consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Colbert's PAC tops a million:

This link.

So, whose SuperPac got really dissed? Well Colbert and a dropout topped one, with results for Bachmann's SuperPAC (if any) not known to me:

This link. SuperPAC figures on right side of the pie.

Four going onward. Florida Frontrunner bragging rights determined later today.

While Florida votes, reporting has moved on, e.g., CNN, here:

Nevada, which awards delegates proportionally, holds its Republican caucuses in just five days, on February 4.

Michigan votes on February 28. Statewide delegates there are awarded proportionally, and congressional district delegates are winner-take-all.

Romney won both Nevada and Michigan during his 2008 primary effort, and his campaign has been laying political groundwork in both for more than a year.

The two states remain bright spots for Romney as the race shifts to a national phase after Tuesday's Florida primary.

Michigan is central to Romney’s political biography: he was born in Detroit and his father served as governor from 1963 until 1969.

And in Nevada, roughly a quarter of Republican caucus goers in 2008 were self-identified Mormons - and most of them backed Romney in that contest.

Gingrich himself highlighted the Mormon factor after a campaign event Monday in Orlando.

"Nevada's tricky because of the Mormon influence, but we have a shot at it,” Gingrich said.

Still, Gingrich added that he will "absolutely" campaign in Nevada, where Ron Paul is also aggressively organizing.

Hammond, the Gingrich spokesman, claimed that Arizona is perhaps the most favorable battleground, in part because it’s “a strong tea party state” that will be receptive to the candidate’s grassroots-oriented message.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Is one of Minnesota's two dominant political parties moving in ways that should make a "strict construcitonist" shiver and vomit?

Intent at careful amending of Minnesota's Constitution
to preserve its dignity, integrity, and ethereal permanence through time.

Okay, the game starts with what exactly is "a strict constructionist." The Google gives you a place to start reading in case your preconceptions are inaccurate, too limited, or too broad.

Next question, what if anything do Republicans respect? Some, thinking themselves "strict constructionists," favor a Constitution they can understand, interpret, and rely upon as a steady, guiding, and unyielding beacon of freedom and lasting enlightenment, over time. One that restrains the power of government to impose upon the people. Others respect the moment.

The Republicans in the Minnesota legislature are in a peculiar position. They control both houses, but are unable to pass any of their far right agenda due to DFL Governor Mark Dayton.

To get around Dayton's veto power, Republicans will be legislating via ballot measure.

So far in the first week of the 2012 legislative session, Republicans have introduced 7 constitutional amendments for the 2012 ballot:

HF1928 - Abortion funding ban constitutional amendment
HF1908 - Repeal income tax & all corporate taxes, replace with general tax constitutional amendment
HF1898 - Obamacare doesn't apply to MN constitutional amendment
HF1877 - Constitution amendments require super majority [... actually this one is the DFL wanting a 2/3 legislative vote in hope of forestalling mischief, i.e., 2/3 in the legislature before any amending goes to the ballot]
HF1845 - School shifts cannot exceed 10% constitutional amendment
HF430 - Right to bear arms consitutional amendment
HF65 - Right to work constitutional amendment

I had guessed they'd introduce 18 possible amendments and I'm right on 6 of 7. Decent batting average so far.


Last session, Republicans worked on 32 items other than the budget. And we all remember how they wouldn't pass a balanced budget nor negotiate with Gov. Dayton and they shut down the state.

This session will be no different. While Republicans claim their top priority is job creation, they refuse to consider Dayton's bonding bill which would put 25,000 Minnesotans to work on shovel-ready projects.

Instead of creating any jobs, instead of passing a bonding bill, here are some ballot measures that I think the Republicans will consider:

1. Abortion banned in all circumstances.
2. Right to work (aka Destroy The Unions).
3. Arrest and deport the brown-skinned people.
4. Ban union dues (or something to this effect).
5. Term limits (and maybe just for DFLers)
6. Super majority needed to raise taxes.
7. No federal law that Republicans dislike applies to MN.
8. Pay equity for women is illegal.
9. Urine test welfare recipients.
10. Polluters monitor themselves.
11. Minneapolis, St. Paul & Duluth not allowed to whine about LGA or education funding.
12. Right to Pray (Christians only).
13. English is official language.
14. Eliminate one or more state department(s).
15. Ban human cloning.
16. All peer-reviewed climate science is bogus.
17. State should print its own money.
18. After all MNGOP amendments pass, it takes 2/3 majority to put any more measures on the ballot (like ones to undo their amendments).

Did I forget/miss any?

Hat tip for that, here and here, (note especially, HF 65, which lifts verbatim ALEC written union-busting "model" legislation wording for which one unusual demagogue has not felt shamed or intimidated in claiming to be "chief author" while it was ALEC that did his "thinking"). I say "unusual demagogue" in that Drazkowski did attain more than his share of income sucking at the public teat, with a spouse who is a US Postal employee (with such attitudes, dare I say postal worker).

With the care and skill of chain-saw dentistry, these of-the-moment damn-the-consequences Republicans show they may well architect a "nouveau-cherished" Minnesota Constitution analogous to the hanging-together integrity of this:


Some of the Republicans of today's of-the-moment and of the theo-moment may still respect and stand for what they've trumpeted as their ingrained, enduring, driving value set, in the past:

The "Might makes Right," amend-it attitude that the short-term thinkers have ignores all the Federalist debate and the warnings of people such as Madison about "tyrrany of the majority," i.e., the worry over the extreme governmental risks such a tyrrany, if unchecked, can entail.

The Pinkerton-ALEC mentality is particularly egregious, and restrictive of workers' right and liberty to organize and to effectively bargain collectively against what otherwise would often be an overwhelming major corporate inequality of bargaining position - consider Boeing, and an individual aerospace machinist.

Four years ago, there was no Landform contract, indeed, things were in greater flux, at Ramsey Town Center.

Actually an entire line of rebranded beauty products,
"PorcineCOR AfterGlow"
- photo credit, this link -

No Highway 10 signage; back then. There was news Dec. 19, 2007 that included mention of a January 2008 hearing, within one of the best write-ups I have seen of things as they then stood; Ramsey Town Center - Community National Bank - Minnwest Bank foreclosure and civil litigation. Luckily it has been archived:

Involvement with troubled Ramsey Town Center brings suit against Community National Bank
Posted on December 19, 2007

A civil lawsuit brought against Community National Bank (CNB) by MinnWest Bank, and served in Anoka County court on Nov. 19, presents a whole new set of allegations and questions regarding CNB’s role in the troubled Ramsey Town Center (RTC) development in Ramsey. But it also answers existing questions, such as the status of any federal case against the bank and its officers, and what was being sought by federal agents when they served a search warrant there on the afternoon of June 18.

By Patrick Tepoorten - The Post Review

[Reporting covers ...] the details of the search warrant served last June. Federal agents were seeking a laundry list of financial information pertaining to officers of the bank and its financial dealings. Included were any and all papers, records, documents and information related to:

• Participation loans in which CNB was the lead bank;

• Compensation, fees or payments made to or on the behalf of William Sandison, Connie Sandison, Ross Sandison, J. Scott Renne, Bruce Nedegaard, Peterson North Branch Mill and Jerome Peterson;

• The accounting and financial statements of Community Investment Service, Inc. and CNB.

• The preparation and filing of federal and state income tax records of William Sandison, Connie Sandison, Ross Sandison, J. Scott Renne, Bruce Nedegaard, Peterson North Branch Mill and Jerome Peterson.

The warrant also sought all documents and information “evidencing the obtaining, secreting, transfer, and or concealment of income and assets; and the obtaining, secreting, transfer, concealment, and/or expenditure of money related to William Sandison, Connie Sandison, Ross Sandison, and Jerome Peterson,” and gave agents permission to confiscate the contents from safe deposit boxes in the name of William Sandison, Connie Sandison and Ross Sandison.

Minnwest’s civil suit

A civil suit brought by Minnwest against CNB and its officers alleges the bank failed to disclose facts and administer a RTC loan in which Minnwest was a participating bank.

According to Minnwest’s suit, CNB approached Minnwest about entering a loan “participation agreement” in 2003. Around Sept. 24 of that year, Minnwest purchased a $7 million “participation” in the $35 million loan. In return, CNB agreed to:

• Pay Minnwest 6.65 percent interest;

• Deposit sale proceeds into escrow, with 80 percent of deposits to be applied to the loan balance;

• Regularly provide Minnwest with complete and current loan information;

• Refrain from reducing principal or interest, or take any action that would “substantially reduce the possibility of payment of the loan,” without Minnwest’s consent;

• Notify Minnwest of any loss of property or change in the financial condition of Ramsey Town Center that would have an affect on loan repayment.

Minnwest alleges that CNB failed to disclose pertinent facts before the participation agreement was reached. Included were the facts that:

• Powerhouse Title Company, used by CNB, was actually an entity owned by William Sandison, Curtis Martinson, Jerome Peterson and now deceased RTC developer Bruce Nedegaard and that the three received proceeds from various closings;

• A portion of the participation loan was used to repay CNB or individual defendants for loans they had already made to RTC or Nedegaard;

• CNB “secretly” negotiated a “restrictive covenant” which gave it the right to be the only bank in RTC;

• William and Ross Sandison and Jerome Peterson had previously agreed to loan Nedegaard $990,000, secured by a mortgage on RTC, and which triggered a default on the loan;

• Builder DR Horton Inc., previously characterized as committing to purchase 900 residential lots, was “backing out of the project,” reducing its commitment to 179 lots;

• The project was underfunded from inception due to additional loans made by defendants;

• The cost of developing was different than represented;

• Project costs had not been contractually established;

• Loan disbursements were used to pay “soft costs” instead of project improvements;

• The title commitment provided participants was revised at closing, “to the detriment of participants’ interests.”

Minnwest proceeds to detail problems with the project and the loan, including Nedegaard’s 2004 guilty plea to federal charges of bank fraud, CNB’s failure to inform Minnwest of that, and a host of relevant issues with the development: infrastructure costs three times higher than projected; changes to the developer’s agreement; failure to apply 80 percent of proceeds against loan balances; diverted funds; failure to pay contractors in a timely way; and a secret “side deal” for the sale of a 60-foot strip of land.

Furthermore, CNB entered into an agreement with Pentagon Credit, including interest payments, which William and Ross Sandison and Jerome Peterson, failed to disclose was their own entity.

In February of 2006, Minnwest took over as the lead bank for the loan. Later that year, an involuntary bankruptcy petition was filed against Nedegaard, who died shortly thereafter. In order to minimize losses, Minnwest is now trying to sell or foreclose the RTC property. Due to CNB’s actions above, and others, Minnwest alleges it will suffer “substantial losses” on its investment.

It charges that CNB is guilty of breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, gross negligence and willful misconduct, and unjust enrichment. It further alleges that CNB, William Sandison and Curt Martinson are guilty of fraudulent inducement; that they, and Ross Sandison and Jerome Peterson, engaged in fraud and misrepresentation; and that all defendants engaged in a conspiracy for “jointly develop(ing) a secret plan and scheme by which they obtained personal benefits and financial gain through self-dealing and other actions adverse to Minnwest’s interests.”

The Post Review is the ECM paper serving North Branch among other communities. North Branch is where the Sandisons and cohorts did business through their closely held "Community National Bank" (the "CNB" in the report).

Clearly, while that bank and the individuals were claimed to have engaged in much mischief, some involving RTC primary developer, Bruce Nedegaard; Jim Deal (via closly held PSD LLC), and builders such as Hovnanian and DR Horton acquired land and built at RTC during those "early days," with no such person or entity charged with wrongdoing. Charges did not go beyond that bank and its principal insiders, and Nedegaard affiliate John Feges also went uncharged.

This is reporting from a time before COR, and before Landform had contract relations with City of Ramsey.

But hey, isn't that pig pretty? With the lipstick.

Is taking advantage of private sector malaise in the current construction market being "friendly to business?" If you look at it one way, providing stimulus-money construction business now is "pro-business" for contracting firms when little to no private sector construction is happening. Bottom line - it is stimulus spending. Also it is the government doing "job creating," because the private sector by itself is NOT creating jobs. Like it or love it, but if you do it, participate in it, don't criticize what you are up to, which is neoliberal "stimulus spending."

Elk River Star News appears first to report:

Anoka County Regional Rail Authority selects Sheehy Construction for Ramsey Northstar Station

Sheehy Construction provided the lowest bid out of eight companies. They submitted a bid of $6,583,300 to construct the station platform, the pedestrian bridge over the BNSF Railway tracks and the skyway connection to the municipal parking ramp.

Anoka County Commissioner Matt Look, chair of the Authority, is very pleased [...]

Taxpayers are realizing a significant savings because we’re able to move ahead in the current marketplace,” Commissioner Look said. “Sheehy Construction came in nearly $600,000 under the estimated price.”

Christopher Leverett, from Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., the Authority’s consulting engineering firm, provided a letter of recommendation to the Authority noting Sheehy Construction’s successful completion of multiple transit related projects, including on the Hiawatha LRT corridor. They also have experience constructing skyways and are known for providing quality construction services, [...]

Six of one, a half dozen of the other? Being honest about what you do?

Look's job is to represent government interests. To represent the public interest. Touting a taxpayer advantage is not improper. It is doing his job. Rhetoric does not get the job done, hard work and pragmatism does the job. And stimulating a lax economy by timing a rail stop bidding now is a win-win all around despite rhetoric - if you intend to build another rail stop in Anoka County then doing it now is sensible.

The problem is the man has postured in the past as being the "pro-business" Republican Pied Piper we all should follow.

We do not need a pro-business man in government. We need a pro-government man in government. It is reassuring that Look is starting to learn what his job is about. Running a government. Not favoring any sector. Not claiming to be "pro-business" when voters by-and-large are not business owners. He should be for what is best for the majority of voters, with business-owners being only one segment. And now, stimulus spending, what Look stripped to essentials is boasting over, is best for the majority. Building the rail stop now is better than when construction firms are backlogged and bidding high. (But that begs the entire Northstar Policy Question, the question of whether building something benefitting a mere handful of riders is governmental wisdom, or unfair subsidy of a few by the many. And would all the money from the start of Northstar have been better spent on road improvement - or for transit build-out elsewhere.)

Can you have it both ways? Giving out any contracts now, at all, is clearly a stimulus strategy, and Look's comments appear to indirectly admit that. Too indirectly, unfortunately.

Is it taking advantage, the building firms need projects now so they can be set against each other for low bids, in a fair bidding process to select a firm, or is it wise "stimulus spending" now, which some are quick to always criticize - at any time - as if such criticism is an inborn reflex?

What is clear, being too "pro-business" in its most narrow and costly sense, is what we see in Ramsey's over-generous contracting with a particular consulting firm. It is paying out money without any clear performance standards for what regular money payments are to buy. It would be like giving a non-bid contract for building a rail stop and not being vexed if nothing gets built after many months have passed. Money for nothing is never a good way for governments to operate.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Down with career politicians. Up with the 99%. Tax the Rich. And, Corporations are NOT people, humans are. -- Thoughts to take into precinct caucus.

It is caucus time, Michele Bachmann has ended her nationwide ego trip, and has announced an intent to keep drawing a federal career politician's paycheck.

DFL caucusing starts Feb. 7, check where your local precinct caucus will be, and let us all hope that with Bachmann being the GOP incumbent the DFL does not pick its own Kurtz to oppose her.

We don't need no DFL Heart of Darkness, no way. Let there be light.

A conundrum.

This Google, for "self-referential paradox."

Why this? Something referring to itself, etc.?

Well --- I figured I would try to download the Megaupload indictment, and I figured a logical place to start was

It seemed a sensible presumption - go to find info on Megaupload, at Megaupload.

Besides, I had heaed sometime last year that you could go there to download almost anything, (copyright not a consideration).

Boy. Was I surprised. Try it.

This Wikipedia page, and here - does that last item look familiar if you tried the above link?


Holder and crew are a bunch of kill-joys. Spoil-sports. You would presume that instead of such an ugly three-stooge image, they'd have left a self-congratulatory posting of their hoopla-doopla-super-spiffy grand jury indictment for the takedown.

All 72 pages. Kim Dotcom gets no respect. Just that image.

For those interested, Google "Megaupload" or "Kim Dotcom" and read. For most people the Wikipedia page link above should be enough.

For those REALLY interested, the indictment as a pdf can be downloaded here. A New Zeland website. Go figure. Doubtlessly there are other copies posted online. That's the one from the country where Kim Dotcom lived and was arrested. There's sense to the New Zelanders deciding to post the official US paperwork saying why he was arrested. They seem sensible, in New Zeland.

Curiously, DOJ has info on the takedown, here and here, but I did not find any easy linking to the actual text of the indictment. They told me about something I'd rather read for myself. Same text, I think, in each of the DOJ press releases, which they kindly offer me, via two (2) separate URL's. Thoughtful, yes/no? My Government, knowing best. Via need to know thinking.


If you google around, you can see how other file sharing sites reacted. Can you say, "Chilling Effect."

With the SOPA and PIPA protest happening, this seems to be DOJ's next-day answer. Hollywood rules. Shouldn't you feel comfortable knowing that?

Well, wasn't I dumb. Of course, besides the DOJ, the FBI was a part of the bust. Go to their website, obviously, for additional info. I should have thought of that earlier.

This Google. One hit, (on a generic google, which is hard to achieve - try doing it if you don't think getting a single hit is tricky).

 This item. Deja vu? All over again? Everything I need to know?

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Another link. Without SOPA. Without PIPA. Where there's a will, there's a way. And without copyright trolling all over little guys.

As a representative example of copyright troll mischief of the worst kind, beating up on a public interest - public commentary blog-website, Pam Spaulding and her Pam's House Blend site suffred a troll attack. She got trampled on - shook down - by Righthaven, see, e.g., Spaulding's posts, here and here. Instead of that, it is good law enforcement when the FBI and DOJ decide to do their job and take down a major, obnoxious, highly-profitable offender. People such as Spaulding, or the poor defendant in Capitol v. Thomas, should be left alone, to sleep restful nights, without being stepped on by a heavy corporate or a troll boot. Obama/Holder largely showed that SOPA and PIPA are unneeded, and that pressure from a government using existing weaponry, (including freezing assets), against a high-profit pirate haven can chill others in the same line of profit seeking, with the little guy bloggers not being made into the shake-down target of grossly unequal litigational power, nastily exercised.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Where DID that lady get inspiration for that really weird looking hair?

And, if "First Lady," who would she emulate? POLITICO asks the question:

Screenshot from here. Click to enlarge and read.

Hey, I have a better answer, the hair, YOU HAVE TO look at the hair.

Here, and here.

Who else could it be?

Certainly my inference is kinder than here or here.

Take out the enemies.

Click on the image to enlarge and read:

It is interesting how Newt Gingrich is avidly telling everyone who will listen the Tinklenberg story line; "consultant" not a lobbyist.

The cartoon is from

Regarding Gingrich and the worry he might go "rogue" while the others "don't have enough Elvis in them," McClatchy has an online op-ed reassuring Republicans that they need not worry because they always will have an answer at the ready, at their convention. Read that op-ed and if inclined, follow a link to see more of their political cartooning; this link.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Flaherty has another multi-million dollar rental monster thing in the tubes. In Indiana. Neighboring its "Cosmopolitan on the Canal." On this hummer, has any reader any guess whether there is much if any owner money at risk in it? Whether FC pays for the parking ramp, or gets an idiots' public-money-parking-ramp-subsidy there too?

Specializing in big ugly things, this being the latest rendering of something ugly, for Indiana:

image and reporting, this link

Press Release

2:36 p.m. EST, January 24, 2012
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard was joined by Joe Kelley, President and CEO of Marsh Supermarkets, and Jerry Collins, President of Flaherty and Collins Properties, to announce a major new development project on the near north side called “Block 400” Tuesday. The $85 million project features two mixed-use buildings that will include ground floor retail, 487 apartments, a 40,000-square-foot urban prototype Marsh Supermarket and parking garages featuring more than 1,500 spaces.

“This development will connect the OneAmerica and IUPUI campuses and bring a much-needed, full-service grocery store to people living on the Near North and West sides,” said Mayor Ballard. “This project also will spur additional opportunities in the surrounding area that already is seeing a great deal of growth and expansion activity.”

An upscale 40,000-square-foot Marsh Supermarket will anchor a mixed-use development located on the southeast corner of Michigan Street and Senate Avenue named “The Axis @ Block 400.” The new Marsh, slated to open in the summer of 2013, will feature top-quality meats and seafood; fresh produce; an extensive deli with gourmet cheeses; a bakery with fresh-baked breads, cakes, and pastries; and a wide selection of beer and wine, including labels from local brew masters and vintners. The new Marsh also will offer an extensive salad bar and other prepared meals that may be purchased for carry-out or enjoyed in the store’s mezzanine-level dining area.

There's more, at that link. Including -

In addition to the Marsh, “The Axis @ Block 400” will house 325 residential units and a 435-space parking garage.

The second building, “The Point @ Block 400,” will occupy the triangular parcel bordered by Michigan Street and Senate and Indiana avenues. It will offer 10,000 square feet of street-level retail, 162 residential units and 180 structured parking spaces to serve its residents and retail patrons.

The residences in the Block 400 development will include one and two bedroom apartments, featuring granite countertops, roman soaking tubs, and stainless steel appliances. Residents also will have access to amenities such as a fitness center, heated saltwater pool and sundeck. Anticipated rents are $1,075 to $2,200 per month.

“The Block 400 development will be transformative for the Canal District,” said Jerry Collins, President of Flaherty & Collins Properties. “The new Marsh supermarket is the best possible complement to our luxury apartments and for the Cosmopolitan on the Canal, which gained full occupancy in less than seven months after opening. We are pleased to bring new growth in the retail and residential market at a time when downtown is stronger than ever. This venture would not be possible without the foresight and ingenuity of the City of Indianapolis, Marsh and OneAmerica.”

To replace OneAmerica employee parking being used for this development and provide limited additional public parking in the area, the City will build a 930-space parking garage along the eastern half of the block bordered by New York, Illinois, and Vermont streets and Capitol Avenue. The parking structure will be connected to the OneAmerica tower by an elevated skywalk. The city will invest approximately $11 million in this facility through the downtown TIF.

Bingo. An answer, somebody gets a free parking ramp, but with several porkers feeding at the public trough it is unclear from that report who it is. There is that OneAmerica thing, which sounds as if it's existing business, and not Flaherty-Collins getting the freebie this time. But the freebie's being thrown in to sweeten the trough - to make feeding better. Now, there is this, the story subheadline:

The $85 million project features two mixed-use buildings that will include ground floor retail, 487 apartments, a 40,000-square-foot urban prototype Marsh Supermarket and parking garages featuring more than 1,500 spaces.

Did you catch that "ground floor retail." Snkcker, snicker. Some get it up front. Some don't, and have to beg and dither.

alternative rendering
image and report, this link
This item presents a rendering from a different perspective, and is also based on a press release, probably the same one as above.

Indy Star has its own reporting,

The $85 million mixed-use project was outlined this afternoon by developer Flaherty and Collins Properties, which owns the adjacent Cosmopolitan apartments at Michigan Street and Capitol Avenue.

The City of Indianapolis will kick in $11 million to build a 930-unit parking garage on an adjacent block that will be used by insurance company OneAmerica, which is losing hundreds of parking spots for its employees to the apartment project.

Groundbreaking for the project, called Block 400, will start this spring, with the Marsh store and the first 325 apartment units opening in summer 2013 on the block bordered by Michigan, Senate, Capitol and Vermont streets. The remaining 162 units, on a triangular lot bordered by Indiana Avenue and Senate and Michigan, will open in 2015.

Flaherty and Collins, a locally based national apartment developer with 11,000 units under management, said the success of its 218-unit Comopolitan project led to the company’s desire to expand its apartment holdings Downtown.

“We’re just very bullish on Downtown Indianapolis,” said President Jerry Collins.

Flaherty and Collins will buy the large block, used for surface parking, from OneAmerica. The developer already owns the smaller triangular-shaped plot.

Marsh plans a 40,000-square-foot urban prototype grocery on the site that will include extra space for produce, meats and a bakery. Marsh’s current downtown store is at Vermont and Alabama streets and is one of the most successful stores in the 97-store chain, said President Joe Kelley.

The project will include another 15,000 square feet of space for additional retail uses that include restaurants.

They get restaurants, up front in the proposal. We got obstruction and whining and an attempted cost handoff for a stinking 3000 sq. ft. of retail. Go figure. Deal making expertise, of Flaherty's counterparty will vary, as will overall attractiveness of a project.

IBJ also does its own writing, its report being somewhat cumulative, but with a $2 million difference, parking subsidy wise.

The plan by Flaherty & Collins Properties calls for 487 apartments, the grocery store, a parking garage and additional retail space on properties bounded by Michigan Street, Capitol Avenue, Vermont Street and Indiana Avenue.

Much of the land needed for the development—dubbed "Block 400"—is owned by locally based OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc., which uses it for employee parking. To make way for the development, the city would foot the roughly $13 million cost of building a 930-space parking garage for OneAmerica at the northwest corner of Illinois and New York streets.

The total cost of the development, including the city's contribution from tax-increment financing district revenues, will be about $85 million. The deal will not include a property-tax abatement.
Well, eleven million, thirteen, what's the difference when it's not private sector money, but taxpayers' loot?

That seems to be a theme. I may, of course, be mistaken. Of the projected $85 million total cost, none of the reporting delved into how much actual Flaherty-Collins capital would be ponied up, up front, and invested.

We in Ramsey know that's a question, yet, this current Indianapolis reporting ignores it.

That wraps up all the reporting on the latest Flaherty-Collins adventuring I am aware of.

Interesting - Collins is now identified as the firm's president. Either they alternate or do an annual coin flip, or there's voodoo to it. But Flaherty's been the identified point-man, head man, Ramsey-wise.

Another thing unclear in the reporting - whether the counterparty in this latest instance had Ryan Cronk on the inside, as its purported fiduciary, while dealing at arms length with Flaherty and Collins on terms and conditions.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
The guess is that, as in Ramsey, a thinly capitalized LLC will be interposed. Absent reporting to the contrary that is a likelihood. Analyzing, FC buys land, a "parking lot" of an existing venture, the existing venture gets a city built ramp, and FC builds on the "parking lot" including its own ramp. Without the city being a player in the three way adventure, FC would have had to accommodate the existing venture's parking needs. So, it benefits indirectly from the subsidy vs. directly having its tenant parking ramp built for it from public money, as in Ramsey. "Six of one and a half dozen of the other" is the old saying that fits.

An exclusive online report based on Romney financial disclosure proves informative. He campaigns in Florida while having profited highly from a Goldman Sachs investment scheme that invested heavily in mortgage backed securities, which led to thousands of home foreclosures in Florida. I do not think Santorum or the other two have that "arrow" in their quivers.

A ThinkProgress examination of Mitt Romney’s presidential personal financial disclosures from May 2011 reveal that the former Massachusetts governor and his wife own or owned millions of dollars worth of a Goldman Sachs investment fund invested heavily in mortgage-backed obligations. And the current owners of those mortgage debts began foreclosure proceedings against thousands of Floridians.

Along with his investments in Bain Capital funds linked to offshore tax havens, the Romneys have large investments in the Goldman Sachs Strategic Income Fund (institutional class). The firm’s March 2011 annual report for the fund notes that about 8 percent of the fund is invested in banks and 24.5 percent is invested in mortgage-backed obligations. Romney’s form says he has invested between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 in the fund and his wife Ann has invested an additional $1 million-plus. Since the 2008 economic meltdown and the enactment of the Troubled Asset Relief Fund, this fund has done quite well, growing 7.88 percent between April 2010 and March 2011.

The mortgage-backed securities in the fund include adjustable rate mortgages from Bear Stearns, Countrywide, IndyMac, and Washington Mutual. A 2009 Center for Public Integrity report identified all four of those companies as among the top-25 subprime lenders in the lead-up to the market’s collapse. Countrywide ranked first in that report and Washington Mutual ranked second. [...]

A review of Romney’s August 2007 financial disclosure for his 2008 campaign reveals no mention of the Goldman Sachs Strategic Income Fund, suggesting the investment was made at some point between the two campaigns.

There's more, including mention of a blind-trust, and live links not carried over into the quote. Please check out the original, online here.

Think Progress. Think Romney. Things you might not have known.

Ah, the good old days. the '60's. But even then, top rates were not high enough. This link:

Pat Garofalo on Jan 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm
Mitt Romney yesterday admitted for the first time that his tax rate is about 15 percent, lower than the rate paid by millions of middle class families. [...]

Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven…As one of the wealthiest candidates to run for president in recent times, Romney has used a variety of techniques to help minimize the taxes on his estimated $250 million fortune. In addition to paying the lower tax rate on his investment income, Romney has as much as $8 million invested in at least 12 funds listed on a Cayman Islands registry. Another investment, which Romney reports as being worth between $5 million and $25 million, shows up on securities records as having been domiciled in the Caymans.

[...] As we’ve noted, Romney has a lucrative retirement deal with Bain that is paying him millions each year.

In contrast to Romney’s steadfast refusal to release his tax returns, George Romney (Mitt’s father) released 12 years worth of tax returns when he ran for president in 1968. Those returns showed that the elder Romney paid a 37 percent effective tax rate.

Warren Buffet understands Romney, his situation and status:

Buffett On Why Romney Should Pay Higher Taxes: He’s Just ‘Shoving Around Money,’ Not ‘Straining His Back’
By Pat Garofalo on Jan 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Romney has refused to sign on to the Obama administration’s “Buffett rule,” which aims to ensure that millionaires can’t dodge taxes to the extent that they’re paying less than teachers. Today, billionaire investor Warren Buffett himself was asked about Romney’s tax rate, replying

He makes his money the same way I make my money. He makes money by moving around big bucks, not by straining his back and going to work cleaning the toilets or whatever it may be. He makes it shoving around money. I make it shoving around money. If you look at the 400 highest incomes in the United States, they average $220 million. Something like 90 of them are effectively unemployed. They have no earned income, and that number has gone up over the years. [...]

There's a video, Buffett, from Bloomberg, on the ThinkProgress link. While the recent below zero cold snap in the metro area ended days ago, and there's been scant snow so far:

photo and story, this link
Many of those [Mitt Romney capital gains] investments are associated with Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney co-founded, which has an extensive history of using such tax havens to boost profits at a multi-billion dollar cost to American taxpayers. Those tax havens aren’t just causing outrage among Americans, however. The Cayman Islands are a British territory, and British MP John Cryer, a former member of the British Treasury Select Committee, told the British blog Left Foot Forward that it is “a disgrace” that corporations and investors like Romney and Bain can use them to avoid paying taxes:

“As a former member of the Treasury select committee, I think it is a disgrace that the Cayman Islands, a tax haven, can enable wealthy corporations and individuals such as Mitt Romney and others in the wealthiest 1% to avoid tax and still be cloaked in secrecy. Meanwhile all across the western world, hard-working people are seeing their living standards and take-home pay stagnate or reduced.
“It reminds me of President Kennedy’s comment in his inaugural speech, ‘pay any price, bear any burden’. Except it’s hard-working, modestly paid majority who are bearing that burden.”

Cryer proposed a motion last week calling on the House of Commons to immediately close the Cayman Islands as a tax haven. The motion states that the House is “alarmed” by reports that Romney and others are using the Caymans to “avoid paying the same tax rate as other US citizens” and “concerned about the continued use of tax havens by the top 1% in the US and UK to avoid paying the correct tax in their own country.” The motion then “calls on the UK government to introduce urgent legislation to help close tax havens and increase transparency so that the very richest pay their fair share of tax in their respective countries.”
The United States loses $100 billion a year in tax revenue to offshore tax havens [...]

I'll bet Romney is the type who will sit at a poker table deliberately with stakes on the table large enough to bluff others out of keeping good hands by setting the price to call and stay at a comfortable and adventitious level, for him, (but I would not dare risk a ten grand loss on any such offhand wager - I could not afford the risk).

While sparring with Rick Perry over healthcare at the [early December] debate in Des Moines, Romney challenged Perry to a wager. The stakes? A cool 10 grand.

That’s not exactly your typical bar bet.

Perry had accused Romney of altering a paperback version of his book to delete a line that had Romney wanting to make his Massachusetts healthcare plan a model for the rest of the nation, suggesting that Romney is a champion of an individual mandate to force people to purchase health insurance.

Romney said that wasn’t true.

“I'll tell you what. 10,000 bucks? Ten-thousand-dollar bet?” Romney said.

“I’m not in the betting business,” Perry replied.

Romney, who likes to talk about his work creating jobs as a venture capitalist in the private sector, is estimated to be worth between $190 million and $250 million.

Should he go on to win the Republican nomination, the clip from Saturday's debate may be replayed again and again in Democratic attack ads.

The way to handle the Taliban? I would bet not.

More on the man's taxes, an online item dated yesterday, and Geez, 550 pages - not using the short form -- for certain:

After weeks of refusals and equivocation, Mitt Romney finally released his tax returns last night to a handful of media outlets, showing that he made $21.7 million in 2010 and $20.9 million last year. He only actually released one year of returns, 2010, and his estimated return for 2011, even though many have called on him to follow the precedent set by his father and release many more years of returns.

Nonetheless, there is much to learn from the astonishing 550 pages of returns Romney released:

1. Romney paid a lower tax rate than many middle-class Americans [...]

2. Romney makes more in a day than the average American makes in a year, and becomes a 1 percenter every week [...]

3. Romney paid almost nothing in payroll taxes: Romney contributed just .1 percent of his income to Social Security and Medicare in 2010 via the payroll tax because the tax is only assessed on earned wages, but all of Romney’s income came from investments. Most working Americans pay 7.65 percent.

4. Romney has accounts in countries notorious for tax dodging [...]

5. Romney and Gingrich’s tax plans would slash Romney’s taxes [...]

6. Romney needs four lawyers, including the former IRS commissioner to defend his tax plan [...]

Another small revelation from Romney’s returns is that while Romney said his speaking fees amounted to “not very much” in terms of income, he actually made $111,000 in speaking fees in 2011 and $529,000 in 2010, as Politico’s Ken Vogel points out.

UPDATE - An earlier version of this post speculated that Romney likely paid nothing in payroll taxes because he did not earn any wages, while his full returns show that he in fact paid the tax on a tiny fraction of his income from speaking fees.

And, I know, already, there will be the bleating Republicans - that Crabgrass is just a ton of envy refrain. Well, let's see - am I really the only one thinking the wealthy should pay more:

Last night in his State of the Union address, President Obama once again urged Congress to pass the Buffett rule, noting that 25 percent of American millionaires pay less in taxes that millions of families in the middle-class. Republicans were quick to dismiss his request as “the politics of envy and division.” However, multi-billionaire Bill Gates called his policy something else entirely: “That’s just justice.”

In an interview with the BBC, Gates noted “taxes are going to have to go up” and thus he’d prefer that they “go up more on the rich than everyone else.” There needs to be “a sense of shared sacrifice,” he said, adding, “right now, I don’t feel like people like myself are paying as much as we should”

Is Romney's "sense of shared sacrifice" that he had to pay the lawyer and accountant fees for the 550 pages. His sacrifice, and the 99% is not offering to share it, so he's okay? I guess. But, when he wants my vote ...

Don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

From this link, this website:

Blank Federal Search Warrant Forms

Orin Kerr • January 24, 2012 2:09 pm

Fill in your own, for fun and education! Entertainment for the whole family. Ages 4 and up.
Categories: Uncategorized


Anonimus [sic] says:

[Deleted by OK] (Quote)
January 24, 2012, 2:42 pm
Crunchy Frog says:

Do they come pre-signed? That always helps. (Quote)
January 24, 2012, 2:43 pm
Martinned says:

By American standards, that seems surprisingly simple. I was expecting at least a 5-page form in triplicate, asking the LEO to identify the suspect’s mother’s sister’s maiden name, etc. (Quote)
January 24, 2012, 2:55 pm
PrometheeFeu says:

I find most amusing the fact that both pages are editable. Are you expected to forecast the time at which you executed the warrant and predict what exact items you have filled out on the second page or get the judge to fill out the warrant after you’ve executed it and filled out the second page? (Quote)
January 24, 2012, 3:01 pm
Anderson says:

Critics say: “Unwarrantably amusing!” (Quote)
January 24, 2012, 3:10 pm


So simple, even an FBI agent could fill one out. Go the the source link to see further comments. Here are front and back of the form, from online, here (click an image to enlarge and read):

A curious thing, I read a post on a blog that could be called, "Ramsey Republicans Exposed." The post there could be titled, "Railing against Northstar rail."

It is not something I check regularly, but Brodkorb's blog, under present editorial continuation of the aim of somehow exposing or discrediting things done by DFL people, says this, at this link:

click the image to enlarge and read

Anyone wanting to follow the links in the post, or read comment thread thoughts, is encouraged to go to the site.

What I find ironic, the greatest excess, given the numbers and analysis that this Andy Post posts, is that the most current Northstar expansion, despite numbers suggesting a wait-and-see mentality, is being financed - in Ramsey - by the Republican dominated city council and the Republican dominated county board, after state funds were earmarked, through Met Council, by the Republican dominated legislative houses.

If criticizing the step-children is in vogue at MDE, what about the deafening silence about the latest one?

Republicans exposed does not play well at that site, but it's what Andy Post is doing, these days, this economy, these times of some of the same Republicans saying "small-down" government. I find this intriguing.

It's "small down" the government but my pork is different. Very intriguing. And Matt Look is saying Anoka County pays too high a share of Northstar ongoing expense. Intriguing. Some may say "inconsistent" or "self-contradictory" but I only say "intriguing."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SOPA, PIPA, ACTA. “Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake," Dodd told Fox News. "Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.”

The Whitehouse, at, has a public petition forum, here, with these two screenshots, the header, and a pair of petitions that in days got over 25,000 signatures.

To make it easy on readers who ask, "What's this about Dodd and a bribery investigation," see this link.

The language in the header, is Dodd's. And you don't need to be as explicit as the guy handing Spiro Agnew a brown paper bag full of cash -- tens, twenties and fifties, not in serial order, handled bills - to be involved in bribery. However, it is when people such as Dodd and his current paymaster - Franken's Hollywood minions - are, as a practical matter, above the law, that the law gets hypertechnical and splits hairs over, "it depends how you define 'bribe'."

There's more, GoDaddy, and jellyfish vs. spined critters; per the new

That's another separate post. While you wait for it in eager anticipation, watch the embedded video here, and then and only then, go to the website itself. That deserves its own post too.  For now, links, NY Times, here and here, (the term is "chilling effect"), this Google, here and here. Why do you figure the NY Times reported it's part of things, without much coverage of Anonymous antics?

The great galling shame of Mitt Romney's tax returns; and the obscene result that would arise from tax policy Gingrich advocates, a policy that would have uber-wealthy Romney paying nothing in taxes.

National Journal, here, this excerpt:

CAMPAIGN 2012 --- Mitt Romney's Tax Returns: Here's What Really Matters
His tax return doesn't prove that he's done something wrong, only that the tax code is wrong.

By Derek Thompson, The Atlantic
January 24, 2012 | 11:43 a.m.

Here's what we know about Mitt Romney's money in 2010 and 2011, based on 500 pages of tax returns he released late Monday night: He made $43 million in income over those two years. Almost all that money came from investments such as capital gains on investments and compensation from Bain Capital. None of it came from wages.

Here's what we know about Mitt Romney's taxes: Romney has donated more money to charity -- $7 million, including $4.1 million to the Mormon church -- than he owed to the IRS over the last two years. In 2010, Romney's effective tax rate was 13.9 percent. In 2011, his estimated effective tax rate will be 15.4 percent. Romney's average effective tax rate is considerably lower than most people in the top 10 percent -- or even the top 0.1 percent -- because his income comes almost entirely from capital gains, dividends, and interest, which are taxed at a lower rate than earned income from wages. Romney's effective tax rate is also higher than that of many middle-class families, who -- unlike the former Massachusetts governor -- owe payroll taxes.

[...] "Gov. Romney has paid 100 percent of what he owes," a Romney spokesperson said on a conference call this morning. I believe him. Mitt Romney is a remarkably successful businessman, and his wealth reflects a legally gained fortune which is being taxed according to the law.

[...] It's not that Romney's tax return proves he's done something wrong. It's that his tax returns prove that the tax code is wrong. Households worth $200 million earning $20 million in investment income a year shouldn't be paying a lower tax rate than some middle-class families, especially at a time when we're thinking about cutting spending that disproportionately benefits the lower and lower-middle class.

Romney's tax return could serve as an inflection point in the tax discussion. You might say it already has. Consider Monday night's debate in Florida, when Mitt Romney told Newt Gingrich that the former speaker's tax plan goes too far, since it would lower Romney's own tax rate to zero. This was a remarkable moment. The GOP front-runner, who's won the endorsement of almost every serious conservative mainstay, stood athwart tax cut-mania conservatism and said, "Stop." Or at least, he said: "Too far."

In an election that will be about inequality and taxes, Mitt Romney's tax returns are a glowing artifact of inequality in the tax code. And by proposing to make capital gains entirely tax-free, Gingrich favors a tax plan that would make our law even more unequal. That's why, even without the polls, you can fairly say that Mitt Romney's tax returns matter.

Gingrich is dangerous to the 99%. He is not friendly at all to the middle and lower classes. He is worse that way, than Romney. Tax the Rich fairly. Make them pay fairly for the privileges and joy that life in the nation accords them. They, quite simply, are too heavy for the rest of us to carry. They are too privileged for the rest of us to suffer. They are too greedy, Gingrich feeding that greed by pandering to it. Greed is not good.

Monday, January 23, 2012

IF --- If sneaky-snake ALEC and its money-bagmen had their way with us, Minnesota never would have had its Ciresi-managed tobacco lawsuit, its multi-million dollar recovery for damage to health and compensating for the kiting of healthcare costs - cancer costs caused by Carolina tobacco profiteer-pushers.

sneaky-snake effort, page 1

sneaky-snake effort, page 2

Ciresi, Humphrey - Humphrey, Cerisi. Hrumpf !
Hate 'em. My money up in smoke.

Any questions?

ALEC and who, are real close, close as thieves? Who else? Where the little tramp is getting his campaign cash?

ALEC, this Google. This screen capture, from here:

click to enlarge and read

So, who would be caught anywhere near such a scuzzy operation? Who else?

And, from the ALEC website itself, the brochure is free, (see below image), the memberships are not - after all it is hob-nobbing with refinery-stink-smells-like-money-to-them elite, as they see themselves, their self-indulgent Koch habits. And, oh, look. There's that phony little tramp again, he's "everywhere ALEC" ---

click to enlarge and read

Can you connect dots?

Where did the little tramp get "Drill Here, Drill Now"?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood wins an election in Egypt. Newt Gingrich wins one in South Carolina. Juan Cole does a compare and contrast of press attitude.

This link. Where was religious zealotry the factor?

SOPA and PIPA - MPR on the Minnesota delegation's positions. On this, I agree with the House members, not the Seantors.

This link. It speaks for itself. Go there. Franken has his Hollywood roots, and leans accordingly. Klobuchar has no similar excuse. Unless Dad's newspaper background color's her copyright judgment. We wait. We see. This will be back, dressed differently, but it has not gone away. December or early next year, expect it with a parallel stadium push locally, the time - after elections - then being ripe for Wilfare. Until then, much hiding in the weeds and waiting to strike.

The reigning champion, NEWT, The Amphibian of South Carolina.

this link, for the list

Of that author's three points, I think he saved the best for last:

3. Mitt Romney is vulnerable. I don’t just mean because he finished second in South Carolina either. He was mortally wounded by a question that should have left the battle scar equivalent to a paper cut. How he failed to prepare himself for a question about his tax returns absolutely baffles me. I’m certain the Romney camp will look back on that moment and wonder if it cost him the race or – at the very least – added several weeks to his primary campaign.

I'd like to see the stratospheric Romney papers, being nosy that way, but how could real, regular people relate to that kind of numbers? It would only pile it on to see detail of the man's obscene level of wealth while we, the rest of us, face the economy folks like Romney have created for us to endure.

Beyond that, I think the author of that opening item saw the real reason Gingrich won so strongly, but discounted it. If Romney cannot get Brock Lesnar's endorsement, it will be all over but the death rattles.

PiPress carries a McClatchy and an AP feed, on the Gingrich win. Here and here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Finally, some honesty about what Crabgrass mongers had in mind all along.

Strib reports on political bickering and backstabbing, or perhaps not that bad but just Matt Look being himself, pushy, after Ramsey's getting a Northstar station. Read Paul Levy's item, here, titled, "Anoka County no longer on board for Northstar formula."

The report is detailed. Briefly, Look contends Anoka County pays more than a fair share among counties paying annual amounts for the costly thing.

What is interesting, two stories told about what the entire 1/3 of a billion thing was intended to do to the north metro:

The relationship between Look and some Sherburne County officials has been strained for months. Look, a former Ramsey City Council member, campaigned heavily for a station in Ramsey that opponents said was unnecessary.

Sherburne County Commissioner Felix Schmiesing was among those who questioned the value of a $13.2 million station in Ramsey, saying the station would likely rely on passengers who previously boarded the train in Anoka or Elk River. Schmiesing said the focus should have been on getting the train to St. Cloud.

Ramsey was awarded a station in November. Look says the cost of the station will be $10 million, and not the $13.2 million originally approved.

"If the formula changes, we probably eliminate some stations in Sherburne County," Schmiesing said. "The model for this formula was tested. It was fair the way we did it.

"This feels like retaliation. We were honest, taking a position against the Ramsey station and sticking with it, and now we're being punished for it."

Schmiesing noted that the point of the commuter train was to get motorists off the road, specifically Hwy. 10, which runs parallel to the tracks in Sherburne and Anoka counties. With Northstar relieving congestion in the cities of Anoka and Coon Rapids, Anoka County benefits, Schmiesing said.

Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein said Anoka County should use Northstar to the county's benefit.

"Anoka County needs to do more economic development so they can turn their county into a destination where people want to go," Stenglein said. "That's the whole idea of this train. Instead of crying about it, build around it."

Did you get that? "That's the whole idea of this train. Instead of crying about it, build around it."

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

All that junk at Clown Center. The extra traffic lights on Armstrong now, and on Ramsey Blvd., unjustified in any way by existing traffic, with taxing being what it is, to pay for such unneeded things - all because "the whole idea of this train" is to kowtow to Crabgrass interests, those who would burden existing taxpayers with the costs of expansion so that Developers and land speculators [who profited from selling Town Center land, with others along Hwy 5 had visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads during the Ramsey 2030 Comp Plan proceedings, wanting to grow Crabgrass on their lands north of Trott Brook] could be more enabled to make unconscionable amounts of profit from building housing which, the bubble breaking, proved unsupportable as a free market concept; i.e., without a 1/3 billion transit subsidy so Crabgrass could "build around it."

Unsupportable, as Nedegaard proved when he went broke trying to do his deals. Unsupportable as the present gang-of-three, mayor, Wise and McGlone along with Landform are pushing.

Now, with Crabgrass briefly in retrenchment mode under present economic reality, the savants cannot get any present private sector takers, other than subsidy takers such as "free-parking" Flaherty, and Jim Deal who has been able to build and sell stuff. Town Center itself was a highly tax-subsidized Met Council and local pipe dream from the start. A pipe dream called "smart growth."

We been had. Some saw that from the start, which is why the bogus "Would you like nice shoppes and restaurants" ballot question, dressed up dishonestly that way, still had a 40% vote against subsidized prospering of Crabgrass.

Levy concludes his report with some numbers - to supplement earlier numbers given in the report; with it worth noting that all of the thing being paid by taxpayers at one level of government or another, with money in the pot blended so that any local yokel can say, "Look what we are getting when we only tax you $xxx of the full much larger $yyy of cost. What a deal." It is all government spending. The only private sector player in the Northstar saga is BNSF, and they are paying nothing, instead being given free public money since they, not the taxing entities, own the right of way which for substantial money, they sell in part, for Northstar to run its trains. Levy ends with:

During the first 11 months of last year, the Big Lake station had 97,699 Northstar passengers, followed by Elk River with 92,483, Anoka with 62,297, Coon Rapids with 62,176 and Fridley with 26,565.

According to Northstar figures, Anoka County is responsible for nearly $27.5 million of the $51 million contributed by local counties. The county "buy-in contributions" are: Anoka $27,489,000; Stearns $9,588,000; Hennepin $7,191,000, and Sherburne $6,732,000.

For a Phase II, which would take Northstar to St. Cloud, the local contribution is estimated at $25.5 million -- or half of Phase I. Stearns County would be the largest contributor to Phase II, paying $14,382,000.

Earlier numbers he reported, in context,

Look, who chairs the Anoka County Regional Rail Authority, has been a county commissioner for slightly more than a year. He wasn't part of the group that devised a funding formula for a commuter line that was originally supposed to go as far west as Rice, with a key station in St. Cloud.

But when a $157 million federal grant in 2007 made it possible for the $317 million line to finally begin running trains in November of 2009, everything stopped in Big Lake. Politics and a struggling economy delayed the line for several years and relegated dreams of a station in St. Cloud to Phase II status.

That seed federal grant did not come from the Easter Bunny, it came from federal taxation (and borrowing).

Arguably Northstar is not a bad thing in itself, as a part of a metro-wide transit system to lower atmospheric carbon loading and lessen climate change worry as north metro Crabgrass spreads, but it never was the next best peice to put in place after Hiawatha. The Central Corridor always was that, and the population density is NOT now in north metro, it is south of us, and buses could have been replaced for efficiency, by more light rail before any Northstar. Now, Ramsey has the better Northstar-enabled opportunity to "build itself out" to be just like Coon Rapids and Blaine. Wow.

So everyone understands, even the 40w light bulbs, I encourage job opportunity growth policies, since the commute load is due to peoples' work and housing not being in the same place. More good jobs in Ramsey would be good. But housing growth, without jobs, is someone else's idea of ideal, and I believe that growth should be tolerated in as small a package as feasible, highly regulated to not be as bad as developers given free rein would have it, and never encouraged as with the present council pushing to lower permit fees and topsoil regulations to encourage Crabgrass instead on nice lawns. Developers should never have been given the latitude to pick and choose how to overpopulate Ramsey by the city's government, in the 2030 Comp Plann process sending a plan to Met Council authorizing more growth than the Met Council's quota demanded. That was irresponsibility at its greatest, and a low point for Ramsey. I fault the planning staff greatly, and that sorry excuse for a consultant from Bonestroo even more. He was awful. And my understanding is he had his three legged stool out quite a bit, milking the cash cow.

Consultants, by and large, are Crabgrass. Should I retitle the blog? I will, on a trial basis. See the banner.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mitt Romney - learning of a man by looking at his friends. Friends who probably plan what's best for you, as what's best for them, since you're not on that list. Learning of a man by who his money bosses.

Mitt Romney (R)
Top Contributors

This table lists the top donors to this candidate in the 2012 election cycle. The organizations themselves did not donate , rather the money came from the organizations' PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.

Because of contribution limits, organizations that bundle together many individual contributions are often among the top donors to presidential candidates. These contributions can come from the organization's members or employees (and their families). The organization may support one candidate, or hedge its bets by supporting multiple candidates. Groups with national networks of donors - like EMILY's List and Club for Growth - make for particularly big bundlers.

Goldman Sachs --- $367,200
Credit Suisse Group --- $203,750
Morgan Stanley --- $199,800
HIG Capital --- $186,500
Barclays --- $157,750
Kirkland & Ellis --- $132,100
Bank of America --- $126,500
PriceWaterhouseCoopers --- $118,250
EMC Corp --- $117,300
JPMorgan Chase & Co -- $112,250
The Villages -- $97,500
Vivint Inc --- $80,750
Marriott International --- $79,837
Sullivan & Cromwell --- $79,250
Bain Capital --- $74,500
UBS AG --- $73,750
Wells Fargo --- $61,500
Blackstone Group --- $59,800
Citigroup Inc --- $57,050
Bain & Co --- $52,500

This link. Be afraid.

But, can any reader feel much better, about this? This? The one comforting thing in that last list is that everything is scaled down by a power of ten.

Without being bogged down in too many details, do you get the general drift of this? How many pages would your holdings take, and did you pay over 15% in taxes?

While arguably a less reliable barometer, particularly for a waffle of a man, you can learn from things he's said, when among his friends.

America the Bountiful. As South Carolina prepares to vote, you can kick back and listen to Rush, because he tells you like it is. And, if you call in, and get through screening, you can ask about:



Rush is shocked. SHOCKED!

Rush is paid. PAID!


Forget divisive and stupid marriage amendments.
Support one that really matters.

Allina buys a property in Anoka Industrial Park.

This link. Below, a screen capture from Google Maps.

click the image to enlarge and read

UPDATE: From Copperwood Real Estate, the broker, this link on the newly acquired Allina property, and here, re another Anoka Industrial Park site.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Struggling for a headline, between "tiny minded poseur" and "recycled bastard-retread poseur."

The Economist, here, or just read the screenshot if you don't care to watch the embedded video or read the second half of the item:

Poseur is the keyword. Worse posing, in his own way, than sanctimonious Santorum, with his double standard "Christian" way.

Each is now, who he was "back then." Each.

Romney at least is truth in advertising, what you see is what you'd get. A Nelson Rockefeller clone.

Worth a passing note, but not more, it is reassuring to know that our nation is still as it was during Nixon's rise, with even an attack dog like Rush knowing which hand not to bite.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Three million last year in taxable income - Newt Gingrich must be burning down the house, on book royalties.

Colbert, on Morning Joe, answered questions about his candidacy - his position on open marriages.

Andy at Residual Forces analyzes Gingrich in ways I cannot largely criticize.