Showing posts with label Minnesota. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minnesota. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Art of Redirection

A recent article in my local newspaper regarding Representative Jim Hagedorn, a Republican representing the 1st Congressional District in the southern part of my state, caught my attention because of this quote.

Hillary [Clinton] would have stacked the Supreme Court with radicals who would have taken away our individual liberties. In the next go-round, you’re going to see nothing different.

Let’s be clear on this tactic. It’s the same one used by the Nazis in the 1930s. Accuse the other side of the very thing you intend to do and demonize them while doing it. So, it’s not that liberals are the radicals. They actually want to uphold the rule of law. It’s the conservatives who are radical and want to install judges who will rewrite the law to their liking.

The problem is that "conservative" judges aren't all they are cracked up to be. Invariably, they are quite reluctant to overturn precedent. This is particularly true of Chief Justice John Roberts. It seems to also be true of Neil Gorsuch. Conservatives just like to know that a member of their tribe is in there and most of them don't care after that.

Liberals, on the other hand, do care that a good judge who understands the rule of law serves as a federal judge. Remember, we aren't tribal like the right. Our goal is reality and the truth.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Sunday, July 09, 2017

No More Fire Pits, Please!!

Folks, I have a confession to make. I hate fire pits with all of my heart and soul.

I realize this will cost me in MN street cred because just about everyone in this state absolutely loves fire pits to the point of insanity, obsession and OMG why don't you have one??!! But I hate them. HATE them!! Why?

1. I deplore obsessive, keep up with the Joneses trendy crap. Only in Minnesota could a campfire be a hipster thing to do.

2. The smell. I hang out by a fire pit for more than three seconds and I stink to high heaven. I have to shower twice and do an extra load of laundry just to smell normal again.

3. The lack of fresh air. I like to have fresh air in my house but I rarely can open my windows because all my neighbors have fire pits blazing 24-7. I live in the beautiful North Woods where the air would normally be immensely fresh if it weren't for the fucking fire pit festival every year.

4. With fire pits come drum circles and I really can't stand those dumb ass things. Join a band (rock or pep) and put all that energy into something creative rather than being a wanker trying to impress some hippie chick with how in touch you are with your "soul."

Most of you who know me recognize that I'm not an outdoors-y guy. Fire pits represent an intrusion of camping into my suburban bliss that I find deeply offensive on a number of levels.

Here's to hoping I can bring more anti fire pitters out with this message and give them the courage to join me in saying enough of this! I want to smell fresh air again!!

Sunday, May 08, 2016

No Mass Exodus

I live in a state that has high taxes and government spending. In 2013, our Democratic governor raised taxes on the wealthy and increased spending even more. Despite predictions that this sort of policy would result in a poor economy, Minnesota is doing quite well. Our unemployment rate is 3.7% which basically means if you aren't working, you don't want to have a job. We have a state surplus of over $1 billion dollars. Our GDP is $255 billion dollars.

Today, our state discovered that Republican predictions of a mass exodus of higher taxes on the wealthy have not come to pass.

Critics predicted that the ultra-affluent would flee after Gov. Mark Dayton secured 2013 passage of a new income tax tier of 9.85 percent on individuals who make more than $156,000 a year. But the latest data show that the number of people who filed tax returns with over $1 million in income grew by 15.3 percent in the year after the tax passed, while the new top tier of taxpayers grew by 6 percent.

Grew, you say? Hmm...maybe people like having a better place to send their kids to school and nice roads to drive on.

Let's compare my state to Wisconsin, where Scott Walker has enacted the exact opposite policies of Governor Dayton. The Wisconsin unemployment rate is 4.4%. They have a budget shortfall of $1.8 billion dollars which has forced cuts to the University of Wisconsin system to comply with the balanced budget law. Their GDP is $230 billion dollars. Wisconsin ranks among the top states people are leaving.

I wonder why...:)

Friday, April 22, 2016


All of Minnesota is mourning our state treasure...

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Minnesota Wall Eye and Climate Change

The warming waters of Minnesota due to man made climate change are affecting the Wall Eye population as my home state heads into fishing opener.

In other words, if they can’t survive, then other fish won’t either. But they won’t be alone. A major study published last week in the journal Science found that if greenhouse gases and average temperatures continue to rise at current rates, the world will see a major loss in diversity. One in six species around the globe could disappear because they can’t move or adapt fast enough to changing habitat.

My hope is that those fishermen who deny that climate change is man made and are now personally affected by this will help create more action. Of course, Mooney tells me otherwise:)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

How To Govern An Economy

Minnesota got another shout out for having a great economy despite the "destruction" that raising taxes, increasing the minimum wage, and increasing government spending brings with it.

Between 2011 and 2015, Gov. Dayton added 172,000 new jobs to Minnesota's economy -- that's 165,800 more jobs in Dayton's first term than Pawlenty added in both of his terms combined. Even though Minnesota's top income tax rate is the 4th-highest in the country, it has the 5th-lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.6 percent. According to 2012-2013 U.S. census figures, Minnesotans had a median income that was $10,000 larger than the U.S. average, and their median income is still $8,000 more than the U.S. average today.

Take note that the predictions from Republicans were completely wrong.

I wonder if they'll get the message in Wisconsin...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ecolab Going All Solar

Ecolab, a global company that is a seller of hygiene, energy and water technologies to businesses, is the first big Minnesota company to go all-in on solar. With this deal, Ecolab will acquire more solar output than now exists across the entire state.

“It’s groundbreaking in many ways,” Ken Johnson of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a Washington, D.C., trade group, said of the Ecolab-SunEdison deal. “When people think of solar they tend to think of places like California, Arizona, Hawaii and Florida. They don’t traditionally think of the Midwest. This is going to open up a lot of eyes.”

It's been pretty amazing to drive around Minnesota and Iowa the last few years and see the renewable energy market exploding. Wind turbines have already dominated rural areas in southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa. Now we are going to see more solar panels and deeper buy in from private concerns like Ecolab with renewable energy.

In my view, this shift in the free market will render further discussion about climate change largely moot. If corporate America decides that's where the money is, climate deniers will end up about as relevant as the cassette tape.

Monday, January 12, 2015

All Economic Signs Good!

Yesterday's paper had a great piece on how well the economy is doing here in Minnesota and in the rest of the country. Check out this interactive graphic that illustrates the five key indicators (jobs, unemployment, consumer sentiment, gas prices, and GDP) clearly showing just how much our economy has improved during the Obama years.

Any retractions out there yet?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Evil Liberals Spur Third Fastest Revenue Growth In The Country

As I have stated previously...

Part of the reason is that Minnesota has structured state tax collections to take advantage of progressive taxes, which levy higher tax rates the wealthier a person becomes, Hamline University economics professor Stacie Bosley said. “There is a heavier reliance on the income tax [in Minnesota],” she said. “If you see the most gains in the highest income groups, a progressive tax system gets more revenue.”

Wait...huh? I thought taxes were JOB KILLERS. There goes that fucking theory...again!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Maher Announces Winner of Flip A District Contest

Bill Maher announced the winner of his "Flip A District" contest and it's none other than Minnesota's own John Kline! The Republican Representative from the 2nd congressional district. RCP currently rates this district as "likely GOP" but Kline's opponent, Democrat Mike Obermueller, is going to get a big boost from this national attention.

My hope is that voters in MN-02 will take a look at Kline's voting record (detailed most eloquently by Maher in the clip from the link) and turn out to vote. If that happens, Obermueller has a chance of winning. Perhaps Maher could do a live show from MN-02 as well. It will be interesting to see if the polls shift over the course of the next few weeks:)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Go Minnesota!

Props out to my home state for being much further along in energy efficiency and renewables than other states.

Today, Minnesota gets more of its power from wind than all but four other states, and the amount of coal burned at power plants has dropped by more than a third from its 2003 peak. And while electricity consumption per person has been slowly falling nationwide for the last five years, Minnesota’s decline is steeper than the average.

The Obama administration’s proposal would reduce power plants’ carbon pollution 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Minnesota set similar nonbinding goals for its entire economy seven years ago: a 15 percent reduction by 2015, 25 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050. (Minnesota measures carbon differently; by federal standards, its reductions would most likely be greater.)

And that's not all...

Utilities must produce 27.5 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. And they must wring enough waste out of their service areas — for instance, by helping customers insulate buildings or install efficient lighting — to reduce electricity sales every year by the equivalent of 1.5 percent of their revenues. 

Some economic sectors like housing and farming so far have failed to meet the carbon reduction targets. Not so the power industry. “The utilities are on track to meet both the renewable energy standard and those emission reduction targets,” said Frank L. Kohlasch, the environmental analysis manager at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Some utilities intend to beat the 2025 goal handily, he said.

Go Minnesota!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cheese or Lutefisk?

There seems to be an awful lot of comparing and contrasting going on between Wisconsin and Minnesota these days. I've talked about it recently and they are both excellent, real time cases as to which ideology, conservative or liberal, is most effective. This recent piece in the Times is the most in depth that I have seen as it addresses the fundamental differences in ideology with how each state is governed. There is also a video that goes along with it.

It's a pretty even handed report with criticism spread around evenly as one can see.

I'm wondering if the problems with Wisconsin's economy mean that Scott Walker won't really be a serious candidate for president in 2016.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Minnesota Wins!

If you want a good barometer on how what sort of government policies work the best, compare the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. That's what this recent piece in the New York Times did and the results speak for themselves. In 2010, voters in each state chose a specific path to improve their economic conditions. Minnesotans chose Democrats to run their state and Wisconsin chose Republicans. Minnesota's unemployment rate was at 6.7 percent and Wisconsin's was at 7.1 percent.

As the article notes, a month after Mr. Walker’s inauguration in January 2011, he catapulted himself to the front ranks of national conservative leaders with attacks on the collective bargaining rights of Civil Service unions and sharp reductions in taxes and spending. Once Mr. Dayton teamed up with a Democratic Legislature in 2012, Minnesota adopted some of the most progressive policies in the country.Minnesota raised taxes by $2.1 billion, the largest increase in recent state history. Democrats introduced the fourth highest income tax bracket in the country and targeted the top 1 percent of earners to pay 62 percent of the new taxes, according to the Department of Revenue.

The result?

Today, Minnesota is essentially at full employment at 4.8 percent while Wisconsin's unemployment rate stands at 6.5 percent. Wisconsin lags behind Minnesota in job creation and economic growth. Wisconsin ranks 34th for job growth. According to Forbes’s annual list of best states for business, Wisconsin continues to rank in the bottom half. Along with California, Minnesota is the fifth fastest growing state economy, with private-sector job growth exceeding pre-recession levels. Forbes rates Minnesota as the eighth best state for business.

So, why is it working in Minnesota?

Higher taxes and economic growth in Minnesota have attracted a surprisingly broad coalition. Businesses complain about taxes, but many cheered Mr. Dayton’s investments in the Mayo Clinic, the new Vikings stadium, the Mall of America and 3M headquarters. The lion’s share of Minnesota’s new tax revenue was sunk into human capital. While the state’s Constitution required that half of the new revenue balance the budget in 2013, Mr. Dayton invested 71 percent of the remaining funds in K-12 schools and higher education as well as a pair of firsts: all-day kindergarten and wider access to early childhood education. Minnesota was one of the few states that raised education spending under the cloud of the Great Recession.

Why is not working in Wisconsin?

Mr. Walker’s strategy limited Wisconsin’s ability to invest in infrastructure that would have catalyzed private-sector expansion, and he cut state funding of K-12 schools by more than 15 percent. Per student, this was the seventh sharpest decline in the country.

I'm pretty optimistic about the state in which I grew up, however. The numbers speak for themselves and, if the Democrats put up a good candidate, Walker will be gone and left to pursue his dreams of 2016.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

So Proud!

Dayton signs same-sex marriage law at outdoor ceremony

I am so proud of my state today. See Nikto's story below for more in depth coverage.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Minnesotan Message

Alright, Minnesotans...

1) After a snowstorm, driving a few miles under the speed limit is prudent. Driving 5 miles an hour everywhere is irritating. And continuing to move at the same (if not worse) snail like pace when you are pushing a cart around Target is massively fucking irritating.

2)Just because we had some snow doesn't mean that every single person who can drive in the seven country metro area should get out and do so...

3) We've had snow here before so enough with the buffoon like confusion. Stop doing stupid things you wouldn't normally do like changing lanes 9 times in the space of five minutes on the highway.

4)Whoever is in charge of stoplights, reset them to normal and not have them be on green for -5 seconds.

5) Whoever is in charge of plowing, say no to that 5th doughnut and actually PLOW THE ROADS!!

(can you tell we just got our first snowfall of the year?)