“Sharp-Tongued”

Ryan Winkler is leaving the House of Representatives.

Winkler spent nine sessions in the Legislature.  During the last five or six of them, his job, coming from an utterly safe seat in Golden Valley, seemed to be “the DFL’s Costco version of Sidney Blumenthal”; to say and do the things that no DFLer in a contested district – or human with an education and a conscience – would dare to say.

Winkler racked up a long, storied history:

…enough that he seemed to be well on the way to becoming Minnesota’s Joe Biden.

Of course, Paul Thissen said what caucus leaders are supposed to say about their hatchet men:

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he’ll miss Winkler’s “impatience with injustice. He is always willing to take on the tough fights and not back down. He drove the discussion forward about how to make our economy work better for people. His work to raise the minimum wage and improve opportunity for average Minnesotans is a tremendous legacy.”

Um yeah.  When a Minnesotan loses a job to pay for his precious minimum wage hike, we need to say they’ve been “Winklered”.

But this isn’t about my observations.  Look at the adjectives the media uses in describing Winkler’s career; “outspoken” (as in “outspoken advocate on behalf of…” yadda yadda), “sharp-tongued”, “Harvard-Educated”, and the like.

If he’d been a Republican, I’d have looked for adjectives more like “Controversial”, “stridently partisan”, and maybe “gaffe-prone”.   More to the point?  A “sharp-tongued” Republican would be “contibuting to the nasty partisanship” around the Capitol.

But he’s a DFLer in Minnesota.   He was just a character, one that the reporters could always get a cutesy quote from.

Ryan Winkler is the poster child for the Minnesota media’s double standard.

The Madding Horde

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

“Doc. No. XXX is stated as being expired, but was not listed on the spread sheet. Please make sure that this is inserted and in the future when you discover a new one please add it to the list. Thanks much.”

Another example of a clerical mind-set employee who knows the procedures, but not the reason for the procedures.

I started the spreadsheet as a way for me to track expired restrictive covenants that kept showing up in conveyances. Most of those documents were recorded by developers in the 1950’s, before suburbs had zoning ordinances, so they afflicted whole subdivisions with crap like “can’t build closer than X feet from the property line” or “building must be at least X square feet” and of course, the ever popular “cannot sell to colored people.” They expired under the 40-year law but must be manually removed each time I see one.

Unless the restrictive covenants reserved easements for utilities or drainage, in which case they can’t be manually removed but instead must be corrected to say “reserves easement.”

I created the spread sheet so I wouldn’t have to read the restrictive covenant document every time; instead, I’d glance at the spread sheet to see which ones had to be carried forward with corrections and which could be omitted.

The document in question is a deed that affected one single platted lot. It did not reserve easements. So I ordered it removed. Now that it’s been removed, it’ll never be a problem in the future. Do we need to list that deed on the spreadsheet? No, of course not. But she has to make a point of sending an email to the whole office reminding us to do it, just to be certain we know that she’s paying attention to every single thing we do, searching for mistakes to correct them, to prove how valuable she is. It’s “quality control,” you see. To enhance “customer service.”

Except it’s not a mistake, I deliberately chose not to clutter up the spread sheet with useless data. The employee knows the procedure but not the reason for the procedure, and therefore confuses the means with the end. Of course, saying so would be mansplaining, a hurtful and sexist thing to do, and elitist because I have a degree as well as ageist since she’s been here 30 years and it’s disrespectful not to respect her opinion, even if wrong.

You wonder why government isn’t fast on its feet – it’s because of all the ankle-biters slowing us down.

Joe Doakes

Government bureaucracy – where people are penalized for being too good at their jobs.

Double Standard

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

White cop shoots Black guy in Madison, prosecutor declines criminal charges against cop, riots ensue. Another gentle giant not doin nuttin, shot by racissss cops.

Well, maybe doing nothing wrong by local community standards, which allow for tearing things up, jumping on cars, beating on people, being doped up, etc. That might be ordinary, normal, accepted behavior in that neighborhood’s culture. But by broader, more civilized standards of law-abiding society, yes, he was doing something wrong, several things. So cops are called, cop strolls in, no big deal, just another moron to talk to like any other day. Suddenly the gentle giant attacks, cop reacts, now the protests and death threats start.

I’m not reflexively pro-cop (that reflex was killed off by the Mike Sauro fiascos). But a big guy doped up and causing trouble is not an innocent victim on the way to church, either. Turning every law enforcement encounter into a racial extravaganza won’t lead to a more peaceful community.

Of course, for some people, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

Joe Doakes

AKA “A crisis not to be wasted”.

What A Century Of Democrat Governance Gets You

Chicago’s mountain of debt has been downgraded to “Junk”:

“Whether or not the current statutes that govern Chicago’s pension plans stand, we expect the costs of servicing Chicago’s unfunded liabilities will grow, placing significant strain on the city’s financial operations absent commensurate growth in revenue and/or reductions in other expenditures,” the agency said in a release.

The downgrade affected $8.9 billion of general obligation, sales, and motor fuel tax debt, according to Moody’s.

The firm said its downgrades could trigger up to $2.2 billion in accelerated payments on Chicago debt.

Who knew – trying to run a spending/”service”-heavy regime based on systematically transferring money from producers to consumers (with a healthy gratuity for the political class in between) is no way to run a government?

Some of us did, anyway.

How long ’til Saint Paul, Duluth and Minneapolis follow suit?

Let Them Eat Paper

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Divorce case recently appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, sent back for more fact-finding on this question: were the parties even married? The Court of Appeals’ reasoning infuriates me.

When you fled to Thailand in 1975 to escape the Communists after the Americans abandoned Southeast Asia, and you got “married” to this guy that you met in a refugee camp, did you file a marriage certificate with the Thailand government? No? Well, then, the fact you’ve lived together for 40 years, had six kids together, filed married tax returns and owned real estate in Minnesota is interesting trivia but really, lady, if you can’t be bothered to fill out the proper forms, we have no sympathy for you at all. Shacking up with a guy – even with the tribal elders’ blessing – doesn’t give you the privilege to use the Minnesota divorce court. You can’t get divorced if you were never legally married.

Dude. It’s a refugee camp. There IS no government. And if there were, you’d be a fool to bring attention to yourself. No self-respecting government would issue a marriage certificate without a birth certificate, proof of residency, passport stamps showing legal entry, resident alien visa and payment of appropriate fees to every bureaucrat . . . none of which is possible in a war zone. You couldn’t get “legally” married even if you wanted to. It’s a REFUGEE camp.

Oh, and your husband claims you were already married to another guy when he married you. Well, yes, the guy who stayed behind to cover our escape. No, I don’t have a death certificate but I strongly suspect he was captured by the Pathet Lao so what do you think happened to him? No, I didn’t serve him with a Divorce Summons; there was nobody crazy enough to go back to serve it so I could get divorced while I was struggling to survive IN THE REFUGEE CAMP.

It’s as if these judges lived all their lives in safe, comfortable First World suburbs where the biggest disruption in life is weak Wi-Fi signal; they literally cannot conceive of a place where there are no forms to complete, no pens to complete them, no office to file them in.

Madness.

Joe Doakes

What happened to official Minnesota’s vaunted “cultural sensitivity?”

Who Could Have Predicted?

The economy under wan, feeble socialist Obama has grown at an anemic rate compared to the rates under the healthy, happy free-marketeer Reagan.

Ronald Reagan’s economic plan saw GDP surge at a 3.5% clip – 4.9% after the recession. That’s a 32% bump.

During the Obama years, thanks to his big government policies, the US economy has stalled. Today the quarterly GDP was announced. The GDP for the first quarter of 2015 braked more sharply than expected at only a .2% pace. The US economy has grown an anemic 9.6% during the Obama years (excluding today’s dismal number).

Who woulda thunk it?

Everyone who didnt’ skip Econ 101 to go to a Noam Chomsky speech, that’s who.

No Loose Ends

I got this via email from a long-time friend of this blog and the show, from Highland Park:

A week and a half ago the city told the neighborhood and businesses on the east side of Cleveland and Randolph(Luci, Sportsmans Barbers, and KEA photography) that the city was taking away their street parking and making it bike lanes.

They announced a meeting this Wednesday at Nativity Church to “get neighborhood feedback”. Kinda seems like they have their minds already made up.

Yep.  My thesis; there hasn’t been a “public feedback” meeting in the Twin Cities in thirty years that was actually intended to gather, y’know, feedback from the public.

It’s about “the process”.  The process says you have one or more meetings at some point in the process; you have the meetings, and you move on.

Randolph Ave is already full people that own homes and St Kates students/employees. There is no parking on the west side of the street, and James Ave a block up is a packed residential street. These people are screwed.

Sportsman Barbers has been their for more than 40 years owned by Ray Newton and his son Joe. I am friends with Kristie Anderson of KEA photography and she thinks our way. Her lease was up and she is leaving, but she can give you some great insight on this

I know you are a biker, but the bike lobby is wielding a heavy hand right now in our city. Damn the business community.

This is a good story

You know how lawyers say “never ask a witness a question that you don’t already know the answer to?”

The public analogue is “never ask for feedback when it can still affect the political class’ master plan.

Our Brahmins

Even in the wake of Heller and McDonald, Washington DC’s old-boy-and-girl network clamps down hard on civilian ownership of firearms.

Except for celebrities, and members of the political class:

By confirming that “members of Congress may maintain firearms within the confines of their office” and that they may transport otherwise illegal guns through the city — without any of the requisite checks, natch — the Metropolitan Police Department is effectively admitting that the standard rules do not apply to the political class. This, I suppose, should not be too surprising — this is the same police department, recall, that revealed earlier this year that it is happy to apply the city’s strict firearms laws to everybody except celebrities — but it grates nevertheless. Clearly, had Representative Buck not been a member of Congress, his behavior would have rendered him in violation of a broad array of harsh regulations — many of which carry felony charges.

It’s reminiscent of the eighties and nineties in New York City, when the average schnook couldn’t get a permit to carry a gun – but celebrities (Bill Cosby, William F. Buckley), government officials, and even media figures like the radical anti-gun NYTimes publisher Arthur Sulzberger, could; it was all in the connections.

But tying it directly to membership in the political class?  As Charles CW Cooke notes:

“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States,” the Constitution promises. Do tell.

Indeed.

With all the good news for gun owners lately, it’s hard – but essential – to keep in mind that the Orcs still hold sway in much of the country, and our freedom to defend our freedom is only incrementally safer than it was 30 years ago, and not until the last orc is wiped from public life will that change.

Our Passive-Aggressive Overlords

The IRS, beset by scandals over the agency’s politicization under Chairman President Obama, slashes its customer-service budget even as it rolls in taxpayer revenue:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has blamed the IRS’s “abysmal” customer service on congressional budget cuts–funding is down $1.2 billion from its 2010 peak–but a new congressional report points the finger back at the IRS. While congressional funding for the IRS remained flat from 2014 to 2015, the IRS diverted $134 million away from customer service to other activities.

In addition to the $11 billion appropriated by Congress, the IRS takes in more than $400 million in user fees and may allocate that money as it sees fit. In 2014, the IRS allocated $183 million in user fees to its customer service budget, but allocated just $49 million in 2015–a 76 percent cut.

John Koskinen may be the biggest weasel in all of “public service”.

Revenue Streamski

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Russians hacked the White House, got sensitive Obama data.

I wonder if that “sensitive data” included his college transcript?  Birth certificate before it was Photo-Shopped?  Original manuscript of his book?

The Russians could make a fortune selling the data.  Or being paid NOT to sell it.

Joe Doakes

They could replace all the money they’re not getting from oil.

More Like Guidelines

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

May 1st is Law Day. It was the idea of Charles Rhyne, President of the American Bar Association in 1958. He thought Americans should have a day to reflect on the Rule of Law in the foundation of the country and recognize its importance for society. He chose May 1st specifically because it was the day Communists celebrated their totalitarian rise to power.

The notion that we are a nation of laws, that no public official is above the law, that Congress makes the laws and the President upholds and faithfully executes them . . . are obsolete remnants of racist patriarchal oppression. The Obama Administration honors Law Day only in the breach.

Joe Doakes

Breach is the new Integrity.

Devalued

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Obama Administration’s Middle East policy is a puzzle, probably because there is no plan, only reaction to crises. Which is a good thing, according to some.

“But amid the confusion, some experts said that there cannot be an overarching American policy in the Middle East at the moment. The best the White House can do, they said, is tailor policies according to individual crises as they flare up. “I would be more concerned if we had some sort of overly rigid policy,” said Barbara Bodine, another former American ambassador to Yemen who is now the director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. “It is messy. It is contradictory. That’s foreign policy.”

Can you imagine being the next guy:

“Hello, Mr. Prime Minister? Hi, I’m the new President of the United States. I’m calling to invite your country to be allies with mine. What’s that you say — lied to and back-stabbed last time? Well, things will be different under my leadership. How long? The next two years for sure. After that, of course, I’ll have to start campaigning for re-election so certain compromises might have to be made, but . . . hello? Hello?”

Joe Doakes

We’re going to be paying for this presidency for generations.

Priorities

David “Iowahawk” Burge writes a rare, “not funny” tweet:

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And he’s spent more time and effort fighting domestic dissent in the US – via the IRS’ gundecking conservative groups’ free speech via tax and campaign law and attacking dissenters, via “net neutrality”, and via his eternal campaign’s patrolling masses of droogs (in and out of the media), than he spent bringing free speech to the people of Iran, Venezuela, Cuba or anyplace else.

They Bought Themselves An Internet

The FCC’s new internet rules cite a Soros-funded front group dozens and dozens of times:

New internet regulations finally released by the Federal Communications Commission make 46 references to a group funded by billionaire George Soros and co-founded by a neo-Marxist…The term “Free Press” is mentioned 62 times in the regulations. Some are redundant mentions referring to the same Free Press activists’ comments in favor of more oversight. In total, the FCC cited Free Press’ pro-net neutrality arguments 46 times.

The FCC received more than 4 million public comments as it was weighing the net neutrality initiative, but Free Press and other activist groups have received the most attention by pressuring the FCC and the White House on behalf of their cause.

The Obama Administraiton is the most transparently corrupt administration in history.

Credentials

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, honest Democrats praised expertise:

Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz) wrote this about “Terrorism” by Benjamin Netanyahu, released in 1986:

“Few are as well equipped to bring us this message as Netanyahu. He currently serves as Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations. Netanyahu not only distinguished himself as a commander in many operations for his country’s military but served for several years as the executive director of the Jonathan In stitute, a Jerusalem research foundation on terrorism. He has been touched in the most personal way by modern terrorism. His brother, Lt. Jonathan Netanyahu, died leading the historic Entebbe rescue mission and is the namesake of the institute.”

President Obama says Netanyahu lacks credibility because he’s been wrong about Iran before, predicting bad things that haven’t happened yet. Meanwhile, the UN says it can’t finish its inspection because Iran is still lying about its nuclear program

.

Joe Doakes

Just has everything Obama says has a shelf date, so this everything in the Democrat past.

Chicago on Lake Superior

In lieu of a mining industry – which Metrocrat environmentalists from the Twin Cities have been keeping nice and shut down for decades – the DFL substitutes a lot of state money to try to tease some economic activity out of the Iron Range.

Part of that, traditionally, is the cataract of money that has gone through the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board – more commonly called the IRRRB, but more accurately referred to as a “Taxpayer-financed DFL Slush Fund”.

The Strib’s Jennifer Bjorhus will never do lunch in Minneapolis again, having written this generally excellent piece.  The IRRRB may not have reinvigorated The Range, but they sure have greased a lot of DFL palms (emphasis added):

For years, prominent Democratic candidates and political groups have used the obscure center tucked among hills and pines to canvass and raise money from small donors. DFL organizations, state and national, have paid the phone bank’s current and former owners about $80 million over the last decade, campaign records show.

The call center relocated to Eveleth in 2006 thanks in part to a $625,000 loan from a unique state agency called the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). It doles out about $40 million each year, much of it from a tax on taconite, in the name of bolstering and diversifying the Range economy.

In its first incarnation, the call center on the Range failed to meet job targets, but the IRRRB gave the company, Meyer Associates, more time to repay the loan. It shut down anyway last year. The IRRRB let Meyer’s owner walk away and wrote off the $250,000 Meyer owed, records show.

Then a former Meyer executive reopened the phone bank under the name of his new company. The deal allowed him to pay $50,000 for equipment that had been purchased with $500,000 in IRRRB money. The largest political client for the call center remained the same: a group called Dollars for Democrats.

Of course there’s a rational explanation!

Officials at the IRRRB say jobs, not politics, are behind its dealings with the two firms.

“There’s still 100 people working there,” said former state Rep. Tom Rukavina, a DFLer who served on the IRRRB board for years and once hired Meyer to make calls for his own campaign. “That to me is a success story. Any time I went in that office people clapped and thanked me that they had a job.”

So should the taxpayer provide cut-rate financing and pennies-on-the-dollar equipment and infrastructure for the GOP?  The NRA?  Pro-Life Action?  The Tea Party?

If the IRRRB weren’t a DFL slush fund, and an equal opportunity graft machine, you’d see some equal-opportunity gravy-training.

Somehow, there seems to be none…