The Importance of Gratitude

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

It can be default to retain any sense of gratitude in a culture sinking steadily into apathy and perpetual grievance. But something dangerous happens to the human spirit when we fail to remember what we should be thankful for. There's still a few things worth celebrating.

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MPR: Pounding That Wedge For All It’s Worth

For the record, I’m a fan of MPR’s Bob Collins – if for no other reason than few people write about aviation issues as well as he does (and there are other reasons).

Which is not to say that I agree with him all the time.  We’ve had ourdisagreements

The Minority Case:  And this Collins blog post is one of them; it quotes a story from Tim Pugmire about an incoming state representative John Heintzeman of Nisswa, who scored a big upset win earlier this month.   Pugmire quoted Heintzeman as saying:

“People of faith need to be able to know that they can practice their faith in the way, in the tradition that their family has over many, many years, without being afraid of somehow violating the law,”

 Collins follows:

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The police and the state

We're not going to make any progress talking about the issue at this moment, but we do need to think about the amount of firepower that police departments have these days. It's still worth asking why St. Cloud, Minnesota has this vehicle:

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Gruber: I’ll testify in Oversight hearing

It looks like Darrell Issa’s tenure at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will end with a bang, not a whimper. Issa requested testimony from controversial ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber at a hearing in two weeks, but it seemed far from clear that the MIT professor would agree. According to the committee’s spokesperson, though, Gruber has RSVP’d in the affirmative:

Jonathan Gruber, the former ObamaCare adviser in hot water for his comments about the “stupidity of the American voter,” has agreed to testify at a House panel next month, setting up a healthcare showdown in what could be the final week of this Congress.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will also hear from Obama administration official Marilyn Tavenner, who is under fire this week for using inflated enrollment figures for the healthcare law.

“Both Mr. Gruber and Administrator Tavenner have agreed to testify,” committee spokeswoman Caitlin Carroll told The Hill.

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Ferguson

When Monday's announcement occurred regarding the grand jury's decision in the case of Officer Darren Wilson shooting and killing 18-year old Michael Brown this past August, many media outlets framed the story in the same tone they breathlessly opined on it the past few months.

A white police officer will not face charges for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in a case that set off violent protests and racial unrest throughout the nation.

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Momentum? Second estimate of Q3 GDP at 3.9%

The initial estimate of third-quarter growth in the US economy came in at an annualized 3.5% expansion in GDP — strong enough that analysts expected it to drop in the second pass even though Q2′s final GDP was 4.6%. Instead, the BEA’s revised estimate put growth in Q3 at 3.9%, making the past two quarters the strongest since the start of the Great Recession:

Real gross domestic product — the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 4.6 percent.

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Civil Rights Commissioner Objects to Institutionalized Racism in Minneapolis Public Schools

We wrote here about the Minneapolis public schools imposing a quota system for suspending students. I wrote:

Why does [School Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson] suppose that students, white, black, Asian, Hispanic or whatever, are being suspended? Presumably it is because they were disruptive and were degrading the learning environment for the other students. Does Ms. Johnson seriously believe that teachers and principals are suspending students for no reason? If so, then those teachers and principals should be identified and fired. But of course Ms. Johnson believes no such thing.

Today Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow wrote an excellent letter to Ms. Johnson, questioning both the wisdom and the legality of a racial quota system in the public schools. You can read it in its entirety below. Here are a few key paragraphs:

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Legitimate Racial Issues Drown Out by Ferguson Violence

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

So long as the tools of protest are looting, arson, and other forms of rights-violating violence, complaints about alleged systematic injustice won't get the attention they may deserve.

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I’m Not Going To Say…

…”when Obama’s lost SNL, he’s truly lost” – I mean, nobody really thinks about SNL much any more, do they?

And yet…:

And the “funny” thing is, this is better “Journalism” than most of the mainstream media has done on the subject of Barack Rex’s overreach.

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ObamaCare 2016: If you like your plan, you’ll love it when we pick a different one

Alternate headline: HHS Decides to Make Plan Choices for the Grubes. In a Friday afternoon filled with document dumps, HHS announced that its controversial auto-enrollment plan would be significantly changed in 2016. This year, enrollees who allowed their plans to auto-renew risked running up big tax bills, thanks to annual recalculation of subsidies and base rates. To solve that problem, HHS wants people to allow the Obama administration to auto-enroll them into the lowest-cost plan in their 2016 tier, regardless of what the coverage or deductibles will be:

Another proposal calls for having Obamacare customers be “defaulted” to a lower-cost insurance plan instead of their current plan.

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