In Play?

It’s something Republicans have whispered hopefully to each other ever since I started watching Minnesota elections, 28 years ago; could Minnesota flip?

“Pshaw”, goes the conventional wisdom.

“Not so fast, and who the hell actually says ‘pshaw'”, say some polls:

Populism is at the heart of Mr. Trump’s economic and anti-establishment message. It’s also the significant enthusiasm gap between Mr. Trump’s very excited supporters and Mrs. Clinton’s very depressed voters that could result in a big upset, despite what the polls show ahead of the election. The state, which consistently boasts higher voter turnout than the national average, is also known for its more-than-average politically active citizenry and the strength of political movements could be exacerbated by it.

Now, not including the expanded Minnesota subsample taken from the PPD U.S. Presidential Election Daily Tracking Poll, a Gravis Marketing Poll released on Monday finds the race tied at 42% and another recent SurveyUSA Poll finds a six-point lead for Mrs. Clinton.

It wouldn’t be a story about Minnesota politics without Larry Jacobs:

“Minnesota is in play,” Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute, told Patch. “Trump is only six or seven points behind and has not campaigned actively in Minnesota, whereas Democrats are counting on Minnesota and have actually put some money in. So, I think these are surprising results.”…Seven percent (7%) remain undecided, slightly higher than the national average.

For myself?  I think Clinton will win, for one reason and one only:  if Democrat internal polling showed Clinton losing Minnesota, a state with about 4 million voting age adults (of whom about 2/3 actually vote in presidential elections) going to Trump by a thoroughly hypothetical million vote margin, 1.17 million to 700,000, the Metro DFL machine would turn out four million votes for Hillary in Minneapolis,  Saint Paul and Duluth, and the Secretary of State would certify it, and the Star-Tribune would call anyone who called BS a “racist” and shut them up.

But it’s an interesting theory.

Protest Too Much

First things first: Mark Dayton is “governor” of Minnesota in exactly the same sense as Mickey Dolenz was the “drummer” in the Monkees. Tina Flint-Smith is calling all the real shots in the state. Mark Dayton is there to say stupid things and draw attention away from where the action is.

But with that said?

Seriously, Governor Flint – Smith “Governor” Dayton?

You want tolerance?

Get over yourself, “governor”. If Minnesotans weren’t fundamentally tolerant, there wouldn’t be 100,000 Somalis in Minneapolis, and 20,000 in St. Cloud.

And if yesterday’s attack had happened in great swathes of the rest of the world –  the Middle East, India, the Balkans, Greece, and or dare I say Somalia itself – this ethnic and religious oriented attack would have been met by death squads roaming the streets looking for Somalis to beat, stab and shoot.

No, “governor”, the intolerant one is the one who says “go along with the program and shut up, or get out of Minnesota”. Which, if you recall – and that is by no means certain – was you, “governor”.

For chrissake, just resign already.

UPDATE:  Or as Walter Hudson puts it, “If we’re going to talk about tolerance, fine. Let’s define it as — above all else — not going on a stabbing spree at the mall.”

It’s Just The Normal Noises In Here

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Minnesota election law requires party delegates at the convention to designate electors and alternates.  Minnesota Republicans failed to do that at their convention so party big-shots designated some afterwards.  Democrats correctly pointed out this duct-tape fix failed to comply with the law and asked the Supreme Court to strike Trump’s name from the ballot.

The Secretary of State objected that early voting starts in 11 days and they’ve already printed a million ballots so it would cost a fortune to change the ballots now. The Supreme Court decided the Democrats had waited too long to bring the challenge and ruled against them based on the ancient equitable doctrine of laches.

 Laches?  Laches?!? That’s Republicans’ ace in the hole?  That’s their big defense? 

 Laches is one of those kitchen-sink defenses you throw into the Answer when you’re totally desperate and have no defense on the merits of the case.  It’s for losers and scoundrels and weasels.  A major political party trying to get a Presidential candidate onto the ballot shouldn’t be relying on laches.

 They really are the Stupid Party. 

 Joe Doakes

But why did the DFL file the suit – which, but for logistics and the appeal to, ahem, laches, might have succeeded?

Michael Brodkorb, newly at MinnPost, breaks that down.   Short story short; there are people who get paid to be cynical about things like rules.

Voter Suppression

In perhaps the most bald-faced violation of Berg’s Seventh Law in history, the DFL – which is constantly whinging about phantom claims of “voter suppression” – is actively trying to disenfranchise half of this state’s electorate in the Presidential election.

DFL Chair Ken “Dwight Schrute” Martin is sueing to keep Donald Trump off the Minnesota ballot in November, over an absurd, abstruse technicality in election law:

The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s Thursday lawsuit claims the Minnesota Republican Party failed to nominate its presidential electors, the people who cast the state’s 10 electoral college votes, in accordance with state law. Keith Downey, the chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, said last month that the party called a special meeting to approve alternative electors because it had previously neglected to do so.


One of these people is imitating Mussolini. The other was a character on a hit TV show.

The suit, which was filed directly to the Minnesota Supreme Court, adds a new level of chaos to an already strange election season. It could cause the parties to spend some of the rushed final eight weeks of the election fighting in court, distracting from other campaigning. While the suit is a technical one, if successful, it could affect the entire presidential election.

If the DFL wins – and one would think even Minnesota’s absurdly liberal Supreme Court couldn’t possibly be that obtuse – then long-time friend of this blog Dave Thul had a great idea; every conservative should vote for Jill Stein, and make the Greens a major party in Minnesota, sapping DFL votes for at least the next four years and drawing money from the DFL’s graft pool.

There’s also a part of me that hopes Martin “wins”.  This – the most baldfaced example of corruption masquerading as law I’ve seen in my lifetime – would stand a good chance of opening an epic floodgate of support for Trump, or at least against Hillary’s party.

Faith And Law

Ilhan Omar has released a statement about the questions about her, at first and second and third glance, unusual marital history.

Faith:  I’m going to add bits and pieces of emphasis to Omar’s statement:

In 2002, when I was 19 years old, Ahmed Hirsi (whose name before he received citizenship was Ahmed Aden), the father of my children and love of my life, and I, applied for a marriage license, but we never finalized the application and thus were never legally married. In 2008, we decided to end our relationship in our faith tradition after reaching an impasse in our life together.

I entered into a relationship with a British citizen, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, and married him legally in 2009. Our relationship ended in 2011 and we divorced in our faith tradition. After that, he moved home to England. I have yet to legally divorce Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, but am in the process of doing so. Insinuations that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is my brother are absurd and offensive.

Since 2011, I am happy to say that I have reconciled with Ahmed Hirsi, we have married in our faith tradition and are raising our family together. Like all families, we have had our ups and downs but we are proud to have come through it together.

That’s multiple references to marriage and divorce in Islam’s “faith tradition”.

On the one hand, it could be just a way of saying “it’s a Muslim thing, all you khufar wouldn’t understand”.   Could be.

On the other hand?  As a militant Christian who, should he ever remarry, will not get a government marriage license, I can completely agree with the concept that one’s marriage is none of goverment’s damn business!

Of course, coming from a “progressive” DFLer – the party that believes government is your real mother – one might fairly wonder how genuine it is, but what the heck; on principle, that settles things, doesn’t it?

The Law:  Well no – no more than claiming religious strictures forbid you from paying taxes.

Scott Johnson, who dragged the mainstream media to this story last week, talked with an immigration attorney; the attorney has some questions:

1. Which faith leader presided over her faith tradition marriage in 2002?

2. Is there written documentation of this?

3. Which faith leader presided over her faith tradition divorce in 2008?

4. Is there written documentation of this?

5. How was custody handled for the children after her faith tradition divorce in 2008?

6. Was there documentation of this?

7. How did she meet her legal husband?

8. Did she sponsor her legal husband for a green card?

9. Did he use his green card status to receive financial assistance to attend university in the US?

10. Is her legal husband a US citizen now as he has now been married to a US citizen (Ms. Omar) for 6 years? (Query – Are there voter registration or other documents that could be checked to substantiate this? The UK does allow dual citizenship.)

11. If Ms. Omar did sponsor her legal husband for a green card, then she was required to complete an I-864 affidavit of support documenting financial sponsorship of the husband. At the time in 2009 I believe she was a student and had 3 children so she would not likely have had the financial means to meet the I-864 obligations at the time and would therefore need a joint financial sponsor. Who was that joint financial sponsor? It would need to be a US citizen or green card holder with appropriate income or assets.

12. It has been reported that her legal husband was living in government subsidized housing in Minneapolis. This is likely inconsistent with the requirements of I-864 financial sponsorship. Does Hennepin County do anything to verify financial sponsorship before providing government assistance and subsidies for housing? Does Hennepin County now have a claim for reimbursement against Ms. Omar and/or the joint financial sponsor?

13. She is now remarried to her cultural husband according to her statement. Who was the faith leader who presided over this remarriage? Is there written documentation of this?

14. What Islamic doctrine was used to allow Ms. Omar to divorce a man, then marry someone else, and then remarry the first man?

15. There is no dispute based on her statement that she is currently in a cultural/faith tradition marriage with one man while still being legally married to another man. What Islamic doctrine permits this? I am familiar with certain Muslim traditions that allow a man to have more than one wife but I have never heard of a doctrine that permits a wife to have more than one husband which is without dispute what she is saying her situation is now.

Muslims who immigrate to this country should follow the same laws the rest of us do (or lobby to change them, like some of the rest of us do).

Especially elected officials.

Even DFLers.

Conclusion: What, you think I have a conclusion?

Part of me wants to root for Omar on pure libertarian principle.

Part of me sees the DFL telling the citizenry “Let Me Explain:  Shut Up”.

I have a hunch we’re not completely done with this.

Chanting Points Memo: Minnesota’s Wondrous Economy

For the past six years, the standard response among Minnesota “progressives” when conservatives point to the success of Scott Walker (Milwaukee notwithstanding) is “Oh, yeah? Well, Minnesota’s doing better!”


And there has been a grain of truth to that; while much of Wisconsin’s economy is tied to dying rust-belt manufacturing centered in the southeastern part of the state, largely concentrated in cities that have been addled by half a century of “progressive” rule, Minnesota’s is heavily based on industries that are heavily subsizied (healthcare), beneficiaries of government stimuli  (financial services), or just plain hot (medical devices).

But you can only subsiidize a boom for so long.

John Hinderaker – my former NARN colleague and new president of the Center of the American Experiment – has the story; the Minnesota economy isn’t nearly as solid as the DFL’s noise machine would have you believe:

This is the conclusion of a groundbreaking paper by Joseph Kennedy, former chief economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce, which Center of the American Experiment is releasing on Monday. Kennedy’s research indicates that over the last 15 years, Minnesota has been average with regard to economic growth; below average with respect to private-sector productivity; 30th among the states in per-capita income growth, and 28th in the rate of job creation.
Similarly, the Twin Cities metropolitan area ranks average or below average among the nation’s 15 major metropolitan areas in rates of economic growth and job creation.

Why does this matter?  Because it means live in Minnesota is going to start to suck even worse than a La Nina winter:

But that isn’t the worst news. Kennedy also finds that, with respect to an alarming number of leading indicators, Minnesota’s current performance points toward below-average prosperity in the future.
Minnesota is experiencing a growing concentration of employment in industries and occupations that produce less economic output per job. Consistent with that trend, there are fewer Minnesotans working in high-tech jobs today than there were 15 years ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Minnesota’s economy is increasingly wrapped around financial services and health insurance – industries with fabulously wealthy executive classes, minimal and utterly non-innovative technical classes, and lots of service workers with stagnant wages.

Minnesota also is suffering from a decline in venture capital, a falling rate of new company formation and a decline in entrepreneurship.

Minnesota – a great place to be the CEO (of a Fortune 1000 corporation – not so much elsewhere).

Read the whole thing.  Or tune in on Saturday; Hinderaker is at least tentatively scheduled to appear on the NARN.

Minnesota Urban Government Glossary: “Public Hearing”

In most ofd the the United States, a “Public Hearing” is something that some variety of official body has to get, y’know, opinion from the public.

In Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and any place under the jurisdiction of the Met Council, “Public Meetings” are the equivalent of “DMV Eye Tests”; they are a ticket-punching formality that some government bureaucracy’s form says you have to do before you get the goodies you want from the taxpayer.

In the Metro Area, it’s included a vast swathe of “public hearings” on a wide range of issues where the public may or may not have been bitterly opposed, for mildly in favor for whatever reason – but are utterly irrelevant, because the various levels of government have already made up their minds; subjects like:

  • The Blue Line
  • The Green Line
  • Target Center
  • Target Field
  • TCF Stadium
  • USBank Stadium (AKA “Darth Vader’s Lake Cabin”)
  • The “Minnesota United” soccer stadium
  • The bike lanes down Jefferson and Charles in Saint Paul, and 42nd Street in Minneapolis.
  • Best Buy’s corporate headquarters

And, latest but far from least, Saint Paul’s proposed sick time ordinance:

At a mayoral breakfast on Jan. 26, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman announced that efforts to craft a paid sick leave mandate in Minnesota’s capital city would roll out with input from the business community.

Dozens of pages of internal emails from the mayor’s office and other City Hall officials dating back to a year ago suggest just the opposite.

By the time Coleman made his first public statements on earned sick time, his office had already completed a 12-page draft ordinance three weeks beforehand.

On Jan. 7, the mayor’s policy director Nancy Homans circulated the draft proposal in an email to City Council President Russ Stark and other likely sponsors of the controversial mandate that drew stiff opposition from business leaders.

Libby Kantner, legislative aide to St. Paul City Council Member Chris Tolbert, shared an earlier version of the draft ordinance with Stark and other City Hall contacts on Dec. 23.

They’ll do your thinking for you, peasant.

A Quick Favor

The House candidate in my district (65A), Monique Giordana, is running against Rena Moran, about whom the best that can be said is that she’s what you get when machines control cities.

Monique is a very sharp woman.  She gets healthcare – she’s a pharmacist at a cancer center, and sees the results of MNSure and Obamacare first-hand, every day.  She lives in the neighborhood (obviously).

And she got into the race late, but is running a good campaign so far.  She also needs to get to a $1,500 threshold, in increments of $50 or less, by Monday to get a subsidy from the state (I know, I know – but that’s how the game is played in this state.

So if you’ve got a buck or two, and could spare a few to help out an underdog in a race where it’d be fantastic to have a real impact, please go here and learn more about Monique, and if you can, peel off a buck or two for her over here.

She’s gonna be on the NARN this weekend, by the way, along with 65B candidate Margaret Stokely.

Open Letter To Everyone In The Eighth CD

To:  All Youse Up Nort
From:  Mitch Berg, descendant of jackpine savages
Re:  Your Representative.


Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.

That is all.

The DFL’s Praetorian Guard: Still Praetorian. Still Guarding.

What do the headlines say about the legislative session?

The Strib: the session “imploded“.

The PiPress:  It “collapsed“.

MPR:  It “melted down“.

All fairly passive verbs; imploding, collapsing and melting down are all actions without authors.

It’d be much more accurate to say the session was killed.  By the DFL.  For political reasons.

Choo Choo Trains Are The New “Shutdown”:  As of yesterday, the Legislature had reached an agreement on a Bonding Bill.   The bill had been through conference committee.  The DFL Senate and GOP House had agreed to a bill without funding the Southwest Light Rail Transit line – a big GOP promise.  The bill – as bills coming out of Conference Committee are supposed to be – was ready for the governor’s signature.  It was ready to be passed with no further fanfare, assuming both sides went at it in good faith, of course).

As always, the DFL did not.

Two Minute Drill:   With five, count ’em, five, count ’em again, five minutes left in the session, the DFL introduced an amendment reintroducing Southwest Light Rail into the Bonding Bill.

Could this be because the DFL really likes their trains, and really really wants to see the choo choo built to Eden Prairie?

Could be.

More likely?  As DFL legislative candidates are starting to fan out across the state, trying to woo voters in a year when they have a Presidential option not much more inspiring than Ole Savior, the DFL wanted to induce a crisis – the death of the Bonding Bill, funding one of this state’s precious few legitimate jobs – and turn around and blame it on the GOP.

So the Transportation Bill didn’t “implode”, “melt down” or “collapse”.   It was given a poison pill.  It was blown up.  It was shot in the face.

Preparing The Battlefield:  But by taking a murder and calling it an accident, the media gives the DFL, and their propaganda arm Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a wide-open playing field on which to romp and play with public perception of the issue.

Mission accomplished!

Dodging The Point

Ever since Governor Dayton passed one of the highest taxes in the nation on people earning over about $150,000 a year, conservatives have been predicting an exodus of the productive class.


The Minnesota left is doing cartwheels over “data” showing it’s not happened

…sort of.  I add emphasis:

The ranks of the very rich are growing in Minnesota, despite a controversial tax increase that singles out the biggest earners to pay more.

Critics predicted that the ultra-affluent would flee after Gov. Mark Dayton secured 2013 passage of a new income tax tier of 9.85 percent on individuals who make more than $156,000 a year. But the latest data show that the number of people who filed tax returns with over $1 million in income grew by 15.3 percent in the year after the tax passed, while the new top tier of taxpayers grew by 6 percent.

So many holes in this “story”:

People making over a million a year – the “ultrarich” – can live anywhere they want;  the Twin Cities are a great place to be rich; good quality of life with lots of bigger-city amenities, and your dollar, after taxes, still goes a ways.   That’s why so many big corporations have their headquarters in the Twin Cities, even though they haven’t hired a non-service blue-collar worker in Minnesota in decades; it’s a great place to be a CEO.

As to the number of people in the >$156K tax bracket rising?  So what?  As the value of the dollar drops, and inflation creeps in, more real estate agents, dentists, software architects, insurance salespeople and the like find their incomes creeping upward from $145K to $156K.

But you have to then ask:

  • How many of them hit that $156K mark, stew on it for a year or so, and decide to move to Hudson or Fargo or Superior?
  • How many more would have reached that threshold if it weren’t for the tax hike?

The answers, by the way are “anecdotally, many” and “the Strib, being Tina Flint-Smith’s waterboys, sure aren’t going to tell us”.

This Is What A Majority Looks Like

After much sturm und drang, Rep. Schoen brought “Rep. Norton’s” gun-grab “bills” (the “Exes are Guilty ’til Proven Innocent” and “Register All Law-Abiding Gun Owners” bills were copied and pasted from the Bloomberg; they were no more “Norton’s” “bills” than they were mine) – to the House floor as amendments (the only way they had a shot at getting voted on, since the committee deadline for standalone bills passed weeks ago).

Speaker Daudt ruled it out of order.

The DFL moved to try to override the ruling.

This is what happened (reps votes are to the right of their names):


Photo courtesy Bryan Strawser, MNGOC/MNGOPAC,   Green means voting to uphold Speaker Daudt’s ruling that the amendment was out of order – in other words, to support killing the amendments.

As Andrew Rothman at GOCRA put it:

In a routine and overwhelming vote, Rep. Schoen’s universal gun registration amendment was ruled out of order late last night.
And poof – the bills went away.  That’s it.  Done (except for “Protect” MN’s inevitable upcoming whining and posturing).

(More here).

Results like this could be matters of routine in both chambers – if the MNGOP could win and hold majorities.

More on this on tomorrow’s show.

Go Time!

Tomorrow morning, Senator Ron “I Went To Harvard, You Know…” Latz will be hosting a gun-grabber pep rally – technically a Senate hearing, but we know better.

So we need all Second-Amendment-supporting Real Americans to turn out tomorrow morning at the Senate Legislative Office Building to show the world that Minnesota is a Second Amendment state.

Tuesday, April 26 – tomorrow morning
Senate Office Building, Room
95 University Avenue W. (Corner of Rice and University)
St. Paul, MN 55155

Yep – the DFL  put a vital hearing smack dab during the time when gun owners are working, and gun-grabbers, almost none of whom work in the private sector, are not.  Welcome to life under DFL control.

I’m going to show up for as long as I can.  Hope you can too.

Real Americans: It’s Go Time

This has been a fairly quiet session as re gun control bills far.  With the passage of the committee deadline, no new bills can be brought to the floor -and no gun grabber bills survived committee.  As expected.

But that’s going to change next week.

While the committee deadline has passed, there is no deadline for amendments.  And Senator Latz is going to bring his Universal Registration amendment to the floor in coming weeks.

And to go along with that, he and the Bloomberg Travelling Circus are going to be having a pep rally (at taxpayer expense) next Tuesday; the technical term is “hearing”, but let’s cut the crap, it’s a pep rally.  They are going to try to do two things; whip up enthusiasm for Democrat candidates, and lay the groundwork for a bigger, more-coordinated gun-grab push next session.

So the Good Guys need you, the Real Americans, to turn out.


Tuesday, April 26
Senate Office Building, Room
95 University Avenue W. (Corner of Rice and University)
St. Paul, MN 55155

Yep.  8:30AM on a workday.  Latz and the Bloomberg know as well as you do that gun-controllers don’t have jobs; they are mostly layabout trust-fund wives from Kenwood and Crocus Hill, hipster “writers” from lower Northeast, and community organizers who get paid to be there.   They know that you – the Second-Amendment supporting Real Americans – spend your mornings getting your kids to school; by 8:30, you’ve been at work for a while already.

They’re counting on it.

Tickets are first-come, first-serve basis, before 8:30 AM.    Some groups of Real Americans will be lining up at 7AM, when the building opens to the public.

I’m going to try to be there.  I hope you can too.


Like Robin Hood, Only In Reverse

The next time the DFL jabbers about being “for the little guy” and “fighting for the 99% against the 1%”, wave this bill in their face.

Then let them read it.  Then read it to them and explain what it means, since they won’t get it.  Because they’re DFLers.

It’s Senate File 2405.  It does two things, both of which should make a putative “liberal”, to say nothing of conservatives, yak up their skulls in disgust.

Plugged Into Your Wallet:  The bill directs the state’s various electric power utilities to start building more charging stations, so that electric cars have some place to plug into.

And to pay for all these dictated power stations, the utilities are being directed to…

…raise rates for everyone in Minnesota.

That’s right – every Minnesotan that uses electricity from the grid will be paying for the infrastructure to support the fun and frolic of the electric car hobbyist.   Every struggling family in North Minneapolis, every family of every unemployed Iron Range miner, will be paying for that charging station in Edina. via their power bill.

Or they can freeze.

But it gets worse.

Dear Poor People: Thanks Suckers:  If you’re in the market for a $70,000 Tesla Model S, a $160,000 BMW i8, or even just a $35,000 Chevy Volt, you get a $7500 federal tax credit.  To this, the bill would add a $2,500 state tax rebate.    The rebated is funded from the General Fund – in other words, from general tax revenue.

This rebate, by the way, is not means-tested.  So when a CEO in Edina buys a $35,000 Nissan Leaf for their daughter’s “going to Macalester” present, or a Twins player nabs a BMW, they’ll get that $2,500 rebate…

…paid for by the gas station attendant on Forest Street in east Saint Paul who’s trying to coax another year out of a 1996 Buick Century he got for $3,000 on Craigslist five years ago; from the family in Thief River Falls that’s hoping the transmission in their Dodge Caravan doesn’t bonk out before they get their IRS refund; from the guy in the ’04 Corolla that just topped 200,000 miles.

In Other Words, the bill robs from the poor to give money to the well-to-do who are following the latest PC trend.

When people say “politics is the least effective way to allocate resources”, this is what they mean.

This is today’s DFL.

Eating The Seed Corn

Minnesota DFLers are romping and frolicking in money from the “surplus” – a misnomer referring to the billion dollars overtaxed from Minnesota’s productive class.


But more and more, the evidence shows that the “surplus” is a false positive – and that Minnesota’s productive class is choosing greener, lower-tax pastures:

Minnesota, on net, lost $1 billion of income to other states between 2013 and 2014. Specifically, the state lost $944 million in adjusted gross income reported by tax filers who moved in and out of Minnesota. This is the largest net loss of income ever reported for Minnesota, and it represents a dramatic rise from just three years ago, when the state lost $490 million.

Gotta tell you – if Wisconsin somehow manages to stay the course, the greater Hudson area is looking better and better…

“But it’s mostly retirees leaving the state!”.

Well, no (emphasis added):

While the IRS has been tracking income movement since 1992, it released a new data series last year that for the first time provides annual information on who is moving from state to state, based on age and income. These new data refute a long-held assumption that Minnesota’s income loss is primarily due to retirement.

In fact, people in their prime working years represent the largest portion of the net loss of taxpayers and income. Working-age people between 35 and 54 account for nearly 40 percent of Minnesota’s net loss of tax filers for the 2013-14 period. People between 55 and 64 — most of whom are still in the workforce — account for another 23 percent.

“But it’s just the ‘one percent’, moving to their beach houses in Coral Gables!”

Some of them certainly are; capital is mobile, and when it needs to, it moves.

But no – in fact, the biggest chunk is the part of the middle class that provides both much of the spending and many of the entrepreneurs that provide jobs for, well, everyone else:

But this isn’t just about the top 2 percent, as the governor wants people to believe.

Minnesota taxes on the middle class are still high relative to other states. Not surprisingly, Minnesota is, on net, losing this population, too. In fact, between 2011 and 2014, taxpayers earning between $100,000 and $200,000 accounted for 41 percent of the state’s net population loss.


Minnesota’s consistent net loss of people and income to other states poses serious challenges to the state both today and into the future. Economic growth is currently constrained by a tight labor market, which, in part, is due to the state not attracting the people with the qualifications necessary to fill today’s jobs.

The parable of the ant and the grasshopper springs to mind.

The DFLers are the grasshoppers.

Haven’t We Been Through All This Before?

The Minnesota Legislature – and in this case, mostly the DFL caucuses in the legislature – are trying to figure out how to spend the roughly billion-dollar surplus.

Sound familiar?

There are bills to boost funding for Reading Corps by more than $5 million; $1 million to prevent tractor rollovers; and another $15 million to expand Head Start school programs. There are countless more without firm price tags. And Gov. Mark Dayton himself has requested $100 million for broadband Internet development and another $6 million to offer state employees paid parental leave.

It illustrates the political and financial reality that even a $1 billion-plus surplus can only go so far. And while it may be less painful than making cuts to close budget gaps, extra cash just leaves politicians with more to argue over.

And there’s this absolutely precious quote by former Senate majority leader and gubernatorial candidate Roger Moe:

“The average person who watches the process would think that it would be easier if you have a budget surplus … than shortfalls. It’s probably the opposite,” said Roger Moe, a former state senator and longtime Democratic majority leader. “That puts more pressure on the Legislature.”

Well, no, Senator Moe.

The average person who is remotely literate about government looks at that surplus and thinks “that’s money that’s been over-taxed; give it back”.

The DFL and media (pardon the redundancy), beholden as they are to the notion that money that people earn is government property first and foremost, never, ever put that out there…

Our Illogical Ninny Overlords

Told that the State Capitol Police wanted to hold “active shooter” training for the legislature and its staff, Rep. Kim Norton decided to introduce a bill repealing last year’s law allowing law-abiding carry permittees to have their legally-carried firearms in the Capitol complex.

And the logic was…

…entertaining: 2015-12-31 15-34-52


If law-abiding citizens can’t bring guns to the capitol, criminals won’t shoot anyone.

Just like nobody sells crack, drives over the speed limit or after too much to drink, or robs liquor stores any more; because they are laws against each.

Norton is wrong, by the way; at least 18 states allow law-abiding citizens to carry their legal firearms in the state Capitols in one way or another.

That’s the reason so many Real Americans have such a hard time taking gun-grabbers seriously; they’re not serious.


A Pattern

To: Governor Dayton

From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant

Re:  Tomorrow’s Faux Pas, Today.


You should be getting used to the fact that your most “progressive” left of center advisers routinely lead you into policy statements that sound disconnected from reality. I say “should” be learning it; clearly you have not yet. Because your latest announcement on second amendment issues – “no-fly, no buy”, barring people who are on the federal “no fly” list from buying guns – is quite clearly an attempt to ramp up the left’s turnout in the upcoming election.

But – as we on the right, and among the second amendment Human Rights movement told you – it’s unconstitutional.

You should be getting used to this by now; they’re wrong, we are right. Every time. No exceptions.

Are we detecting a pattern, yet?

That is all.

(PS:  But by all means, keep going.  The right needs all the rallying points it can get).

Lie First, Lie Always: It’s Science!

Rep. Kim Norton – the Rochester legislator who will be serving as Michael Bloomberg’s bag-woman in the coming session – has decided to try to put some numbers behind her increasingly strident and faith-based posturing on guns.  She posted these “survey” “results” on her Facebook page.

How did it work?  I did say it was a liberal trying to do numbers, right?

The results, to date-12/22/15, of a survey sent out by my office to 3 precincts in my district:

Three precincts?  A whole three precincts?

Now, a legislative district has dozens of precincts.   I don’t know exactly how many precincts there are in Kim Norton’s HD25B, but there are a total of 56 in the city of Rochester, and Norton has roughly half the city.  Let’s be (what else?) conservative, and say she’s got 24 of ’em.

Her district also includes a grand total of 39,762 people, over 21 square miles.  It’s a cozy district.

So Norton sent out a “survey” to three precincts – maybe 1/8 of her district.  Which three precincts?  What are their demographics?  Do these three precincts represent her district?  More importantly – why does Rep. Norton think these three precincts represent her district?

Anyway.  So Rep. Norton mails out a survey to three selected precincts.  And here’s what she got back:

1. Are you in favor of background checks for gun show sales, private gun sales, and gifts?
Yes (73) 78%
No (21) 22%
Total 94

Forget the actual question for a moment.  There were 94 answers.

Out of nearly 40,000 people in her district, and out of maybe 3-4,000 (I’m estimating) in the three precincts she favored with her survey, she got less than 100 answers.

That’s one quarter of one percent of her district.

And do you suppose those people are a representative sample of the precincts, much less the district?  Or might they – just possibly! – have been an intensely self-selected sample of people who are motivated not only to pay attention to bulk mail from their DFL Representative, but also driven to fill out an utterly symbolic survey about an issue that Rep. Norton is wrapping herself around?

Remember – most people just don’t care that much.  And if most conservatives are at all like me, they don’t open junk mail from legislators, especially legislators they disagree with.

So I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that of the .25 of 1% of Norton’s district that opened the mail, read it, were motivated to complete it and send it back to the Representative’s office, a pretty disproportionate chunk were motivated by supporting Rep. Norton’s agenda.

But I’m no professional…

…well,  no.  Wait. I am.  I design samples for research as part of my job.  So I may be a little harder to BS than the average bear.

(Am I wrong?  Please, Rep. Norton; have your people call my people and set me straight.  You have my number.  Operators are standing by).

Sadly, Kim Norton’s typical supporter may not be so lucky.

2. Do you support requiring gun owners to register their guns with the local government?
Yes(66) 71%
No (27) 29%

Total 93

You know what’d be interesting?  If Rep. Norton had thrown in a question about whether the respondent was a gun owner.

I’m gonna take a flyer, here, and guess the answer would be about 30%.

3. With the goal of reducing suicides and impulse shootings, would you support extending the current seven day waiting period between a gun purchase and receipt of the gun?
Yes (64) 69%
No (29) 31%
Total 93

By law, of course, there is a seven day waiting period.

In practice?  Every store, federally licensed dealer and gun show in the state requires a “Permit to Purchase” issued by the police, or a Carry Permit issued by the state, to sell a handgun or “assault weapon”; they won’t sell without one, waiting period or no.   The very idea of waiting periods is statistically dubious, to the point where even the Ninth Circuit has asked what’s the purpose, especially with someone who already owns firearms.

And the idea that “waiting periods” affect suicides is just a wierd fantasy, of course.  Gun suicides – 2/3 of gun deaths – don’t occur at the end of the waiting period.  They are disproportionally older, usually white males, usually socially isolated, usually depressed – and they’ve owned their guns for decades.

3a. If yes, how many days should the waiting period be?

10 Days (8) 13%
14 Days (18) 28%
28 Days (38) 59%
Total 64

By this point in this exercise, I’m actually wondering why she didn’t put “eleventy-teen years” as an option.

5. Do you support a ban or restriction of sales on:
High Capacity Ammunition Clips of 10 or more bullets? (66) 69%
Exploding Bullets? (68) 72%
Assault rifles or Semi-Automatic guns? (59) 62%
Total 95

Exploding Bullets?


Y’see, this is why so many Second Amendment activists have such contempt for their opponents’ arguments.

Imagine if you will someone arguing for regulation of healthcare, who proposes banning phrenology clinics, adding standards for blood leeches and healing crystals, and licensing  sexual healing practicioners.  Now, people who actually work in healthcare know that Phrenology was debunked 120 years ago, that leeches and crystals are irrelevant, and Sexual Healing was a Marvin Gaye song – and they get annoyed that someone is not only wasting their time arguing BS, but just a little disgusted that the legislator is finding people incurious enough to get on board to try to logroll the legislation.

10 rounds is not “high capacity”.  “Semi automatic” does not equal “assault” (you awake yet, hunters and skeet shooters?).  “Assault” does not mean “likely to be used in crimes”.

And…exploding bullets.

(Shaking my head, at a loss for civil words, awaiting a line about “guns that go pew pew pew”)

6. Do you believe gun safety and usage training should be required by all gun owners – even those who do not have a hunting license or permit to carry?
Yes (73) 81%
No (17) 19%
Total 90

And even a lot of shooters will aver that that sounds reasonable.

Of course, in Chicago and DC we see the whammy of this approach; in Chicago, you have to take a range test to get a permit – but there are no firing ranges in Chicago.

It’s not a stretch to imagine Minnesota’s government requiring training – and forgetting to issue trainer’s licenses.

7. Given these two values, is it more important to:
control gun ownership?
(49) 56%
protect the right of the people to own guns? (39) 44%
Total 88

FYI – These survey results generally mirror those share by scientific polls done across the country.

I’d be interested in seeing the “scientific polls” Rep. Norton is referring to.  But I am under no illusion she knows anything beyond “tacking ‘scientific’ onto a dubious assertion will gull a few of the gullible”.

She’s wrong, of course.  Not that that matters to her, or to the audience she’s trying to reach.


Minnesota’s gun-rights movement has carried out probably the best single grassroots political reformation in recent state history; over the course of 20 years, Minnesota has gone from being an anti-gun state that flirted seriously with Chicago-style gun bans in the eighties, to being a state with a decent shall-issue law and a reasonable chance of debating “Stand your Ground” and even “Constitutional Carry” in coming years, provided some elections break the right way.

More than that?  The pro-Second Amendment human rights movement in Minnesota is a bipartisan front; Republicans throughout the state have joined with DFLers through most of greater Minnesota – who’ve learned, in some cases the hard way, that most of Minnesota outside the 494-694 ring hold their Second Amendment human rights in high regard.

To the point where the DFL apparently has to keep their lobbying to Metrocrats and DFL machine-players who have nothing to lose.

Like Rochester DFL rep Kim Norton, who’s leaving the House after this next session, and wants to go out in a blaze of big-government, criminal-coddling glory, apparently.

Gun rights supporters are none too pleased with Norton’s announcement that she’ll push for stricter gun laws during her final legislative session next year…

Norton, who is not running for re-election in 2016, said she has received about 50 emails so far. The vast majority of those emails are from people who do not live in her legislative district. She said she has no intention of giving up on her plan to introduce a bill tightening gun rights. Among the ideas she plans to push is one prohibiting guns in the Capitol complex saying, “I don’t feel safe at work.”

She added, “Many of my constituents have asked for change.”

Rep. Norton; it’s entirely possible you’re not safe at work.  Same as everyone else in the Rice/University neighborhood, which has become one of Saint Paul’s sketchiest.

But it’s not because of the people who were covered by the Capitol carry restriction (carry permittees had to notify the Capitol Police if they planned to carry in the Capitol complex) – who are absolutely no danger to anyone, legislator or not.  It’s because of the same, common criminals who threaten all the rest of us, and who don’t bother getting permits or notifying Capitol police, any more here than they do in Chicago.

In other words, your proposal is as useless as any other gun control measure – and utterly pointless as well.

Speaking of which:

Norton said she is fed up with gun violence and wants to sponsor a bill with “common sense” changes to the state’s gun laws. Among the changes she’d like to see is a system making it easier to track gun ownerships. She compared it to how if she sells her kayak, she has to register who she sold it to.

I agree.  It’s high time we deregulated kayaks.

The good guys have responded:

The Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee sent out an email urging its supporters to email the Rochester DFLer and tell her they oppose her efforts. In an interview with the Post-Bulletin earlier this month, The gun rights group’s email begins, “Just when you think anti-gun politicians in Minnesota have gotten a clue, one pops up and proposes what they call ‘common sense gun law changes.'”

In an interview, the group’s political director Rob Doar said his organization has serious concerns with the idea of establishing any sort of gun registration system…He said the idea also raises privacy rights concerns, with there being a potential for the data to be hacked. He noted that Canada decided to scrap its firearms registry because it proved to be expensive and ineffective.

With emphasis on expensive.

And ineffective.

So, DFLers; are any of you outside the 494-694 loop who are planning to run for re-election planning on signing on to this?

Sound off!

Ballot Fodder

A regular reader of this blog (whose name does not rhyme with “Moe Jokes”) writes:

I know this has been talked about in Minneapolis for a few months, but when I read the following, I just couldn’t help but think that if you don’t rate voting as a high priority, perhaps you shouldn’t be voting.  Perhaps, if you need your landlord to hold your hand through life’s responsibilities, you aren’t yet ready to live away from your parents.

“Council Member Jacob Frey, who sponsored the measure, said he could have used the reminder about voter registration when he was younger and frequently changed apartments.

“When you’re thinking about your study group and your track team and the girlfriend and the social and what you’re going to do that weekend, and all the other trillions of stimuli that you have at a university, for instance, you don’t think to register,” Frey said.”

You ever notice how the Democrat “get out the vote” machine is focused almost to exclusion on reaching people who don’t pay much attention to government and politics?

There’s a reason for that.