Their Masters Voice

Sunday liquor sales.

All of the states bordering Minnesota have it. Most of the people of Minnesota want it. The ones that don’t, really don’t care about the issue all that much.

And for alcohol retailers in border cities, it’s a significant economic issue.

Seems like a no-brainer, right?

Not when the Teamsters get involved:

Even though the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) possesses a majority in the state House and state Senate, it does not retain complete free will in terms of policy adjustments (but who does?); the Teamsters lobby (like many unions) has an uncanny ability to get elected officials of the DFL variety to acquiesce to their views.
This past week Ed Reynoso, the Teamster’s Union political director, pulled a few strings with DFL leaders to stop the sale of growlers (a practice becoming popular in the taprooms of microbreweries around the state) on Sunday. He did this because an unnamed liquor distribution company, which employs some of his members, claims it would reopen contracts due to the legal changes made by the law.

Acouple of phone calls from a couple of unions to a couple of DF hours, and it looks like Sunday liquor sales are toast for the next year or two.

It’s the Minnesota way.

Satirically Speaking

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

. Governor Mark Dayton (DFL- Minnesota) astounded his critics today by amending his legislative proposal to include $100,000,000 of new bonding authority for the Minnesota Housing Finance Authority. “for too long, Republicans have said the Democrats won’t put their money where their mouth is. That ends today” said governor dayton. “starting immediately, every state County School District and city employee must reside within 3 blocks of the light rail line. This will demonstrate our commitment to light rail and show the public that everyone in the government has the public best interest at heart. I, myself, am moving to an apartment at University Avenue and Western Avenue, so I can ride the light rail to the capital to work. This new bonding Authority will give the government money to subsidize employees mortgages so they can relocate closer to the right location. I encourage all Metro DFL representatives to do the same.”

That’ll happen when the Democrats in Congress sign up for Obamacare.

Huckperbole

The goverment is too powerful.  Individual freedom has been eroding for decades, and is frankly in a terrible state today.

And I do very sincerely believe we must watch out for slippery slopes – which most assuredly exist – when guarding the freedoms we have (and, ideally, bringing them back to where they belong).

And as Goldwater pointed out, “extremism in pursuit of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue”.

But let’s not get carried away, mkay?

Settled Science

Via h John Hinderaker at Power Line, still more empirical evidence that “shall issue” laws reduce violent crime, including/especially gun crime:

The CCW dummy variable is significant and positive, but the assault weapons ban is insignificant. Given that the average gun-related murder rate over the period in question was 3.44, the results of the present study indicate that states with more restrictive CCW laws had gun-related murder rates that were 10% higher. In addition, the Federal assault weapons ban is significant and positive, indicating that murder rates were 19.3% higher when the Federal ban was in effect. These results corroborate the findings of Lott and Mustard (1997). These results suggest that, even after controlling for unobservable state and year fixed effects, limiting the ability to carry concealed weapons may cause murder rates to increase.

I urge you to read the study.  Long story short:  ”shall issue” laws, at the very worst, have no negative effect on crime, and may reduce it.  ”Assault weapons” bans, on the other hand, are worthless.

Yet again.

As Long As It Fits Under A Helmet…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The traditional High and Tight would solve this problem, if we weren’t trying so hard to be stylish and ethnic that we can’t figure out how to be a soldier.

I recommend every non-minority officer above Captain be fired and we pay millions of dollars in reparations to the women whose feelings were hurt.

Joe Doakes

Perhaps a better answer: since the military’s most elite troops – “Delta” and “Seal Team Six” (neither unit has actually gone by either name in decades) wear their hair long and even wear beards, clearly the answer is to turn the entire Army and Navy into Deltas and Seals.

Then everyone will be happy.

No Wonder The Left Hates Him So Much

Charles Koch, one of the “Koch Brothers”, the left’s current boogeymen du jour and donor of a tiny fraction of the money bequeathed to progressivism by much more “generous” liberal plutocrats, writing in the WSJ, with occasional emphasis added:

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.

A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens.

That last emphasized sentence is going to be the subject of a couple of blog posts very soon here. 

The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.

The whole thing is worth a read.

The Kochs are fundamentally libertarian-conservatives; they have some stances that vex some paleos. 

Asking “progressives” to explain exactly what’s wrong with the Koch Brothers – especially in light of the fact that there are dozens of plutocrats that give much more money to the left – is akin to watching Daffy Duck sputter; lots of flying saliva, not much fact, logic or reason. 

So why do they do it?

Berg’s Seventh Law explains it all.

Saturday Plans

Don’t forget – the “Shooter Show” is happening all weekend at Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in Robbinsdale.   I’ll be be broadcasting live from the range (or, ideally, the other side of a soundproof wall from the range) on Saturday from 1-3. 


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Here’s the deal:  there’ll be 50-odd manufacturers there.  You can try out any of the guns on display – just buy the ammo. 

And I’m fixing to adjourn to a neighborhood watering hole after the show.  Call it a NARN “Shoot and a Shot” party. 

Hope to see you there!

 

“Welcome To Marriage Mart, Your Home Of Equality!”

According to Senator Dan Hall, the DFL is about to propose a bill that would allow notary publics to perform civil weddings.

what this actually means is that the DFL campaign for “marriage equality” has been about making all forms of marriage worthless – a civil institution with all the more gravity involved in renewing your license tabs.

I know conservatives say there’s a case to be made for pushing back on this – and I think the “cheapen the institution of the family” lobby is going a bridge too far, even in Minnesota.

But even now with this proposal, I think the next step for supporters of the traditional family is obvious.

It’s time for people of faith to start pushing, hard, the idea of the “covenant marriage” – a marriage, even if only initiated between people of faith and ignoring the whole civil process, that holds the ideal and idea of marriage to a higher standard than the civil variety.

One of the problems with the debate about marriage in this past couple of decades has been that it’s been a little like debating which variety of 1972 Chevy Vega was worse. Marriage in general has been cheapened in the past 40 to 50 years – no fault divorce played its role, as did the changing secular notion of “family”.  The civic idea of “family” has changed in our society, perhaps (in its current form) fatally. The state to which marriage was actually observed in our society has slipped to a point where it’s hardly a defensible institution, its present form.

Along with the drive on the part of many conservatives and people are faced to privatize marriage comes the imperative to make the religious institution of marriage demonstrably better thing that the civil, profane alternative.

The Peter Judiciary

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The President of the State Bar Association explains the drive to change how judgeships are filled:

“ . . . formalize our current informal practice of filling vacancies by gubernatorial appointment, rather than by election; implement a merit-selection process for judges at all levels of the judiciary; create an evaluation process where a commission comprising both lawyers and nonlawyers will assess judges’ performance based on objective criteria, and publicize these evaluations to the public; and require judges to take part in retention elections rather than participate in “contested” races that, in reality, are rarely contested and involve voters who often have little to no information about the judges whose names appear on the ballot.”

Right now, vacant judgeships are filled by election except when an untimely vacancy occurs, then the Governor appoints judges recommended by the Judicial Selection Commission. The Commission members are listed here and you can draw your own conclusions about whether they are likely to recommend Liberal candidates and whether a Democrat governor will select a Liberal candidate. Giving the Governor power to appoint all judges means control of the judiciary is removed one more step away from the people they’re supposed to serve, one more step toward total DFL control over all three branches of government.

The Commission is required to evaluate candidates based on the criteria in Subd. 8 of the statute. These criteria are not merit-based, they are almost entirely worthless. Only three of these criteria can be measured: are you a women, are you a minority and how many trials have you had? All the other criteria are so subjective the Commission doesn’t dare rely on them for fear of being labeled sexist, racist or part of the Old Boy Network. So basically, the best qualified candidates under the statutory criteria are the ones who have tried the most cases.

But counting trials is a lousy way to select judges. It’s a shoddy lawyer that takes every case to trial; real skill lies in negotiating an out-of-court settlement that satisfies all parties. The only lawyers who can afford to indulge in trying cases are prosecutors, public defenders and insurance defense lawyers, which explains why the trial bench and now the Court of Appeals is loaded with judges who have no experience in the wider practice of law such as family law and real estate law. That, in turn, explains some of the bizarre opinions issued by the Court of Appeals in recent years. It’s not that judges are howling idiots, they just don’t know any better.

Appointing judges who don’t know the law is bad enough. Expecting citizens to mount campaigns to remove those judges is worse. Far from institutionalizing excellence, we’ll be insulating mediocrities from any prospect of accountability. So – perfect for the DFL. Rotten for everyone else.

Joe Doakes

if there’s one thing the conservative side of the aisle has done very badly, it is explain why their constant fussing about judicial elections actually matters.

So I think Joe has done a great public service, here, today.

Among The Bitter Gun-Clinging Jeebus Freaks

Insulting Iowa farmers…

…is probably not a great idea if you’re running to represent them in the Senate.

That’s Iowa Democrat Bruce Braley. He’s running against Chuck Grassley (who is, partly in the interest of disclosure but mostly as a matter of fun trivia, either a very distant relative or at least someone whose ancestors come from the same village in Norway as my paternal grandmother’s family) – but most importantly, he apparenly is banking on “people who went to law school” putting him over the top against “people who didn’t”.

Bulletproof

Scott Walker is revolutionizing midwestern politics in Wisconsin.  And it’s driving Wisconsin Democrats crazy.  They are pulling out all the stops – and all the dirty tricks that decades of Democrat rulers accreted to help them try to keep their power – to try to depose him. 

Including an anonymous, unaccountable “John Doe” investigation that is essentially an extended prosecutorial fishing trip…

…that has found nothing against Governor Walker.  And, arguably, was never intended to – so much as it was to create a long, extended smear of Walker in the compliant press. 

It doesn’t seem to be working.  Walker’s approval is at 52%, and…:

The latest Marquette Law School poll, released Wednesday, shows Walker’s lead on presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke in the run-up to Wisconsin gubernatorial race in November has crept up a percentage point, to 48 percent to 41 percent. Walker led Burke, a wealthy Madison liberal and Commerce Secretary under former Democrat Gov. Jim Doyle, 47 percent to 41 percent in the law school’s last poll in January.

The poll of 801 Wisconsin registered voters was conducted by cell phone and landline March 20-23, a month after the release of Rindfleisch’s emails, which proved somewhat embarrassing for Walker and his associates but showed no evidence of illegal activity by Walker.

Wisconsin Democrats may wind up “attacking” Walker all the way to the White House at this rate.

Demand Integrity!

Keith Ellison, speaking to the Democrats’ greatest public intellectual, Bill Maher, had the following exchange:

“Why doesn’t your party come out against the Second Amendment? It’s a problem,” Maher asks, to which Ellison replies, “I sure wish they would. I sure wish they would.”

I with the Democrat Party would do it, too.  It’d be a sign of integrity. 

Even with the extra context that the City Pages’ Aaron Rupar is careful to note (for Ellison):

It should be noted, however, that earlier in the segment Ellison said, “I don’t think you have to eliminate ownership of all guns in order to get some common-sense gun rules.” So what he means in saying he wishes Dems would come out against the Second Amendment isn’t totally clear.

Of course it is.

Ellison believes the Democrats should endorse the idea that civil rights and liberties are gifts from the government to the people.  Things to be doled out by a wide, benificent government to the gabbling rabble they are chose to rule. 

Ellison just wants the Democrat party to reclaim its legacy as the party of people who decide who gets what rights – just like it did under slavery and Jim Crow. 

It’s perfectly clear.

Carrying On

A Ramco juidge sentenced CIndarion Butler to 16 years yesterday for the joy-pummeling of Ray Widstrand.   

The mob beating – carried out by self-styled gang members in what happens to be my old neighborhood, out on the lower East Side of Saint Paul near Payne and Minnehaha, which was a “neighborhood with challenges” 25 years ago and not much better now - got national attention last summer for its callous brutality; while five punks were charged with the beating, witnesses say more than a dozen attacked Widstrand, who lived in the neighborhood, beating him nearly to death just, apparently, for kicks. 

Anyway – Butler is going away until he’s in thirties.  The only thing more depressing than  seeing a life gone so badly and stupidly astray this early is taking a drive down Payne Avenue and seeing how many are on the same path.

But to me, the real story is Widstrand.  It’s not a Hollywood ending – but he’s alive, and plugging away…:

Although he has recovered beyond initial expectations, Widstrand told Smith he’ll likely require medical care for the rest of his life. It’s unclear if he’ll ever recover enough to drive regularly, work full time or live on his own.

Widstrand lives with his parents, and continues to receive outpatient care at the Courage Center. He’s scheduled to have a plastic plate screwed, sewn and stapled into his skull on April 3, his fifth brain surgery.

Doctors had removed part of his skull to alleviate pressure and later replaced it. But it was removed due to infection, necessitating the plastic plate, which will be permanent, barring unforeseen problems.

“There is no end in sight,” Widstrand told Smith.

…but he’s alive, and moving under his own power after some of the most gruesome injuries a person can sustain, which defies most expectations.  And in among all that is depressing about this story, that’s something to celebrate. 

 

The past two decades, senior citizens have swung from left to right, overall:

In 1992, 53% of senior citizens, on average, identified as Democrats or said they were independents but leaned Democratic, while 39% identified as Republicans or leaned Republican, resulting in a 14-percentage-point Democratic advantage in seniors’ party affiliation. Last year, 48% of seniors identified as or leaned Republican, and 45% Democratic, a three-point Republican advantage. The full 1992-2013 party affiliation trends for seniors and younger Americans are shown on page 2.

I think that makes sense – these are people who were trying to get through their prime earning years during the Carter administration, and who get how important an economic recovery can be.

Name report notes that young people are moving more Democrat – which is, I think an artifact of the fact that 20 years ago, during the Reagan administration, “young people” had much more recent examples of the stark contrast between conservative and liberal economic policy. People under the age of 24 today grew up with the better part of a decade of “Bushitler” from their schools and entertainment and, I suspect, have very little memory of even the relative restraint of the Clinton years, much less actual conservatism.

Which is, I suspect, going to be a huge challenge for the GOP. But no worse, I suspect, than the one that had to overcome between 1974 and 1980.

It’s Donor Season!

Not to joke about the death of young Anand Baskanan, a Long Island transplant who came to Minnesota to work at 3M, and brought his passion for very fast racing motorcyles with him…

…to I394 this past weekend, where he apparently dumped it while racing at 100-120mph one night.  Baskanan died at the scene.  My condolences to his friends and family.

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Democrats: This Is Your Mess

Obamacare is going to eliminate 2.5 million jobs over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office:

It said the equivalent of 2.3 million workers would be lost by 2021, compared to its previous estimate of 800,000, and that 2.5 million workers would be lost by 2024. It also projected that labor force compensation would be reduced by 1 percent from 2017 to 2024 — twice its previous estimate.

Although the CBO projects that total employment and compensation will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the healthcare law.

The findings immediately roiled the debate over the healthcare law on Capitol Hill ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

The CBO’s director was pretty blunt:

“All our analysis led us to conclude the effects of the [healthcare law] on labor force participation would be a good deal larger than we had thought originally,” CBO Director Doug Elmendorf said. “Fundamentally, the Affordable Care Act provides subsidies to lower income people and those subsidies phase out … that will have some effects on discouraging labor supply.”

This is on top of the fact that the “job growth” we have (or that the Administration said we had up until December; it’s actually gotten worse) wouldn’t get us back to 2006 levels until the 2020s.  Sometime.  Maybe.  Barring any other problems. 

Like Obamacare. 

By all means, Democrats – keep changing the subject.

Doakes Sunday:

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mitch, you’re always going on about the Labor Force Participation Rate and why that proves the government’s unemployment statistics are at best, wrong and at worst, intentionally misleading.  Since the government is headed by the President and he’s a Black man, plainly, you’re just a big ole racist.

Here’s a guy who’s as big a racist as you but he had a larger megaphone. Comfort in numbers?

Joe Doakes

There is no comfort in these numbers…