Bruce, Bruce, Bruce.

To: Bruce Springsteen
From: Mitch Berg, Once And Always Fan
Re:  Janteloven.

Mr. Springsteen,

I’ve been a huge fan since I was a kid.  Since before I became a conservative, even.

When you’re a conservative Springsteen fan, you get used to the occasional churlish phumpher from some ideology-addled lib scold; “have any of you actually listened to Springsteen’s lyrics?”  To which I reply “yes – in a level of detail people like you only devote to stalking Michele Bachmann.  My question for you is, have you actually listened to the lyrics, especially on his first five or six albums, without passing them through your PC filter?”

They rarely answer.

But the fact remains that you, starting in about ’84, but escalating since 2004, have been slathering yourself and your music with politics – which, like most showbiz-lefty politics, is showy, shallow, shrill, and skin-deep.

Like in your conversation with a Swedish radio station recently. Tim Blair writes:

The Boss goes all svag and hopplöst:

Bruce Springsteen wants to see the United States transformed into something closer to a Swedish-style welfare state, the rock legend said Thursday …When asked if he thought the United States should be changed into something closer to a Swedish-style welfare state, Springsteen responded enthusiastically …

Now, whenever “Springsteen music” comes up in conservative circles – as in Blair’s comment section – you get a slew of standard responses; “haters”, I believe the kids call ’em today.  You hear a lot of the same lines over and over:

  • “Springsteen’s music sucks!” – Well, there’s no accounting for taste as a general rule, but…no.  That is objectively, empirically, physically false.
  • “He’s got no talent” – Wrong again.  He’s a great guitar player, one of the greatest songwriters of the rock and roll era (only Lennon/McCartney, Jagger/Richard, Leiber/Stoller and a few others come close to the impact he’s had, commercially and artistically).  And you just try to arf out a tune, much less in tune, during a three-hour concert, even in your thirties, much less when you’re over sixty, like Bruce, much less without stripping your vocal cords bare and shooting them out your mouth with his “all lung-power” vocal technique?  You can’t do it, whoever you are.  No.  You can’t.  Any of those are talent.  Together, they an amazing combination.
  • “Sprinsteen’s politics are dumb, and he should just shut up and sing” – Well, OK.  Now we’re getting somewhere.

Good example?  Blair points out Bruce’s paean to the fleabaggers:

It’s impossible to know what young Bruce would have made of the Occupy movement, but old Bruce is down with the deadbeats:

“The temper has changed. And people on the streets did it. Occupy Wall Street changed the national conversation …

“Previous to Occupy Wall Street, there was no push back at all saying this was outrageous – a basic theft that struck at the heart of what America was about, a complete disregard for the American sense of history and community.”

Springsteen is worth four times as much as Michael Moore, and he’s still bitching.


It is a simple fact that the “Holy Trinity” – Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town andThe River – are three of the greatest albums in the history of rock and roll.  There is no rational way of denying that.  Absolutely incandescent albums, crammed with moments that grab me and tens of millions of other people right in the liver, sometimes sending a shiver up my spine, others a smokey glimmer of understanding.  And not a partisan political moment in the bunch.  Not that that’d matter, necessarily – although they’d be a tangent that’d really make no sense on any of the records.  I mean, would “Backstreets” have been a better song had the estranged lovers been driven apart by evil capitalists?  Would “Rosalita” have been better if Bruce had gotten a big advance from the Carter campaign instead of the record company?   If what (what) Candy (Candy) wanted (wanted) was (was) his talking points list?

Of course not.

And Nebraska, Tunnel of Love, The Rising and The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle are all wonderful in their own right, full of things – stories, lessons, hooks, characters – that have accompanied me through good and bad times throughout my entire adult life, from junior high through 9/11.

And nothing’s going to change that.

But in your own amiably earnest way, you are turning into a thinner, less-grim, less-outrageous, but vastly wealthier Michael Moore.

It’s the dirty little secret for conservatives who are Bruce fans:  the more into politics he got, the less interesting his music became. Born in the USA was…good, with a few great moments. The relentlessly-political Ghost of Tom Joad got tiring.  And his work since The Rising?  Kinda rote and not that interesting, musically or thematically.

Ah. Bruce.  Sorry you’ve gone off the rails.  We’ll always have the Holy Trinity.

From Pyongyang to Pyongyin

I went through redistricting, and all I got was this lousy “Foul-Mouthed” Sandy Pappas and  Rena “Voter ID is a Jim Crow Law” Moran.  If you’re a Republican in Saint Paul, “redistricting” is like, well, moving from Pyongyang to Pyongyin.

It could have been worse; I’m across the street from my old 66B, which is now the turf of John Lesch.

Overall?  It wasn’t a horrible map for the GOP – there are a slew of outstate open seats that broadly seem to favor the GOP (I’ll do some analysis over the weekend when I have some time, here).

But the more I talk with activists around the state, the more I realize that the DFL got its money’s worth for everything they’ve spent on judges over the decades.  Gary Gross at the Examiner writes:

Representative Sarah Anderson [who led the Legislative redistricting effort] said that the court-drawn is troubling in that the courts didn’t appear to follow the rulings they handed down prior to their final maps.

Rep. Anderson said that the court-drawn maps split up more cities and counties than did the legislative maps.

Rep. Anderson that the court-drawn map drives up the costs cities will incur in administering elections. They’ll have to order multiple versions of ballots. They’ll have to put more polling places together to guarantee that the ballots don’t get mixed together, thus creating an election night nightmare.

The legislative maps stuck to the rules handed down by the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2002. This court didn’t adhere to those rules, thereby destabilizing the redistricting process. That essentially means that this court has put itself above the political branches. Their final maps puts them essentially in charge.

This was a redistricting cycle that should have gone a lot worse for the DFL.  Their turf shrank catastrophically, and the GOP’s territory boomed.  The judges seemed to have bent over backwards to keep the DFL from losing any unnecessary influence.


MN-MOT/Chanting Points Memo: Securing The Incurious Vote

We’re getting close to election season.

And Minnesota’s left-“leaning” “grassroots” astroturf organizations – Common Cause, Take Action Minnesota, Alliance For A Better Minnesota, and the various unions are following suit with doing what their various funders are paying them to do; trying to spin news, facts and info to get people to vote DFL in the upcoming elections.

Now, as we noted during the 2010 election cycle, these groups – especially Alliance for a Better Minnesota – are lavishly funded by liberal plutocrats, and always have been…

…even back before Citizens United started evening the playing field and allowing conservatives the same access to soft money that the Dems have always gotten from their union and 527 supporters.

Which is like complaining about plate tectonics; what are you going to do about it, one would be right to ask.  Political money is speech; we conservatives live by that ideal, and we’ll have to learn to prevail by it.

It’s not that the money buys so much messaging that is so very very irritating – indeed, depressing, if one cares for the future of this society, beyond narrow partisan politics.

It’s that the messaging it buys is so often not merely devoid of fact or defining context, but so cynically so that one can only think their only motivation for the entire campaign is “to repeat enough complete bullshit often enough to fool enough of the stupid and gullible to keep us in power”.

We saw this in 2010 in Minnesota, when these groups and their “useful idiots” (Lenin’s term, not mine) in the Twin Cities media and lefty “alternative” media, pounded a couple of non-factual or almost criminally-context-deprived points home with almost experimental-psych-class-material mania; the idea that “Tom Emmer had two DUIs” (he hadn’t; he’d been arrested and pled down to “Careless Driving”, 20 and 30 years earlier) and that he’d (campaigned for lax punishment for drunk drivers” (also a lie; Emmer was proposing a change in the implied consent law that is supported by a broad, and bipartisan, range of figures, at least in part because current law discriminates so completely against people who can’t afford lawyers.  Emmer would have changed that).  The campaign helped convinced, I’m going to guess, just a shade over 8,000 of our stupidest, most incurious, lemming-like neighbors to vote for a superannuated playboy with drinking, drug and depression problems and a record as America’s worst senator instead.

In other words, slathering Minnesota’s dimmest, least-curious citizens with b*llsh*t worked.

And they’re going long on the tactic this year.

Under the dual rubrics of my “Minnesota’s Ministry of Truth” and “Chanting Points Memo” categories, I’m going to start cataloging the broad, rich, lavishly-funded vein of pure fiction (at best) that the DFL is banking on to try to stem GOP fortunes in Minnesota this fall.

“Most Minnesotans oppose Voter ID” – This one came from Greta Bergstrom, a spokes-bot for “Take Action Minnesota”, an activist non-profit that claims a Wellstone-ian pedigree, but whose inner workings (say an acquaintance with knowledge of their front office) would fit in better in Pyongyang; “Nobody wants photo ID”, she tweeted not too long ago.  That was about the time – go figure – that Survey USA was showing Voter ID with 3:1 support (71-29) among Minnesotans, even among self-identified liberals.  Which was, by the way, the poll with the best news for Voter ID opponents.   Ms. Bergstrom apparently believes that if she and her group repeat it often enough, just enough of the addled will buy in.  It’s worked before, after all; it’s why we have a Governor Dayton!

“The Stand Your Ground Bill” would allow citizens to shoot people because they felt like it” – It’s bad enough that pathetically addled leftybloggers grind their way through this bit of nonsense; they have no power even among lefty media types.  But when you have Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom – words fail me – misrepresenting the law in re Stand Your Ground, to try to draw out a wedge (to try to counter all the various wedges that the GOP have identified for this coming season), you know that the idiocy moves depressingly high on the food chain.  Backstrom may or may not be taking orders from Alliance For A Better Minnesota (and thence, likely as not, Media Matters) like the likes of Bergstrom, Carrie Lucking, Ken Martin and Denise Cardinal – but he’s basically playing from their one-note sheet music.

“Right To Work States Have Lower Per-Capita Incomes Than Union States!” – This, you hear from any number of different lefty-bots, is a great reason to oppose the “Right To Work” Amendment, which (says Survey USA) Minnesotans favor by a 55-24 margin.  Of course, they never mention that non-Right-to-Work states are, inevitably, coastal “Blue” states with – it’s true – higher standards of living, but much higher costs of living as well.  Of course wages are higher in New York City!  But do you think a carpenter in New York buys himself a better quality of life for his money in NYC than does one in, say, Dallas?   A carpenter in Texas will actually be working, as opposed to the New Yorker – but I’m on a tangent now.  The fact is, unions don’t make overall wages across an entire geographical region bigger or better than the same wages in the same jobs elsewhere (beyond the obvious job-by-job wage comparisons).  They do, however, contribute to the higher cost of living.

It’s a stupid argument – but since it’s aimed at stupid people, it works.  Depressingly enough.

“Republicans Are Waging A War Against Women!” – Notwithstanding the fact that no significant Republican has said word-boo about the subject on any sort of policy level.  Apparently it’s one of those things where Republicans want to ban contraception even if they don’t even know it.

Just as we do – we’re told this by our betters at Minnesota Public Radio – with race!  Because…

“Republicans speak in racist code words!” – And those words are so coded that we apparently haven’t the foggiest we’re saying about them.  This one got on Minnesota Public Radio on Thurday morning, on the Keri Miller show.  Miller – who is becoming the Lori Sturdevant of MPR – ran for an hour with the premise that the GOP’s racist message is so very tightly wound into the very language that Republicans (but not Democrats, natch) use that we don’t even realize we’re doing it!.  Because when Democrats talk about “urban” problems, they mean problems that occur to collections of buildings, apparently, but when Republicans talk about pizza, it’s because Italians in New York used to hate blacks, and white people use “pizza” as a code for that sort of hatred.  Or something.

“Voter ID would disenfranchise masses of voters” – I hate paperwork as much as much more than the next guy – government paperwork more than most.   And this really is a tangent, but isn’t it reasonable for society to expect someone to exercise the most absolutely de minimis requirement for personal administration – the precise paperwork one needs to have to cash a check, pick up a prescription, get a drivers license, hold a job legally, set up a bank account, buy Sudafed, get a cell phone, get into a bar before you “look over 21” – to exercise a right for which over a million Americans have died?

But that is a tangent, because many states do require voter ID, and they vote just fine.

Anyway – it’s a lie.

“Voter ID is like Jim Crow” – That predictable little apertif is from my new “representative”, Rena Moran.  Moran may or may not be a perfectly fine person, but she’s oblivious (or has not be told to be blivious, or she just flat-out knows she benefits from ongoing fraud) to the Democrat party’s history of election rigging – but she is in fact exactly wrong. Voter ID – along with a vigilant electorate – helps prevent the sort of sham elections that characterized Jim Crow.

“Governor Dayton has a Jerbs Bill!  The Republicans don’t! They must not want to put people to work!” – Because as everyone knows, jobs come from government!  If Tim Pawlenty and George W. Bush had just pushed laws requiring companies to hire people, there’d have been no recession!

Of course, even many Democrats know better than that.  They believe that a bonding bill that’ll pay for a few billion in construction work – or Obama’s “Shovel Ready” jobs, as if even a sizeable minority of Americans still work with shovels, or even in construction – is the answer!

Of course, the GOP is pushing legislation to cut business taxes and regulations and make Minnesota’s business climate healthier for business, especially small business, which is battered and bleeding from Obama’s regulatory orgy

And Onward!  – What else have you heard?


This Is Not What Recovery Looks Like

Unemployment is way way way back up in February, says Gallup:

Unemployment in the U.S. rose to nine percent in mid-February, up from 8.3 percent a month earlier, according to a new Gallup survey. The polling company said this suggests that it is “premature” to assume the economy will not feature prominently in the 2012 election season.

Cue Democrats sniveling “Republicans are rooting for a bad economy”.

No.  We are rooting for the biggest thing standing in the way of a good economy, our current Administration and Senate, being sent home in disgrace.

Dear East Metro: Welcome To Hell

A quick look at the redistricting map shows that the Fourth Congressional District – “represented” by Betty McCollum, the dumbest person in Congress – now extends straight east all the way down Highway 96 (?) through the parts that are now part of the Sixth.

All of you folks who moved to Woodbury, Lake Elmo, Afton and Stillwater to escape the DFL?  David Gilmour said it best; no matter how you tried, you could not break free.

That includes the city of Stillwater.  Which means it looks as if the big donnybrook the DFL wanted, pitting idiot McCollum against Mchele Bachmann, is in the cards.  Unless Michele moves a few miles north to Marine on St. Croix to stay in the Sixth.

To tell you the truth, it’s hard to say what I’d hope for.  I think it’d be fun fun fun to have Michele pull off what’d have to be an epic upset (not out of lack of her own merit, but because most of the DFL voting bloc in Saint Paul is so invincibly dim in its voting habits); it’d be even better to have her sitting as a foiuth-term incumbent with what’ll be a 20 point margin in the Sixth.

Update:  John Marty and Mary Jo McGuire will have to compete for SD66, and Mindy Greiling and Alice “The Phantom” Hausman for the new 66A.  On the other hand, my new representative-for-life is John Lesch.

Doh!  My side of the street is HD65A!  Senator Sandy “Foul-Mouthed” Pappas and Rep. Rena “The DFL Vote-Bot” Moran.

Meet the new DFL drones, same as the old DFL drones.

At A Time Like This

I’m going to take a moment out from politics to wish all the best to Slim Dunlap, long-time Twin Cities music fixture and guitarist for the Replacements, who suffered a stroke yesterday morning:

Dunlap performed with the Replacements from 1987 until their breakup in 1991, filling in for guitarist Bob Stinson after he left the group, and went on to release two solo albums, The Old New Me and Time Like This.


The title track for the latter release is serving as a bittersweet comfort for friends and fans reeling from the news of his illness this week.

Fingers crossed, here.

This Party Will Not Find You…

…but we hope you’ll find it.

It’s the “Map Party”, and it’s tonight at Poor Richards in Bloomington, starting at 7PM tonight:

View Larger Map

And the subject?  What else – today’s release of the redistricting maps, and what they mean to you, the parties, Minnesota’s political “balance” and the state at large.

The party is sponsored by a grab bag of conservative organizations, including the Northern Alliance Radio Network.

And it features an all-star panel:

  • Ken Kaiser, of the “Citizens Commission” on redistricting, who favored us with a lot of very important insights on how “Draw The Line Minnesota’s” process worked and, ultimately, didn’t work.
  • Dave Fitzsimmons, one of the GOP’s prime numbers guys
  • Rep. Sara Anderson, who led the GOP’s redistricting effort and, basically, drew the GOP’s map.
See you there at  7PM!

This Is Your Obama Recovery: A More Pessimistic Correction

Yesterday, in my piece “This Is Your Obama Recovery“, I looked at the math behind the unemployment numbers.  I concluded that when you subtract the unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Labor Force Participation numbers, the number of Americans working is two percentage points lower than it was when Barack Obama was inaugurated, and only a fifth of a point better than the “low point” of the recession (in uemployment terms), in October of 2009.

I reached the numbers by subtracting the unemployment figure from the participation figure; for example, in October of 2009, I subtracted the 10% unemployment rate from the 65% participation rate to get an overall employment rate of 55%.

A commenter at Hot Air – where Allahpundit was kind enough to run my post in its entirety – pointed out that I did the math wrong.  He was correct, of course; the unemployment rate is among those participating in the labor force, not the entire force.  I needed to recalculate, multiplying the BLS Labor Force Participation Rate  by the same month’s unemployment rate as supplied by the BLS.

It actually makes things worse for the Administration.

  • January 2009:  7.8% unemployment among the 65.7% of people participating in the workforce meant 60.67% of the work force was working the day Barack Obama was inaugurated.
  • October 2010 – lopping 10% unemployment from the 65% particpation rate leaves you 58.5% of the workforce at work on the month the unemployment rate supposedly bottomed.
  • January 2012 – Three years after Obama took office, with the unemployment rate right about the point where Obama said that it’d peak with Porkulus?  8.3% unemployment among a 63.7% share of the workforce still in the workforce yields 58.41% of the labor force actually working.

So I was wrong.  We actually have a lower percentage of the work force actually working now than at the “low point” of the recession”, and two and a quarter points lower than when Obama took office.

I regret the error.

I hope America feels the same.

Better Late Than Never

You can go to Minnesota Public Radio for  h news today

…that was on Shot In The Dark two years ago.

I fully expect to see Tom Scheck and Rachel Stassen-Berger write a piece raising questions about the accuracy, methodogy and timing of the Star/Tribune “Minnesota” Poll and the Humprhey Institute poll, and how curious it is that they all have the same statistical error at exactly the same time favoring exactly the same party, in such a way as would just happen to promote a “Bandwagon” effect.

And I expect to see it next January or February.  After the election.

Feeding The Hand That Fed Them

The Obama Administration has created 19 jobs, anyway – for Washington “journalists” and media execs who’ve gone to work for the Administration:

For some Washington reporters and media execs, cheering their team from the sidelines just isn’t good enough: Tugging on a red, white and blue Team Obama jersey is the answer.

That’s the case for a whopping 19 journalists and media executives, including five from the Washington Post and three each from ABC and CNN, who’ve gone into the administration or center-left groups supporting the president.

It’s not just a DC thing.  Here in Minnesota, the DFL and its various minion non-profits and “Think tanks” are clogged with former reporters.

On the right?  Not so much.

But no. No media bias anywhere out there. Perish the thought.

But liked this bit, from a spokesman for the liberal Brookings Institution:

Stephen Hess, a presidential and journalism scholar at the Brookings Institution, said reporters can be “conflicted” when they trade places. “On the other hand,” he added, “reporters going back to journalism after a stint in government are always better reporters in that they now understand how government really works.”

In other words, to the left, the media and government are training grounds…for each other!

Given The Drumbeat Of Gun-Control Prattle From The Left Lately…

…it’s almost reassuring to see that gun violence in Washington DC, which along with Chicago is the model city for gun control, is skyrocketing…:

Violent crime so far this year in the District has spiked sharply — a 40 percent increase that includes twice as many robberies at gunpoint than at this time last year.

Across the city, all police districts are reporting increases in violent crime, and all but one have had double-digit percentage increases, according to internal Metropolitan Police Department documents. The documents contained preliminary crime data for the city as of Thursday.

The crime rate is increasing this year after a downward trend — the number of reported homicides last year dropped to the lowest level in a half-century.

Homicides were the only category of violent crime to decline in the first six weeks this year. As of Thursday, the city had recorded 10 homicides compared with 11 at a similar point last year.

Overall, though, incidents of violent crime — homicides, sexual assaults, robberies and assaults with deadly weapons — are rising at an alarming pace.

…even as the Democrat orcs that govern our federal cesspool continue to stonewall the law-abiding gun owner and the defy post-Heller law of the land.

Democrats! The blood of all those innocent victims is on your hands!

This Is Your “Obama Recovery”

The Dems are crowing about the drop in unemployment numbers.

But if you look a little further into the numbers, you see that the American job market is not better off than it was four years ago.  Indeed, it’s a lot worse.

On Inauguration Day in 2009, when Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent (up from 4.4% as recently as May of 2007).  Notwithstanding his promises that Porkulus would cap unemployment at 8.5%, it soared to 10% in October of 2009, and didn’t dip down below 9% in any sustained way until last fall.  Last month, after three years of Obama, it was at 8.3% – or .2% lower than where he said it’d never get above if we spent what he proposed.

That’s bad.

“But 8.3% is better than 10%, right?”

Sure – if all you’re doing is comparing numbers straight-up.  But by itself, the unemployment rate is meaningless.  It’s a percentage of people out of work – but who are those people?  They are the ones that are participating in the labor market.

And fewer Americans than ever -ever! – are doing that!

So let’s figure the actual percentage of Americans working, overall.

January 2009: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Workforce Participation rate when Obama took office was 65.7%.  That means 34.3% of the workforce wasn’t even trying to participate, through discouragement, disability or whatever case.  Add to that the 7.8% unemployed, and you reach a figure of 57.1% of the American workforce actually working.

October 2009:  At this point, the “low point” of the Obama recession, the participation rate was an even 65% just in time for unemployment to hit an even 10%.,  55% of the American work force was working.

January, 2012:  As unemployment stood at 8.3%, the workforce participation rate was 63.7% – the lowest since records have been kept.  That means that overall employment in the American workforce is now a whopping…


That’s a fifth of a percent higher than it was at the lowest point of the Obama recession.

Almost two full points lower than it was when Barack Obama took office. 

(And five full points lower than June of 2003, the worst month of George W. Bush’s before the GOP lost the Congress.  That’s five percent lower employment overall.  Six and change if you take one of Bush’s better months.  And I know, Bush benefitted from a bubble, yadda yadda.  But…five points!).

The media is spinning nonstop about the “Obama recovery”.  It’s vapor; in terms of percentage of the American workforce actually working, there is no recovery.

Are you better off than you were four years ago, America?  No – you’re doing two percent worse.

The Right To Work

Unlike most Democrats, I’ve been a union member.  I grew up in a union household.  I’ve got less against unions that most people.

Of course, in the private sector unions are largely irrelevant, especially outside of manufacturing and the large-scale trades.  I’ve been in the private sector my whole career, and I’ve only encountered a few union shops, much less members.  I was in a union for the duration of my only government job (a semester as a community college adjunct instructor), which is in keeping with most Americans’ experience; while unions are under 8% of the private sector workforce, they’re around 40% in government, mostly AFSCME, SEIU and the various teachers and academic unions.  About one in nine Americans overall are involved in unions.

And a large part of even that is because of the “closed shop”; in about half of American states, unions are allowed to require that industries only hire union workers.

And that’s what “Right to Work” is all about.  Under the closed-shop system, the unions never have to make a case to the workers for why they should join the union; it’s like it or lump it.  In Right to Work states, they have to prove their value to the workers.

The closed shop is all about the money, of course;  your dues money goes where the union wants it to go; while a little under half of union members identify as Republicans, 92% of their political donations go to Democrats, who in turn keep passing laws (when they’re in power) to make unions more powerful.  It’s a mutual back-scratching arrangement between the Democrat party and its biggest institutional supporters.

Minnesota is a “closed shop” state, meaning that legislators who owed their election to union money passed laws allowing industries, and government, to establish closed shops – legal monopolies, if you will, in the labor market.  In exchange, naturally, for keeping the money coming.

Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature are working to abolish the “closed shop” laws, which do very little to represent workers, and even less to create jobs (as a rule they cost jobs), but plenty to keep one political party awash in involuntary contributions.

The bill is currently in play:

St. Paul- Senator Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville) and Representative Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) announced the introduction of a constitutional amendment that would give Minnesotans the opportunity to vote on whether or not Minnesota workers should have the freedom to join a union or not. Currently, if someone is hired by a company with a collective bargaining agreement in place, that person is required to join the union or pay fair share dues.

“In Minnesota law, if a worker refuses to pay union dues, they are fired. This isn’t fair and it’s definitely not free,” Representative Drazkowski said. “To me, this is the most important pro-jobs bill we can pass this session. It’s estimated that had Minnesota passed this amendment 30 years ago, the average Minnesota working family would be earning an additional $7,000 or more every year. Nearly 70% of Minnesotans support employee freedom – let’s allow the people to decide whether they want to guarantee this fundamental right in our constitution.”

Minnesota’s left – the unions, and the DFL and “non-profits” they own, like “Take Action Minnesota” – are telling you that most Minnesotans oppose the amendment.  It’s a bald-faced lie, of course; Minnesotans support “right to work” legislation by a 2:1 margin according to Survey USA, and closer to 3:1 according to Rasmussen.

Unions make sense – but only as an element of a free market, a means of helping labor market and price its services.  But there is no reason that unions should be a de-facto arm of government (or, as they are in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, vice versa).

So it makes sense, right?

Here’s the problem.  Some Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are going squishy.  It’s understandable, to an extent; going after the closed shop is going to stir up a hornets nest of union activism and money.  No legislator, least of all one in a “Moderate” district, wants to face that.  But with right-to-work legislation popping up all over the Midwest, even the unions, rich as they are, have their limits. The time to go after the Closed Shop and push for Right to Work is now, because for the first time, we won’t be alone.  

If not now. when?

So if you support Right to Work, you need to do two things:

Contact your State Senator and encourage them to support Right to Work.  You can bet they’re getting an earful from people in purple T-shirts; if the unions do one thing well, it’s make their people put on t-shirts and go out and wave signs and chant and stomp their feet and act like they care about politics.  They need to hear from the vast majority of Minnesotans who speak for the rest of us.  Find your Senator; drop them an email, or (much) better yet, call or write a paper letter.  Encourage them to support the Right to Work amendment.

Contact the Senators on the Jobs And Economic Growth Committee.  They’ll be holding hearings on the bill, mostly likely this week.  They break out into three groups:

  • Conservative Republicans who need to be encouraged to remember that there’s a lot of support for Right to Work out there: Senators   Lillie,   Daley,  DeKruif,   Howe,  Miller, and  Nelson are all first-term freshmen; they could use calls to make they know where voters stand.  Senator John C. Pederson is a freshman, but under intense union pressure in a GOP district with a big knot of DFL/union support in the middle; he could use a lot of moral support.
  • Upperclass and “Moderate” Republicans who need to know that there’s a tailwind behind this amendment: We’re talking about committee chair Geoff Michel; a moderate from a “purple” district who is always targeted not only from the DFL but from conservatives in the GOP, he also has extra clout as the chair; he needs to know that Minnesotans will support him in supporting the amendment.
  • Metrocrats: Don’t bother.  None of them are doing anything this session but riding out time to try and earn that pension.  Senators Metzen, Dziedzic, Kelash, Tomassoni and Torres-Ray are fully owned by the unions; trying to change their vote might actually be chargeable as a property crime in Ramsey County.

And so if you’re a Minnesotan who supports the Right to Work, there’s your mission for this week.

Be polite.  Whether by email or (much better) by phone or snail mail, be concise and to the point; the staffer that takes the call is very busy, and we’re going to make them busier.  Make your point, wish ’em a nice day, and move along to the next Senator.

There’ll be more – Voter ID, Stand Your Ground – in coming days and weeks. But for this week, if you want to actually do something useful for a better, less-expensive Minnesota, that’s a big chunk of the job, right there.

So let’s get on it!

…And A Union Rally Broke Out

Minnesota government employee unions are running very, very scared of the proposed “Right to Work” constitutional amendment, which voters favor by a 55-24 margin.  And in those rare union strongholds represented by Republicans in the Legislature, they are coming out in force

Gary Gross was at a town hall in Saint Cloud, whose two House and one Senate seat have all gone GOP (including the 15B seat held by my friend and radio colleague King Banaian).

There were approximately 100 people in the room, with approximately 60-70 of those people union members. AFSCME had a strong presence at the meeting. AFSCME was clearly visible in their bright colored logo on the back of their windbreakers.

Several times, Rep. Gottwalt mentioned how union members, many of whom are nurses, have told him that they want the choice of whether to be in a union or not. At one point, a person in the audience suggested that Rep. Gottwalt was lying, saying that it was convenient that these union members didn’t have names and that they wouldn’t come forward.

Some of the discussion apparently got pretty ugly:

After that, the meeting went downhill fast. When Rep. Gottwalt attempted to respond to a different question posed by a union member, a different union member interrupted, asking “Are you wearing your legislator’s hat or your Coborn’s hat”? When Rep. Gottwalt replied that he’s no longer employed by Coborn’s, the man who interrupted quickly apologized.

That was the first time union members in the audience interrupted. It certainly wasn’t the last time. In fact, union members in the audience made interrupting the rule, not the exception.

In fact, the most confrontational moment came when Rep. Banaian was answering another right-to-work question. Jerry Albertine interrupted, saying “Don’t sit there with your hairspray and your tie, you’ve never worked labor, and say you know what the unions are about.”

That was a statement Rep. Banaian forcefully responded to, saying that he’s a college professor who’s paid union dues to the IFO [Inter-Faculty Organization, the faculty union for MNSCU faculty] for over a quarter century.

This sort of thing is of a piece with the DFL’s only apparent strategy this cycle; find some inchoate chanting points to repeat endlessly, regardless of truth, and repeat them until you get enough dumb people to take the ideas to the polls.

More on that last tomorrow.  Probably. .

Demanding Contact In Your Happy Solitude

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism!

  • Ed is back from assignment today.  We’ll be talking the presidential campaign, the media, the week in review – the usual stuff!  Plus we’ll have Erik Radke on to talk about redistricting, and the big Redistricting Panel/Party coming up on Tuesday night.
  • Brad Carlson’s show – “The Closer” – is on from 1-3 on Sunday.   He’ll be talking with Rep. Bachmann, too; tune in!
  • The King Banaian Show! – King is on AM1570, Business Radio for the Twin Cities!  Join him from 9-11 every Saturday!

(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,
  • On Twitter (the Volume 2 show will use hashtag #narn2)
  • UStream video and chat (at or at UStream) .
  • Good ol’ telephone – 651-289-4488!
  • Podcasts are now available on the AM1280 page!  (Ed and I are #2 – Brad is #3).
  • And make sure you fan us on our new Facebook page!

Join us!

Obama To Women: “Look, Little Ladies! A Shiny Object!”

Barack Obama thinks women are idiots.

Time will tell if he’s got a point.

Here’s the deal:  Obama’s poll numbers aren’t good.  Oh, the media is doing its best to spin it (with measures that seem desperate and slapdash), but the economy is still miserable (especially if you’re not too big to fail), the unemployment rate is “Down” to where the Administration said it wouldn’t go above if we passed Porkulus, and that’s through the grace of the fact that no Mullah in Iran has yet walked to the shore at the Strait of Hormuz and skipped a rock across the water, sending tankers scurrying for cover and pushing oil over $200 a barrel.  Yet.  And even so, this is the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression – largely because of Obama’s policies.

People have been cooling on “The One” pretty much since inauguration day.

And The One needs to get that enthusiasm going again.

And so what better to take peoples’ minds off their miseries and rile the (female) troops?

“Republicans want to take away your contraceptives!”

Notwithstanding the fact that, as Romney noted in December when George Stephanopoulos incongruously broached the subject in a debate, the subject has never come up in GOP circles.  Period.  It’s a non-issue to the GOP.

No matter.  The media is in lock-step behind the Administration’s meme that the GOP wants to outlaw contraception.  The theatrical “walk-out” of Democrats from Darrel Issa’s hearings was a classic bit of Goebbelsian theatre; while the useful idiots in the media (in this case, the gleefully dim Amanda Terkel at Huffpo) called the hearings “about contraception” they were in fact hearings on the constitutionality of mandating that religious groups offer contraception against their beliefs.

Catch that?  The Democrats don’t even need to hijack Republicans’ meetings themselves.  The mainstream media will do it for them, after the fact.

At any rate, that’s Obama’s message to female voters:  “Never mind the economy; never mind the unemployment rate; never mind the fiscal catastrophe waiting for you, your kids, and their kids; and above all, don’t believe your lying ears when the GOP mentions that they’ve never said word one about taking anyone’s contraceptives away.  Look!  Boogeyman!”

Women, in Barack Obama’s world, are not just dim little dolts; they seem to think that women are intellectual slaves to their reproductive systems.


This coming Tuesday, Minnesota’s political map will literally be drawn for the next ten years.  It’ll set the framework by which Minnesota politics works for the next decade.

It’s a big deal.  And whether we all feel the need to celebrate, or drink the prospect off our minds (and I’m from Saint Paul, which will look like Pyongyang either way, so it’s an academic question for me), we’ve got the event for you.

There’s going to be a map roll-out party on Tuesday evening.  Eric Radtke has the story:

The new redistricting maps are coming! Join Republican activists, conservative bloggers, and invited representatives on the 21st as we talk the new redistricting lines for the next decade. We’ll cover what happened in the process, the new open seats, and how the new maps shake down to favor the DFL and the GOP. Sponsored by Mitch & Ed, and Brad of NARN AM1280 and Jack and Ben of The LateDebate radio shows.

Our panelists are Dave Fitzsimmons, Kent Kaiser, and Representative Sarah Anderson (R) 43A, Chair of the Redistricting committee. Admission is Free. For more details call Erik Radtke 952-457-6770.

The event will be at Poor Richards (the old Majors building) in Bloomington:

View Larger Map

Hope to see you there!

“Only Waste The Right Time”

The MinnPost has a new design.  It’s a lot more readable, so kudos to them (or to whoever did the redesign).

Of course, with the new design comes what seems to this long-time reader a renewed commitment to passive-aggressively support the DFL even more.

Jay Nord asks if W voters will mind that Voter ID will delay election results:

Are Minnesotans willing to wait up to 10 days after the election to find out who won in races ranging from governor to local officials?

That prospect was raised at Wednesday’s Senate Local Government and Elections Committee meeting during discussion of the proposed Voter ID constitutional amendment.

The measure passed 8 to 6 on a party-line vote after an hour and a half of discussion. That action drew a round of boos from the hearing room filled with protesters.

At the session, the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office expressed concern that implementing provisional balloting could stretch the amount of time needed to count election results and that it could force earlier primary dates.

“Nobody’s going to know who won any of the elections until at least 10 days or more afterwards,” Secretary of State staff member Beth Fraser told the committee. “I know that people are on pins and needles on election night. That feeling is going to last for quite a while if we don’t know for more than 10 days who won anything in Minnesota from governor down to school board.”

Speaking just for myself here?  Who cares.  Oh, I think the “ten days” figure is a sign of the Secretary of State is sandbagging to try to gin up yet another public meme to give the pro-corruption forces something to chant about.

Outside the media – including the MinnPost  – who want to sell lots of papers and have lots of eyeballs tuned in to their election-night coverage or websites?  I’d be amazed if you found anyone that cared about a wait (and if Mark Ritchie’s office says “Ten days”, assume it means “two days”).   Outside the media?  Most of our lives don’t hinge, day by day, on any of these races – even those of us who follow this stuff closely.

But let’s take Ritchie at his word (always dangerous) and answer the question.

Yes.  I’ll trade a “ten day” wait for actual election integrity (which’ll involve a lot more than just voter ID, but it’s a start).  Every time.

But let’s stop for a moment here.  Apparently in the world of the liberal “alternative” media, some delays are better than others.

I don’t recall the MinnPost caterwauling over the delays forced on election results by “Instant Runoff Voting”, which has led to long, pointless delays to getting election results, and to a system with a byzantine, convoluted vote-counting formula that is both opaque to most voters and which admits up front that it disenfranchises voters.

So let’s summarize:  results delayed due to a system blessed by one-party DFL governments that obfuscates the election process and guarantees a certain percentage of votes will end up not being counted?  Just hunky-dory to the MinnPost.

Results delayed (maybe, according to a Secretary of State who reports to George Soros) due to a “GOP plan” that will be a solid first step to ensure our elections have integrity and don’t disenfranchise legitimate voters with a wave of illegitimate ones?

Oh, what do you think?

The Epic Fail

I’d not run into the “GMan Case File” blog before; it’s written by a former FBI agent.

And he’s got a long, long piece on the utter uselessness of the kind of “security” the : TSA does.

Did I say it’s long?  It is.  I’ll just give you the conclusion:

With the congressional spotlight on the organization, TSA is finally feeling what it’s like to be screened. It has walked through the detector of bureaucratic failure and the red light has gone off. It’s time that we ask congress to have TSA “step over to this area” for a more thorough search. For once, “TSA screening” will be productive. I predict that dangerous amounts of inefficiency, derivative thinking, and reactive policy will be located, if not in their shoes, in their DNA.

The whole thing is worth a long, scary (but probably not-newsy, to conservatives) read.

All Things Amended

Joe Doakes from Como Park writes:

Remember 4 years ago, when the Minnesota Constitution was amended to provide dedicated funding for clean water and stuff?

Guess who gets that funding?

From their website:

“Minnesota Public Radio is the state’s largest cultural organization.”

Well, if “Liberal” is a culture, that’s certainly true. Do we need to spend tax dollars to preserve Liberalism? Isn’t it doing well enough on its own?

Joe Doakes

Como Park

No, MPR’s certainly got their hooks into the regional money system.

I’m just remembering all the articles this past week from learned “progressive”-leaning political scientists who said “government by amendment isn’t governing”, and wondering where they all were four years ago?