Calling Minnesota’s newly enacted online sales tax/”solicitor nexus” law, “unconstitutional,” online retail giant Amazon emailed Minnesota participants in it’s affiliate advertising program to inform them that their accounts have all been cancelled, effective June 30th.
Amazon touts their Associates Program as “the web’s most popular and successful affiliate program,” but it will no longer be available to residents of Minnesota. In essence, the program is a way for bloggers and website owners to earn supplemental income by advertising books and other products sold by Amazon that are usually related to the information content of the website. Some particularly successful Amazon Affiliates can even earn a living on the commissions paid by Amazon for advertising their products.
The Democrats of the (Democratic) House Majority PAC are out with a seemingly ubiquitous Internet ad that blares:
DON’T LET STUDENT LOAN RATES SKYROCKET!
TELL REP. KLINE: STOP SCAMMING STUDENTS!
Usage note: “Ubiquitous” is an adjective that does not admit of comparison. It means present everywhere at once. Something is not “very” ubiquitous, or “relatively” ubiquitous. In this context, when I use the adjective, I am describing a stupid left-wing ad that appears even on Power Line (where I found the ad whose text I typed above) and other conservative sites.
This article in the Washington Post, has hit a nerve with me, big time. My first career was as an elementary teacher, grades four, five and six. I worked in an Edina equivalent school, an east Bloomington school and a Richfield or possibly New Brighton school. In each environment, I taught close to the same level. How could this be done?
First and foremost, each school was a safe haven for students. We had discipline - ok, this was prior to the days when Johnny or Susie could do no wrong; prior to the days when principals and school boards caved to special pressure - rather these were days when we could still teach and we did. Bahavior standards were enforced, across the board.
There’s nothing more significant than sheer dot-connecting here, as there has not yet been any explicit revelations of White House involvement. Still, that’s still politically significant, as the change in the CNN poll series today shows trust eroding rapidly in the Obama White House:
A growing number of Americans believe that senior White House officials ordered the Internal Revenue Service to target conservative political groups, according to a new national poll.
As I’ve noted a few times in this space, the cultural left, regionally and nationally, is in a panic over the news that the libertarian-conservative Koch Brothers are pondering buying some newspapers, including the Tribune Group.
Last week in the MinnPost – a web publication formed by a former Strib publisher which serves largely as an afterparty for an array of former Strib, PiPress and City Pages writers – Eric Black has a story on the potential Koch purchase of the Strib, told in a tone that reminded me of a scary story a parent might tell a fussy toddler to keep them from jumping out of bed:
In the Pioneer Press on June 11 (“New Senate office building puts majority, minority under one roof”), Bill Salisbury reported that the Minnesota Department of Administration had published requests for bids on a new $89.5 million State Office Building. I’m not going to argue the pros and cons of whether this is money well spent. (That’s a public debate that never happened.) The teachable moment here is far more significant.
That the authorization for the new state building was passed by concealing it in the large, diverse and controversial tax bill raises serious questions about legislative process. Perhaps we should be questioning not just what state government is doing, but also how it is doing it.
One of the most important primers there is when it comes to explaining and understanding modern political dynamics is Berg’s Seventh Law: “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”
It’s a simple law – and yet it has applications all over our society’s political interactions.
I thought I’d spell out a few real-world applications of Berg’s Seventh Law, the better to help you recognize examples on your own.
The last 2 budget cycles, conservative bloggers have criticized the DFL for talking about increased LGA in the context of property tax relief. I’ve written about how Gov. Dayton’s staff testified that increasing LGA wouldn’t prevent property tax increases. Mitch has written about it, too. Finally, the Twin Cities media is writing about what conservatives have written about for years. Better late than never, I guess. This Pi-Press editorial includes the statistics that prove us right:
A Pioneer Press report this week on 31 metro suburbs cheering the restoration of funding they receive from the state included this note of caution: “There’s no guarantee cities won’t spend all the new state money on services, salaries or public works projects.”
Today marks the 798th anniversary of Magna Carta—the Great Charter of Liberties—forced on England’s King John by 25 of his barons in a field outside of London in 1215.
This document established the principle that no one—not even the King—was above the law. It established property rights and individual rights and the idea of due process of law. Its provision for a trial by a jury of one’s peers is still part of the Laws of England and Wales to this day.
One can draw a straight line from Magna Carta in 1215 to our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution centuries later.
Happy Magna Carta Day!
This LTE shines a spotlight on how much Democrats are owned by the unions, not their constituents:
On May 20th of this year, home health care workers and child care workers who receive state funding finally won the opportunity to decide for themselves if they want to organize a union. As a home health care worker, I feel it is one of my rights to decide my future for myself.
We're now most 70 years past World War II and yet those who were involved in atrocities are still among us. As it turns out, at least one might be closer to us than we realized:
A top commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of burning villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States and has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II, according to evidence uncovered by The Associated Press.
When Congress debated ObamaCare, pressure from critics forced lawmakers to include themselves under its mandates, rather than keep their current “Cadillac plans” that they proposed to tax out of existence for everyone else. That decision will impact current members starting at the end of this year, as they have to find insurance on the ObamaCare markets just like everyone else. Now, suddenly, ObamaCare looks a lot less attractive — and some of them may retire to avoid it (via Instapundit, who notes that this is doing what the term-limits movement couldn’t):
With former gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer being the first Republican to join the US House race for MN Congressional District Six, it was hard to imagine anyone could top his grand entrance. Having lost by a scant 0.5% in a state wide race in 2010 (but securing an 18-point margin of victory in CD6), Emmer was by far the favorite given his name recognition (co-hosting a morning drive-time radio show has only enhanced that) and fundraising prowess. This hardly went unnoticed by other potential candidates, as the likes of former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, state senators Michelle Benson & Branden Peterson and state representatives David Fitzsimmons & Peggy Scott declined to jump in to the race. In fact, Koch even went so far as to endorse Emmer before he officially made his announcement last week.
But as of yesterday morning, Emmer now has one opponent for the GOP nomination.
Tom Emmer has an opponent in CD6:
Anoka County Board chairwoman Rhonda Sivarajah launched her congressional campaign Wednesday, saying she is “uniquely qualified” to take the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.
“Washington is full of people who talk and talk and talk,” said Sivarajah, who announced her candidacy in an auto body shop repair bay, flanked by family, friends, flags and a pickup truck hoisted aloft in the background.” We need to send people there who will actually deliver real results.”
This past weekend, I made my annual pilgrimage to the ancestral homeland in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Of course you don't see that in the headline or story for that matter, of the 2012 Economic survey of states.
Minnesota has one of the fastest-growing state economies in the nation, according to a federal study released Monday by state officials.
I feel for Minneapolis voters this year, as the race for Mayor is becoming as confusing as the method to elect one.
Last Saturday, the DFL held an endorsing convention. Of particular note were the many ballots that decided nothing at the end of a long day for delegates. Via the StarTribune:
The race for Minneapolis mayor remains wide open, thanks in part to a pizza party that helped deadlock the DFL endorsing convention Saturday.
Steven Hayward over at Powerline speculates that Obama is working on a way to "approve" the Keystone Pipeline in such a way that it can never be built, thus playing both sides of the political divide. One way he could do this is by having the EPA require a higher calculation of the "carbon cost" in future project cost-benefit studies and approvals. The theory is that global warming has a huge cost to the planet, and burning oil causes global warming. It's poppycock and the world's greatest hoax, but contain your outrage long enough to follow the "logic" just a bit further. So, if Keystone is not approved, we will have ZERO increased CO2 emissions, right? Planet healed and the oceans will cease to rise? Well, maybe not quite. What does Obama think Canada is going to do with that oil if they don't pump it through the Keystone Pipeline to us? RIGHT! They're going to sell it to somebody else and that somebody else will burn it! Net change to global CO2 levels, ZERO! Come to think of it, that pretty well describes not only the result of the decision, but the decision-maker himself.
During the last couple of weeks, I’ve highlighted how the St. Cloud Times editorial staff gone overboard. I’d hoped they’d gotten it out of their system. Unfortunately, this editorial proves that the Times isn’t just occasionally foolish. It’s more a way of life. Here’s what I’m talking about:
Though Republicans have generally represented the St. Cloud area, this race may serve as a reality check for the party.
We live a few miles away from one of the more important interchanges in the Twin Cities highway system, the intersection of 35W and 694. The stretch of 694 that runs between 35W and the Mississippi River is about seven miles and a major construction project is about to begin there, which will have traffic down to one lane at times.
I've seen various estimates on the amount of traffic that comes through this stretch, but it's well over 100,000 vehicles a day. More importantly, there aren't very many options for crossing the Mississippi in the north metro, so it's going to be awful for most of the summer. And since Mrs. D uses this road to get to work, she'll especially enjoy the fun involved.
Let us set aside our skepticism, despite the mountains of scientific evidence, direct observation, simple math and common sense that argue otherwise, and assume for the moment that the Global Warming alarmists are correct – that 100 years from now, BECAUSE OF HUMAN ACTIVITY, the world will be 6° C hotter than it is now (the upper range of estimates) and that the seas would have risen some 10 feet (not the highest estimate or speculation, but near it). The questions that follow this assumption have NOT been satisfactorily answered by the Global Warming acolytes. They are: A) is this amount of sea level and temperature rise catastrophic enough to warrant action? B) is this action best taken as a preventive or remedial? And C) what is that action, what is the cost, and to what degree does it solve the problem?
FBI Director Robert Mueller appeared before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan had a few questions about the FBI’s investigation of the IRS scandal. With a few basic questions about the case, Jordan stumped Mueller.
Yesterday, I interviewed Sen. Marco Rubio while guest-hosting The Hugh Hewitt show to get some answers on the failure of the Grassley amendment on the immigration bill, and to ask what the Gang of Eight would do to address concerns from border and immigration enforcement personnel about immigration reform. Rubio told our listeners that the Grassley amendment would have delayed the collection of fines for years — and more importantly, that a new border-security amendment would come next week to specify the substance and metrics required to proceed:
In the wake of the Newtown/Sandy Hook massacre, as America’s political class and educational-industrial complex spun themselves into paroxysms of anxiety working out non-solutions (ramping up regulations on the law-abiding) and anti-solutions (useless fripperies designed to increase the theatrical “sense” of security without actually making anyone safer from the kind of atrocities that happened in Newtown)…
…one Minneapolis teaching assistant, actually did something useful; she brought her legally-permitted gun to school.
According to a new study: "Today's Lego characters are looking increasingly angry and carrying more weapons, indicating an important shift in the way kids play and interact with toys." And, "It is important to study how to create appropriate expressions and how these expressions are perceived by the users. Children's toys and how they are perceived can have a significant impact on children," said Bartneck. "We cannot help but wonder how the move from only positive faces to an increasing number of negative faces impacts on how children play."
Anyone following the IRS scandal is aware of the heavies in DC trying to pin blame for harassing treatment of specific 501 applications on Cincinnati IRS employees. Well, Cincinnati politicians are not real happy about their city's employees being made a scapegoat for an IRS HQ run amok.
Former Cincinnati mayor and member of Congress, Tom Luken, and Hamilton Cty (Cincinnati) auditor, Dusty Rhodes are fed up with the blame game. Maybe the White House should be "fact checked?" "This is an outright assault on our free speech and religious freedom, perhaps the most egregious ever. Attempting to dismiss it as random acts of low-level employees here is offensive and beyond reason."