Stacked

Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds wasn’t writing about the Twin Cities’ Met Council in his USA Today piece, “Why Politicians Love Cities”.   But in another sense, he was precisely writing about the Met Council.

Reynolds cites urban theorist and “New Urbanism” critic Joel Kotkin’s new book (we’ve met Kotkin on this blog before) in getting to three reasons why politicians – like the Met Council – loooove big cities;  snobbery, graft and politics.

I’ll commend Reynolds’ article to you for the first two.  As to the politics?

Cities tend to repel – and, ultimately, exclude – people who intend to raise children; it’s become something of a phenomenon.   What it’s not, it would seem, is accidental:

Politicians like to pursue policies that encourage their political enemies to leave, while encouraging those who remain to vote for them. (This is known as “the Curley effect” after James Michael Curley, a former mayor of Boston.)  People who have children, or plan to, tend to be more conservative, or at least more bourgeois, than those who do not. By encouraging high density and mass transit, urban politicians (who are almost always on the left) encourage people who might oppose them to “vote with their feet” and move to the suburbs.

This isn’t necessarily good for the cities they rule. Curley’s approach, which involved “wasteful redistribution to his poor Irish constituents and incendiary rhetoric to encourage richer citizens to emigrate from Boston,” as David Henderson wrote on theEconLog, shaped the electorate to his benefit. Result: “Boston as a consequence stagnated, but Curley kept winning elections.”

But that’s OK. Politicians don’t care about you. They care about power, in urban planning and in everything else.

Pushing people who tend more conservative out of the city/ies is just plain good politics for the DFL that the Met Council exists to serve.

Pass

My mom worked at a nursing school. My niece is a NICU nurse.  I have quite a few nurses among my closest friends.  

So it’s hard not to say “I have all the sympathy in the world for the nurses that are striking at the various Alina hospitals”.

So I will let Larry from “Very Angry Bird” say it for me:

Normally, I am very sympathetic to anyone who is affected by the treachery and deceit of ObamaCare. The only ones who escape by shoulder to cry on are union types who supported ObamaCare when it was first being hatched. Since most unions are Democratic strongholds, the nurses union all supported ObamaCare. To put it in old west terms – they now know what it is like to be shot with their own gun.

nurses are wonderful people – but the nurses union is as hard left as the SEIU. The union jumped up and down and did cartwheels for Obama, and Obamacare, eight years ago.

Now, as the “Affordable Care Act” makes healthcare I’ll truly unaffordable for millions – exactly as predicted – the union is trying to insulate itself and its members from the policies that the union supported, worked for, and donated its members ‘money to.

Sorry, nurses. You lost me on this one.

Prerogatives

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

IT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU THINK IT IS: How Clinton Donor Got on Sensitive Intelligence Board.

A prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates and contributor to the Clinton Foundation, who later traveled with Bill Clinton on a trip to Africa, Rajiv K. Fernando’s only known qualification for a seat on the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) was his technological know-how. The Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues.

“We had no idea who he was,” one board member told ABC News.

No biggie, just nuclear security issues, it’s not as if she put it on an unsecure email server that our enemies could hack.

I suspect her defense will be “Doesn’t matter, I didn’t listen to any of them, anyway.”

Joe Doakes

Seems to be working for her.

Hillary Clinton – Spouse-Beater?

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline on former Secret Service agent Gary Byrne’s book on life in the Clinton White House; I’ve added some emphasis:

Secret Service agents are, of course, charged with protecting the physical well-being of the president. Byrne says they had discussions about the possibility of having to protect Bill Clinton from Hillary’s physical attacks. He recalls that the couple had one “violent encounter” the morning of a key presidential address to the nation.

Byrne also remembers arriving for work one day in 1995 following a loud fight between the Clintons the night before. He says the dustup resulted in light blue vase “smashed to bits” and left Bill with a “real, live, put-a-steak-on-it black eye.”

Don’t let anyone tell you that Hillary isn’t a fighter.

Mirengoff also adds, after noting the many, er, social provocations Bill presented her during those years:

For Hillary, her options regarding Bill may have seemed like “fight or flight.” Flight, apparently, was out of the question, given her ambitions.

But if it were the other way around (and the subjects weren’t the Clintons), if a husband found a wife in flagrant delicto and decided to take “direct action”  against her?  Society has a term for that; “domestic abuser”.    It doesn’t matter if one’s wife is sleeping with the entire staff at Jiffy Lube, in your bed, without changing the sheets after; you call a lawyer (and an STD test provider); you don’t hit her.

That there’s a double standard for women is obvious; that there’s a triple standard for Hillary is – assuming the accuracy of Byrne’s account – a new one.

And it should be damning – but for Democrats, it won’t be.

The Hypocrisy Industry

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

On the one hand, the Americans with Disabilities Act was more than a kind-hearted gesture, it was an acknowledgement that America is rich enough to be able to afford to make its public spaces accessible to everyone, including the handicapped. If the law says you have to make accommodations, then by God you have to make them; and if it takes a lawsuit to force you to comply, then you’re jerk and we don’t feel sorry for you. .

Except when the bureaucrats and building inspectors and disability lawyers get ahold of the kind-hearted gesture and turn it into a nit-picking, mountain-out-of-a-molehill tangle of impossible and conflicting regulations, compliance is not simple. The comments show how clueless the public is about the law. “It only requires that the business make the stuff from the second floor available by catalogue, or the disabled person can be met off site, and old buildings are exempted, grandfathered in.” They may be exempt until some minor change is made, then suddenly the entire place needs a major overhaul. Meet a client offsite? Portable temporary ramps? Not likely. The coffee shop with the temporary ramp will be sued because the wheelchair bound person can’t get inside to tell the store they need the ramp.
Now we’ve decided it’s time to rein in the lawsuits and make it tougher for people to force businesses to comply with the kind-hearted law.
The whole problem is another example of Liberals at play. It would feel good to do something nice for those sad victims and it doesn’t cost us anything because we’ll make somebody else pay for it, so pass the law to signal everyone how virtuous we are for Doing Good. But when people we know have to start paying real money to comply, well, that’s not so much fun anymore. Blame the nasty lawyer for bringing all the lawsuits. Make him stop forcing us to comply with our feel-good law.
It’s not so much the hypocrisy that annoys me: it’s the notion that virtue is good if it’s free; but if we have to pay for it ourselves, then it’s too much bother.
Joe Doakes

Want to start a fire?  Ask a flaming committed “progressive” what they think about private charity.  Hold kindling to their ears.

Coincidence?

Premise, accepted as a given:  Most government taxation and spending, especially in one-party cities like Minneapolis and Saint Paul (and, really, in de facto one-party states like Minnesota) exists primarily to take wealth from the producing class and give it…not so much to people who need it as much as to the political class.

With that accepted as a given (and I do accept it as a given, and so do you, if you think about it even a little), can it be even a tiny surprise that the same week brought us both this story…:

Legislators approved $35 million this year with $17.5 million ongoing to address racial and economic disparities, particularly in north Minneapolis.

…and this one?

Pick Your Poison

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

C.S. Lewis’ famous quote:

 “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

 Seems appropriate for this election: Trump versus Hillary. 

 Joe Doakes

Although Sanders probably most perfectly fits the definition of “moral busybody”, as opposed to “self-aggrandizing megalomaniac” or “political robber-baroness”.

The Stick

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, public sector jobs were filled by patronage, which led to massive incompetence and frequent turnover.  These employees could get away with lousy service without repercussion because their jobs didn’t depend on customer service, they depended on remaining in favor.

 Later, public sector jobs are filled by civil service procedures to avoid nepotism and favoritism, hopefully resulting in more competent employees.  These employees couldn’t give the public lousy service because they’d be disciplined or even fired.

 In states like Minnesota, public sector jobs became union jobs with the adoption of the Public Employment Labor Relations Act in 1984.  They’re still filled by civil service exams but now they’re union jobs so employees can get away with lousy service without repercussion because it’s so difficult to discipline or fire a public union employee.  Local media attention or legislative scrutiny often is required before action is taken.

 I once submitted documents to the County Recorder but they were rejected.  The phone conversation went something like this: “Why were my documents rejected?  We can’t give you legal advice.  I don’t want legal advice, I want to know what’s wrong with my documents so I can fix them to get them recorded.  Read the statute.  I did read the statute, I still can’t see anything wrong with my documents.  Consult a lawyer.  I AM A LAWYER AND AS FAR AS I CAN TELL THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH MY DOCUMENTS SO WHAT’S THE PROBLM?  I’ll refer you to my supervisor.” 

 I don’t know whether that’s incompetence, malice, stupidity, or just an idiotic policy, but it did not delight the customer.

 And in the federal government, it’s even worse: public sector jobs are union jobs, supposedly filled by civil service process except the bosses are political appointees so the workers actually selected to fill positions tend to mirror the boss’s political views.  The federal government workforce leans Democrat so they have no personal qualms about treating Tea Party fundraisers less well than Move On fundraisers, for example.  Massive media attention and Congressional inquiries were insufficient to motivate the IRS to discipline anybody.

 Maybe this will get their attention.

 Joe Doakes

Something will have to, someday.  Perhaps it’ll be DC collapsing.

MNDFL: They Know What Matters

The transportation, tax and bonding bills are all a shambles.

So what is the Minnesota DFL focused on?

Baseball players and their tobacco.

The bill was introduced Monday by Rep. Mike Freiberg, DFL-Golden Valley. It would ban the use of tobacco at Target Field, CHS Field and other professional sports stadiums in Minnesota.

“We need to make smokeless tobacco use in baseball a remnant of the past – and Minnesota should be proud to play a role in that movement,” said Freiberg Monday. “By allowing smokeless tobacco at the ballparks, we send the absolute wrong message about tobacco use. It’s time to take tobacco out of the game completely for the good of baseball and the health of our kids and players alike.”

We Gotcher Minimum Wage Hike Right Here

Wendy’s follows McDonalds in moving to automated kiosks in its thousand and thousands of restaurants:

After New York City and California mandated $15 minimum-wage laws, fast-food chain Wendy’s reacted, announcing Thursday its plans to make available self-serving kiosks in its 6,000-plus restaurants across the country by year’s end.

In addition to using the technology to cut down on labor costs, Wendy’s President Todd Penegor noted on the company’s quarterly conference call, that some of its franchise locations have been raising prices to offset the minimum-wage increase, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

“Wendy’s Penegor said company-operated stores, only about 10 percent of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5 percent to 6 percent, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage ‘to access good labor,’” IBD reported.

Why, it’s almost as if you’d think the left would have to know that artificially raising the minimum wage without increases in skill and productivity is going to increase unemployment among low-skill, low-wage workers, thus increasing dependence on government (thus increasing employment for government workers and their unions) or something.

Alondra Cano: Bully

You might recall Minneapolis City Councilor Alonda Cano; last winter, she was abusing her access to city data to “shame” people who criticized her support for Black Lives Matter.  Then, when called for alleged laziness by (of all outlets) the City Pages, she…

…well, that actually brings us up to this week:

Tuesday evening, it was Cano’s turn to join the public conversation, doing so in the form of a Facebook post on her city council page. Cano wrote it was “hurtful and disappointing” to read the words “lazy,” “always late,” and “clueless” used to describe her work ethic on the council.

“It is important to illuminate,” Cano went on, “that these words, when used to frame women and people of color, carry a history of coded language that serve to create negative racial stereotypes.”

That could be.

Those words, when referring to someone who’d rather grandstand than learn their damn job, are also not-coded-at-all terms to refer to lazy, inconsiderate people who don’t do their homework, whatever their skin color.

Cano wrote that the negative story “weighed on me heavily,” and she went back and forth on whether she should respond to it. After all, she and her south Minneapolis constituents in the Ninth Ward have far greater concerns: wage theft, slumlords, a lack of paid sick time for workers, even working moms.

Which Cano, apparently, isn’t doing jack for.

“However,” Cano continued, “when loaded and biased attacks occur, it is vital that we stand up and speak the truth. In this case, this story was racist, sexist, and it was an attempt to smear all of the things I stand for.

Well, no.  It was an attempt to tell the public that Cano – who reportedly has ambitions to run for Mayor or the Legislature – isn’t doing a very good job, when her job doesn’t involve granstanding, or taking spiffy trips on the taxpayer’s dime.

I want you to know that I am unabashed in my commitment to continuing to advance a racial and social justice agenda no matter the backlash.”

Let’s take a moment to go over what just happened.  Alondra Cano – an elected member of a power bloc with absolute one-party control of a major city, a person with in effect a lifetime sinecure either in government or non-profits for her and (likely) her entire family, one who wields the kind of power that mere citizens don’t even know how to dream of – is trying to paint herself as a victim.

Cano – like Nekima Levy-Pounds, another person with immense power and privilege herself – is perfectly fine using her position to shame critics who don’t buy newsprint by the trainload; when someone – even the lowly City Pages – comes along and hits her from the level, she cries “victimization”.  

Question, Minneapolis:  Do you deserve better, or not?

 

Minneapolis: “We Can’t Be Bankrupt – We Still Have Checks!”

The government of Minneapolis under the last (note to Mitchell: find the number of consecutive DFL mayors the city has had) has observed that old Scarsdale ritual:”Take care of the luxuries, and the necessities will take care of themselves!”

And it’s working about as well as it does for any entitled Insurance salesperson’s spouse:

According to the city Finance Department, Minneapolis is on the hook for about $1.6 billion in debt and operational costs for the convention center, the Vikings stadium, and the Timberwolves arena over the next 20 years.
Broken down, that’s an annual three checks adding up to $80 million, money that’s off the table for paving East Franklin Avenue, fixing swings at Kenwood Park, or financing low-interest business loans on West Broadway.

Instead of economic development, a city chose rich man’s stadiums.

That also explains why the City Council today is expected to approve spending another $800 million to fix crumbling roadways and haggard parks over the next 20 years.

Simply put, a lot of money is already gone

The funny part; while the situation in Minneapolis no doubt will spawn a few instant budget hawks, five will get you 10 the thin trickle of media that do bother to cover the story will be back shilling for the DFL by Labor Day.

Contextualized!

The Department of the Treasury has just tossed the slave-owning, Indian-genociding founder of the Democrat party off the $20 bill…

..and replaced him with a gun-toting Republican.

(No, it wasn’t my line:  it’s David “Iowahawk” Burge…

…and it was too good not to pay homage)

Seven Words

Whenever someone on the left mentions Hillary Clinton – ever! – you, and I, need to repeat these seven words that came straight from her entitled piehole:

Earlier this evening, Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted how Hillary Clinton committed an obvious gaffe for someone who is supposedly radically pro-abortion. On NBC’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked, “When, or if, does an unborn child have constitutional rights?” Mrs. Clinton responded that “the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”

If you don’t believe this, then how do you believe rights are endowed by our creator?

It’s simple.  You don’t.

Settled Science

When I was a kid, the world’s social justice warrior crowd warned us that the world was headed for inevitable catastrophic famine.  Some of the very voices behind “global warming” today – Paul Ehrlich springs to mind – warned (and profited greatly from warning) us that India would be down to under 100 million people by 1990, and that Africa was going be pretty much revert to nature, its human inhabitants all starved out.  Even the US was going to be the subject of “inevitable” food riots by the mid-eighties.

Naturally, the only possible remedy was to socialize the world economy.

Today?

People are wondering with a straight face if we have “too much food”, as the world has more overweight than malnourished people for the first time in history.

I fully expect to see a Kyoto Treaty for fat, sooner than later.

Interdiction

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ron Fournier, political reporter for National Journal, claims Hillary should not be prosecuted because there’s a higher standard to prosecute someone who’s running for public office.
Well, no, there isn’t. But maybe there should be?
Let’s have a show of hands – who remembers a Democrat prosecutor announcing an indictment against a Republican candidate just in time to influence the election, only to quietly drop the charges after the election, or have them thrown out in disgust by a higher court? Any of these names ring a bell: Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska; Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas; Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisconsin?
There’s a law that politicians can’t be arrested while they’re doing their jobs, under the theory of Parlimentary Privilege. But what about candidates? What about their supporters and contributors? Google the phrase “Democrat Lawfare” for an eyeful of interesting examples showing how one party abuses the power of the judiciary for partisan political advantage. Maybe we should rein in that power?
Joe Doakes

But that’d involve giving up power.

And Democrats fight for power the same way Republicans fight for unborn babies and the right to defend oneself.