Trulbert! Part VI: Currency Events

 - 9AM, October 7, 2015 – South Minneapolis, MN

Paul Hendrickson drove up to a gas station – formerly a “BP” station, across from a former “Superamerica” – and told the attendant (who ran out to offer his services) to fill ‘er up.

“Cash or In Kind?” said the smartly-uniformed attendant.

“Cash”, said Hendrickson, taking out two of the small steel squares whose production he’d overseen the previous week.

The attendant took one of the pieces of steel – about the size of a large postage stamp – and bit it, smiled, and started filling Hendrickson’s tank.

So much easier than last month, Hendrickson thought, when I had to negotiate a fill-up in casseroles, office supplies and bags of sugar.

The tank filled up with a “clunk”.  The attendant handed Hendrickson four pieces of cardboard – each worth a “dime”, or a tenth of a Cud – and said “Thank you, sir!”.

Henrickson pulled away from the pump, smiling at how much better his company’s idea – and in part, his idea – had made life in the Twin Cities in the past month or so.

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Ferguson

What do I think about what’s going on in Ferguson, Missouri?

Re the Brown shooting:  On the one hand, American police do a lot more shooting than any other police force in the world.  More shots were fired in that single incident in Ferguson than were fired by the entire German police force in six whole weeks. 

On the other hand, African-Americans do get a disparately-harsh response from law-enforcement.   It causes some to prejudge all cases involving black shooting victimes.

On the third hand – that cuts both ways.  We don’t know the facts – not all of them – about the Brown shooting, but we’ve seen the media whitewash the likes of Darren Evanovich, trying to create a racial incident out of what turned out to be a perfectly clean self-defense shooting. 

On the fourth hand, if Brown was going for the officer’s gun, that’s a legitimate cause for self-defense.  Even for a regular citizen.  If someone grabs your gun, the law doesn’t require you to read his mind as to what he intends to do with it. 

On the fourth, we may not ever really know why the scuffle happened, or exactly what happened. 

And that, in fact, is the only real response I have to add.  Remember the media’s reports in the first hours, days, even weeks after Columbine?  Virginia Tech? The Giffords and Aurora Theater and Newtown shootings?  Remember how close to the actual facts of the stories they got?

Not at all.

So I’ll wait for the facts to shake out, assuming they ever do.

Regarding the Police Response:  I’ve written before about how I oppose the militarization of the police.  And the first couple of days of the Ferguson PD’s response was the Keystone Kops led by Major Frank Burns.  Oh, don’t get me wrong; I have no problem with the DoD selling military firearms and armored vehicles to police departments – provided they sell them to law-abiding citizens, as well.

And yet when the Ferguson Fusiliers were withdrawn and replaced by the kinder, gentler, New-Ageier Missouri State Police?   The violence ebbed ,then came back as bad as ever, prompting local, black residents to wonder to the media why the cops weren’t shooting looters.  And now the National Guard is involved. 

The Charlatan Caucus:  Of course, where there are grievances, there will be grievance vultures.  And sure enough, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are on the scene – which in and of itself devalues much of the local community’s complaints. 

As bad, in their own way?  The media – which continue lead with inaccurate info, when they’re not making the story about themselves.

Just Oooooone More…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals want to raise the federal gas tax to provide for highway funding. Great, if the money actually went there. Politicians are too eager to dip into the Highway Trust Fund for mass transit, deficit reduction, underground storage tank removal . . . .
Every time they raise the issue, they tell the same lie: “This time it will be different. It will be for highways, bridges, infrastructure. Well, and bike path paintings on the road. And art. And relocation money for historically significant artifacts that are near major construction projects. Well, maybe something for racial harmony too.”
Joe doakes

There cold be a 12 step group for government spenders. Only with the government inflation rate and union guarantees it’d be more like 600 steps before long.

There’s Gambling Going On In This Establishment…

I’m not “Minnesota Nice”.

Partly it’s because I’m not from Minnesota.  I’m “North Dakota Dour and Taciturn”.   Minnesota is a South Beach conga line dance compared to North Dakota. 

And when I hear “Minnesota Nice”, what I think is “Minnesota Passive-Aggressive”. 

Bill Salisbury – one of the deans of Minnesota political reporting – and Don Davis, who fills the same bill with the Forum News Service, noted over the weekend that the ”Governor race could be ‘Minnesota nice’”. 

And my impression is proven correct.

That, and my belief that too many journos either think Minnesotans are stupid, or are actively trying to make them that way, as in this featurette on our two major gubernatorial candidates.

You can read the whole thing – but here’s the part that got my attention:

The Hennepin County commissioner and former legislator from Plymouth [endorsed GOP candidate Jeff Johnson] is an affable guy who shuns angry attacks on political opponents. That description also fits Dayton.

Sounds hunky-dory! 

Except that Governor Dayton doesn’t have to attack anyone.  He’s got his boss’s ex-wife’s group, “Alliance for a “Better” Minnesota”, to do that for him. 

You know – the group that ran the epic, toxic sleaze campaign against Tom Emmer in 2010; the one that called Jeff Johnson “evil” over Christmas last year. 

The Democrats could run Shirley Temple against a Republican Beaver Cleaver; we’d soon hear see a commercial with Eddie Haskell complaining that Beaver bullied him as a child.

Minnesota’s Potemkin Party

Minnesota’s Independence Party has been, since its founding in 1998 from the remains of the Minnesota Reform Party, the traditional refuge of people who like their government big, but “good”. Moderate Democrats like Tim Penny, “moderate” Democrats like Peter Hutchinson, liberal Republicans like Tom Horner, and lots of well-meaning moderates who like thinking big thoughts and playing responsibly with the gears and levers of government have flocked to the IP, if only briefly.

Of course, there’ve been surprises – and according to MPR, there are more still

And the point of the story is not that the Independence Party got surprised.  The real point is…

…well, we’ll come back to that.

First, according to Tom Scheck, news that some of the Indy Party’s traditional base – wonky center-lefties – are shocked, shocked that the party’s Senate candidate Steve Carlson believes some things that most conservatives either reject or present with a lot more nuance than Carlson does:

Carlson, who could not be reached for comment, has posted several rambling video monologues on his website. One tells voters that he is “a serious politician who writes, performs and raps.” Others cover everything from the federal health care law to his opposition to light rail transit and a call for stronger prohibitions against usury. But Carlson’s victory on Tuesday means that on the November ballot he will appear on the top of the ticket for the Independence Party.

Of course, the Indy Party “activists” could have figured this out had they dug into the fact that Carlson ran on the same precise platform in the Fourth CD.  Twice – in 2010 against Teresa Collett, and in 2012 against Tony Hernandez.  In both cases, he ran well to the right of the Republican in the race.

Which goes to tell us one of two things:  Eithier:

  • The IndyParty actually has no activists, or
  • The ones they have aren’t that bright

But Carlson is well-placed to siphon some conservatives’ votes away Mike McFadden. 

Now, I’m not saying the DFL is going to get “behind” Carlson.  But why precisely would they not? 

In a similar vein, I’ve noted the IP’s candidate for Governor, Hannah Nicollet, is a former (oh, heck, current) Ron Paul activist.  And as I noted three months ago, any actual IndyParty activist would gag up their skull over the Paul clicque’s beliefs, and vice versa. 

If either the party or the campaign were about either of their actual principles. 

Oh, yeah – and Nicollet’s campaign is floundering, so far, even by the IndyParty’s modest standards:

Hannah Nicollet, the endorsed candidate for governor, failed to qualify for a public subsidy that would have helped fund her campaign. She needed to raise $35,000 from other sources to qualify for the subsidy, which would have totaled about $178,000.

See also “The Gerson Effect”.

So let’s get this straight:  four years after endorsing Tom Horner, a moderate Republican who seemed designed to wedge the GOP’s dwindling moderate faction away from Tom Emmer, the “Indy Party” endorses two candidates who violate most of the “principles” in the IndyParty’s putative platform, with whom tradidional Indies agree on virtually nothing, but who seem to the casual glance to be ideally selected to siphon off a conservative vote here and a libertarian vote there (Carlson from conservatives; Nicollet from the GOP’s “Ron Paul” faction) in an election cycle that is gonna be a tough one for the DFL.  

So the point of the story isn’t that the Indy Party got surprised.

The point is that the Indy Party is a sham.  And while I have no evidence – yet - I’ll bet dimes to dollars at some point that the IP gets whatever money it has from Democrats with deep pockets, to try to wedge whatever GOP constituency might be vulnerable to being wedged  Not necessarily in the form of direct contributions to the IP, Carlson or Nicollet; but as we saw in 2010, the DFL’s soft-money machine did spend plenty of time and effort setting Horner up as “a Republican” in fora where moderate Republicans could get the message.

The Alliance for a Better Minnesota or some other astroturf DFL propaganda mouthpiece is going to spend some time and effort telling Minnesotans what an awful, icky conservative Carlson is (compared to McFadden), and how crazy libertarian Nicollet is (compared to Johnson) at some point here.

Going Out In A Blaze Of NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism, as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!

  • I’m in the studio today from 1-3.  I’ll be talking with Secretary of State candidate Dan Severson, and with 5th CD Congressional candidate Doug Daggett.
  • Don’t forget the King Banaian Radio Show, on AM1570 “The Businessman” from 9-11AM this morning!
  • Tomorrow, Brad Carlson is on “The Closer”!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:

Join us!

All That DFL Happy Talk About The Economy…

is baked wind.

 Minnesota lost 4,200 jobs in July, and is adding them at an anemic pace year-to-date:

State officials said Thursday that Minnesota employers shed a seasonally adjusted 4,200 jobs in July. Meanwhile, they also revised June’s numbers downward by 3,600 jobs.

That means that, year-to-date, Minnesota has added a meager 2,900 jobs, or about 400 per month, on an adjusted basis.

During July, the education and health services sector lost 5,300 jobs. Information shed 1,000; construction, 700; financial activities, 200; and government, 100.

The sectors that added jobs: trade, transportation, and utilities (up 1,600); manufacturing (700); leisure and hospitality (600); and other services (200). Logging and mining, and professional and business services held steady.

Look for the Alliance for a Better Minnesota’s lie machine to fabricate a lot of phony economic happytalk in the next ten weeks; as we discussed earlier, they’re off to a running start.

No – a lot.

Trulbert! Part V: Atlas Hocked

 -7AM, September 7, 2015:  The Arnie Quist residence, Corcoran, MN

The dew still hadn’t evaporated off the grass, as the squirrel warily scampered out from behind the tree.  He stood up on his hind legs…

…and bolted in fright a second later, as a crossbow bolt hissed through the air mere inchest from him.  He ran up a tree and hid among the branches; breakfast would wait. 

Arnie Quist shook his head in disgust.   He didn’t want to have to fall back on stored food this fast.  And sick as he was getting of rabbit and squirrel, this was in fact the moment he’d been waiting for all these years.   The Collapse!

He looked at the families next door and across the road from the 5 acre hobby farm he’d inherited from his grandfather.  They were busy trading goods and services and produce and other voluntary transactions.  The ones who had practical jobs – carpenters and mechanics and dentists – were busy trading their skills for compensation.  His other neighbors – well, it varied.

But none of it was gonna matter.  Because eventually it was all really gonna come crashing down on them. 

Soon, he thought.  Soon

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Six Of One…

Turnout was low at Tuesday’s primaries.  Was a bad omen for the GOP, or just another data point with some interesting context?

Bad Omen:  Michael Brodkorb at Politics.mn throws up a warning sign:

Back in February, in my pre-precinct caucus primer, I encouraged people to compare the number of total attendees at precinct caucuses for the DFL and GOP. If the numbers were close, I wrote this could be a sign of malaise amongst Republican activists. Even with multiple candidates not abiding by the Republican Party of Minnesota’s endorsement for statewide offices, Republicans should have more attendees at their precinct caucuses. But they didn’t.

At the time of precinct caucuses, the Minnesota DFL has only one contested statewide race, as Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is not seeking re-election. Governor Mark Dayton and U.S. Senator Al Franken faced no opposition within the DFL Party. There were also 12 Republican statewide campaigns – six for governor and six for the U.S. Senate. Republicans also had contested endorsement races in the 6th, 2nd, and 1st Congressional Districts of Minnesota. The battles between the Republicans candidates for congress and statewide office should have encouraged more participation by Republicans on the night of precinct caucuses than Democrats. But the Minnesota DFL won the night. This should be a warning sign for Republicans.

Michael’s knows his politics.  I’d be hard-pressed to argue, much.  But to play devil’s advocate – what percentage of the state’s total population is “the GOP base” that turns out for primaries? 

And among those who are the “soft-core” base – the ones that’ll do primaries, but not usually caucuses?  Does a fractious, contentious primary make them more or less likely to come to the polls for a primary?

Finally – there were some crowded races (and at the legislative level, some interesting ones).  But one might be forgiven for thinking…:

  • the Senate race was a foregone conclusion, and didn’t need any given person’s vote
  • in August as in January (at the AM1280/Northeast Metro GOP debate), we had a four-way race among governor candidates who just weren’t all that different.  Wonks like Michael and (to some extent) me could tell the difference between Scott Honour and Kurt Zellers.   Outside the GOP wonk class?

Again, I’m just devils’ advocatin’.

Interesting Context:  On the other hand, Andy Aplikowski at ResFor – a person from whom I’ve learned more about political number-crunching than any single person in the MNGOP – writes:

All the focus on failure is on Republican turnout.

2010 GOP

Candidate Totals

OLE’ SAVIOR AND TODD “ELVIS” ANDERSON 4396

LESLIE DAVIS AND GREGORY K. SODERBERG 8598

BOB CARNEY JR AND WILLIAM MCGAUGHEY 9856

TOM EMMER AND ANNETTE T. MEEKS 107558

Total 130408

2014 GOP

Candidate Totals

MARTY SEIFERT AND PAM MYHRA 38798

KURT ZELLERS AND DEAN SIMPSON 43991

MERRILL ANDERSON AND MARK ANDERSON 7008

JEFF JOHNSON AND BILL KUISLE 55813

SCOTT HONOUR AND KARIN HOUSLEY 38331

Total 183941

Wait, the GOP turned out 53,000 more voters than in 2010.

I think why you see some people trying to paint the narrative of GOP voter apathy is because DFL apathy has reached toxic levels.

 

2010 DFL

Candidate Totals

MARGARET ANDERSON KELLIHER AND JOHN GUNYOU 175767

PETER IDUSOGIE AND LADY JAYNE FONTAINE 3123

MATT ENTENZA AND ROBYNE ROBINSON 80509

MARK DAYTON AND YVONNE PRETTNER SOLON 182738

Total 442137

2014 DFL Totals

BILL DAHN AND JAMES VIGLIOTTI 4896

LESLIE DAVIS AND GREGORY K. SODERBERG 8529

MARK DAYTON AND TINA SMITH 177737

Total 191162

The DFL saw a 251,000 drop off in voter turnout and barely drew more voters than the GOP in 2014.

To go back to devil’s advocate mode:  you can expect a drop-off; in 2010 there was a highly contentious governor’s race on the DFL side.  The only real competitive races on the DFL side this time were the State Auditor and the Secretary of State (which we discussed yesterday, and don’t look like good news to the DFL candidate to me). 

A drop-off of over half?   

My Admittedly Wishful Take:  I’m going to hope – and I am admittedly basing this on hope – that the numbers are sign of diminished enthusiasm on the Democrats’ part, and hope that the GOP candidates can appeal to the non-primary-going public this fall. 

Which is the big challenge.

On Your Own

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This legal analysis is interesting because it starts from the basic assumption that the police have NO obligation to protect citizens from crime. The police create an obligation to protect you only if they go out of their way to make the situation worse than it was before they intervened.
The obvious implication of this “no obligation” ruling – coupled with the Supreme Court’s holding that individuals have a Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms for self-defense – is that the fundamental legal principle of public security in American law is . . . you’re on your own.
Which Conservatives have known all along, but it’s nice to see the Courts spell it out so clearly for us. Now, Liberals, do you have any questions?
Joe Doakes

I’m gonna guess “no”.

Priorities

MNSure is a disaster that’s going to cost us hundreds of millions of dollars – much more, in fact, that most of the state’s natural disasters.  .

Behind the happy talk, the state’s economy is showing signs of slowing

Our major cities’ minority achievement gaps are worse than those in Philadelphia, New Orleans and Detroit.  Indeed, we are worse than the proverbial “cold Omaha”. 

So what’s been the top news of the week among the left and media (pardon the redundancy)?

Some ill-advised tweets about Robin Williams by the MNGOP’s deputy.

Follow-up question:  What is it that bothered the left/media about Mr. Fields’ tweets?  Was it the politicization of a tragedy?  Or was it that someone would tweet something grossly inappropriate? 

Because I’m sure nobody on the left would politicize a tragedy or tweet something stupid.

I’m sure we’ll hear back on that.

Firing Blind

A much-better-than-you’d expect piece from the BBC on shooters who happen to be blind.

Upside:  some great interviews with blind shooters, some of whom are startlingly accomplished with firearms.

No, I’m not making that up.

Downside:  while journos do usually try to find a counterpoint on any story, the best the Beeb could come up with was Stevie Wonder, who  apparently thinks the idea of blind people with guns is crazy.   And if you can afford as many bodyguards as Wonder can (assuming he needs them), he could be forgiven the assumption.

I used to produce a show for Don Vogel, a blind guy who hosted a talk show at KSTP in the eighties.  After beating him in “Horse” by “HOR” to “HORSE”, I suggested a trip to the range.  He was interested, but we could never quite pull it together. 

Anyway – the article is worth a read!

Swirling About The Drain

I hate to indulge in schadenfreud. 

But I’m only human.

Arbitron numbers are in for the Fargo-Moorhead area – and the two big lib-talk hosts at KFGO (which is sort of the WCCO of the Fargo metro area) are sucking fumes.

Joel Heitkamp is off sharply, according to Rob Port

But even more sweet?  Mike McFeely – the sportscaster turned incompetent liberal talking head – is sucking pond water. 

Conservative talk thrives in liberal bastions like the Twin Cities, Chicago and LA – as a contrarian Jeremiah, and a rallying point for the areas beleaguered conservatives.  You’d think, orthagonally, that liberal talk would work for the same reasons in relatively conservative places like Fargo (although Fargo is the most liberal major city in North Dakota). 

I guess not.

Battle of the Silver Helmets

As a site, it was hard to miss the marching of the 4th German Cavalry Division on August 12, 1914.  Wearing the spiked Pickelhaube helmet, with steel lances and breastplates, and freshly-polished swords, the 4th Cavalry could have easily looked as if on parade.  Only instead of parade grounds, the men and horses of the unit marched through enemy Belgian territory.

Ordered to charge against the southern flank of the small town of Haelen, the 4th Cavalry squared off against a fellow cavalry unit, equally resplendent in their dress uniforms.  The 4th Cavalry led, quite literally, with the tips of lances.  The Belgians, dismounted from their horses, led with their guns.  The gentlemanly charm of the 19th Century military was about to collide with the vicious precision of the 20th.

—-

Speed had been the essence of German military planning for a war in Europe.

The somewhat romanticized view of the Battle of Haelen – dashing German cavalry units charging headlong into the Belgian line

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Slump

Amid all the DFL’s bragging about the economy – which Bill Glahn dispensed with earlier this week – let’s note that for the fifth straight month, tax receipts are off.

And not by just a little bit (emphasis added):

Minnesota’s tax collections for July have come in $69 million below expectations.

The Department of Minnesota Management and Budget released its monthly revenue Monday. It shows the state took in 6.6 percent less than was forecast.

And in the wake of the DFL’s bragging about the state’s ostensible unemployment rate?

The shortage was most acute in the area of individual income taxes, which were off by $36 million. Officials say some could be attributed to timing of tax payments or refunds.

Sure.  Some of it could.

But most of it is attributed to the fact that under DFL rule, the state’s economy is slumping.  Slowly – it’s a gradual thing, as economic trends always are – but definite.

And all the DFL’s happy talk is fermented BS.

Chanting Points Memo: Our Slammin’ Economy!*

The left is jumping up and down proclaming that Minnesota’s economy is lighting up the charts. 

And it is – in the same sense that I’ve got the best chance of being the best pitcher in my division (if the other teams started Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Andrea Bocelli). 

But as Bill Glahn points out, it’s less about “economic strength”, and more about the comparisons that the Democrats are highlighting:

Most of the recent bragging around Minnesota’s economy centers on a single fact: that Minnesota’s unemployment rate (4.5%) is below that of Wisconsin’s (5.7%). But Minnesota’s unemployment rate has been lower than Wisconsin’s since February 1997.

Wisconsin’s economy has always been focused more heavily on manufacturing – and manufacturing has been on a slow decline for decades.  Minnesota’s economy focuses on financial services and healthcare (insurance and devices), both of which are hot tickets these days, and parts of which have been getting lavish government subsidies.  Of course they’re doing well

The two states’ relative positions not only predate Walker, they’re the same as when Wisconsin was dominated by idiot liberals. 

As to the purported “job growth” (with emphasis added):

It’s worth noting that Minnesota’s job growth during the past year has merely kept pace with the job growth in the rest of the country…Iowa (4.4%), South Dakota (3.8%), Nebraska (3.5%), and North Dakota (2.7%, the nation’s lowest) all enjoy lower unemployment rates than Minnesota. We may be beating Wisconsin, but we are losing badly to those states with which we compete for new residents and businesses.

And I’d be very interested in seeing how the states compare if you leave out manufacturing in Wisconsin. 

And the claim that the Twin Cities have the lowest unemployment rate of any major metro area in the country?”   Perhaps – but the smaller metropoli around us, Fargo and Des Moines and the like, are smoking the Twin Cities:

The “nation’s lowest” claim only comes by comparing MSP to the biggest American cities. If you are a sprinter, you’ll be happy to edge ahead of the fattest guy in the race, but you need to notice that all the other runners have already crossed the finish line.

Rather than comparing Minnesota’s economic performance to the relevant benchmarks, it seems we are determined to find someone, somewhere we can brag over. Yes, we are doing better than Detroit, but does that really mean we are doing well?

And don’t look now, but downtown Detroit is a lot more vibrant than downtown Saint Paul on a non-hockey night.

Read the whole thing.