Liberal Wisconsin judge hijacks the rule of law, and then tells lawyers not to criticize her for it:
Before wrapping up a brief hearing Wednesday, Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi offered a word of caution to attorneys involved in high-profile lawsuits over collective bargaining in Wisconsin.
Sumi said emotions are running high over two cases she is hearing regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to eliminate most collective bargaining for public workers. That “spirited debate” is important in a democracy, but attorneys must keep in mind their professional ethics, Sumi said.
“They all have a responsibility to promote and not denigrate the judicial branch and, more importantly, the rule of law,” she said.
This is like Rep. John Lesch saying Republicans are “crapping on the flag” for criticizing him.
“Judge” Sumi: you, and especially your decision, are not “the judicial branch and the rule of law!”
She advised lawyers to review state Supreme Court rules that say: “A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge….”
She referred to public comments made by attorneys after a Tuesday hearing, but did not elaborate.
It’s the “when did you stop beating your wife” defense.
I’ve lived in the Midway – the part of Saint Paul halfway between the two downtowns – for 24 years, now. It’s a nice area; leave our short-sighted spendthrift government out of it, and it’s really just about the nicest part of the Twin Cities; there’s nothing wrong with the Midway that a Republican administration couldn’t fix in a few years.
But the City, the state, and the Met Council have been doing their best to fix that.
The Central Corridor, as we discussed last week, will tear up University Avenue for the next 3-4 years, and that’s if it’s the rare government project that comes in on time; only the most entrenched pollyanna believes it’ll come in anywhere near the current, already-bloated $1.4 billion price tag.
And that’s just up-front costs.
Businesses are already floundering; before an inch of track is laid in the Midway, businesses on the west side of the neighborhood are reporting freefalling customer visits, as the parking and the street barriers strangle access to their stores.
Several businesses have already closed – perhaps not entirely attributable to the rail construction, yet, but at the very least businesses whose fates were sealed by the oncoming traffic, parking and pedestrian nightmares and decided to cut their losses short.
Others – like the venerable Porky’s, the ancient burger joint at Uni by Prior – have decided to sell out. It’s gotta be hard to think about running a drive-in when nobody can drive in.
The big Borders store on Hamline closed because of Border’s ongoing financial meltdown – but given a choice between a store in a thriving area like Rosedale and one that’s going to be operating with a tiny, clunky little entrance from a side street due to construction, what do you think the company is going to do?
And the latest rumor – that the Midway Rainbow, the neighborhood’s main grocery store – is going to shut down, ostensibly for the duration of the construction.
It won’t leave the neighborhood without a big-box grocery store, of course; Midway Center has a SuperTarget, a not-s0-super WalMart, and a Cub between Snelling and Hamline, in addition to Rainbow.
But it’s telling that the market is responding to the external force – the imminent destruction of practical transportation into the area – by closing out one of four stores that have co-existed and thrived in that area for decades (the WalMart is the newest addition, replacing a K-Mart; between the two, they’ve been there for maybe ten years); we don’t yet know how Target and Cub will react to the construction, either.
We’ve been warning everyone for years that this rail line project is going to be a disaster for central Saint Paul. It’s happening now.
…but only did it in a half-in, half-out, half-assed kind of way, so that when all was said and done our intervention really didn’t lead to our intended result at all?
Forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi continued to push rebels out of positions along coastal oil towns, further delaying the rebel drive on Tripoli and testing the limits of the coalition air strikes at a time when the alliance is considering arming Col. Gadhafi’s opponents.
So let’s get this straight; we went to war a month late, in support of “rebels” who very well may end up our enemies – and we may fail anyway?
Wow. Too bad we couldn’t find a ward heeler with some foreign policy experience.
Mary Jo McGuire won the SD66 DFL primary last night.
And she won it big – 54-37, in an election that was pretty sharply geographically divided; in a primary battle that was fought out between packs of union and special interest supporters, McGuire, who used to represent part of the area in the Legislature, dominated the tony Como Park and teacher-and-oldster-chocked Midway neighborhoods that make up 66B with crushing majorities. Lesch, the incumbent in 66A, also dominated his turf – parts of Wards 5 and 6, on the North End and East Side – but with lower margins.
And so the voters in SD66 have a choice to make; between GOP-endorsed Greg Copeland, a guy who’s actually done something to make government work better, and an Ivy-League special interest-mongering attorney and “Community Organizer” whose entire career screams “Listen to your betters, peasants!”.
I’ll be writing about this choice in the coming week and six days.
Today is the DFL’s primary in Senate District 66.
The DFL declined to hold an endorsing convention this time, choosing to go straight to a primary. Part of it may have been it was a good way to stir up some publicity for what, for the DFL, is a snoozer of a race.
(Of course, the GOP is running a serious candidate and, less normally, a serious campaign. But more on that tomorrow).
The candidates are a guy named Marchese who I really don’t know (nor will I need to), former HD66B representative Mary Jo McGuire – who left office something like 16 years ago but has dialed in the “women’s vote”) and current 66A representative John Lesch.
Who to vote for, if you’re a DFLer? Or perhaps someone who decides to become a DFLer?
Perhaps what you want is a genuine legislative leader?
To: US Senate Republicans
From: Mitch Berg, Pissed-Off Conservative
Re: Get off the can, get on the stick.
I get the need for compromise.
I get the fact that the Democrats still control the Senate, and they’re not going to get their way for the asking.
I get that.
What I do not get is how none of you establishment Republicans ever seems to learn from history. It was six years ago when you had a majority, and a sitting President, and you – many of you occupying space in the Senate right now – blinked, and gave the Democrat minority everything they wanted – a legislative Manhattan, in exchange for some meaningless procedural trinkets.
And you’re doing it again, cutting a “deal” with the President to pass a continuing resolution in exchange for a vote on a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment.
Erick Erickson (with emphasis added by me):
The GOP is not telling the Democrats they actually want the Balanced Budget Amendment, just a vote. This is wholly unacceptable. If Barack Obama wants to increase the debt ceiling, the GOP should go all or nothing — they must have their Balanced Budget Amendment in exchange for it. A vote is utter nonsense without a commitment from the Democrats to pass it by a two-thirds vote from both Houses.
But it gets more insane from there. Everything we feared, everything we knew would happen, is coming to fruition.
Because you, the “Senate GOP Leadership”, the ones who’ve been there forever, fear another government shutdown. You remember – and have created a mid-level “leadership” that remembers – how badly the last shutdown cost you at the polls.
But that was in the cha-cha nineties, when things were generally awesome and the greatest crisis facing this nation was a lothario President, when the stock market was booming and people were generally fat ‘n happy, and the media was only too happy to tell them so.
But – I’ll emphasize this – it’s 2011 now. The Obama Recession is underway. A vast movement of Americans has had enough. They reversed the Obamascenscion and put your – our – party back in power twenty years earlier than anyone thought it would be possible in 2009. Because we are that pissed off! There is a blogosphere, and talk radio, and Fox News; the mainstream media don’t have the stage all to themselves. We can control our own narrative this time - if you are bold enough to seize the opportunity.
You, the “leadership”, apparently don’t get that. Erickson (again, emphasis added):
Why? Because the GOP is finally being forced by the base to push for actual, substantive spending cuts instead of the death by a thousand paper cuts strategy of the leadership…Luckily for us, conservatives made such a stink about the last short term CR being, in fact, the last short term CR, the GOP is now forced to be a leader. The leaders are, however, reluctant.
Look, it is very simple — demand passage of a balanced budget amendment, defund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood, and if the Democrats balk, shut the government down.
Unfortunately for you and me, the GOP leadership is scared to death of and hell bent on avoiding a government shutdown. They may have no choice, so they better get ready.
Look – here’s the deal; we sent you there to kick ass, and kick Ass. We sent you there to repeal Obamacare, to slash spending, to roll back tax hikes.
And we – the people who sent you to Washington in the greatest electoral turnaround in decades – are hungry for exactly that.
And if you don’t have the cojones to do the job, we will send someone to DC that does.
Cut the budget. Shut down the government if you need to. We’ll be there if you do. The situation is different than in the nineties; the media that covered the Democrats’ behinds back then doesn’t have a complete stranglehold now. So do it. Do what we sent you there to do.
And if you don’t? You can join your constituents on the unemployment line. Soon.
That is all.
Three speeches purporting to be speeches (or syntheses of speeches) asking people to risk all in the brutal insanity of war:
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
To summarize, then: In just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a no-fly zone with our allies and partners. To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together, when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians. It took us 31 days.
Moreover, we’ve accomplished these objectives consistent with the pledge that I made to the American people at the outset of our military operations. I said that America’s role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners. Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge.
Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. Men, all this stuff you’ve heard about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of horse dung. Americans traditionally love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big league ball player, the toughest boxer. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. Because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.
Which reads like a challenge to a nation sending its sons and daughters out to risk their lives, and which reads like the wrapup to a senior seminar lecture?
Andy Post at MDE passes on the House GOP’s debunking of the DFL and media’s (pardon the redundancy) LGA myth list:
-Since 2010, property taxes have grown due to other factors (economic growth, property value increases, school levy increases) by $1.9 billion or around 68%. Between 2000- 2010, statewide Taxable Market Value increased 142%.
We noticed this hasn’t changed one iota last year.
-During the 1990′s LGA was increased and property taxes still increased
-The wealthy absolutely pay their fair share:
The top 20% (those with household incomes over $90,000 per year) pay nearly three-quarters of the income tax while the bottom 20% pay nothing and even get something back.
The top 5% of households (those with household incomes over $183,000 per year) pay about 43% of the income tax.
The top 1% of households (those with household incomes over $430,000 per year) pay about 25% of the income tax.
The good news – if the GOP gets its way?:
-Here’s where the tax cuts would be felt by tax year 2014:
Married couple with 2 dependents:
Income of $50,000 will see a decrease of 11.2%.
Income of $75,000 will see a decrease of 10.1%
Income of $500,000, will see a decrease of 1.7%
Head of household with 1 dependent
Income of $25,000 will see a decrease of 38.1%
Income of $50,000 will see a decrease of 9.9%
Income of $500,000 will see a decrease of 1.2%
Single filer with no dependents
Income of $25,000 will see a decrease of 11.2%
Income of $50,000 will see a decrease of 8%
Income of $75,000 will see a decrease of 6.5%
Income of $500,000 will see a decrease of 0.8%
This was the part I loved; according to a 2003 report from the State Auditor…:
Cities above the median in LGA per capita spend 42 percent more on total current expenditures than those below the median LGA per capita.
Is this because their bills are 42% higher? Or is it because
Cities that received the most LGA per capita had much lower taxes per capita.
You mean – Local Government Aid merely means everyone else must be Happy To Pay For A Better Minnesota so that people in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth can happy to pay “much less” per capita?
That hardly seems fair…
Cities above the median in LGA per capita spend a greater percentage of resources on non-essential services than cities below the median LGA per capita.
LGA – once intended to help poor rural cities afford the essentials of modern life, like sewage treatment and schools – has become a way for cities to pay for the luxuries, since the rest of the state pays for the necessities.
“GOP cuts transit!” screams the agenda media and the DFL (pardon the nearly-inevitable redundancy).
Well, no. The GOP is cutting local funding for the Central Corridor, the misbegotten, badly-designed boondoggle that has already started destroying business in Saint Paul:
The bill would prohibit spending $69 million in a special transit fund on light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit, which uses dedicated lanes. The money comes from a quarter-cent sales tax imposed on five metro counties for rail and bus rapid transit.
The initiative, which passed the House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee on a mostly partisan vote and was sent to the Ways and Means Committee, underscores the division between some GOP legislators, long critical of rail transit, and DFLers who support such services in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
It seems fairly elementary – when you’re in the middle of a crushing recession and trying to figure out ways not to spend in deficit, you try to find ways to spend less money on nonessentials.
Instead of the $69 million being used over the next two years on rail or bus rapid transit, it would replace $51 million cut from general fund money for regular bus operations.
And a rail line that will gut the business sector in a part of the city that has little enough of one, to build a rail line that will accelerate economic retardation, sounds like a good place to start.
The DFL rhetoric machine has gone from 0-60 on this one; claiming that the bill will raise fares to $4 and kill 500 jobs (and studiously avoiding the bit about replacing the funding with the money slated to be wasted on the Central Corridor).
Look – I don’t oppose rail just to oppose rail. It’s possible some sort of rail or Bus Rapid Transit line could make economic sense.
But the Central Corridor isn’t it. It won’t ever be it. By design, it can not be it. Kill it.
Joe Doakes of Como Park in St. Paul – a government worker, by the way – sent me an email:
It’s a link to a John Tevlin piece in the Strib. We’ll come back to that.
It was sent to me by another government employee. Some government employees feel as if budget cutters are attacking the employees on the grounds of worth, as in “you’re not worth what we’re paying you.” That’s off-putting to them, their families, to mushy-middle types.
It’s a good point. It’s a bit of messaging that conservatives should mind – because you know that the left and media (pardon the redundancy) will exaggerate it for their own purposes.
Which is a great segue into Tevlin (we’ll come back to Joe’s point in just a moment, here). Tevlin’s a lower-budget Nick Coleman; he uses the death of a county worker last week in the flooding in southwest Minnesota…:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker never met Mike Struck. Nor have most of the politicians who are demonizing public employees in order to advance their own careers and agendas.
…as a rhetorical cudgel in a “public versus private employees” battle that serves the DFL juuuust fine:
Some legislators like to portray anyone who has a government job as lazy, incompetent and overcompensated.
(Just as some columnists like to portray any criticism of big government as an attack on all government workers , which is itself lazy and overcompensation. Just saying).
It’s too bad they didn’t know Struck, because it’s important to remember that for every construction worker you see leaning on a shovel, for every nonchalant clerk at City Hall, there are many guys like Mike Struck, who showed up every day, worked his butt off, made your roads safer and cleaner, and ultimately gave his life doing his job.
And he did it all for $44,000 a year.
Clearly we need more Mike Strucks in Saint Paul…
…but that’s an unhelpful digression – for reasons I’ll explain later.
Struck, 39, was killed this week when his backhoe flipped over and fell into a creek at Seven Mile Creek Park, between St. Peter and Mankato, not far from his home town of Cleveland. He was part of a frantic attempt by Minnesota Department of Transportation workers to prevent flooding in southern Minnesota ahead of the melting snow.
“He was cleaning debris from a culvert to prevent flooding,” said Rebecca Arndt, a regional spokeswoman for MnDOT. Trying to protect his neighbors from harm and damage to their property?
“Yes, that’s exactly what he was doing,” she said.
According to his friends, Struck was the ultimate public servant.
“He loved his job,” said Wade Adams, a friend and co-worker. “I would swear he drank two Red Bulls before he came to work every day, he had so much energy. Whatever you needed to do, change a cutting edge or a flat tire, Mike was always the first one to be there to help. He was a very hard worker, and he was proud of his job.”
It’s a tragedy that Struck died.
But what we have here is a case of offsettling “rhetorical laziness” penalties.
Plenty of public sector workers work very hard, and deliver great results. My father – a teacher for something like 40 years, and a very good one – was certainly one of them. Ditto my mother’s parents – my grandma, who taught her whole career, and my grandfather, who taught for a couple decades before he left the profession to sell drugs .
We all know public-sector workers who do good work – firefighters and paramedics and cops, of course, but also teachers and public works people and yes, even bureaucrats in areas that much of society would struggle to call “essential government services” or, more to the point, “services that government, rather than the private sector, should provide”.
So it’s lazy, self-indulgent and ethically cowardly to say “all public workers are a waste”…
…just as it is to day “questioning government spending is spitting on Mike Struck’s grave”.
Which, alas, is Tevlin’s M.O. That, and pointless politicizing of tragedy:
That’s why the current backlash against public workers riles them now.
“I get so fed up with people who think we have cushy jobs,” said Lillie. “Mike was disgusted by it because people don’t understand what we go through, what we give up. One of my friends said, ‘Your job sucks, you’re on call 24/7.’ That’s right.”
And there’s John Tevlin’s rhetorical laziness at work.
Clearly Mike Struck’s life was worth vastly more than $44K, even including the pension.
You could ask whether Mike Struck made the same kind of money a private-sector heavy equipment operator/construction worker/handyman would make $44K, or whether that private sector worker should be compelled to work until he’s 70 so that Struck and his colleagues can retire at 55, ,or whether his job might not have been a better value had it been outsourced (or not)…
…but both of those dodge the real issue.
The real issue is not whether public sector workers, as individuals, or even as a class, are or are not overpaid, a great value, lazy, diligent or good human beings.
The real issues are “at a time when we, the private sector taxpayers, are suffering, is it our obligation to sacrifice disproportionally to insulate the public sector from any inconvenience?“, and “can some of government’s jobs be done better outside the public sector – or not at all?”
Naturally, it’s more convenient for Tevlin, and better advances the DFL, to advance the chanting point that “questionintg government” equals “attacking government workers”, along with shutting down schools and making grandma eat dog food.
A better message might be “you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing for the government, you should be doing it for private industry.”
And “given all the talk of “community” that the public sector pushes to justify its existence, shouldn’t the public sector – with no malice intended against public workers – be expected to share in some of the sacrifice we in the private sector, who pay their bills, are?
(PS: By the way, I’m with Tevlin on this part:
Note: Mike Struck’s colleagues have started a fund to educate his children. Make checks payable to Mike Struck Memorial Fund, c/o Nicollet County Bank, 220 S. 3rd St., St. Peter, MN 56082.
If you can…
…that if we voted Republican, freedom of the press would suffer.
And they were right:
Staffers with Vice President Joe Biden confined an ORLANDO SENTINEL reporter in a closet this week to keep him from mingling with high-powered guests gathered for a Dem fundraiser.
Reporter Scott Powers was the designated “pool reporter” for the vice president’s Wednesday visit to the massive Winter Park, Fla., home of developer and philanthropist Alan Ginsburg. The veep hadn’t arrived yet but most of the 150 guests (minimum $500 donation) had. They were busy noshing on caprese crostini with oven-dried mozzarella and basil, rosemary flatbread with grapes honey and gorgonzola cheese and bacon deviled eggs, before a lunch of grilled chicken Caesar and garden vegetable wraps.
Not so for Powers. A “low-level staffer” put Powers in a storage closet and then stood guard outside the door, Powers told the DRUDGE REPORT. “When I’d stick my head out, they’d say, ‘Not yet. We’ll let you know when you can come out.’”
And no crustini for Powers, either. He made do with a bottle of water to sip as he sat at a tiny makeshift desk, right next to a bag marked “consignment.” Powers was closeted at about 11:30 a.m., held for about an hour and 15 minutes, came out for 35 minutes of remarks by Biden and Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, and then returned to his jail for the remainder of the event.
I’m trying to remember any events during the “autocratic” Bush/Cheney years where reporters were corralled into closets.
Gotta say, I got nothing.
Powers’ phone didn’t work in the closet, but his Blackberry did, so he fired a picture of his impromptu prison to his editors, who posted a short blog item on the lack of freedom of the press under the veep’s control.
Powers didn’t mention his confinement in either of his pool reports that day, saying only that “press coverage was limited to a single pool reporter, filing on behalf of all local media, who was allowed to listen to the remarks but not given an opportunity to talk with anyone at the event.”
Gotta break some eggs to make that omelet, I guess.
If we learned anything over the winter, it’s that metaphors are out. Put “crosshairs” on a map? Say “don’t retreat – reload?” Use an even obliquely martial or firearms-related metaphor, even in an utterly political context? You are clearly and immediately demanding violence!
Or so says the mainstream media. When it’s Republicans.
So it was interesting reading the latest tack from Media Matters, the Soros funded propaganda firm that call the shots, directly or indirectly, for so much of the left’s “alternative” media:
The liberal group Media Matters has quietly transformed itself in preparation for what its founder, David Brock, described in an interview as an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel.
So they’ll be kneecapping Fox News crews, and putting sugar in their gas tanks?
The group, launched as a more traditional media critic, has all but abandoned its monitoring of newspapers and other television networks and is narrowing its focus to Fox and a handful of conservative websites, which its leaders view as political organizations and the “nerve center” of the conservative movement. The shift reflects the centrality of the cable channel to the contemporary conservative movement, as well as the loathing it inspires among liberals …
Irrational loathing, at that.
“The strategy that we had had toward Fox was basically a strategy of containment,” said Brock, Media Matters’ chairman and founder and a former conservative journalist, adding that the group’s main aim had been to challenge the factual claims of the channel and to attempt to prevent them from reaching the mainstream media.
The new strategy, he said, is a “war on Fox.”
What a metaphor.
Conservatism’s response? ”Left 20, Drop 50, Fire for Effect.”
Sheila Kihne has a request for the GOP and, I suspect, those of us who support it:
One note though to the GOP–Can we PLEASE, PLEASE get rid of this talking point “Government should live within its means.” The government–via its power to tax– has unlimted means.
That’s true. ”Means” change. If you get laid off, your “means” change. If the economy tanks, government’s “means” change as well – or at least they should.
If I were a Dem, I’d throw that back so easily and argue for tax hikes. They’re doing just that by the way. I’m on the Organizing for America email list and Obama issued a message today about “government living within its means.” STOP. Educate people about the conservative worldview which takes things much farther down the path than year to year, biennium to biennium budget cycles. When we explain how we think to people, we can change minds. When we play the Dem game of coordinated talking points, then let’s at least ensure they’re a bit more bulletproof.
That’s the problem with the legislative process – it forces people to think one election cycle at a time. It’s worse than normal in Minnesota, where our “deliberative chamber”, the Senate, is merely a smaller House that runs a little less often, and is tied to demographic districts just like the House (rather than the US Senate, in which small states get the same representation as the big ones).
The Republicans are chipping away as fast as they can with their little chisels against this monstrosity of a government. Believe me- I’m frustrated that they’re not using sandblasters because time’s a ticking. But small victories still matter in the larger battle of ideas.
And that’s the big conundrum of this next few weeks. Some are getting impatient with the GOP, in St. Paul and in DC. They want to see the Tea Party Mandate exercised NOW. And there’s a point to that; John Boehner is almost certainly being too timid in his budget cutting; we’d likely win a budget shutdown this year.
But we took a long time to get into this mess; one budget bill isn’t going to get us out.
I caught a bit of DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk and House Minority Leader Paul Thissen on the Keri Miller show on MPR one morning last week.
First – while I often bag on Miller for painting the toenals of liberal guests on the air, she did stick a few good questions in there.
But I liked this bit here. Bakk said (paraphrasing closely) “Minnesotans keep saying they’re overtaxed. It’s just not true“.
He pointed out that since Jesse Ventura’s cuts to the personal income tax back in 1999 and 2000, Minnestoans have “paid less in taxes”. It’s wrong, of course; business taxes get passed on to Minnesotans as surely as the income tax does. And if you recall, Ventura, who had to run to the DFL to get any legislative support at all, turned about a third of the surpluses of his first two years into tax cuts; the Legislature – which was dominated by DFLers, including Bakk, at the time – spent the other two thirds on permanent entitlements, laying the groundwork for the endless deficits we currently fight with.
But let’s take Bakk at his word for the moment, and assume that Minnesotans’ tax burdens dropped, and stayed dropped, during the Ventura Administration.
Minnesota also rode out the last two recessions – this one and the 2001 Dot Bomb – better than most of the United States. Our unemployment rate was, stayed, and is in the lower ten of rates in the US, and was for both recessions.
Just saying – Keri Miller? Please keep booking Bakk. He’s a never-ending fount of material.
As the MN GOP gets ready for the push to topple Amy Klobuchar, the question is “who will go for the Senate endorsement?”
Sitting here at the CD4 convention at Jimmy’s in Vadnais Heights, we are getting our answer.
That’s right, Minnesota. Harold Shudlick is running again!
Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism from 9AM-3PM.
- Ed and I are on from 1-3PM Central.
- The King Banaian Show! - King is onAM1570, Business Radio for the Twin Cities! Join him from 9-11!
- And for those of you who like your constitutionalism straight up with no chaser, don’t forget the Sons of Liberty, from 3-5!
(All times Central)
So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of sanity. You have so many options:
- AM1280 in the Metro
- streaming at AM1280’s Website,
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Don’t forget – tomorrow is the 7th annual Minnesota Organization of Bloggers Winter Fiesta!
We’ll be at Ol’ Mexico – Lexington, just north of Larpenteur in Roseville. 7PM until we’re done!
Drop me an RSVP. Or just be there.
“Let me please indroduce myself,
I’m Janet, from HHS.
I’ve been around for about two years
The One called, and I said “yes”".
“I was around when Tim McVeigh
had his moment of spotlight.
And all you middle-class conservatives
are what keep me up at night…”
The [counter terror disaster] exercise scenario describes shootings occurring after rising tensions in the community because of an influx of minorities, Reed said. The newcomers, some who are American citizens and some who are illegal immigrants, were to have moved into a rural area from urban areas in search of more-affordable living. The newcomers are not welcomed by racial extremists, and controversy sweeps the community, he said.
“I am in charge of keeping you safe
that is what I’m supposed to do.
So you shouted out “who are the terrorists?”
when after all, it’s you and… you:”
One of the fictional suspects involved in the shootings is described an 18-year-old white male with a quick-tempered father who is a firearms enthusiast with ties to an underground white supremacy group. A second fictional suspect is described as an isolated 17-year-old white male student who was befriended by the older student and who mimics his new friend.
“Pleased to meet you. Hope you guessed my name”.
If you’re a DFLer, you’ll be helping your party spin your wheels in its primary Tuesday night.
If you’re a Republican, or someone who’s just plain had enough of what the DFL brings to St. Paul, though, we can have some fun on Tuesday:
Greg Copeland for Senate Rally and Spaghetti Dinner
Tuesday March 29th, 2011
All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner!
(with salad and bread included)
5:00 to 8:00 PM – Join us for Dinner Anytime
8:00 to 9:00 PM – DFL Primary Results
Yarusso Brother’s Italian Restaurant
637 Payne Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55130
Special Guests from the Minnesota Senate GOP Majority
will be in attendance to support Greg Copeland’s election to
Minnesota Senate – District 66
Let’s elect Greg Copeland, your next Senator, who will have a seat at the Senate Majority’s Table to provide Saint Paul and Falcon Heights with a strong, independent, fiscally-conservative voice to support a $10,000 New Jobs Tax Credit and a 2-year property tax freeze!
Suggested Donation: $10.00 per person
Call the campaign or donations made at: (952) 250-7813
Sounds like a lot more fun to me. I’ll hope to see you all there.
I was watching the replay of Tuesday’s discussion on Marty Owings’ “Capitol Conversations” show, with Greg Copeland (the GOP-endorsed candidate in the SD66 special election) and Rep. John Lesch, one of three DFL contenders that’ll duke it out in the primary next Tuesday.
Toward the end of the interview, the subject of “what is there left to cut?” from the budget of the City of Saint Paul, Copeland brought up the $300K the city spent on a tiny fleet of electric cars.
Lesch responded “OK, that’s $300 thousand. What else?”
Copeland, inconveniently, hadn’t brought a budget with him; Marty had to disentangle that particular discussion.
But it just occurred to me; what a golden opportunity for an across-the-aisle discussion!
Rep. Lesch? Candidate Copeland? How about we get together with a copy of the Saint Paul City Budget, and go through it, line item by line item, and justify each one’s existence (or removal)?
This sounds like a fantastic idea!
Rep. Lesch (or whomever wins the DFL endorsement); have your people call Mr. Copeland’s people (note: I am Mr. Copeland’s people). Let’s get this set up.
What a brilliant idea, Rep. Lesch!
Disclosure: I am a volunteer on Greg Copeland’s campaign staff.
I was out the other night at a local restaurant with my friend Moonbeam Birkenstock, a guy who’s out on the far-left fringe of the DFL.
I suggested the usual stuff – cut back on nonessential expenses, shop at Aldi instead of the organic section at Kowalski’s, find cheaper phone service, turn off the lights – y’know, the normal stuff people do to trim the fat around the house.
He nodded repeatedly as I talked and he ate his dinner. Then he chimed in. “I have a better idea. I’m going to buy a big-screen TV”.
I cut up a cod fritter on my plate. “Um, a big-screen TV?”
“Yep”, Moonbeam said, beaming.
“Because if we have more stuff, we’ll have more impetus to earn more money to pay for it all!”
“Um, you don’t have the money for that. I thought we were clear on that…”
“I know”, he said, munching on a piece of deep-fried breadfruit. “You need to buy it for me”.
I stared at him for a monent, and finished eating without a word. I wound up picking up the check. His card wouldn’t go through. Something about being five billion dollars overdrawn.
The DFL and their messagebloggers are still at it.
“Where are the jobs? Huh? Huh? Huh? Huh? Huh? You’ve been in office two months, and you haven’t solved the recession like you promised!”
Jeff Rosenberg at MNPublius is, naturally, one of them:
The MNGOP told us they’d be all about jobs, jobs, jobs. But time and again, they keep proposing cutting jobs and cutting wages for the middle class.
Wow. Did they pass a law telling employers, in and out of the public sector, to trim their payrolls? Maybe an across-the-board ban on companies – everyone from Target and Medtronic to the Caribe Bistro on Raymond – from hiring?
Yes, they’re going after public employees again. And although they don’t have the power to mandate this, they want you to know that they’d really like the University of Minnesota to cut its wages too:
The salaries of all employees in the executive branch, the judicial branch, and the legislative branch are decreased by six percent…. The University of Minnesota is strongly encouraged to comply with this section as if it were subject to it.
…Somehow, cutting wages for the middle class is all part of the GOP’s jobs agenda.Once again, I find it mind-boggling that conservatives tell us we need to pay CEOs for performance, but they think everyone else needs a pay cut.
Every time I put off my “Logic For Leftybloggers” series for another month, I read something like this, and think “maybe April really is the month to tee it up again’.
Government employees are not “the middle class”. Oh, in places like Saint Anthony Park and the Midway, with their block upon block of university employees and teachers and government employees, they might be mistaken for it. And at the DFL caucuses and conventions and functions that seem to define the parameters of Moonbeam and Jeff’s worlds, they probably correspond pretty closely.
But they’re not. Most of us in the middle class, even here in Minnesota (where three of the top five employers are the State, the Fed and the various cities) toil away in the private sector. We find our own jobs, we save for our own retirements, we cover our own copays. And when business turns down, we work harder and produce more with less and, sometimes when worse comes to worst, take our skills and start over in different jobs and fields to pay the bills.
And just as regular commenter Terry so concisely asked about pensions “Why should I be required to work until I’m 70 so you can retire at 55″, one might also ask “why must I be pay more taxes to make your job sacrosanct when I’m scrambling to make ends meet myself?”
Because that’s what Jeff and the DFL are demanding; that we, the private sector, dig deeper to keep the government fat and happy, and just shut the hell up about unemployment, layoffs and our own stress.
I’ll say it again and again and again. How do we get the economy going? Consumer demand. We need money in the hands of the lower and middle classes — the people who will actually spend it. All this shortsighted, petty bill would accomplish is to increase income inequality while depressing our already struggling economy.
Where do we start with this? It’s wrong on so many levels:
Picking Consumers And Victims: Jeff is focusing on a smallish sliver of consumers – government employees – and the ideal of propping up consumer spending…by taking money from all of us private-sector consumers! Just like Moonbeam picking out his big-screen TV on my credit card! Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture?
He Who Forgets History Is Condemned To Repeat It As A DFLer: Did we learn nothing from the mortgage bubble? If you “create wealth” that has nothing underpinning it, all you get is a bubble; when that bubble deflates, it’ll cause more pain than if it’d never existed.
Creating “consumer spending” by taking money from the private sector – reducing the private sector’s ability to create and maintain jobs, say nothing of “consumer spending” – works, sort of. Until we in the private sector run out of money, anyway.
The only sustainable way to grow consumer spending is to grow jobs. And growing government jobs without growing the private sector enough to not only support but justify it – creates yet another bubble, a government spending bubble. It’s a bubble that’s bursting in Portugal and Greece and Ireland now, and will burst across the EU, and California and Michigan soon, and that strenuous efforts may keep from bursting in New Jersey, and which may yet blow up across the entire US…
…and for which we in Minnesota, right this moment, face a time for choosing.
Don’t forget – the Minnexsota Organization of Bloggers Winter Fiesta is coming up Saturday night at 7PM at Ol’ Mexico. It’s just north of Larpenteur on Lexington in Roseville!
It’s open to everyone – bloggers, blog readers, blog fans, non-bloggers, whatever you are! And it’s not just conservatives; politics really aren’t the goal of the MOB party. Liberal, conservative, moderate, apathetic, even catbloggers; you’re all welcome!
Feel free to RSVP via the facebook page, or at the yahoo dot com email address “Feedbackinthedark”.
So on Tuesday night I sat in on a broadcast of Marty Owings’ “Capitol Conversations” pitting the DFL candidate (Rep. John Lesch of HD66A) against Greg Copeland, the GOP’s endorsed candidate. Both are running for the Senate District 66 special election; Lesch faces a primary challenge from former HD66B representative Mary Jo McGuire in next week’s primary.
(Disclosure: I’m a volunteer on Copeland’s campaign).
Toward the end of the interview (you can see it here), Owings asked Lesch about a piece that appeared in Minnesota Democrats Exposed last week, questioning Lesch’s alleged campaigning in uniform.
I’m not really going to get involved in that issue. I figure Lesch, a county prosecutor in his civilian life, knows the rules; both he and the US Army/MN National Guard can take care of themselves as re regulations; if it does turn out the county hired a prosecutor who’s too stupid to follow such basic rules – and I don’t believe that’s the case – then perhaps heads should roll there.
So it’s not the allegations of campaigning on Army time that bother me.
It’s Lesch’s reaction to the question.
Owings asked Lesch if he had a response to the MDE piece.
Lesch pointed out the Stars and Stripes tie and pin that Copeland wears. Everywhere. Every day. Every time I’ve seen the guy, he’s wearing one, the other, or both. (Unless he’s going all Irish on us) and said (I’m closely paraphrasing here; you can watch the video here and judge for yourself how accurate I’m being) he was within the rules (which, again, nobody on the set disputed, then or now), and it’s typical of Republicans to wrap themselves in the flag when it suits them, but to “crap on it” (I believe those were his words) when it didn’t.
Representative Lesch: it’s not “crapping on the flag” to question an elected representative. We mere peasants get to do that in our society. Even if we’re not government workers. You don’t get immunity as a prosecutor or as a legislator from questions or criticism. You may see it as “crapping on John Lesch”; if you are correct about military regulations, you may even have a point.
But you are not The Flag. You serve it – and, via various chains of command, us. The flag doesn’t immunize you any more than any other public servant or employee.
(Watch for at least one “Berg is a chickenhawk” reference from the leftyblog loony bin in response to this. Any bets on that?)
If you are down and about the downtown Minneapolis gallery scene anytime soon, stop by Circa Gallery (210 North 1st Street) and see the current exhibition, by Barbara Gilhooly.
I was at the opening last Saturday. So was “Briana”, whom I do not know, but who brought a much better camera than I did, and got a great series of photos of the whole exhibition.
Barb is, by the way, a high school classmate of mine. And she’s been making a living as an artist pretty much the whole time. Check it out.
And congrats, Barb!