Good Generic News

A new KSTP/SUSA polls says Minnesota voters aren’t enthralled with “the Trifecta“:

When likely voters were asked if they’re “generally more inclined to vote” for a Republican, Democrat or candidate from another party, 45% said they prefer Republicans, 44% prefer Democrats, 8% were undecided and 3% preferred another party.

Minnesota Republicans are taking encouragement from this – as they should.

The same poll shows Trump and the First Potato in a dead heat:

According to our latest exclusive KSTP/SurveyUSA poll of Minnesota voters, Biden leads Trump 44% to 42%, with 11% saying they’ll vote for another candidate and 4% undecided. The poll has a credibility interval, similar to margin of error, of ±4.9%

“When you have a 2-point race in a presidential year, you’ve got a competitive state,” Carleton College political analyst Steven Schier said. “One that both campaigns will probably pay attention to.”

I’d urge a little caution along with the exuberance:

  • See that11% “Other Candidate” and 4% in the Presidential poll (and 11% between “Other” and “Undecided” in the House race)? I’m going to guess that, among the Legal Pot and Libertarian and Ventura Party dross, that involves a lot of “Uncommitted” DFLers. Democrat intraparty squabbling is like a couple of bull hogs fighting for the best patch of mud – but being essentially herd animals, Democrat voters almost always “come home”.
  • The numbers in the House poll refer to generic Republicans versus generic Democrats. It’s contingent on coming up with candidates who are better than generic. There is a strong undercurrent in the MNGOP of the same crowd that made Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Tayor Green into powerbrokers. Someone needs to teach some Minnesota GOP voters what legislatures are for. On the other hand, it shows that for exceptional candidates – people cut from the same cloth as Harry Niska, Eric Lucero, Pam Scott, Walter Hudson and Mary Franson – there is immense opportunity.
  • The Conventional Wisdom in 2016, when Trump came without two points of toppling Hillary!, was that Trump didn’t “almost win”; Hillary!, being a terrible candidate, almost lost. We’ll see if Trump has increased his cachet, but it’s entirely possible the First Potato is a worse candidate than Hillary! was.

Still, two years into the “trifecta”, we’ve had worse news.

Let’s try not to screw this pooch, MNGOP.

Oops

So – why did the ever-so-decisive Minneapolis City Council delay its “minimum wage” hike against Uber and Lyft to July?

To help the soon-to-be-unemployed drivers?

To give the companies a reasonable chance to adjust?

HAH. Naïve peasant!

It’s to save the DFL from itself!

The Minneapolis City Council, in voting unanimously on Thursday to delay enactment of minimum pay rates for Uber and Lyft drivers for two months, offered a lifeline for Democratic legislators embroiled in their own divisions over the issue.

Legislative leaders, who are trying to craft their own compromise that would increase driver earnings but keep Uber and Lyft in the Twin Cities metro, are increasingly concerned that the polarizing ride hailing issue could upend the remainder of the legislative session, which hangs on a one-vote majority in the Senate.

The council has come under immense pressure to reconsider their minimum rates since the wide-ranging effects of Uber and Lyft pulling out have become more clear: some 10,000 drivers likely losing income without unemployment benefits and tens of thousands of convention-goers, commuters, bar hoppers and people with disabilities needing to find different transportation.

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, and House Majority Leader Jamie Long, DFL-Minneapolis, met recently with a half dozen members of the City Council to request the delay and remind them of the stakes of a deal, as well as the city’s significant legislative agenda at the Capitol, according to several people present or briefed on the conversation.

So they found an issue where out-radicaling each other isn’t bringing them votes.

Weird. It can be done.

BTW, if I were the CEOs of Lyft or Uber, I’d tell the CIty Council to go pound sand unless they all came to my headquarters on their knees to kiss my butt on live television.

An Intellectual Palate Cleanser

Sunny Hostin on The View: Climate Change caused the eclipse, has brought out the cicadas:

I wonder what “intellectual self-defense” looks like, legally? Because this woman is an immediate danger of destroying or gravely injuring the national intellect.

Twenty Reporters Walk Into A Bar, Over And Over And Over…

As we noted yesterday, the sports bar “A Bar Of Their Own” – which opened on March 1 to paeons of praise and wall-to-wall coverage from local media – has a unique-ish marketing hook; the TVs are all tuned to womens sports.

That’s all well and good. I support anyone and everyone bringing a new product or service, or bar for that matter, to the market and letting the market decide.

But, again as noted yesterday – if I were the proprietor of another sportsbar, I might be wondering what marketing hook I could come up with to get pretty much every single news outlet in town to come back, not once but several times, to provide breathless, adulatory coverage to my establishment?

“A Bar Of Their Own” (henceforth ABoTO) got the sort of gauzy, soft-focus, “lifestyle” coverage – sometimes not just bordering on cheerleading, but sailing right past it it into borderline unseemliness – that money can’t buy .

But – what if money did have to buy it?

How much free advertising (called “Earned Media”) did ABoTO get over this past few months?

Method To (March) Madness: Advertising costs money. And while rates and revenues have dropped sharply on traditional broadcast and print media over the past decade and change, it’s still not cheap.

So here’s what I did:

  1. I took the six biggest media outlets in the Twin Cities, other than Shot in the Dark and the Northern Alliance; WCCO (Channel 4), KSTP (Channel 5), KMSP (Channel 9), KARE (Channel 11), MPR and the Strib.
  2. I figured out how many times each of the outlets ran stories on, or prominently referencing, ABoTO. This is the “Story Count” for each outlet.
  3. I multiplied the number of stories by the number of “newscasts” on which the piece of hard hitting journalism appeared (the “Newscast/Publication Count” in the table below. (In the case of the Strib, this refers to many days it appeared in the paper).
  4. I multiplied the number of appearances by an adjusted, estimated spot ad rate. See “Assumptions”, below. That gave us a “Total Advertising Equivalent”.

Now, the goal is to provide a ball-park figure, not an academic or legal disquisition. But just so we’re clear, I made a few assumptions.

Assumptions: Here’s what I included and excluded, and why.

  • I included unique stories that appeared on the station website. Some outlets run the story online multiple times on the same date with different headlines. It’s a marketing thing.
  • I counted the number of newscasts that would have likely run the story. (With the Strib, I figured a story would run in one day’s edition).
  • I assumed each outlet would run the story for one day’s worth of newscasts. I know that the story ran for longer than one day on some TV stations, but I had no way to measure that.
  • I left out longer-form pieces, like appearances on “magazine” or “features” type shows (“Twin Cities Live”, “The Jason Show”, “Good Day” and the like).
  • The rates, I fudged – downward. A one minute spot on a major metro TV station newscast runs (according to local broadcast sources) between $1,000 and $1,500. There is of course a quantity discount (and the amount and frequency of some outlets coverage would seem, if only sarcastically, to appy), and ratings do count; I gave a 10% bump to Channel 4.
  • The rate and number of appearances on MPR are a semi-educated guess.
  • The rate at the Strib is evel less educated, and is based on the price of a prominent display ad.

With all that understood, here are the numbers:

StationStory CountNewscast/Publication CountTotal “Spots” (Broadcasts/Publications)Rate per “Spot”Total Advertising equivalent
WCCO TV (Channel 4)3721 $1,100$23,100
KSTP TV (Channel 5)51155$1,000$55,000
KMSP TV (Channel 9)61590$1,000$90,000
KARE TV (Channel 11)6742$1,000$42,000
MPR224$150$600
Star Tribune515$2,000$10,000
Total$230,700

The estimate is inexact – there might be other ways of estimating the numbers, but I can’t think of many objectively better – and I’d be amazed if any of them showed less benefit to ABoTO.

This is the spot where a lesser writer might throw in “doing this is more fun than watching most women’s sports” – but as I noted yesterday, I’m distantly related to women’s nordic skiing royalty, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love beach volleyball, so I’m going to let that trope go.

Anyway – I guess if you’re thinking about opening a business, the path to free advertising is clear.

“You Had One Job…”

For all the effort the Dems have expended on trying to get Trump off ballots, it appears Team Potato may have some work to do, too:

The law requires nominees to be certified at least 90 days before the general election, and Biden won’t become the official nominee until the Democrats hold their convention in Chicago — less than 90 days before the general election. Biden will miss the deadline by 12 days. 

So, apparently when Democrats say that their voters are too stupid to follow things like Voter ID laws, they might just be projecting.

How Do You Put Lipstick On A Pig?

Easy. Lie about how the pig has always had bright red lips.

That’s the tactic CD8 DFL candidate Jen Schultz is using to try to convince voters President Potato is somewhere north of worthless.

By picking numbers from the beginning of Reagan’s era, rather than, say, 1985, and assuming that people susceptible to voting for Jen Schultz either don’t remember the truth or are too intellectually bovine to question her.

As Berg’s 24th Law notes, it’s not a bad assumption.

The “Class Privilege” Combo Plate

In California, fast-food restaurants must now pay $20/hour. Newsom has celebrated this as a major achievement.

But Newsom’s restaurant group can, and does, hire people for much, much less.

PlumpJack Cafe in Olympic Valley – which is among a group of eateries owned by a company Newsom founded in 1992 – is hiring a part-time busser who “will aim to assist the food server … to ensure guest satisfaction during all aspects of the dining experience,” according to a ZipRecruiter posting.

The job listing states the salary for the busser is $16 an hour plus tips.

But a food service worker would make more working at a McDonald’s than at the high-end restaurant and bar thanks to the new $20 fast food minimum wage that went into effect Monday.

Fast food restaurants under Newsom’s law includes any place without table-side service that has more than 60 locations around the country – which seems pretty oddly specific, targeting McDonalds and skipping Chilis…

…or the PlumpJack group, where you can get a steak for $90 with tax and tip.

Some animals are more equal than others…

Preview: Twenty Reporters Walk Into A Bar, Over And Over And Over…

Perhaps you’ve heard – there’s a sports bar in Minneapolis that focuses on women’s sports.

And heard.

And heard.

And heard some more.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I wish “A Bar Of Their Own” all the best. I wish pretty much any private-sector business kills it in the market; I’m with pretty much any entrepreneur – even if I’m not necessarily a patron [1]

But if I owned a “regular” sports bar who might be looking at all that free coverage, I might be looking to make all “journalists” pay up their bar tabs.

A Bar Of Their Own has gotten a lot of free advertising from Twin Cities media.

How much?

Come back tomorrow.

[1] Heck, come Winter Olympics time I might even patronize a “female sports” focused bar, since I’ve got distant family among the elite ranks of Women’s XC Skiing.

“Red” Scare

To: DOJ/DHS/FBI/Deep State
From: Mitch Berg, Obstreporous Peasant
Re: McCarthy Called, He Wants His Scare Back

Feds,

Just a quick detour into music history:

OK – with that out of the way:

I mean, I‘ve been predicting this since 2009 – not that it was a huge reach.

Anyway, Ms. Federal Agent, it’s b-E-r-G. Not “U”. I’ve never actually met a Burg. And yes, that dress makes your ass look fat.

That is all.

Let’s See If I Have This Straight

According to this “independent” anti-gun sock puppet account, teachers are paragons of virtue who must be trusted even more than parents, including on childrens’ pre-adolescent decisions to neuter themselves – with the the odd exception…:

…unless they choose to avail themselves of the means, or live in a state that allows them to choose to avail themselves of the means, to defend their charges from violent attack at school, in which case are presumed to be (if you’ll pardon the expression) loose cannon until proven otherwise?

I swear, sometimes it’s exhausting trying to follow the left’s logic.

It’s Been Way Too Long

I was trying to remember how long it’d been since I [1] last threw an “alt-media” party. The semiannual Minnesota Organization of Bloggers parties were not just a regular feature of our annual calendar, but among the social highlights of my personal calendar during the MOB’s . We did them generally twice a year – but the last one was almost 11 years ago.

At their twice-a-year peak, we drew 120 people; bloggers, blog readers, NARN fans, even some leftybloggers and members of the MSM.

When the NARN celebrated it’s 10th anniversary in 2014, I joked about getting a tenth anniversary party together – but it never happened. Partly because the NARN had evolved from a big group show to 2-3 guys at any given time. Partly because the blogging community that had been such a vital dynamic achievement in the 2000s had been supplanted by social media, and by everyone’s real lives.

Anyway – the last party was 11 years ago.

Jack, Brad and I figured it was high time we fixed that. And Saturday night, at long last we did.

The NARN 20th anniversary party was last Saturday night. Jack, Brad and I, following the formula for responses I remembered from the MOB days, expected maybe 30 people. The total through the door was somewhere north of 60 – with 50 in the room at one point.

“The room” was at Exchange Food and Drink in New Brighton – a great venue with fantastic food and some honest pours. They also expected maybe 30 people (because that’s what I’d told them), so the one water covering the party room was scrambling like Fran Tarkenton (kids, ask your parents). But he pulled it off. I’ll try to be less modest next time – and. if you’re looking for a lovely place for a party, a date or lunch with your co-workers, I recommend 10/10.

Anyway – it was a fantastic time. And I realized how much I missed throwing these kinds of get-togethers. My life has been poorer for lack of them, and it’s not a mistake I’m going to make again. There will be another.

More later!

[1] and my various colleagues, of course – Brian and Chad and the guys way back when, Brad and Jack today.

The Thing That Wouldn’t Die

A friend of the blog emails:

I was always afraid the activists had too much control, [the FOB’s spouse] was confident that the state wouldn’t do something this stupid. But, it is getting talked about in mainstream media now. It’s probably really going to happen, isn’t it? 

The FOB is talking about the “Plan” being pushed by “advocates” to replace I94 between the downtowns with a “boulevard”.

Normally at this point, of course, I’d say it’s just another racket to transfer money from the taxpayers to the non-profit and consultant “advocate” class. They can write puff-piece reports and squalls of PR material on the indirect public dime, build entire careers out of yapping about vaporware projects.

But the people who love to play with the levers and buttons and knobs of government have gotten their hands on this, so I’d say the odds are pretty decent that a lot more money will be spent on this.

The obvious question is, what happens when an untstoppable money-squandering force (the drive to gut 94) meets the immovable money-squandering object (the drive to put a deck over the freeway to rebuild Rondo)?

They can’t both win…

“Feckless And Craven”

It appears the Vegetable In Chief has browbeaten Netanyahu into letting Hamas live to rape, burn and mutilate another day:

Very discouraging news out of Israel today that the IDF is pulling its forces out of southern Gaza, supposedly to “rest, regroup, and re-supply” after four months of hard fighting. Let us hope this is true, but one can’t help but suspect that this move may be in response to demands from the Biden Administration that will inevitably lead to a permanent cease-fire which will amount to a Hamas victory, because Hamas will have survived a hard Israeli punch but will now have time and room to rebuild. (Axios is now reporting that Biden delivered an ultimatum to Netanyahu.)

Biden appears to be well on his way to making Jimmy Carter look like a foreign policy titan:

When I heard the news of the IDF strike that killed seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen, my first instinct was that the aid workers were set up by Hamas through false or deceptive intelligence sent to the Israelis. We know Hamas uses civilians as human shields and welcomes civilian casualties as a means of propaganda, and foreign civilian casualties are the best propaganda of all. Maybe an Israeli officer was hasty and had a twitchy trigger, but I doubt it. In any case, it gave the feckless and craven Biden Administration the excuse it needed to break with Israel (as I predicted it eventually would), in the biggest betrayal of an ally since Munich in 1938.

I have never been more ashamed to be an American.

Feeling So 1938

History doesn’t repeat – but it rhymes.

The world’s major powers are rattling their sabers as they spar in secondary theaters.

The economies are in the hands of people who love to tinker with the levers and buttons of the Big State.

And young intellectually over-stimulated but underendowed bobbleheads are romping and playing:

Everything old is new again.

Never Give Up

Guy gets ambushed by girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend in a Minneapolis apartment hallway.

Gets shot 15 times.

At 5-12 foot range

With a .45 ACP.

And lives to return fire.

And then performs first aid on himself until the cops arrived.

And, three years later, tells his story:

And whatever your stance on self-defense, this is an amazing story.

Poorer Minnesota

Minnesota used to significantly outperform the rest of the US in germs of gross and per capita GDP growth.

Today?

[Since] 2019 — the last pre-COVID year — Minnesota’s real GDP growth has ranked 36th out of the fifty states, coming in at 4.0%, less than half the national rate of 8.1%.

The gross GDP growth comparison is bad. The per capita numbers, even worse:

Minnesota’s recent performance is relatively poor. As Figure 2 shows, between 2019 and 2023, Minnesota’s real, per capita GDP growth ranked 39th out of the fifty states. Again, with growth of 3.1%, Minnesota’s real, per capita GDP growth was less than half that of the United States, 6.6%.

The Walz regime will respond, no doubt, as it always does; with a selfie of “Lieutenant” Governor Flanagan feeding Governor Klink a pronto pup.

Capital, productive citizens and the college kids who are the productive citizens of the future are fleeing. Businesses have been moving their non-white-collar operations out of MInnesota for decades.

Reality Always Wins

You may not win along with it, but that’s your fault for denying reality.

Speaking of denying reality: we warned MInneapolis about the inevitable end results of rent control, high taxes and onerous regulations (aka “everything the Met Council does re housing and transit policy”).

And yet every $%#$%$@# time their chickens come home to roost, they act surprised and angry:

The comments in that thread are lit, by the way; every metro housing advocate’s inner Lenin is showing.

What A Difference 48 Hours Makes

“President” Biden, last Friday:

“I, Joseph R. Biden … do hereby proclaim March 31, 2024, as Transgender Day of Visibility,” said the White House proclamation issued Friday and signed by Mr. Biden.

Biden, Sunday:

As he left the 144th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, Mr. Biden was quizzed by reporters about House Speaker Mike Johnson’s denunciation of the transgender proclamation as “outrageous and abhorrent.”

“Speaker Johnson called it ‘outrageous’ that Easter Sunday was Transgender Day of Visibility. What do you say to Speaker Johnson?” asked a reporter, according to the White House pool report.

Mr. Biden replied: “He’s thoroughly uninformed.”

When pressed for details, the president responded: “I didn’t do that.”

The “observance” has been on March 31 for about 15 years, now – it was going to coincide with Easter someday, one way or another.

Which, of course, doesnt’ explain why the White House gave it equal billing with the holiest day of the faith the President throws about as a prop when it suits him (or, more likely, his comms staff).

Now, if it coincided with Ramadan, or May Day? That’s a needle I look forward to seeing the “President” try to thread.

And I’m sure he will get his chance, as just about every other day is some sort of LGBTQ+ observance or another.

Theory

A significant chunk of the far-left clacque that runs politics in the metro are Marxists, either overtly or under the hood.

And an amazing number of them subscribe to the “Labor Theory of Value” – the idea that labor, as opposed to the other three factors (Capitol, Management and Land) is the dispositive factor of production.

I have been challenging adherents for years – test the theory by taking a group of fast food workers, plopping them on a vacant lot, and seeing if a Hardee’s springs up around them.

It’s an absurd test – exactly the one the theory deserves.

I used to say nobody had taken the challenge.

But it appears that, at least indirectly, someone just might.

They’ll Never Do Lunch In DC Again

One of the big quasi-empirical drivers to “DEI” (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) in the business world was a McKinsey consulting study from almost ten years ago, whose results claimed that diversity was strength, not just for virtue-signaling purposes, but in bottom line terms.

If it seemed like a stretch – it was. A new study can’t reproduce McKinsey’s results:

However, when we revisit McKinsey’s tests using data for firms in the publicly observable S&P 500® as of 12/31/2019, we do not find statistically significant relations between McKinsey’s inverse normalized Herfindahl-Hirschman measures of executive racial/ethnic diversity at mid-2020 and either industry-adjusted earnings before interest and taxes margin or industry-adjusted sales growth, gross margin, return on assets, return on equity, and total shareholder return over the prior five years 2015–2019. Combined with the erroneous reverse-causality nature of McKinsey’s tests, our inability to quasi-replicate their results suggests that despite the imprimatur given to McKinsey’s studies, they should not be relied on to support the view that US publicly traded firms can expect to deliver improved financial performance if they increase the racial/ethnic diversity of their executives.

Full study here.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that corporate America is going to stuff the toothpaste back into the tube; that would be a free market response, and Human Resources is a little bit of government, with all the attendant hidebound inflexibility and mulishness, embedded into the market.