A Little More Equal

When Governor Dayton, by way of trying to pitch the state on spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to upgrade Ziggy Wilf’s real estate for him, referred to the new US Bank Stadium as “The Peoples Stadium”, many of us couldn’t miss the inevitable reference connecting it to anything else labeled “Peoples”, like the “Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea” or “peoples Liberation have army”.

When I made the association, it was pretty much just a reflex based on the usage of the term.

Of course, I knew it would eventually turn into the real thing – a publicly paid amenity that would favor our ruling class.

Was I right?

When it comes to parallels between the USSR and the Minnesota DFL, aren’t I always?

Two Cents

A brief-ish article about Jason Lewis’s “upset” win in the 2nd CD by the always astute Matt Pagano.

You should read the whole thing, but here’s the good-news takeaway:

One more (extremely local) angle is that Lewis’ win will likely help revitalize the CD2 Republican Party. In the past few years, the local Party had come to be defined by infighting between opponents, and loyalists, to incumbent Rep. John Kline. Lewis’ election offers the opportunity to move past the Republican-on-Republican violence within the local Republican parties that has raged the past few cycles. If you’re a conservative activist who isn’t happy with Jason Lewis as your Congressman, you ain’t never gonna be happy.

https://medium.com/@mjp4liberty/unpacking-jason-lewis-win-in-mn-cd2-9ef3918c577b#.kpez2p77y

Open Letter To The House And Senate MNGOP Caucuses

To:  House GOP Caucus, Senate GOP Caucus
From:  Mitch Berg, ornery peasant
Re:  Focus

Dear Cauci,

Congrats on taking the majority.  I’m truly overjoyed.

Now, let’s get real.

Focus:  Ever watched someone doing karate?  When they do a strike, they focus all their energy, from their waist on down through their hands, into their knuckle.  One or two of them.  Because that’s how you inflict as much force as possible on your target – focusing the energy.

We’ll come back to that.

Focus Some More:  When the Allies landed in Normandy in 1944, it took eight or so weeks of brutal fighting to break through the German defenses.

And when the Allies forced that breakthrough, did they then pause, and redirect to the invasion of Denmark?

No!   They focused on driving to Berlin, and destroying any enemy that got in their way!

They focused on the mission at hand!

No.  Really Focus:  You have the majority in both chambers of the Legislature (if only by a vote in the Senate).

You got it for three reasons:

  1. The Dems brought us MNSure, and you were able to tie it around their necks
  2. The economy in greater Minnesota isn’t nearly as spiffy as it is in the Metro
  3. Just like nationwide – the metro “elites” are utterly disconnected with the experience of Greater Minnesota.

That is why you have the majority.  Not to protect marriage.  Not to argue about who goes in what bathrooms.

Heathcare.   Economy.   Elites.  

No more.  No less.

I Said Focus, MKay?:  It was six short years ago that voters last gave you both chambers of the Legislature.  Even with a DFL ideologue for a governor, it was a golden opportunity.   You were given that majority because:

  1. Obama overreached – on healthcare
  2. The economy in Greater Minnesota sucked!
  3. The DFL had made a hash out of the budget.

What did you – or at least the previous leadership – do?

Well, good work on the budget, to be honest.  But that wonky triumph was overshadowed by the national, media-stoked furor over the Gay Marriage issue.  The legislature bet a ton of political capital…

on an issue that had nothing to do with you getting your majority.

Nothing!

If you’re a North Dakota or Montana Republican, with a near-permanent majority and an opposition Democrat party that barely qualifies as a party at all, you can spend political capital on anything you want, and there’ll be no consequences.   It might even work (long enough to get struck down by the Supreme Court, anyway).

But not in Minnesota, the purplest of purple states.

Focus Focus Focus Focus Focus!:  This is not North Dakota.  Perhaps if you hold your majorities long enough to bring a quarter century of unbridled prosperity to Minnesota and we might become so lucky.  But we’re nowhere close to that yet.

You were elected by a fickle electorate over…what?

Let’s run the list again:

  1. MNSure
  2. The economy in greater MN
  3. Our idiot elites

You have political capital – a mandate, indeed.

And like the Allies after D-Day, you need to focus that capital on beating the enemy in front of us; MNSure, taxes, regulations, mining-phobia.

And like Bruce Lee, you need to focus that energy straight to the metaphorical knuckle, as narrowly and overwhelmingly as you can to win on the issues we, the voters, sent you there to win!

For The Love Of God, Focus!:  I’ve heard talk of legislators discussing floating some legislation:

  • Rest Rooms:  Don’t be idiots.  We already have laws making mischief in bathrooms illegal. And all it’s gonna take is one angry father or grandfather at some Target somewhere to make that issue pretty well self-enforcing.  It’s a private property issue,   And it’s a distraction.   Deal with the restrooms when the majority is rock solid safe.
  • Abortion:  It’s an important thing.  I get it.  It’s also not why you were sent to Saint Paul.  Not this time.  If you win long and big enough, you’ll get your chance.  This is not that chance.   Do not screw this up.  
  • Other social issues:  Stop.  Just stop.  Now.  Seriously. 

GOP legislators:  today, you control the agenda in Saint Paul.  It gives you a huge opportunity.  With the opportunity comes risk; if you take the GOP majority off beam, and bog the party down in a fight that has nothing to do with why you have the majority, fighting a veto you can’t win over an issue that does nothing but focus all of the Big Democrat Money, all their bottomless funding and masses of drooling droogs, over something that the voters that sent you to Saint Paul don’t care about nearly as much as healthcare and the economy, you will deserve to lose again in 2016.  

Focus.

Focus.

Focus focus focus.

Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.

No.  More than that.  Focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus.

No.  More than that.

Sing along with me:  Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.  Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.  Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.

Win the war we sent you there to win.

Oh – and focus.

No.  More than that.

A Win And A Warning

Well, “Protect Minnesota” certainly seems happy – they broke out the “happy” stock photos yesterday!

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So Protect Minnesota is happy about something that happened in California?  Why is that?

Because they’ve got nothing to celebrate in Minnesota.

Bupkes.

Anti-gun Pro-criminal groups – “Protect” Minnesota and Moms Want Action, which are really nothing but puppets of Everytown, the group controlled and owned by New York plutocrat Michael Bloomberg – spent $800,000 in Minnesota this past cycle, most of it in the past month or so.  They heavily targeted several seats:  Roz Peterson in Burnsville, Sarah Anderson in Plymouth, and several seats in the purple-ish southwestern suburbs.

And they certainly had some effect…on Democrats, before the election.  Rep. Walz, from Southern Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, who has always made pro-gun noises commensurate with his largely rural district, felt comfortable (or arrogant?) enough circulate a photo of him with a couple of Bloomberg’s Dreamsicles the week before the election:

walzwithgrabbers

Walz posing with the Dreamsicles. Republicans in CD1 – make sure this photo comes back in 2018.

And at the end of the evening, all of that blood money got them…what?

They spent some of their money on Dave Hann – who was largely toppled by the changing demographics in his bluish-purple district and the mountain of indepedent cash.  Their loss – and only tangentially related to the Bloomberg spending.

And one House seat – again, Bloomberg’s cash was only part of the flood of Democrat money that poured into the state…

…and only speed bumps on the way to the GOP flipping the Senate and extending its control of the House.

The Future:  It’s not all god news.

“Protect” Minnesota and the Action Moms did, finally, learn something from the good guys.  They did in fact spend some time and energy cultivating and training volunteers, and getting into political action.  The years when we could count on Heather Martens’ incompetence and indolence to insulate Real Americans from reality are over.

We Real American joke – rightly – about the gun grabbers needing to pay for their volunteers…

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…while thousands of us turn out on our own time and dime to make the magic happen.  And it is a legitimate point of pride for the good guys.

But stop and think.

The pro-criminal groups have the money to spend, and they’re spending it like drunk Kardashians.

$800,000 to help, maybe, flip two seats in the legislature?  Well over ten times what all pro-freedom groups spent, combined?  That’s pocket lint to Michael Bloomberg.  It’s background noise to the well-heeled liberals who support the pro-criminal groups.

And while the volunteers may well be the Subaru-driving, Saint Olaf-attending, Whole Foods shopping, ELCA-haired caricatures that I gleefully point out to you, even a caricature out doing productive work on the street moves the needle.

So we pro-freedom people have a lot to celebrate today.  The SCOTUS has a fighting chance of breaking with the good guys for the next generation; the Legislature will no doubt put a “Stand Your Ground” measure on the Governor’s desk, and by my count, the GOP and outstate Democrats are painfully close to being able to override Governor Flint-Smith’s veto.   We won one against a flood of out-of-state money.

But this is going to get harder, not easier.

Oil up those wallets and keep those walking shoes ready.

Congrats In Order

Congratulations, as I write this, to two long-time friends of this blog.

Rob Doar, political director of MN-GOPAC, was also campaign director for Randy Jessup, for whom the second try was the charm against Barb Yarusso up in Shoreview.

And long-time Shot in the Dark history correspondent First Ringer was the manager of the Dario Anselmo campaign – and between the two of them, they did the state the estimable favor of ejecting Ron Erhardt from public life in Minnesota.  Maybe he’ll blow Ringer’s head off?

Hopefully not.

Anysay – salute!

Money Changes Everything

One of the issues I’ve been silent about so far is the Constitutional Amendment that would take legislative pay out of the legislature’s hands and move the decision on salaries for legislators (and many other government employees) to an independent council.

Brianna Biersbach writes an excellent piece on the subject in MinnPost.

The government-accountability hawk in me says “note no and do it now!”.    Voting for pay raises is political suicide; the limited-government spending hawk in me says “good”.

But there’s a little more to it than that.

A friend of the blog – a solid Republican – wrote me yesterday:

I am a single income, homeschooling, tithing Christian man in a [modest house in a first-ring ‘burb]. It would be tough for me be a legislator and leave my IT job for 6-9 months a year for $32-49k. Am I off base?

Not at all.  I’ve been approached to run for office.  I’ve had to respond “unless I win seats in a couple of districts, I can’t financially justify it”.

Currently, “serving” in the Legislature is effectively limited to a few classes of people:

  • People with highly remunerative jobs they can put “on hold” for weeks or months at a time.  Think lawyers.
  • People whose spouses make enough to support the political habit
  • People whose employers are really conscientious about allowing their employees to take sabbaticals for public service.  Show of hands?  That’s what I thought.
  • People working for unions who see the benefit of having members in high places.  Including lots and lots of teachers.

Oh, there are a very, very few legislators with relatively limited financial means who work for the $32K and change the legislature pays, and find pick-up work between sessions.  But they are rare indeed.

In effect, it limits “public service” to people whose entire goal is…well, public “Service”.

So there’s a theoretical case to be made for the council.

Realistically?  They’re not going to make the legislature financially remunerative enough to draw successful private-sector workers into public life.  And that’s largely a bad thing; especially in Minnesota, our legislature needs more of them.

The other option, I hasten to remind you, would be to get by with less legislature, and legislation.  North Dakota’s legislature meets every other year, for a very abbreviated session.  It pays the same as it paid 120 years ago – $5 a day (plus per diems) – so it’s nobody’s idea of the career.  And North Dakota is a much better-governed state than Minnesota.

But that’s never getting on the table; too much pork for the political class is at stake.

Rigged

Get out and vote today.

Assuming it matters.  George Soros has been spending big bucks to control the system.  And he’s just getting started:

The documents reveal that the Soros campaign fueled litigation attacking election integrity measures, such as citizenship verification and voter ID. It funded long-term efforts to fundamentally transform election administration — including the creation of databases that were marketed to state governments for use in voter verification. It propped up left-leaning media to attack reports of voter fraud, and conducted racially and ideologically targeted voter registration drives.

The racially targeted voter registration drives were executed at the same time Soros dollars were funding other public relations efforts to polarize racial minority groups by scaring them about the loss of voting rights and the dangers of police officers.

The Soros documents reveal hundreds of millions of dollars being poured into the effort to transform the legal and media environment touching on elections. One document notes that poverty-alleviation programs are being de-emphasized for this new effort. It states: “George Soros has authorized U.S. Programs to propose a budget of $320 million over two years, with the understanding that the annual budget for U.S. Programs will be $150 million beginning in 2013.”

To have a functional democracy, it’s important for people to trust their fellow citizens’ motives.

I don’t know that there’s any way to trust the motives of people who are floating on a raft of Sorosbucks.

Pass A Buck, Get A Buck

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There is a proposal to amend the Minnesota constitution.  The plan is to take away from the Legislature the power to set its own salaries, giving it instead of an independent citizen’s committee. Sounds good on its face, will be a disaster in actual practice.  Which is why nobody is talking about it, of course, that would distract the voters from potty-mouth comments and emails.

 The proposal says the Citizen’s Committee will be staffed by the Governor (Democrat) and the Supreme Court (Liberals, except for Stras).  They must pick Democrats and Republicans.

 But they’re not required to pick Libertarians or TEA Party members.  The Republicans must be acceptable to the appointing authority – Democrats and Liberals.  I confidently predict they’ll end up being Arnie Carlson-Dave Durenburger-style-RINOs. 

 After that:

 A Liberal astroturf group will issue a media blitz complaining about the difficulty of obtaining quality legislators with the pay so low. 

 A Poli Sci professor will claim the concept of a “part-time” or “citizen” legislature is obsolete in these days of complex issues, we need a full-time professional legislature to deal with complicated issues, and higher salaries to attract competent people to take the job.

 A women’s rights group will notice that Minnesota women legislators get paid less than New York women legislators, a clear case of gender discrimination. 

 The Committee will hire a Liberal front group to perform a study of legislators’ salaries in other, richer states, which will conclude that ours is too low. 

 The Star Tribune and MPR will gravely intone that good government requires adequate resources, none moreso than the people in office, and they’ll recommend we double the pay and be happy to pay for a better Minnesota.

 The type of people who will run for these cushy government jobs will be busy-bodies who think they can solve society’s problems, i.e., Liberals, whatever their nominal party designation.  They’ll adopt more programs, which will make problems worse, which will make society more complex, requiring even higher pay and benefits and possibly lifetime appointments with personal servants and frequent retreats to Caribbean Islands, which the legislators will be able to afford even if their constituents can’t, because their strenuous labors deserve it.  After all . . .  Some animals are more equal than others.

 Joe Doakes

My two cents?  Vote no.  As many times as you can.

Evidence

SCENE:    At the garden center.  Mitch BERG is taking advantage of late-season blowouts when Avery LIBRELLE, carrying a lawn flamingo, steps around the corner, catching BERG by surprise. 

LIBRELLE:  Merg!  You keep claiming there’s vote fraud.  And yet there is not.  There never has been and there never will be.

BERG:  Well, the evidence in  California and Chicago and Philadelphia and Maryland and Florida and a key and very swingy district in Virginia and Mississippi and of course right here in Minnesota says you’re wrong.

LIBRELLE:  But the Brennan Center said there is no voter fraud!

BERG:  Leaving aside the fact that the Brennan Center is pretty much devoted to undermining self-government and making society safe for our “elite” better to govern as they see fit, their “sources” were pretty much all election authorities confirming that nothing is wrong, nosirreebob.  In most states where the fraud happens, it’s almost impossible to convict anyone for even the most bald-faced vote fraud.

LIBRELLE:  But there’s more evidence!

BERG:  Aaaand what’s that?

LIBRELLE:  You’re racist.  Hah!

(LIBRELLE turns and runs for the door)

BERG:  Clearly.

(And SCENE)

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Oooh, look there; an article about vote fraud.  Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section.

Unless, of course, you are one of the commenters who’s made a habit of leaving extremely long, usually off-topic, usually condescending comments, purporting to “fact-check” my content, but usually proving only that you’re a terrible researcher with no command of logic:

You’ll need to respond in depth to this question in a previous thread.  And respond to the responses.  And then I will start letting your comments out of moderation.  And only then.  Your call.  No skin off my teeth).

A Slip Of The Lip. Or Typing Finger. Whatever.

Preya Samsundar continues to beat the stuffing out of the Twin Cities institutional media in reporting on Minneapolis DFL legislative candidate Ilhan Omar’s fuzzy marital history.

DFLMinistryofTruth140

Only this time, she may have done it with the unwitting help of the City Pages’ DFLer-with-byline Cory Zurowski:

Whether or not Mr. Zurowski realizes it, he has shed new light into the Omar case. The story, which was originally published on Wednesday, October 26, Mr. Zurowski wrote that Ilhan Omar’s father is named “Nur Said Elmi Mohamed”. A day later, Zurowski’s article was changed and now Omar’s father’s name appears in the article as “Nur Omar Mohamed”.

Read the whole thing.

And then ask yourselves why nobody in the Twin Cities media is covering this story.

To use a Glenn Reynolds line, it helps if you think of reporters as Democrat operatives with bylines.  Who, in this case, don’t want to be barred from the Saint Paul Grill.

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.

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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!”

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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.

All,

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.

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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):

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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.