A Bright Side to the PCA Union Vote?

While, it's disappointing the union vote went through today for Minnesota PCAs.  It was not a surprise.  No one ever thought the outcome would ever be allowed to be any different.  No one in this election process was ever looking out for those that did not want the union.  The only people allowed to view the ballots were the union representatives and state employees from the MN Department of Human Services, which has every incentive to want to see “government” labeled work grow.  The opposition was not allowed to view the counting.  The story here if the media wants to look is how did SEIU produce 9,000 interest cards in June of those that wanted a union election but less than two months later can only get 3,500 people to vote Yes for a union?  3500 people deciding for 27,000 PCAs does not a fair election make.

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Bird-friendly glass won’t fly on billion dollar NFL stadium

LOOK OUT ABOVE:  For about $1 million, the MN Vikings new stadium could be far less lethal to migratory birds in the Mississippi River flyway.

LOOK OUT ABOVE: For about $1 million, the MN Vikings new stadium could be far less lethal to migratory birds in the Mississippi River flyway.

By Tom Steward | Watchdog Minnesota Bureau

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings bird-loving fans are flustered the NFL franchise won’t ante up a million bucks for bird-safe glass at the stadium now under construction.

“Blatant refusal to replace the glass because birds will die crashing into the windows has now convinced me this project is an embarrassment and horror to our Flyway and to our State. Conceit and greed is now painfully obvious and everyone involved should be ashamed,” wrote Mary Madeco-Smith on City Pages website.

Read more at Watchdog.org MN Bureau

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The Mystery of the Missing Dayton Landslide

Here is a mystery I have been unable to fathom.  Over at the Real Clear Politics website, they have in their poll of polls incumbent Democrat Mark Dayton with a single-digit lead.  Not one of the three polls they list for the Minnesota governor’s race (or any other) has Dayton cracking 50 percent.  Overall RCP rates the Minnesota race as “leans” Democrat.  

Yet, reading the news coverage in our local media, one wonders why the election is still continuing.  At this point, Mark Dayton should have been re-elected for a second term by acclamation.

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Attention, Minimum Wage Activists

The free market is providing small business with all sorts of alternatives to “being forced to pay more for something” – in this case, minimum marketable skill – “than they would normally pay”.  In this case, a coffee shop that operates entirely on the honor system

Would it work in, say, Minneapolis?  Of course not.

But could the idea put some people out of work – people who haven’t yet developed a skill worth $8-9 an hour – in places like Watertown?  Mazeppa?  Albert Lea?

Say “Thanks, Uncle Ryan Winkler!”

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Their Master’s Voice

The latest poll numbers must be scaring the DFL; the Strib has officially switched into full-time shill mode.

In a paper full of “reporters” whose prime directive seems to be “fawn on the DFL”, Ricardo Lopez seems to be aiming for Columnist’s Row with yesterday’s paeon to the wonders of the Minnesota economy:

With business on the upswing and a state unemployment rate that’s among the lowest in the nation, Republicans lack a key issue voters often gravitate to during election season.

Four years ago, when the unemployment rate topped 7 percent and the state faced a projected $6.2 billion deficit, then-gubernatorial candidates Republican Tom Emmer and DFLer Mark Dayton presented voters with starkly different plans to stem the hemorrhaging of jobs and balance the state budget.

Since Dayton took office, the economic picture has brightened considerably. Minnesota employers have added more than 150,000 jobs, helping the state recover all the jobs lost during the recession. The real estate market has rebounded, and state finances are also strong. The most recent report available showed a projected state budget surplus of more than $1.2 billion, generated in part by the higher tax rates Dayton pushed through in 2013.

“There’s no question it would be easier for me as a challenger if everything appeared to be in shambles, that’s clear. But it’s not.” said Jeff Johnson, the Republican nominee hoping to unseat Dayton this fall. “I actually rise to that challenge of sharing a message that aspires to something much better than we have right now.”

Except that as we’ve pointed out, the economy is only “good” when you cherrypick the numbers pretty carefully

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The Opinion Minute

Today, we summarize the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Opinion section for Sunday, August 24, 2014.
 
Leading the section this week is a piece by Bonnie Blodgett, headlined,
 
The world as it is: We need a Marshall Plan for the modern era
 
But it’s not what we’ve had in recent decades as we worship at the free-market altar.
 
From the piece, I gather that Ms. Bodgett doesn’t think much of capitalism and less of Harvard MBA’s.  But it you are going to call for a New Marshall Plan, at least let us know where you want it:  Asia?  Russia?  Rural America?  I read the piece three times and I could not figure it out.

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Dayton-Dakota Dreaming

Gov. Dayton’s dreaming is interesting:

During a rail safety meeting in Red Wing last week, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton said Minnesota does not enjoy much economic benefit from the trains carrying highly volatile crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region.

That led the governor at one point to joke, “Every night I dream before I go to sleep of mobilizing the National Guard and annexing North Dakota.”

He then quickly followed that statement by saying he’d just been interested in annexing the part of the state will oil, “They can have the rest of it.” That generated plenty of laughter among the audience gathered at the Red Wing Public Library.

“But,” Dayton added, “that’s obviously not an option.”— Heather J. Carlson

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Conventional wisdom on economy is wrong

With the campaign season heating up, Mark Dayton and the DFL are pushing the theme that happy days are here again in Minnesota.

And why not? The official unemployment rate in Minnesota is the lowest it has been since the great recession hit, and by some measures the economy has recovered. If I were running Mark Dayton’s campaign that is exactly what I would be doing.

But looked at from the perspective of the average Minnesotan, the picture isn’t quite so rosy. While it is true that the unemployment rate is low, one of the main reasons is that over the past few years a huge number of people gave up on working altogether.

Read more at Politics in Minnesota

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Cheating Our Children - 1

This Laura Burrows article discussing her classroom frustration highlights a key, long-standing problem in our education system.

Her regular students misbehave and nothing is done about the misbehavior. She can't teach, they can't learn. When a classroom has students who have no clue what self-discipline and proper behavior are, learning will not occur. Her misbehaving students did not start this practice in junior high. They learned they could get away with it in previous environments, including classrooms.

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Cam Winton on GOP Messaging

On today’s Gilmore and Glahn internet radio show, we hosted in our second half-hour Republican Cam Winton, who ran for Mayor of Minneapolis last year.
 
On the show, Winton offered some parting advice on the GOP campaign this November.  His four-point platform was structured on the Jeff Johnson vs. Mark Dayton race, but I think it will have wider appeal.  I paraphrase Cam's remarks from the show, beginning at the 49:20 mark,

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A Christian conundrum in conservative rhetoric?

Can Christian faith coexist with conservative rhetoric? My friend and colleague Erick Ericksonasked that question in a Red State post last night, out of frustration with a certain strain of argument on the Right that seems … uncharitable, at least. Conservative populism married to social media seems to produce a strain of rhetoric that can appear anathematic to Christians who want to live their lives of faith while pursuing conservative policy goals.

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