bank of America Stadium after returning to the team during an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

MATCHUP GAME
If Detroit is finally going to win a game, and it might, then RB D’Andre Swift will have to have a big Turkey Day. … Seattle QB Russell Wilson has been horrible since returning from injury but will regain some of his form vs. Washington. … Dallas QB Dak Prescott was spitting mad off after going touchdown-free in Kansas City, so he will bounce back against the sinking Raiders … Washington RB Antonio Gibson and wideout Terry McLaurin will have big games against Seattle … Same goes for Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews vs. Cleveland. … And speaking of tight ends, look for the 49ers’ George Kittle to look like his old self against what’s left of the Vikings’ defense.

1638037689 693 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) runs for a 57-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

INJURY WATCH
Chicago won’t have Justin Fields at quarterback on Thanksgiving in Detroit, so Andy Dalton will be back over center. As for the winless Lions, QB Jared Goff is said to be “trending” towards starting. … Also Thursday, Dallas is hoping to get WR CeeDee Lamb out of the concussion protocols in time to face the Raiders. … Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers will be inhibited by a toe injury and a depleted offensive line against the Rams, though you likely should start him anyway. … Players ruled out include Dallas WR Amari Cooper, Jacksonville wideout Jamal Agnew, Seattle RB Chris Carson and Philly RB Jordan Howard. … The ranks of the questionable include San Fran RB Elijah Mitchell, Atlanta RB Cordarrelle Patterson, Titans WR A.J. Brown, Baltimore WR Marquise Brown, Cleveland WR Jarvis Landry, Chicago WR Darnell Mooney and Washington tight end Logan Thomas.

1638037689 789 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) looks to pass the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

THE DEEPEST SLEEPERS
The New York Jets need to replace rookie running back Michael Carter for at least a couple of weeks because of a high ankle sprain. Who will it be? Either Tevin Coleman or Ty Johnson. One or both could become a fantasy factor, particularly with the lowly Houston Texans on the slate this week. Coleman, with only 118 yards on the season, is likely to get the most rushing attempts, while Johnson, with three touchdowns on the season, will be the primary pass catcher. With Zack Wilson returning to quarterback the J-E-T-S, we like Johnson best in this showdown of 2-8 juggernauts.

1638037689 114 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
New York Jets running back Ty Johnson (25) runs before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

THE THURSDAY PICKS
Bears at Lions (+3½):
Pick: Lions by 3
Raiders at Cowboys (-7½):
Pick: Cowboys by 8
Bills at Saints (+4½):
Pick: Bills by 7

1638037689 274 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates after a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

BREAKING NEWS
We’ll be updating our column, based on the latest injuries and innuendo, right up until Sunday’s kickoff. Go to TwinCities.com/theloop.

You can hear Kevin Cusick on Wednesdays on Bob Sansevere’s “BS Show” podcast on iTunes. You can follow Kevin on Twitter — @theloopnow. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Large fire reported at recycling business in East St. Louis

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Large fire reported at recycling business in East St. Louis

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – The Christmas Traditions Festival is a celebration that business owners on Main Street in St. Charles rely on to stay afloat, especially coming out of the pandemic. But, they worry barriers will block the shoppers they need this season. 

“The question is do we have a shopping and dining district or do we have a street party district?” said Robert Schuette, owner of First Capitol Trading Collectibles and Gifts. 

Business owners on Main Street were notified on Nov. 2 that the St. Charles Fire chief approved a city ordinance to block off the strip from parking on weekends during the Christmas Traditions Festival for public safety reasons … but they say, blocking vehicles also block sales. 

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