Happy Anniversary!

Who used to look like an extra from “Gangs of New York”, and married way, way up twenty years ago today?

Why, that’d be my friend and long-time radio colleague Ed Morrissey and his wife Marcia, that’s who!

Congrats to the Morrisseys, and may they have many, many more anniversaries!

‘Cuz It’s Almost Saturday Night

Don’t forget – tomorrow evening is the 9th or 10th annual Minnesota Organization of Bloggers Summer Party.

We’ll be at Keegan’s Irish Pub in Northeast Minneapolis – just west of Hennepin on University, across from Surdyk’s. 

The party starts at 7, and runs until everyone leaves – and I’m usually there until midnight at least. 

Hope to see you there!

Saturday Night Plans

It’s gonna be a gorgeous evening Saturday – and I hope you can make it out to the 9th or 10th annual Minnesota Organization of Bloggers Summer Party, at Keegans Irish Pub in Minneapolis.

We’ll start at 7PM, and go until everyone decides to leave, which is usually around 11 or 12 or so.  Whatever works.  Just stop by.

Tonight’s The Night!

It’s the eighth or ninth annual Minnesota Organization of Bloggers Winter Party!

It starts at 7 at Ol’ Mexico, and lasts until we’re done.

Ol’ Mex is in Roseville, just north of Larpenteur on Lexington.

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Whoever you are – blogger or reader, liberal or conservtive or just don’t care, fan or detractor, writer or subject – we’d love to meet you! Drop on by!


When I got a late start scheduling the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers winter party, I sheepishly called it the Winter(ish) Party, since I figured the ice would be melted and I’d be biking to work.

Well, that didn’t work out, did it?

But don’t blame my late scheduling start for the return of winter.  For that, you can blame the fact that I put my snowblower up for spring a few weeks back.


The MOB Party is tomorrow night at Ol’ Mexico in Roseville!

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The party starts at 7, and runs until it stops! Or closing…

And if you’re reading this, you’re invited!

Like A LeBron James Slam Dunk

Craig Westover – maybe the best libertarian-conservative intellectual writer in Minnesota today – took the “con” side of the minimum wage debate in the Strib last week, and stuck the landing:

Consider studies “proving” that when the minimum wage is raised, employers do not raise consumer prices. Because other economic forces are always in play, indeed, little quantitative effect may be seen in an industry affected by the minimum wage. What remain unseen, however, are the qualitative effects of the arbitrary wage increase on the industry and quantitative effects on the economy as a whole.

Raising prices is not as simple as changing an item’s price tag. Prices are always determined by what the market will pay and not by what the vendor needs or wants to charge. Not all cost increases can be passed on to consumers in higher prices.

If raising the price of a product or service in response to an increase in minimum wage drives the price higher than some people are willing to pay, they will buy less of the product or stop buying the product altogether and switch to substitutes.

Consequently, while some workers benefit from an increase in minimum wage, others in supplier industries suffer through job loss or lower wages resulting from the reduced demand for their products and labor. Eventually, even the boost in income for the few is offset by higher prices and lower future wages brought on by reduced economic growth — a net loss for them and the whole community.

Studies that claim to affirm the harmlessness of the minimum wage have to cherry-pick their criteria pretty closely.

Read Westover’s entire piece.

And Westover only covers the pure economics.  Libertarian-GOP activist Jake Barnett, writing about Westover’s piece on Facebook, adds:

“Craig Westover makes a sound economic argument here. Personally, I think that’s only half the issue. A significant portion of campaign contributions of those who make social justice arguments about the minimum wage come from trade and government unions. It just so happens that the majority of Union Contracts are tied to the minimum wage, and the pay of workers under these contracts would rise a result of a passage of this bill. I’m sure we’ll hear well intended emotional arguments from the dupes on the left who believe politicians seek first to help the poor, but we all know better. A DFL led legislature and Governor wish to increase their campaign funds for the next cycle, and this is an easy way to do so while pandering to their base. Now where’s that mission accomplished banner?”

SEIU will be waving one around the the end of the session.

Dime’ll getcha a buck the banner will be made in China.

Phản đối! Nó Là Gì Cho Bữa ăn Tối!

(Or words to that effect.  It’s from Google Translate.  But I figure most of my audience isn’t going to be able to correct me on this [1])

So I went to Mai Village last night.  Mai Village was one of the little welter of ma-and-pa small businesses that, between the mid-eighties and the beginning of the Central Corridor construction, helped make University Avenue…

…well, not exactly “thrive”, but then the only thing that really thrives in Saint Paul is government.  But compared to the desolate, vacant, blighted strip that the street was in the eighties, a couple of waves of Southeast Asian immigrants – Vietnamese and then H’mong, Lao and Cambodian – at least brought people, activity, commerce and life to the Avenue.

But it wasn’t the kind of business that Saint Paul’s government or the Met Council wanted – white, MPR-friendly, upper-middle-class, Caribou/Patagonia/Noodles-And-Company kinds of businesses.  So they decided to drive their accursed train straight down University.  This, on top of Minnesota and Saint Paul’s already-crushing regulatory burden.

Someone asked in the comment section the other day “what kind of business will make it on University?”  Little service-oriented businesses that don’t need parking, maybe?  Tiny hole-in-the-wall places with as little overhead as possible and fanatical little clienteles, I’d suspect.  The big winners, of course, will be the big national chains – Caribou, Patagonia, NoodleCo, Chipotle – that have the financial wherewithal to ride out the construction and the political clout to score vacant space near the stations that will squat in the street every half-mile through Frogtown and the near North End.

Of course, if you’re in between those stations, you’re screwed.

Mai Village isn’t a hole in the wall – not anymore.  When I first when there, of course, it was almost literally that; a nondescript little warren you entered through a door in a seedy-looking brick wall with very little fanfare directly off of Uni, with fantastic food.  They made the “mistake” of investing in their business and in University avenue, back before the Central Corridor.  They built a beautiful restaurant, full of Vietnamese artifacts and decor and big gorgeous windows looking out on the street, back when the street was a slowly rebuilding strip of humanity.  It’s big, comfortable, serene – and I do love the food.

Today the view is of rail construction, and the Mai Village is hurting, struggling to make the payments on an investment based on pre-construction customer base with a clientele that’s been gutted by the rail construction.

So I’d like to grab dinner there one of these nights (actually I did, last night, but I’m game again); I’m craving the chicken curry, truth be told.

So I’m going to have a…well, not “MOB” event, really, but I’m going to throw this out there; I’m going to Mai Village next Thursday, September 27.  Let’s say 7:00, to allow time for people to try to navigate the area.  I’ll just be grabbing some more chicken curry (or maybe the ginger pork with rice noodles – I’ve been craving good Bun Heo Nuong since Vina closed).  If you can show up, by all means do.  It’s not a “protest”, per se, although I won’t discourage people venting about the Mogadishu-like morass that the construction has inflicted on the neighborhood, the misery of trying to get anywhere in the area, and the difficulty of parking (and I’ll give you a St. Paul-resident’s shortcut or two for those of you coming to Frogtown for the first time, later next week).  And it’s not political, really – liberals’ money is just as good as anyone’s.   Come on down.

If you’d be so kind as to leave an RSVP in the comments, I’ll make sure I get enough seats when I go next week.  Or just show up.  Either way, hope to see you there.

Continue reading

Here’s A Quick Poll

If I were to suggest a pseudo-MOB event , hypothetically, to get together at the Mai Village one of these next evenings – partly to support a business that is beleaguered by the Met Council’s Toy Train, partly to protest the Met Council, partly because Vietnamese food really rocks and has gotten criminally short shrift since Thai became the hip Asian cuisine – what would be better…:

  • Thursday night
  • Saturday night
  • Sunday night

Nothing super formal; just thinking about doing an informal “Hey, let’s do this” kind of thing.

(And wishing I’d done it for my good friends at the late, great Caribe Bistro while there was still time…)

Please sound off in the comments.

One Economy That Is Booming…

…is the party economy!

Tomorrow night is the eighth (I think) annual Minnesota Organization of Bloggers Summer Party!

We’ll be at Keegans’ Irish Pub in Northeast Minneapolis.

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The party starts at 7PM, and runs ’til we’re done, pretty much.

Come on down, whether you’re a blogger or a reader, a conservative or a liberal or a “don’t care”, a guy or a gal, an extrovert or an introvert, a Ronulan or a Romnorrhoid – the whole point is just hanging out.

The only promises we make?  There is no agenda, there are no name tags, there will be no politicians speaking, and unless a treasured member of the MOB community passes away in the next 36 hours, there will be no addressing the group for any reason.

Just stop by.  I’ll introduce you to everyone.

See you then!

MOB Rules!

Just a reminder – the (more or less) Eighth Annual Minnesota Organization of Bloggers Summer Party is here again!

It’ll be Saturday night, September 8, at Keegan’s Irish Pub in Northeast Minneapolis:

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We usually meet out on the cigar patio, out back.  Hope to see you there!

As usual, the party starts at 7PM and runs until I leave, which is probably later than you leave, whoever you are.

It may be the Twin Cities’ blogosphere’s greatest tradition – the MOB Summer Party!

(More at the Facebook page)

It’s A MOB Thing!

It’s hot, sticky and miserable.  And we’re in the middle of a political campaign amid a terrible economy.

We need a party!

It’s time for the Eighth (I think) Annual Minnesota Organization of Bloggers Summer Party!

So clear your calendars for Saturday, September 8.  It’ll be a perfect day to shake off the whir of late-August, Labor-Day and Back-To-School mania with a couple cool beers and a cigar or two, if you’re so inclined.

The location?

That’ll be announced later this week.  When I confirm everything.

Be There Or Be Square

Don’t forget – tomorrow night is the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers Winter Fiesta!

Join us at Ol’ Mexico in Roseville tomorrow night at 7PM until people pack up and head out (usually 11ish).  And if you’d be so kind, toss us an RSVP here.  It’s looking like a good turnout so far.

The party is in the Courtyard room (not the same room we were in last time) at Ol’ Mexico in Roseville, on Lexington just north of Larpenteur.

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Hope to see you there!


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:

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Hope to see you there!

Pure Power Unleashed

Congratulations to Mr. Dilettante, from Mr. D’s Neighborhood, on winning the 2012 Minnesota Organization of Bloggers mayoral election.

The office of the Mayor is a vital one; as award-winning journalist Karl Bremer once discovered, the mayor of the MOB has absolute editorial control over all blogs associated with the Minnesota Organization of Blogs, a position with editorial control equal to…

…no, I can’t go on with it.  The Mayor has no power.  The MOB, being expressly apolitical, has no agenda, beyond two drinking parties a year.  Bremer is a frothing looney…

…Where were we?  Oh yeah.  Dilettante will take office at his swearing-in ceremony at the MOB Party on February 25. Make sure you reserve your seat at this historic event.

Hope to see you there!


Let The Democracy Sweep You Away

The long-delayed election for the Mayorship of the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers is officially underway over at the website of the Secretary of State, the Kool Aid Report.

The office of the Mayor of the MOB is a sacred honor – but the only real “benefit” the “winner” “gets” is in terms of health; via being presumed by various depraved leftyblog dolts to have actual editorial and policy control over MOB blogs, the winner gets a good laugh, and laughing is good for your health.

Debates will start this week, with elections coming soon.

Check it out.

Let The Electoral Carnage Begin

No, not the Minnesota GOP Chairman election; the MNGOP is a lot more unified that the media wants you to think it is.

No, this is the important election; the one for mayor of the MInnesota Organization of Bloggers.

Learned Foot – the Secretary of State  for Life at the MOB – is taking nominations.  Hurry on over to Kool Aid Report and get nominated before the (as-yet-undefined) filing deadline.

This is going to be a great election campaign!