Lack of free pre-K causes kids to go to prison

This morning on the Up and At Em show on Twin Cities News Talk, an interesting conversation with Rep Nick Zerwas and Rep Dan Schoen ranged around light rail and the governor's proposed universal pre-K.  The topic of Rep Jim Newberger's dumb comment on the House floor from this week about the usefulness of a light rail line from North Minneapolis to the prison in St Cloud.

In the middle of these competing topics, an incredibly insulting comment came from Rep Schoen, when he linked kids going to daycare rather than pre-K with those kids later ending up in prison.  The full podcast is here, and the section in question starts at 13:20.  The transcript-

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Bakk’s confusing strategy

I’m more than a bit surprised after reading this post about Sen. Bakk’s latest transportation plan. Check this out:


In January, Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL lawmakers rolled out comprehensive transportation plans and talked about how urgent it was to do something this year. Republicans held up their hands and said there was no rush.

Times have changed. On Wednesday, it was Senate DFL leader Tom Bakk raising the specter of delaying a transportation bill for another year. “Transportation probably doesn’t have to happen,” Bakk said Wednesday.

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The Klobuchar kludge

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar specializes in avoiding outspoken stands on important issues. She looks for opportunities to lead the way on trivialities calculated to garner broad public support, such as her crusade against the threat to life and limb posed by “The crisis of the detergent pod.”

Senator Klobuchar is a reliable vote for the Democratic Party line, but she is quiet about it. She doesn’t want to upset anybody. She wants to preside over an era of good feelings — of good feelings about Amy Klobuchar.

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Minnesota charter schools seek license to close achievement gap

Skye Hoekstra may be doing her part to close one of the nation’s worst minority achievement gaps — on borrowed time.

Her inner city kindergartners at Prodeo Academy charter school in Minneapolis have made so much progress in math and reading, they ranked in the 99th percentile nationally, midway through the school year.

Yet Minnesota refuses to recognize Hoekstra’s Nevada teaching license and master’s degree as meeting state standards. Unless she goes back to school herself to take an “Intro to Teaching Children to Read” course and other classes required by the Minnesota Board of Teaching, Hoekstra may not be back in the classroom.

Read more at Watchdog.org MN Bureau

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The Case Against Freedom, Part V: Slavery Is Freedom

Robert Kuttner, professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School and senior fellow of the think tank Demos, believes that libertarians suffer from a delusion. He claims that the market is incompetent to price certain problems, and must be tightly controlled by government to prevent excess and abuse.

In a piece written for The American Prospect, where he serves as co-founder and co-editor, Kuttner submits examples which he believes demonstrate market failure. We rebutted his analysis in parts one and two of this series. Unsurprisingly, Kuttner’s assertions arise from a Marxist worldview wherein natural disparities in both wealth and knowledge require government activism to equalize “power.” We explored a couple of the fatal flaws of that perspective in part three. Most recently, we addressed the proper role of government in the market.

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Transportation: needs vs. wish list

Last night, the House passed the Road and Bridge Act of 2015 by a 73-59 vote. Speaker Kurt Daudt put things succinctly in this statement:


“Minnesota families rely on our road and bridge infrastructure to get their kids to school and themselves to work. The House Republican majority has listened to Minnesotans and worked toward a solution that provides immediate repair to roads in their communities. Furthermore, with the passage of the Road and Bridge Act of 2015, we have delivered a real, long-term solution without increasing the tax burden on middle-class Minnesotans,” said Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown).

Republicans won the majority in the House thanks to the promises they made of focusing on outstate Minnesota. Contrary to Ellen Anderson’s inside-the-Twin-Cities perspective, outstate Minnesota doesn’t care about transit. In February, Anderson participated in an Almanac Roundtable discussion. During that debate, Anderson said that Republicans better jump on board with transit funding because “outstate Minnesotans love their transit, too.”

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Rep. Thissen, classless jerk

aul Thissen, the House DFL Leader, is a classless jerk. This article offers proof of that:


In the House debate Tuesday, lawmakers exchanged words over an amendment offered by DFL leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, to name a part of U.S. 12 the “Tim Miller Goat Trail” after a freshman Republican lawmaker from Prinsburg who has sparred with Thissen. House GOP leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, responded by saying it was the latest in a series of examples where Thissen had behaved inappropriately.

I won’t demand that Thissen apologize. If he mouthed the words to an apology, it wouldn’t mean anything. It wouldn’t be sincere. Thissen is who Thissen is.

What Rep. Thissen is isn’t a picture of statesmanship. He’s been a picture in classless partisanship. In that respect, it looks like Rep. Thissen studied under the tutelage of Tony Sertich although, to be fair, Sertich wasn’t classless like Thissen is.

What type of classless partisan offers an amendment that gives a road a name that insults a colleague? The DFL isn’t the party of Hubert Humphrey anymore. It’s the party that looks for opportunities to humiliate their political opponents.

I hope Republicans remind voters who the DFL really is. I hope Republicans remind voters that the DFL is the political party that puts a higher priority on playing partisan games than they put on doing the right thing.

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Your Earth Day Ride

This isn't particularly complicated or surprising:

Car buyers are trading in hybrid and electric cars for SUVs at a higher rate than ever before, according to a new analysis from car-buying platform Edmunds.com. The analysis offers a surprising look at how today's gas prices are drawing hybrid and EV owners toward gas-guzzling vehicles at a much more accelerated pace than in recent years.

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Sunday Liquor Sales: It’s the Principle, Stupid

On today's Fightin Words podcast, hosted on the Twin Cities News Talk Podcast Network:

Walter joins Andrew Lee and Mike Franklin on the Up and At Em Post-Show Podcast to talk Sunday liquor sales, explaining why the issue serves as a legitimate litmus test for determining whether lawmakers deserve Republican endorsement.

Subscribe to Fightin Wordsnow available on iTunes, or through the RSS feed. Follow → Blog, Twitter, Facebook.

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Happy "Lack of Self-Awareness Day"

You wanna know what is perhaps the most intolerant religion in America? Well, if you believe American leftists and their mainstream media cohorts, it's Christianity. But no, the most intolerant religion is indeed "environmentalism." Never is that more evident than on "Earth Day."

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A Problem for Little Mogadishu

"Is this part of our Brag Minneapolis campaign? That we have become a giant terror recruitment hub?"

We have big, big problems in our fair city. Our city, which is transforming right under our very eyes, has been referred to as "Little Mogadishu". And that name comes from some of the recent immigrants who have moved here. Yes, and we have some issues in our "Little Mogadishu". So much so, we have made just about every major national news source (again).

So the question I keep hearing over and over again is this - like the immigrants before them, will the Somali immigrants integrate? Assimilate? Will they put "Coexist" bumper stickers on their cars? Become part of our national fabric? Or do some of them want us to become part of their fabric? Can we discuss this issue without being called racist, jingoistic, or misogynistic by the "Loony Left"? I am starting to think these problems we are having with terror recruitment might just be the tip of the iceberg.

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The Boogeygun Is Everywhere!

The night before the infamous “Saint Valentines’ Day Massacre” – in which Al Capone’s Italian mob rubbed out much of Bugs Moran’s Irish gang in Prohibition-era Chicago – the Italians spent a sleepless night assembling their Tommy Guns from parts they’d purchased around and about Chicago and its surrounding area.

And before going out to massacre innocent locals or groups of high school kids, Mexico’s loathsome narcotraficantes frequently spend days in machine shops, a patiently milling and drilling and cutting bits and pieces of metal into workable weapons.

Yeah, of course I made that up.

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