Priorities

Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak shows that deals with the city’s fiscal woes with the aplomb of a Gabor sister;if you take care of life’s luxuries,the necessities take care of themselves:

The day after Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak vetoed a City Council effort to prevent 10 firefighter layoffs, the city sent out a new job posting: a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.

Which just goes to show that no matter how much Minneapolis and Saint Paul carp about losing (part  of) their subsidy from the parts of the state that work, they can always find the money to take care of their pets and their pork.  The bike and pedestrian director will make betwen $61-84K.

The mayor’s office argues that the new coordinator will make the city safer for cyclists and pedestrians, but council President Barb Johnson said it is a “tempting” target for extra revenue to save firefighter jobs.

“We’ll look at that. We’ll look at all the general fund positions that we have currently,” Johnson said. “Because a majority of the council wants to maintain these 10 firefighters and not lay them off.”

Those 10 firefighters, of course, have less to do with balancing the city’s budget than they do with serving as a battering ram against the GOP in the legislature, giving Dayton, Tom Bakk and Paul Thissen a chanting point when the GOP attacks “Local Government Aid”.

Speaking of which, here’s what the city’s hiring:

In addition to the bicycle coordinator, the city is looking to hire a database engineer, a stationary engineer, an internal auditor and a manager of intellectual properties for the police department.

Intellectual property in the police department?

Cops are getting patents?  Or are so many of them writing books (I guess that reference dates me) that the department needs to be administering copyrights and trademarks?

Can anyone ‘splain me that one?

Chanting Points Memo: Dayton’s New Racket

Remember Governor Dayton’s first big initiative?

No?

That probably makes Governor Dayton plenty happy.

Oh, it’s likely you remember the broad outlines; Governor Daytons’ first – and, until this week, only – real platform was to “reduce” the “deficit” by taxing the “rich”.

Of course, the “deficit” was precisely the same as the one you get when your kids say “I got my last pair of jeans at Abercrombie and Fitch for $60, and they just raised their prices, so please give me $80 [*] right now”.

Your family doesn’t budget like that.  The State of Minnesota does, though – and will until we institute zero-based budgeting (which fell off the table this past session, and cannot be allowed to in the next one).

The battle between the two solutions to the phony problem eventually led to a mexican standoff that eventually brought about a government shutdown – until Governor Dayton went outstate to St. Cloud and Albert Lea, and saw exactly how little traction his plan actually had, causing him to come back to Saint Paul to negotiate a graceful less graceless exit.

He seems to have gotten a new consultant.  His latest campaign meme, stolen from his BFF Rudy Perpich?  He wants to be “the jobs governor“:

[Dayton] — who vowed as a candidate to “go anywhere in the state, nation or even world to bring a job to Minnesota” — said in an interview this week that he wants to make job creation his main goal for the rest of his term, which runs through 2014.

“This will be my No. 1 priority for the rest of my term — trying to help businesses create additional jobs in Minnesota and trying to get new jobs in Minnesota,” Dayton said. “I will go anywhere, call anybody, do what I can.”

And what can he do?

Business leaders said Dayton probably won’t make an immediate dent in the unemployment rate, but can initiate policy changes to improve the job climate over the longer term. High on their list: Lower business taxes, a stronger K-12 public school system and fewer energy regulations.

“We’re not going to wave a magic wand and suddenly have 3 percent unemployment in Minnesota,” said Bill Blazar, senior vice president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

Why, that sounds great, doesn’t it?  Cutting business taxes, including taxes on the entrepreneur class that, in the last session, he worked so hard to impose taxes on?

Perhaps Dayton will take the chains off of Minnesota’s entrepreneurial class?  Maybe by spawning the type of prosperity that Minnesota could actually use?

Well, no.

Labor leader Harry Melander said he hoped Dayton’s jobs tour would lead to new construction jobs, including another round of public works projects next year.

In other words, the state will throw more money into “infrastructure” jobs – paid for by taxpayers or via bonding.  Which are, by the nature of the work, almost all temporary – but all of them will run through the various  construction trade unions that are part owner of the DFL.  So they can get more dues.  To pay into the DFL’s war chest.

It coudln’t be any more obvious if he started smoking cheap cigars and sending goons out to bust sanitation workers’ knees.

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Consequences

Illinois, which jacked up taxes (making Mark Dayton all green with envy) last January, has seen its unemployment rate rise...:

Illinois lost more jobs during the month of July than any other state in the nation, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report. After losing 7,200 jobs in June, Illinois lost an additional 24,900 non-farm payroll jobs in July.

I tweeted about this last night.  Someone said “but what about as a percent of population!”, they responded with a rhetorical smirk.

Premature, naturally (emphasis added):

The report also said Illinois’s unemployment rate climbed to 9.5 percent. This marks the third consecutive month of increases in the unemployment rate.

Illinois started to create jobs as the national economy began to recover. But just when Illinois’s economy seemed to be turning around, lawmakers passed record tax increases in January of this year. Since then, Illinois’s employment numbers have done nothing but decline.

And for states that reduce taxes?

Well, what do you think?

Whew

It’s a good thing Chicago persecutes the law-abiding gun owner, even in the wake of Heller and McDonald, so conscientiously.

Otherwise, who knows how bad this episode might have gotten:

Moments before she was slain last week on Chicago’s Southwest Side, 17-year-old Charinez Jefferson begged the gunman not to shoot because she was pregnant, prosecutors said today.

Despite her plea, Timothy Jones, 18, opened fire on Jefferson anyway, yelling an expletive at her as he shot her in the head, prosecutors said. He then stood over her as she lay on the ground and fired several more times, striking her in the chest and back…

Jones had seen Jefferson walking with a rival gang member in the 3000 block of West 64th Street and approached them in a car, Dillon said. He got out of the vehicle and fired at least one shot at the rival, who ran off, leaving Jefferson to fend for herself. After begging Jones for mercy, Jefferson was shot at “point-blank range,” Dillon said.

While I opposed the death penalty, I can’t imagine the world being a whole lot worse if the alleged shooter, if found guilty, somehow ends up very very dead.

Independence Day

Yesterday was one of my kids’ first day at college.  Not gonna say who, or where – nutters are everywhere out there, and some of them are safely tucked into offices at institutes of higher education.  Why tie weights around my kids’ ankles?

And yes, I do feel too young for this, although I know it’s not true.

But all I can say is “Whew.  Finally”.

I’ve not spared much in relating my disgust with the Saint Paul Public School system.  As I noted a few years back, one of the best days of my life was when my kids got pulled out of the SPPS and put into charter schools. I’m not the only one; one out of eight Saint Paul parents has yanked their kids out of the SPPS and high-tailed it to parochial, charter, suburban (via the state’s open enrollment statute) or home schools.

But now, today, knowing my kids are beyond the claws of that wretched, dysfunctional, addled, mediocrity-worshipping, politically-correct, racist-via-low-expectations school system, I feel a lot better about life in general.

This isn’t to bag on the people I do know who are conscientious, diligent employees of the SPPS, who genuinely do care about students and are good teachers and dedicated staffers.

But I have to ask them – why do you share a district with people like this?  With a district that chooses every day between thick-necked adherence to idiotic policy and the welfare of children, and is constantly found wanting?

Anyway – it’s a happy day.

One more to go!

My Old Colleague Bucky

One day when I was 16 or 17, working at my first radio station (KEYJ in Jamestown, ND), I worked my usual Saturday “morning” shift – 5AM to 3PM.  At the end of the shift, one of the station’s full-timers, a guy we’ll call Bucky, came in after me to work the Saturday night shift.

I walked over to the newsroom to put the stories I’d done that day into the files.  ”Bucky” sat down at the console and, at the end of the 3:00 network newscast at 3:05, spun the news sounder and started reading the news.

His first story got my ear to perk up.

“According to a publicly-available source, Jamestown man, John Smith [a pseudonym - Ed.], was convicted of shoplifting at the Pamida store.  We are unclear whether it’s the John Smith that lives at 1024 Second Avenue Southeast in Jamestown.  If you are John Smith of 1024 Second Avenue Southeast of Jamestown, please call the station at 252-1400 and confirm whether you are or are not the John Smith who was reported to have been convicted of shoplifting at Pamida.  In other news…”

In a few minutes, the newscast ended, and he rolled a song.  I walked into the control room.

“Um, Bucky?  Where did you get that thing about John Smith?”

He handed me a mimeographed sheet entitled “People Who Shoplifted At Pamida”.  It included a generic-looking list of names – although no details were given – and concluded with an ad for a store at the Buffalo Mall that sold mostly anti-shoplifting products for busiensses.

“Bucky, this is not official in any way!”

“That’s right!”, he said.  ”That’s why I asked him to call in and confirm it was him!”, he said, cueing up another record as the sound of screeching brakes echoed up from the street below.  I looked out the window – it was the station’s owner and manager, climbing out of his car and racing toward the door.

“That’s not how you’re supposed to do it, though.  You get the confirmation before you go on the air…”

“Don’t worry!”, he chirped.  ”I’m a journalist, reporting the news, and I’m protected by the First Amendment, and…” he started, as the manager threw open the control room door, reached over the console, grabbed Bucky by the hair and belt, bodily lifted him from the chair, and hefted him out into the hall.  ”Take over, Mitch”, he bellowed, as I heard more screeching from the street below.  I looked out, and saw four lawyers and John Smith of 1024 Second Avenue Southeast climbing out of cars, as the GM tossed Bucky out into the street, bellowing “You’re Fired!” at the top of his lungs.

As the frenzy started below, the manager walked back into the studio.

“Sheesh.  Who taught that guy how to do reporting?  You do know that you clarify things that could damage peoples’ livelihoods and reputations before you air the allegations in public – don’t you?”

“Sheesh, Bob – of course I do!”

“Good.  OK, I’ll try to get someone in here to spell you.  Holy crap”.   He walked back to his office.

Apropos nothing at all.

Why, yes.  The story is completely fictional.  It’s why I put it in the “Humor” category, silly.

Grievances To The Left Of Me, Grievances To The Right

Joe Doakes from Como Park writes…:

Somali immigrants not doing the jobs Americans won’t do, shutting down the assembly line in the refrigerator factory for prayer during work hours.

What we have here is a failure to assimilate.

From the PiPress piece:

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Monday that more than a dozen employees of the appliance manufacturer Electrolux in St. Cloud are again being denied proper prayer breaks during the Ramadan fast.

The employees are participating in the latest claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to the Associated Press…This year, the company reduced the length of the meal break. Muslim employees say they no longer have enough time to break their fast and complete prayers after sunset.

Discrimination?  Well…:

Electrolux responded Monday by saying that, in advance of Ramadan this year, the company proposed three possible revised meal and break schedules and put in place the schedule preferred by the majority of the employees.

“Electrolux seeks to accommodate the religious needs of all of its employees,” the company said in a statement.

I’m seeing a real opportunity here for a Muslim parts subcontractor…

And seriously – I am amazed that refrigerators are still built in the US.

Things I Detest And Would Like To Kill With Fire

When it comes to temper, I’m pretty Scandinavian; I don’t really lose my temper; it takes a lot to get me to show any emotional at all, really.

But when I do?  Houston, we have a problem.

And so there really aren’t many things in the world that genuinely fill me with blinding homicidal rage.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to a few:

  • “Axe” Deodorant Ads: All of them – the falling angels, “double-pits-to-chesty”, the idiot skateboarders, and the worst of them all, that **c***g chocolate guy walking down the street.  Yeah, I know – their target market is the young and gullible (see also: Obama 2008).  But did our anscestors defeat the Nazis so that we had to endure this bilge?
  • Huge, tasteless tattoos: 1992 called.  Seattle wants its fashion mistakes back.
  • “Girl Power”:  No, not powerful girls; girls should have self-respect and be intelligent and strong and self-assured.  No, it’s the attitude I saw in a set of T-shirts at a store the other day – something to the tune of “I Throw Like A Girl. Jealous?”  Which, by itself, is fine – it shows a clear misunderstanding of physical and emotional development in boys and girls, but whatever.  But it was part of a line of “girls rock, boys suck”-wear which, again, I don’t care so much about, except that it’s been part of a twenty-year effort to make room for empowering girls by cutting down boys.  It manifests itself in schools, and it’s having a terrible effect – boys are rapidly losing interesting education; soon, they’ll be down to 40% of college students. And for the life of me, I haven’t figured out how disempowering one gender in terms of its own natural traits can “empower” the other one!  Also,  I’d love to see the firestorm that’d accompany a line of T-shirts reading “I think like a boy – so sorry your adolescent feminine three-dimensional spatial visualization is so inadequate”, or whatever.
  • Historical Illiterates - Not all of them.  But many.  Especially the ones that will read or hear some reference to German history from 1933-1945, issued by, hypothetically, someone who’s studied the history, sociology, politics and language of the era in some great detail, and – no matter what the reference is to – bleat “Godwin’s Law! Godwin’s Law! Braaaaaaaawk!“.  Just saying.
  • The taste of energy drinks:  All of them.  I can only think of one from among the whole assortment - Red Bull, Monster, Monster Java, Surge, Amp, RockStar, Pimp Juice (no, I’m not making that one up), Redeye, Pr0n Sauce (OK, I made that one up), SoBe  -  that doesn’t taste like carbonated fruit punch.  Amp Citrus tastes vaguely like lemonade – not a bad start – that’s been filtered through battery acid.  It’d help if every single one of them that I’ve tried didn’t give me a splitting headache – where by “help” I mean “with my aim”.
  • The “States Rights Equal Slavery” Slur - Can you imagine out much better our nation would be today, had half of the nation sought secession, and the other half opposed it over, say, the Federal Reserve, the Income Tax, or the activist interpretations of the Interstate Commerce Clause?  The notion of enumerated powers, and reserving important powers to the states and The People, is a noble one, a cornerstone of true representative democracy and a key bulwark against the creeping centralism that’s been increasingly sapping this country for the past eighty years in an accelerating vortex of bureaucratic ooze. And just because the peckerwoods in half of the nation decided to stake “states rights” on a profound evil, slavery, doesn’t make the concept itself less any less vital.  If you have a brain in your head, a moral bone in your body, any respect for why this nation exists as it does (as opposed to in the form of a France or a Netherlands) and the faintest sense of respect for logic.  But if the majority of this country had any of the above, the Democrats would have to launch petition drives to get on the ballot, like the Greens or the Constitution Party.
  • Pauly Shore - Yep.  Even after all these years.  Just can’t get over it.
  • Mindless Petty Slander - It’s a long story.
  • The Advertising Double Standard - You know the one I’m talking about; in advertising, most families show “Dad” as a bumbling, incompetent schlub whose improbably gorgeous wife seems to tolerate him (and provides the correct answer to everything, which always hinges on the product being sold).  I understand it, of course – these ads are aimed at products that women tend to buy.  But I wonder about this part – if you look at ads aimed at things men stereotypically buy – tools, cases of beer, work trucks – the portrayal across the gender divide is so different; in those ads, men are young, usually single, and surrounded by women whose intellectual and social capabilities are never questioned, and are indeed irrelevent beside the fact that they are hot.  So what does this tell us about how the world of advertising sees the American gender psyche (a perception which had best be accurate, for them, since business stakes billions of dollars a year on these ads)?  That men fantasize about being young, buff, drunk, driving big trucks, and surrounded by Selma Hayek and Sarah Chalke lookalikes, while women dream of making the men in their lives look emasculated, helpless and stupid?
  • Discrimination Before The Law Against Anyone Based On Race, Religion, Politics, Ethnicity Or Affectional Orientation - Because if I didn’t say it, you just know some bobblehead would ask “So you don’t hate repression?  Hmmm?  Developing…”
  • Portlandia“.

Not a multi-part series.  I think I pretty well blew the karma out of my cylinders with this post.

That is all.

Dependents

Not sure where they got it, but I liked this bit from east-metro watchdogblog Expose The Truth:.

In response to the question: “Do you have any dependents?”

I replied ……. 12 million illegal immigrants; 3 million crack heads; 42 million unemployable lazy bastards;

the entire cast of the Jerry Springer Show; 2 million people in over 243 prisons; 300,000 leftovers from Katrina;

half of Mexico; and hundreds more in the U.S. House and Senate.

Apparently, this wasn’t an acceptable answer.

More topically, they are a new blog with a mission to watch Woodbury politics.  I got to meet the proprietors at the MOB party on Saturday.  Keep an eye on ‘em!

If In Bloomington…

…you might be thinking – “36% increase in property taxes?  Huh-wha?”

That’s why you need to get to know Hans Anderson, GOP candidate for Mayor of Bloomington.  My people met his people last Saturday at the MOB summer party.

We’ll be talking with Anderson live at the MN State Fair.  Stop by and say hi!

The Greatest Broadcast

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism from 9AM-3PM.

  • Ed and I – The Headliners – will be on from 1-3PM Central.  In the first hour, we’ll be featuring “Doc” Pepping and Al Mampre, two members of the legendary “Easy” Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry, the Band of Brothers.  I got to talk with “Doc” two years ago, and it was just about the most fun I’ve ever had on the air.  Please tune in for a bit of American history (and to benefit “Vettes for Vets“).
  • The King Banaian Show! - King is onAM1570, Business Radio for the Twin Cities!  Join him from 9-11!
  • Stay tuned for more on Brad Carlson’s return on Sundays!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all five 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 (AM1570 for King’s show)
  • streaming at AM1280’s Website,
  • On Twitter (the Volume 2 show will use hashtag #narn2)
  • UStream video and chat (at HotAir.com or at UStream).
  • Podcast at Townhall, usually by Monday
  • Good ol’ telephone – 651-289-4488!
  • And make sure you fan us on our new Facebook page!

Join us!

Begging The Answer

“Begging the Question” means “using your conclusion as evidence of your conclusion”.

I’m sure classical logic doesn’t recognize the concept of “begging the answer” – using the status quo as a defense of the status quo.

But this Dana Goldstein piece in Salon against Michele Bachmann and her fellow education reformers might just change all that.

Michele Bachmann’s…growing popularity among the Republican base also signals…a sea change in the party’s education agenda. It’s safe to say that the political era of George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind is now officially over, even as the law’s testing mandates continue to reverberate in classrooms across the country.

The sooner, the better.

As recently as a decade ago, Republicans like George W. Bush, John McCain, and John Boehner embraced bipartisan, standards-and-accountability education reform as a pro-business venture, a way to make American workers and firms more competitive in the global marketplace. Now we are seeing the GOP acquiesce to the anti-government, Christian-right view of education epitomized by Bachmann, in which public schools are regarded not as engines for economic growth or academic achievement, but as potential moral corrupters of the nation’s youth.

As we’ll see below, I think Goldstein is lumping too many eggs into the “Christian Conservative!” basket.

As our public schools continue to flounder, more and more of us have had experiences that have exposed to them that public schools just aren’t like they were when we parents were kids.   Maybe it was a series of teachers like this one; maybe it was a long trail of eye-opening episodes with the celebration of hide-bound bureaucracy, or relentless kow-towing to political correctness that our school systems have become at the expense of actual education.

It’s why over an eighth of Saint Paul parents, and even more than that in Minneapolis, have deserted the public schools, for suburban schools (via Minnesota’s open enrollment law), charter schools and parochial and private schools.  The vast majority of these people are black, hispanic and Asian.

I don’t suspect they were all motivated by Michele Bachmann.

(Aside:  Goldstein refers to MNCD2 Congressman John Kline as “the moderate [! - Ed.]  chairman of the House education and workforce committee“.  Factor that into your analysis accordingly)   

Goldstein recounts Bachmann’s political origin story – homeschooling her kids, helping found a charter school, running for the Stillwater School Board and thence to the State Senate…:

As her political career advanced, the overarching theme of Bachmann’s education activism was that government attempts to improve schools threatened the prerogatives of the Christian family and represented a dangerous move toward a socialized, planned economy. In 2001, she charged that the 1994 federal School to Work Opportunities Act, which provided funding for low-income teenagers to do on-the-job apprenticeships with local companies, would turn students into “human resources for a centrally planned economy.” As a state senator in 2002, Bachmann produced a bizarre film called Guinea Pigs II, which compared Minnesota’s Profile of Learning curriculum standards—instituted in 1998 by Republican Gov. Arne Carlson—to Nazism and communism. As Tim Murphy of Mother Jones wrote of Bachmann last week, “She was Tea Party before the Tea party was cool. In 2002, with a Republican president in the White House and the Tea Party a full seven years away, she cited the 9th and 10th amendments while railing against No Child Left Behind as an unconstitutional abuse of power.”

Leave aside the bizarre fact that Goldstein thinks John Kline is a moderate, but that Bachmann should have cozied up to Arne Carlson because he was a “Republican”; she was right.  Oh, the rhetoric was a little lot overheated – but there is no rational case to be made that the US Department of Education does, or has ever, contributed positively to education.

Bachmann wasn’t the only Christian conservative local politician making these anti-education reform arguments in the 1990s. Rather, from the beginning of her activist career, she was part of a national “parental rights” movement organized by groups such as Focus on the Family and the Homeschool Legal Defense Fund. Like Bachmann, Sarah Palin was a foot soldier in this movement. According to an account local political activist Phillip Munger gave Salon, as mayor of Wasilla, Palin promoted a group of Christian right school board candidates.

So Goldstein’s goal seems to be clear; tie the “education reform” movement to “crazy”, “scary” conservative women.

But look at the people who are leaving the school systems.  In the inner cities, the refugees are largely Black, Hispanic and Asian – not, the last I checked, Bachmann or Palin’s key constituents.

Goldstein is trying to make her premise fit the facts she’s chosen to focus on – that there is a big, scary, crazy Christianist movement out there, working to derail public education – while white conservatives are just the tip of the iceberg of dissatisfaction, even revulsion, with the current school system.

And when the two finally connect?

Well, I suspect that’s what Goldstein is trying to prevent.

Tomorrow Night…

…is the 2011 Minnesota Organization of Bloggers summer party!

We’ll be at our traditional summer digs, Keegans Irish Pub in Northeast Minneapolis.  Keegans is on University at Hennepin in Northeast Minneapolis (map below the fold).  It’ll start at 7PM, out on the cigar patio (rain or shine) and it’ll go until we stop!

Come if you’re a blogger, a blog reader, or if you just like hanging out with fun people!

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Your “Science” Dollar At Work

NASA “scientists” have skipped past holding “Nuremberg Trials” for “denialists”, have gone directly to invoking Krugman’s alien attack:.

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth’s atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

No, you read that right. NASA.  Not Art Bell.

Isn’t that how your smug atheists describe religion?  ”Do what we tell you or some extra-terrestrial pseudo-mystical being will smite you?”

Just saying.

Sub Mission

One of the five second sound bites about Michele Bachmann is her take on her church’s (occasional) commandment that wives be “submissive” to their husbands.

Most non-Christians, and/or more liberal Christians (and I don’t belong to a denomination that preaches it, by the way) for that matter either misunderstand the idea, or know nothing but the distorted idea of “submission” fed to them by people like, well, Bachmann’s critics.

One of the areas where it’s irrelevant is, well, the presidency.  Michael Prell has an answer he’d suggest Bachmann give when she’s asked about the idea of “submission”.

Here’s the conclusion (read the whole thing here):

“Finally, as president, I will not be submissive to union bosses, to billionaire puppetmasters like George Soros, or to militant anti-American leftists who demonize our soldiers and preach ‘God damn America.’ And, unlike President Obama, I will not be submissive to indicted or convicted special interest groups like ACORN, or to Weatherman terrorists, or those who want to see Israel wiped from the map.”

“Instead, as President, I will be submissive to the American People, and to the Constitution, because as President I will honor my oath to serve both the Constitution and the People—unlike the current president of the United States and his minions who demonize patriotic and Constitution-loving Americans as ‘terrorists.’”

Submission is not the issue. It is who, and what, you submit to that matters.

That’s the real issue, and comparison, here; every tin-pot tyrant and banana-republic strongman is Barack Obama’s dominatrix.

Note To “Progressive” “Bloggers”

Caterwauling.

Whinging.

Yapping.

Argling.

Whinnying.

Squealing.

Sniveling.

Screeching.

Sobbing.

Bellyaching.

Caviling.

Grousing.

Kvetching.

Grumbling.

Yammering.

Those are the first fifteen synonyms I can think of for “Whining”.  Which is the sole verb every “progressive” blogger seems to use to describe “any of our opponents talking or writing”.

I can only assume you “progressive” bloggers’ superiors haven’t told you to write anything else…

UPDATE:

Mewling.

Gargling.

Puling.

Gurgitating.

Maladicting.

Frumping.

Eeyoring.

Even simple ol’ complaining!

Still haven’t had to go to a thesaurus.

I”m starting to think the only “smart” thing about “progressives” is the way they branded themselves as “the smart people”.

The Yapping

Poor “Progressives”.

They can’t win elections.  Their politicians can’t do budgets (or, if they do, can never, ever make them work.  Even with years of unfettered control (from 2008 through 2010),  they can’t do anything useful with the economy.

And now even their protests suck:.

“We’re trying to find a caddy,” said a protester posing as Boehner. The Boehner impersonator stood beside impersonators of Minnesota Reps. Michele Bachmann, Erik Paulsen, Chip Cravaack and John Kline.

The “impersonators” were actually people wearing large cardboard cutouts of unflattering photos of the various politicians’ heads, looking like they were cut out from “Dump Bachmann” and blown up.  After eight years of constant caterwauling, they can’t even muster the energy to do those annoying papier-mache puppets anymore.

Cravaack wryly noted…:

“The people that we were speaking with were the job creators. They’re the people who employ Minnesotans,” Cravaack said of the attendees. “So we’re asking the question to them, ‘What is it going to take for you to invest in yourselves and create jobs?’”

He added that businesses are skittish about making that investment with the threat of new taxes and regulations from the Obama administration.

“Taxing companies right now in a recession is not going to create jobs,” Cravaack said. “It’s going to take jobs away.”

But to the progressive worldview, it’s government’s job to create jobs.

How?

By hiring lots of people who’ve never used shovels for a living for “shovel-ready” jobs? (What the hell is a “shovel-ready” job?  Outside of patching streets, what job in the world today actually uses shovels?)

By waving the magic government wand, perhaps?

They can’t even think of original chanting points:

Protesters accused the Minnesota congressmen of meeting with wealthy donors while proposing cuts to the middle class and not creating jobs. One sign read “People before profits,” and the crowd chanted “Hey-hey-ho-ho, corporate greed has got to go.”

Criminy – even Saul Alinsky is rolling in his grave.

MOB! MOB! MOB!

Saturday night is the 2011 Minnesota Organization of Bloggers summer party!

We’ll be at our traditional summer digs, Keegans Irish Pub in Northeast Minneapolis.  Keegans is on University at Hennepin in Northeast Minneapolis (map below the fold).  It’ll start at 7PM, out on the cigar patio (rain or shine) and it’ll go until we stop!

Come if you’re a blogger, a blog reader, or if you just like hanging out with fun people!

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Not On The Perry Bandwagon

“Paris Paramus”, a NARN listener and Romney supporter, sends a 14 point list of reasons to stay off the Perry bandwagon:

Supporters of Texas Governor Rick Perry are not going to like this article at all. Right now, Republicans all over the United States are touting Rick Perry as the “Republican messiah” that is going to come charging in to save America from the presidency of Barack Obama.

Any conservative that speaks in terms of “political messiahs” is as dumb as one of those slack-jawed, dreamy-eyed Obama bots three years ago.

No, Rick Perry is not going to save America. In fact, he would likely be very, very similar to both Bush and Obama in a lot of ways.

So let’s check this out:

#1 Rick Perry is a “big government” politician. When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was approximately $49 billion. Ten years later it was approximately $90 billion. That is not exactly reducing the size of government.

It’s true – it’s not.  But; it amounts to about 7% a year.  Minnesota’s state budget grew 50% in the same period, mostly under spending-hawk Pawlenty – down from 10-20+% annual increases under Arne Carlson.  And it’s interesting to see that Texas, with almost 25 million people, has a state budget only three times as large as Minnesota’s.

Let’s call that a partial point against.

#2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control. According to usdebtclock.org, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645. In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932. If Rick Perry runs for president these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.

While Texas is likely much better able to service the debt than California, because it’s not a basket case, it’s certainly a point against.

#3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled since Rick Perry became governor. So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?

Worth a look – and I’lll roll it into point 2.

#4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system. If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.

This is kind of a schizoid point.  On the one hand, privatizing roads is an eminently libertarian/conservative solution – switching roads from tax burdens to private fees.

On the other, you have the whole “trans-whatever highway” thing, which is something that glassy-eyed Paulbots chant about at meetings until everyone else is ready to mace them.

There may be a point against Perry here, but I’m not seeing it.

#5 Rick Perry claims that he has a “track record” of not raising taxes. That is a false claim. Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor. Today, Texans are faced with significantly higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.

Specifics would help, here.  What taxes?  Applied to whom?  How has the average Texan’s tax burden changed in ten years, and from what basis?

I’m willing to be convinced – but anyone who talks about “trans-Texas highways” had better bring actual numbers to atone for it.

#6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.

Right – and how is that Perry’s fault?  Specifics, people.

#7 Back in 1988, Rick Perry supported Al Gore for president. In fact, Rick Perry actually served as Al Gore’s campaign chairman in the state of Texas that year.

This may be the least convincing point of them all.

So what?  In 1980, I was a liberal.  In 1940, Ronald Reagan was a New Dealer.  Many of the best conservatives started out as liberals.  And in 1988, Algore was seen, and positioned himself, as a blue-dog, believe it or not.

Of all the shots I’ve heard against Perry, this is the dumbest.

#8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent. In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.

Again – context?  It could very well be that wages in Texas grew slower – although it seems unlikely, or at the very least that someone is comparing apples and blowtorches.

This – and #6, above – echo the lefties’ “where are the jobs?” chanting point; as if any conservative would, or any government could, create jobs and raise wages by decree.

I suspect other factors are at work here.

This next one is a big one:

#9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation. The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year….

•  We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma.

Limited focus on education is a problem throughout the South, though, and it’s a problem that long predates Rick Perry.  It predated Jefferson Davis, for that matter.  It starts with the Scots-Irish tradition, filtered through white “white trash” plantation culture, that still drives many facets of southern culture (like the south’s incredibly high violent crime rate), to say nothing of the other education problems plaguing urban school districts nationwide (including states with “good” education systems, like Minnesota).

If the author wants to make the case that Rick Perry could and should have turned this around, I’m all ears – but it seems like a stretch.  To be honest, 36th is higher than I’d expected.

•  We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.

This is Rick Perry’s fault how?

•  We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.

If the point here is that teachers are overpaid for the performance they get out of the schools, it seems a stretchy one.

#10 Rick Perry attended the Bilderberg Group meetings in 2007. Associating himself with that organization should be a red flag for all American voters.

“Guilt by association” is an even bigger flag for any logical thinker.

Show me that Perry did anything.  Show me something incriminating that he said.

I was at the RNC when John McCain was nominated.  It doesn’t mean I was responsible for Barack Obama being elected.

#11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.

Given their SAT scores, that seems completely appropriate.

I’m a kidder.  I kid.  This is redundant with 6 and 8, and again, I’d need to see why this is supposedly the case.

#12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue. If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.

Now we’re on to something.  Point against.

#13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less. By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.

Again – so what?  Is it government’s, much less The Governor’s, job to see to everyone’s income?  In a recession?

And this is redundant with 6, 8 and 11.

#14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade. Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with a highly controversial vaccine.

Now we’re on to something.  I’d have serious questions for Perry about this campaign; so, apparently, does Perry.

 

So out of fourteen ten points (six were redundant), we have one guilt by association, one aspersion based on out-of-context campaign positions from over 20 years ago, some things that I have trouble seeing as government’s responsibility much less the Governor’s, some social issues that no governor can control and that take generations or centuries to fix, and call it four actual problems – Gardasil, immigration, the state debt and the state budget.

And all of them are questions that need asking.

MOB Rules!

Saturday night is the 2011 Minnesota Organization of Bloggers summer party!

We’ll be at our traditional summer digs, Keegans Irish Pub in Northeast Minneapolis.  Keegans is on University at Hennepin in Northeast Minneapolis (map below the fold).  It’ll start at 7PM, out on the cigar patio (rain or shine) and it’ll go until we stop!

Come if you’re a blogger, a blog reader, or if you just like hanging out with fun people!

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Records Stand ‘Til They Fall

Immediately after Pawlenty withdrew from the presidential race, his name was getting bandied about on the GOP side (and in some cases, bandied right back).

Eric Ostermeier notes that out of twelve former Minnesota governors who’ve tried to run for Senate, only one has won the race:

Even presuming, for the moment, that Pawlenty does not need a breather from political campaigning after 10 years in the Minnesota House, eight years in the governor’s mansion, and the remainder seeking the GOP presidential nod, Minnesota history suggests taking on Klobuchar (or even Al Franken in 2014) is risky business.

A Smart Politics review of Minnesota electoral history over the last century finds that sitting or ex-governors were elected to the U.S. Senate just one time in 12 attempts since popular vote contests were introduced in the state in 1912.

The only Minnesota governor to go on and win a Senate election during the past century was Republican Edward Thye, who defeated DFLer Theodore Jorgenson by 19.1 points while serving in his second term as governor in 1946.

All of which is true – and an interesting read, as far as it goes.

And so was “The Eighth District is solid Blue, and has been for three generations”, this time a year ago.

The point?  Every election is unique. If things continue like they are, bikini car washes will have longer coat-tails than Barack Obama.  A Senator who’s actually helped deliver a good economy might just gain a few points on a Senator that’s  done…

…what?

Well, that may be A-Klo’s great advantage.  She’s been thoroughly innocuous in her five years in office; there really is no there, there.  She’s made no mistakes.

But in change elections, mistake-aversion and innocuity aren’t not always much insurance.  Ask Gil Gutknecht, George H.W. Bush and Gary Laidig.

Just saying – all political records stand, ’til they stop standing.  They we forget about them.

A Worthy GOP Cause

What goes better with beer than side orders of liberty and freedom?

Citizens for Fotsch will be throwing a Beer and Cheese tasting party!

Come out to the B-Dale club (County B and, you guessed it, Dale Street – the address is 2100 N. Dale Street in Roseville) tomorrow night starting at 6PM and running til 8PM.

There’ll be no charge for attendance; there’ll be a cash bar, and donations to the Citizens for Fotsch will be gratefully accepted.

(Borrowed from the new MNCD4 GOP website!)