consultants are sandburs

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pedestrian deaths on Highway 10, and things a couple of elected officials have to say about it. Reporting is, "On MnDOT's list of the top 150 statewide locations for crash costs, the U.S. 10 stretch ranks 122nd, [MnDOT spokesperson Kent] Barnard said. Over the past decade, the only other pedestrian fatality along the highway other than the recent four was in 2010."

PiPress reporting here. The Armstrong - Hwy 10 intersection improvement appears to be a sound thing, but it was done cart before the horse, with the horsing around with Sunwood, the isolation of Coborns, being done before the interchange is changed.


Now it is "Where will the money come from," with the clear answer being as always, from taxes, at one level of government or several. They are public roads after all.

It seemed pretty dumb to mess around with Sunwood, at great cost, while the main improvement was ignored back-burner, and delayed by the spending on putting the cart before horse.

It was Bad Politics.

But good for possibly generating short term Sunwood commissions? Whose goal dominated and ostensibly determined what the public's interest was in sequencing things?

If the present lame duck council had not diddled around in ill-conceived and ill-implemented land speculation, dating from Matt Look's tenure on council; and wasting money, diluting goals, and sending mixed messages to higher levels of government, would Armstrong have been already completed?

Would amounts spent on Landform have been better directed?

What can the new Ramsey city council learn? Don't play banker to Indiana speculator-promoters wanting to bootstrap public "borrow-to-lend" risk-taking into promoter profit? Things like that? We wait and we hope. Including the hope Anoka is sincere and on the same page with Ramsey in terms of fixing the Hwy 47 mess in Anoka, and in improving the traffic light bottleneck beginning at the west end of Anoka's stretch along Hwy. 10.

Finally, the Armstrong improvement MUST be justified as a safety and emergency cross-track proposition. All this garbage that doing it will turn a Town Center sow's ear into a magically prosperous silk purse; believe it if it makes you feel better; but knowing when you are being crudely propagandized and resenting it is best. If hoping that changing Armstrong and getting the Northstar stop will cause some private sector White Knight to show up with those mythical wheelbarrows full of money to rescue the distressed project at outrageously prosperous terms to City of Ramsey, please do prepare for disillusionment. So far, as Terry Hendriksen has noted, the wheelbarrows full of money, to the extent there at all, have been traveling the other way.

Local liquor store news, relevant to the new council having to resolve Wiser Choice issues.

Interchange improvements for the Armstrong - Hwy 10 intersection impact the Wiser Choice store property, with Jeff Wise on council, and legal concerns previously reported; ABC Newspapers, here.

In terms of the new council starting off with a clean slate - they do.

Negotiations are negotiations, final decision is final decision. Whoever negotiated with Wise, never contracted with Wise, on behalf of the city. While Wise sat on council participating in making Town Center decisions including, in particular, the Sunwood rerouting along which he now wants to reposition his liquor retailing business; he negotiated with somebody [at a guess, Darren Lazan], reaching tentative terms the negotiator and Wise felt mutually beneficial.

Presumably neither the negotiator nor Wise placed self interest above the public interest, as each had a duty not to.

However, tentative agreement between a negotiator without authority to bind a principal and a counterparty, is like a commission auto salesperson at an auto dealership, who negotiates with a customer, then says, "Well, it looks good, but I have to run things by the boss." It is the boss, not the negotiator who has power to commit to a deal or no deal. A contract or no contract.

In the case of Town Center, the boss is the council (ignoring HRA fictions and stupidities), having the ultimate go or no go authority. If no agreeable deal results, there is eminent domain and litigation as a means of resolving things.

The point of a new council starts off with a clean slate is that nothing the negotiating agent and Wise liked is written in stone.

Hence, what is going on in other communities is of interest, or should be, for the new decision makers voted onto council, when acting next January and onward.

In a sense, there will be a new dawn; and I cannot see how Wise might rationally contend he had a "done deal" previously, and had reached some set or arguably vested rights and expectations, when he never passed getting anything approved by "the boss."

"The boss" owes tax paying citizens its primary duty, a fiduciary duty - one of loyalty and purpose - to work in the best interest of the public, as those new council officials view that best public interest. We may disagree with decisions made, but absent conflicts of interest, they were elected to make decisions, hard as well as easy, controversial as well as consensus-charged, and the bottom line has to be all options should be on the table in dealing with the Wiser Choice situation anew. Nothing from the past should be deemed vested. Certainly not if it was Darren Lazan with commission self-interest negotiating with Councilmember Wise, with business self-interest. That self-interested dimension is precisely why, ultimately, the boss has to be convinced to reaching a collective decision deemed to be best, in the public interest, with that public interest being preeminent.

Recent News: All that said, links of Recent ABC Newspapers reporting regarding local liquor store issues; here and here.

We can show an upward sloping learning curve from our own history, as well as the history of others. What neighboring communities face and how they decide things may well be helpful to Ramsey decision making.

The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution provides no private property may be taken without "due process of law" but that clearly is an elastic term that must be adjusted to fit particular interests. When a person runs for office in order to protect or advance a personal interest as a partial or total motive; conflict of interest is inherent, although nobody is denied the right to run but is held to behavioral norms if elected, as was the case with Jeff Wise. He is, at law, entitled to a fair price but not any overly favorable terms attained to the detriment of the public fisc. No special deal. Things will need to be worked out, in a way entirely fair to Jeff, but "fair" does not mean Wise having a right, or power, to gain unbridled landfall opportunities to the public's detriment. It will prove interesting. If the current council were inclined to facilitate things, it might decide to reopen negotiations, with an agent for the city besides Lazan negotiating with Wise.

Lazan might not like that, and might even hold some exclusionary negotiation rights under terms accorded him by earlier council voting (including key votes of those who no longer will be on council), but Lazan's entire contract has a drop dead termination right to the city, upon giving thirty days notice.

In a termination there may be cross duties between city and consultancy, which neither can breach if expecting full performance of termination duties by the other.

However contract terms and conditions are details rather than insurmountable bindings. Just as marriage vows can be undone, so to can consultancy vows; especially the more egregious ones; and a divorce is always best when irreconcilable differences arise. Ramsey is not married to Landform, "'til death do us part."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blame not being in St. Cloud now on Pohlad's luck with mediocre starting pitching?

This Strib link. Click image, note bottom line.

Lame. I think it was Hurricane Sandy that tanked the local train experiment. Not Pohlad's pitching, Sandy, reprecussions and reverberations. Or no snow on Halloween. Or if only the amendments had not been on the November ballot, Northstar would be flush with cash. Global warming. It has to be global warming. Syria. The uprising in Syria, but for that, a spiffy station in St. Cloud. ...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Diogenes finds an honest man. Warren Buffet, in an op-ed published in NY Times and carried by Strib on taxing the ultra-rich at greater levels, "We can afford it."

Strib, here. NY Times, latest Buffet item here, Buffet over a year ago, NY Times here, and this NYT coverage about Buffet.

Put Elizabeth Warren on the Banking Committee ----It is a Daily Kos petition that's been online for a couple of weeks, but it is still worth more signings.

Have Warren chair the committee or give the chair to Bernie Sanders.

To sign the petition, this link. Sign it. Not your shadow -- You.

Finally, in a cheerful spirit of bipartisan consensus, put Rand Paul on as ranking minority member and let the fun begin.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

RAMSEY - ANOKA COUNTY: Former Ramsey council member and current District 10 judge at the Anoka County Courthouse, John Dehen, and his desire to test whether a judge can [never mind should] pack a firearm in the courthouse, has made the news in Seattle.

This link, reporting on a Strib report.

Never a dull moment with judge John.

"Thank you counselors, for briefing and oral argument. The case is taken under advisement. Bang! You're dead."

That, of course, is only a mind experiment wandering to the outer limits of the possible. Knowing Judge John Dehen is sober as a judge, it's a mind experiment unlikely to actually happen. But if push comes to shove ...

In total, having conversed with Dehen once or twice, and knowing his history on Ramsey's council, I voted for him when he first ran for a judgeship and when he is up again for reelection I shall vote for him again. He has been a solo practitioner with all the bumps and grief that entails, and he has not had the far more routine life experiences of a judge in Anoka County, i.e., sitting above everyone else in the room and wearing a black robe via executive appointment either from the Barna Guzy firm or from the County Attorney's office; which by far are the two mainstream streams to the bench in our tiny insider pocket of Minnesota.

RAMSEY -- Has Darren Landform been the city's only million dollar consultancy game? Or is/was there another? Await the answer when this post gets an UPDATE.

That is it. The question alone, for now. All readers should feel free to comment. Especially if having an educated guess as to any other million dollar consultancy.

Comments expressing a guess are particularly welcome between the initial posting, and the UPDATE. And, what's an update without a spreadsheet? Answer: an assertion without presenting the evidence.

El Tinklenberg dba "The Tinklenberg Group" invoiced and received $1.1 million from early 2003 to the present. And there IS spreadsheet evidence, per this Crabgrass post.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

If not Darren's toy, than nobody's toy.

I think TIF can be abused, big time, but I am agnostic about this issue, at this time.

Sakry reporting, here. Go figure what is happening.

Then, harder, figure whether it would be good or bad to decertify the Town Center TIF toy.

Winds of politics wax and wane. Yesterday's champions are today's critics.

Because I do not understand TIF, why this thing ever was chased, why it now may be tarnished, I wish there was somebody who would explain TIF to me.

It seems like bribing businesses to move from one suburb, exurb, to another, ad hoc, each against the other, musical chairs with public money going to the transient business folks, from tax money, for perceived benefits.

I went to ask Ben Dover to explain TIF, but he just smiled, his paint fading from yellow to cream. Enduring Ben.

But all that probably is a simplistic view for which I apologize.

A bit of detail - Sakry's reporting quotes Bob Ramsey, Colin McGlone, Jason Tossey, Randy Backous, and Sarah Strommen about the TIF decertification in Town Center.

Each had things to say that readers should consider. The mayor and McGlone said about the same thing, but each of the other three had a different perspective on the issue.

Backous suggesting it best to leave the issue for decision by the new council in January seemed to make the most sense.

I am curious about the genesis of the McGlone-mayor decertification suggestion.

Did the two together come up with the idea separately or between themselves; or was it suggested to them by another or others; and did they discuss thinking with another or others before jumping the matter onto a post-election agenda item? As in whose bright idea was it to move this way now? And better, why?

Were statements on record a full disclosure of the thinking of the mayor, or of McGlone? Did either or both deliberately leave something unstated, or might there have been detail that Sakry, in writing a tight repor,t may have not emphasized?

Specifically, was Jim Deal mentioned, or does he still have "he whose name shall not be mentioned" status, with some? Sakry's report does not mention whether or not his name was part of any discussion or commentary on the record.

___________FURTHER UPDATE_________
Gold star, for most trenchant statement as quoted by Sakry:

Councilmember Jason Tossey said he wished the mayor and McGlone had supported his motion to decertify the district Oct. 23.

“TIF has clearly become a political football and it should not be,” he said.

"Political football." Yes, but from the very get-go, the entire Town Center mess has been nothing but a political football. Not entirely. Football has rules. And penalties. And fines and suspensions. And not just a beginning, but an end, even with overtime. All good things, in any gaming.

The Town Center fiasco, aka Clown Center, has been the great wild west, except, so far, no gun fights in the main street. No High Noon. Not yet. UPDATE: No championship.

Republican IT.

You can google = romney orca

However, consider the gift that keeps on giving.

What's the hustle going on here? It sure looks like coalition building, whatever for? No Zellers. No Dean. No Sutton. No Bachmann. No Senjum. No Stebbins. No Kiffmeyer. No Paulsen. No Quist.

It has the look and feel of a Franken hate-in to me. A let's plan on bushwhacking Al, along with a very clear "I'm available" from Hegseth. It does say "Additional Guests Pending," but I still doubt Quist will be one.

No Rep. Paulsen, and that's strange, since he might be available too.

All those who hid from really honestly wanting to take on a run against Amy Klobucher likely will be available. Bills looks surprisingly well, for having been thrown under the bus. These guests should be thankful he stepped up to the task of going under the bus. He should be invited. But wait, no Stebbins, no Bills, with the agenda being the future of the Republican efforts.

Shouldn't it be a Coalition of the Willing? The available. For Freedom [as I expect Stebbins and Bills are].

Hegseth, through his other coalition building, proclaims "We need warriors in Washington."

Do you suppose he has any particular warrior person in mind, now, for Washington? Iraq and Afghan veterans, his focus. As in having an epiphany on the road to Baghdad, a road he knows.

An ambitious man can only abide for so long. Then he gets antsy.

And --- Oh, my. Wizard Hegseth behind the curtain. No secret there. No Toto needed to pull aside the curtain. If Col. Kline still had the football, I bet he'd let Pete carry it for a while. For a photo-op if not longer. For a flag-waving on YouTube, an "I took a handoff of the football from Col. Klink" 3.6 min clip. Implying nobody ever trusted handing the football off to that Franken guy ...

Is there a big enough flag to wrap the Hegseth ego in? I guess it's go to the party and find out.

This link.

The name on that list that was new to me, Brandon Sawalich -President, Freedom Club.

Well, start here. Same story, different online sources; here, here.

Oh, THAT Brandon Sawalich ---

"A house divided against itself cannot stand," here.

PAC Man. Here.

PAC Man No.2; here.

If a house divided cannot stand, why not guest Quist, why not guest Stebbins - or is this part of somebody's housecleaning dreams and schemes?

Our house, is a very, very nice house ... with tabs on all the cars, we don't hang out at bars, ...

No Emmer guest, yet. No Buesgens guest, yet. No Fitzsimmons guest, yet.

Will Marty Siefert be a no-house-divided Hegseth guest?

We await the guest list filling out ...

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
This Freedom Club.

Bill Cooper and Ron Eibensteiner may be Hegseth guests. They are Freedom PACers.

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
One sensible moderate, unlikely to be an invited guest.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Deficit scolds should be told to go away.

Krugman, here per the headline, and here, per playing let's not make a deal.

The term, "fiscal cliff" is in invention of Chicken Little prognosticators; and not one formed out of belief, but out of intent. Believing the sky will fall is quite different from saying: The sky will fall unless we screw those dependent on the social contract safety net.

Before the election the obstructionist attitude was advanced to make political hay, to say look how bad the Obama economy remains, when Obama wanted steps that were sabotaged so that the story could be told the Republican way, which, it turned out, voters did not believe.

Yet they sing the same tune. Hoping repetition gains concession.

Hammer them. Paul Ryan is back at his congressional mischief.

First, go over the so-called cliff.

Then say, okay, now that is over. Now let's cut taxes for the lower-middle class. Then do something really radical. Instead of talking of it, DO IT. CUT TAXES FOR THOSE NOW PAYING AN UNFAIRLY HIGH SHARE IN ORDER TO FOSTER FAT CAT HAPPINESS WITH THEIR STRESS-FREE STATUS QUO.

Paul Levy reports in Strib of Dan Erhart's post-election thinking.

This link.

If Jim Graves decides against another run for Congress in Minnesota's CD 6, and Erhart considers a run, I would vote for him over Bachmann in a heartbeat. Not that he cares. I was judgmental in the past, against Erhart, and I still remember he had a heavy hand when pushing, but Levy seems to report Erhart acknowledges that, in a way.

But sending him to Congress. What a hoot. If he has had head bumping with Matt Look, wouldn't it be enjoyable to see him deal with Paul Ryan?

Just a thought. My guess is Erhart could shift from a very local focus to one of national scope easily, and that he would, if he ran and won, be infinitely better for the district than a do-nothing publicity hound.

Dan, talk it over with Jim. Yes, an election is less than a month behind us, but it is never too early to contemplate doing in the tenure in Congress of the most embarrassing laughingstock person sent by Minnesota to Congress, ever, in the history of our statehood.

Levy reports a "retire now from politics unless I find something I love" mood now with Erhart, but you have to love taking a run at an over-achieving turkey.

I think an Erhart-Bachmann election would be a benefit to our congressional district, were Graves to decide against another challenge. But if Graves wants another shot, it can be worked out by individuals meeting and conversing, at the DFL caucus endorsement level, or via a primary.

Would an Erhart - Bachmann contest generate attention? Ya betcha.


As to the frontrunner for any "next run" against Bachmann, Jim Graves is reported as not slamming any doors shut, no Sherman statement, indeed, quite the opposite.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

RAMSEY - Post election decision making.

Sakry of ABC Newspapers fully reports council detail about our town's decision on a study grant for a possible recycling center, this link.

Sandburs? Earmarking? A leaf raking grant for the ultra-big, possibly ultra-connected advisory experts?

Ultra-expensive, if long term relations develop?

Readers can google the two firms under consideration. Information is online. A chance for a county financed trial-run with a different and as yet untried in Ramsey engineering and consulting firm, good perhaps for making future decisions?

Is either company also a transportation and land development consultant, and should that matter?

Relatively small initial grants can grow larger consultancy relationships; the camel's nose under the tent being an old saying. Ramsey has seen precedents.

Those two firms seem the kind that might consult on water treatment plant design and construction.

The blog subtitle.

"Consultants are sandburs."

They attach almost always without your conscious knowledge it is happening, then you realize it when they stick. Then removing one or several, use tweezers or pliers, to lessen the difficulty. It is not too long term a pain, seldom if ever fatal, but nuisance is a good single describing word.

Recycled sandburs, have you ever heard of that as a concept? Stealthy reattachment? Strange? Undesirable? Reattach ones after prior removal. Who would do that? How would it be brought about?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Worth a thousand words.

Through here, for the photo credit.

This link? They own Michele Bachmann. They own the Tea Party. Doubt that if you choose. Pick your flavor. Paul Ryan. Sarah Palin. Would you invite either of those into your home? The Clintons? The actor on the white horse, pointing to his left, dismantling stuff and running up then record deficits. It could be my misperception that Ron Paul and Dennis Kuchinich are somewhat unique in inspiring loyalty, with each belittled and marginalized one way or another by televised and print media. Wellstone did not shill for anybody's stadium. People read Krugman but you'd not learn of that watching FOX. This link. Carlin, the video. Change? Forward? Orwell appearing in dance of the generals.

Pay the piper, call the tune? Grover the guardian Rottwiler may need more of an attention getter?

This Think Progress page, also noted on Hullabaloo (click the screen capture to enlarge and read):

"Two smaller tapeworms are not an improvement over one big tapeworm. Tapeworms and taxes grow." Wow, Grover the Rottwiler, on deworming? Perhaps, just perhaps, to bring Grover back onto his assigned barking message, suitable Koch Brothers' kindler, gentler retraining may have been required.

Go to the original page to follow links, or to read the entire Think Progress post.

Good news. This link, from the Think Progress item deserves its own highlight. The sun shines brighter. A new dawn brings it on.

So what is the new mood of incoming Republicans in the House and Senate that suggests Norquist is losing touch? That link from The Hill reports:

“I don’t want to sign a pledge that’s going to tie my hands,” Ted Yoho, a GOP congressman-elect from Florida, told The Hill. “I need free rein to do what I think is right for the people in my district and the country.”

Yoho is no fan of taxes, calling them “a necessary evil, it appears.” He said one reason he did not sign the pledge was that he had never met Norquist. “To sign a pledge to somebody that’s not a member of Congress or part of my constituency, I don’t think would be very prudent,” Yoho said.

It certainly turned out to not have been helpful for pledge-signing Tim Pawlenty, in opting for his cigarette "fee." But this Yoho guy did use the word "prudent."

Whatever happened to the Big Lie of Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann: Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less?

It has been widely reported that fracking of shale-locked underground US reserves has led to record production, in the nation, of natural gas and oil. E.g., here and here.

So, what happened to "Pay Less?"

If you ever believed that Gingrich-Bachmann phony-baloney propaganda, you prove yourself a fool.


Big time fool. Fool. Dunce.


They can call themselves and their meeting the "Liberty Forum" but until they get their minds right on full-spectrum family reproductive freedom of choice from contraception to abortion, they are only whistling a LIBERTY tune, not singing.

This, on

The Texas Congressman built some of his strongest support here in Minnesota. But at the Liberty Movement Forum in Minneapolis, Paul supporters said the party abandoned small government principles, and hurt the GOP brand in Minnesota with divisive social issues.

Paul’s Minnesota campaign manager, Marianne Stebbins, says the marriage amendment pulled focus away from real issues.

“People who support Republicans support Republicans because they think they believe in small government, and…they believe that they’re strong on the economics. But then when the Republican Party goes out there and runs on the marriage amendment, people are thinking, ‘Well, where’s the small government party?’” Stebbins said.

Apparently the event is over, it was this Saturday, e.g., reporting here, here and here.

That last Faribault Daily News item gave the link:

The item gave a link, (the second one above), carrying the above Stebbins quote, and ending:

Dr. Paul’s active, deep Minnesota supporters are winning Republican Party local offices and elected posts as well.

Stebbins says she will not run for state Republican Party chair, but says other Paul supporters will.

“We are the ones who can grow the party. We are the ones who can get the Republican Party back to that small government message,” Stebbins said.

The Minnesota Republicans will elect a new State Chair of the Party next April.

The Paulistas' takeover aim seems to make Republican inner party play interesting, as if they might carry the day. Yet, if they cave in to other factions within the inner party, good luck, but don't claim liberty or freedom if you compromise on liberty and freedom. Then, you are nothing but the Taxpayer League, talking as if bigger and broader in outlook; i.e., trying to co-opt liberty, rather than understanding the concept, and then standing for it. Simple to understand? Yes, but remember these are politicians, who'd rather obfuscate than adhere to "liberty" in its many aspects. The pressures to want to run the GOP may mean that appeasing clerly anti-liberty factions may not be simple to resist. Ron Paul himself deviates from principles of freedom and individual liberty, when it comes to reproductive issues, and that path is his to take if he wishes, but it's a political minefield to do so and still posture as if the embodiment of wishing for "liberty."

Denying that the family planning choice issue exists is no answer for the Paulistas. Face it or face ongoing marginalization, folks. It's that simple. Same for freedom of movement, which gets into the immigration policy thicket. Are you for freedoms, or only some freedoms as if it is a buffet table choice?

There is a
which is largely single issue, but how will the Paulistas deal with its agenda? Merely saying back-burner such stuff, as Stebbins says, is fundamentally disingenuous and probably, for the Paulistas, counterproductive.

The reporting I could find has all been about the "upcoming" Liberty Forum, i.e., from before Saturday, and the event is now over. If any reader knows of any follow-up coverage of what transpired when the Pualistas convened, please put a link in the comments. I am most interested in how this faction intends to keep hold of the GOP in Minnesota, something they appear to have captured, at least temporarily, by aggressive caucus activism. So any follow-up on the event, THAT'S REAL NEWS.

On that site, went to the website and the website said, feed them babies pablum:

Agenda & Speakers

4. Take Action: Organizing and running campaigns to win.
Steven Sutton V.P. of Development, Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute and former Chief of Staff to Congressman John Kline and Senior Advisor to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

[links in original, bolding omitted]. Okay, Paulista folks, where are you collectively on militarization and imperial war mongering abroad? Ron Paul opposes it, but bringing in a Col. Klink and Crazy Bachmann person, one educated at one of the military academies, how does that square with consistency? With "small government" when the military is the biggest ticket item in federal spending?

Reconcile things, please. Or just be Taxpayer League, falsely saying "Liberty."

Finally, this screen shot of the above-linked bio-contact page for Steven Sutton, and is there a name in that agenda-speakers item 4 absent from what Sutton wants to say of himself; check it out. Click and read.

That is right, Paulista folks. You will have to resolve how you intend to control and lead the GOP along with having to recognize and face Crazy Michele factions.

Good luck, on both coherence and unity. If you Paulista people can meld that pairing into something not a complete fraud, you may actually drive the car for a while. If not, you shall be only another passenger with Bill Cooper and Norm Coleman back driving. UPDATE: Still driving?

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
I erred. Some of those links were from after the "Liberty Forum" but were so content thin, nothing but the Stebbins sound-bite really, and that caused me to believe they were in anticipation of the event. The one item from before, Joe Kimball's MinnPost item, had as much relevant content as the post-event non-coverage:

Much to the chagrin of establishment Republicans, the Paulites dominated the state's delegation to the RNC and cast 33 of Minnesota's 40 votes for Paul.

Said Mark Johnson, chair of the state Senate District 61 Republicans:

"We planned the Liberty Forum before the election because, win or lose, the most significant debate in Minnesota politics is taking place within the Republican Party between the ‘Liberty Republicans’ and the party establishment.

"Even had Republicans captured the White House and held its majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate, the Forum would have been valuable. Given the results of the election, it is more important than ever that Republicans have grounding in, and understanding of, what the Liberty Movement is all about as we discuss the future of the MNGOP."

[italics omitted]. Yes, so what is the Liberty Movement all about? Check mainstream media to find out? Ho, ho, ho, on that. My guess, it is about how to politically dissemble to try to keep a diverse coalition together and be able to count to 50+% elsewhere but in MN 6, which is a gerrymandered locale that is easy prey to the GOP and always has been. Yet if Stillwater had been kept in, Crazy Michele might have been ousted by moderate-conservative, Jim Graves, who is much, much more than a publicity junkie. Stillwater is where Bachmann is from, and they know her.

"... similar to travel websites like Orbitz" is not the ultimate answer single payer provides for healthcare in the nation, but it is better than blindly letting the Hemsleys dictate that what's best for their income streams is best for the US of A. The DEVIL will be in the details...

This MinnPost link; this opening excerpt:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services postponed two key Friday deadlines till mid-December, but Minnesota pushed ahead anyway, emphasizing Gov. Mark Dayton’s commitment to implementing the exchange. Federal funding for the project will top $100 million if the grant is approved.

With DFL majorities in the Legislature, what once looked like a lonely project for the executive branch has become one of the most important issues for lawmakers this session.

House Speaker-designate Paul Thissen said in an interview on Friday that moving forward with an exchange is a key piece of the DFL’s 2013 legislative agenda. The exchange, expected to serve roughly 1.2 million Minnesotans, functions as a marketplace for individuals and small businesses to purchase and compares insurance options, similar to travel websites like Orbitz.

“I am delighted to submit Minnesota's Exchange Blueprint application and confirm Minnesota's intent to develop and operate a State-based Health Insurance Exchange,” Dayton wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday. “I strongly share your commitment, and that of President Obama, to ensuring access to affordable, high quality health care coverage for all Minnesotans.”

It appears obstructions to the move are less, post-election. However, eyes on the prize still, single payer is the only rational long-term answer. That and cost control, making our healthcare provision system as tight and effective as it can be.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Republicans won a history-making victory," declared the Anoka County Watchdog, a blog published by [Taxpayer League Chairman] Harold Hamilton, a conservative Fridley businessman. Republican legislators, he said, had stood firm during the shutdown, even though "they were harassed and pressured by the legions of special interests who feed at the government trough" and had "turned back a liberal governor's agenda."

The Strib item by MIKE KASZUBA and BAIRD HELGESON from July 28, 2011, from which the headline was taken, remains online describing the GOP induced government shutdown as a kind of tax-resister victory - one for the ages, to go down into the book of books, along with reverent images of Grover Norquist, and his Golden Pledge for acolytes who will swear to never raise taxes, no matter what the need (or the stupidities of hewing to the promise - no matter what).

The summer-2011 compromise was that the majority in the legislature would not then insist on pestering the world by pressing their oppressive anti-liberty theo-social impositions upon the general population if the Governor caved in on the numbers the GOP demagogued. Dayton was forced, he protested, to abandon his own tax creed, "tax the rich," that gained him the State House in the generally Republican dominated 2010 election, with Dayton giving that up while Speaker Zellers puffed take-it-to-the-trenches for a big-time 2012 voter vindication; Strib reporting -

"I'm not going to give up on this," Gov. Mark Dayton said of the tax increase proposal he campaigned on but was forced to withdraw. "I'm going to come back, if not next year, the year following," he said. "I'll advocate for it, campaign for it, press for it for as long as I'm drawing breath."

House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, says he is ready to start doorknocking now on what he considers the bottom line of the budget deal.

"We didn't raise taxes," he said flatly. "There are far more people who get the joke now. It's not about taxing rich people, it's about taxing small-business owners. ... That's not where a vast majority of Minnesotans are."

The deal stripped the choice-hating social strait-jacketing from the Republican government-halting mischief, but all the fiscal mischief was accepted by the Governor, saying his acceptance was a hair short of being blackmailed but that what was forced on him was unwise policy with a most narrow and narrow-minded objective, or collective set of governing goals. Strib writers, clearly were crystal balling then that the postponed ultimate conflict resolution was an issue on track for going to the citizens, ultimately; the report stating at the start -

The budget deal that ended the state government shutdown is also single-handedly reigniting what will be at least a 16-month, rough-and-tumble rematch in the bitter partisan battle over taxing and spending.

Far from providing a clear win, the deal seems only to have sharpened determination for victory in the 2012 elections, when Minnesota voters will be called on to tip the balance either to the DFL governor, or to the GOP-led Legislature.


But the real battles will come over the size and scope of government -- a debate Democrats and Republicans have waged for years and which now has taken on the dimensions of a moral crusade.

"I am not going to persuade them, and they are not going to persuade me," Dayton said. "I tried my utmost for six months to convince them, and they had a united stone wall."

While there were plenty of political handicappers saying the Republicans won this round -- Anderson said they "got a good deal" -- there were others, even Republicans, who acknowledged that Dayton may have scored major points.

"I think Dayton gets an important victory because he looks pragmatic," said Dan Hofrenning, a political science professor at St. Olaf College.

"He looks as if he was the one who solved this. It makes him, I think, look a little bit more like an executive."

Dayton said he saw the landscape change in the two weeks after the shutdown began. Republicans, he said, would have held out forever, regardless of the consequences to the state.

"It was becoming a test of political egos as well as ideology," Dayton said. "That was becoming destructive for Minnesota. ... Someone had to take the initiative to break that stalemate. I did so. I consider that my responsibility."

It went to citizens. Citizens elected new DFL majorities in both state houses, vindicating Dayton's claimed responsible pragmatism in compromising with ideologues.

The voters did choose.

Add to that the current psychological denial being keened by some in the GOP saying their Draconian squeeze of sound government really is okay with the folks, and would have won in November 2012, by itself, but the social strait-jacketing that they and Dayton removed from the table to settle the summer-2011 impasse-shutdown was theirs to run on also, as too close to the hearts of some in the GOP tent - the faction having hearts without minds - and the no-tax Republicans, after choosing to energize [i.e., throw red meat on the floor for the ravening part of their pack, their "base"] turnout via their Constitution tampering propositions, then blamed defeat on blowback from that very energizing tactic, not even willing to consider they were advancing an unpopular and faulty fiscal message as a contributing factor for defeat; with some even not fully and publicly acknowledging defeat, preferring to see voter mood through faulty glasses admitting only a tiny sliver of light; i.e.,

Fast-forward to recent 2012 post election Harold Hamilton opining, days ago:

Watchdogs, a day of historic proportions was experienced Tuesday night as the nemesis of Anoka County taxpayers, Commissioner Dan Erhart, was defeated.

In the interest of full disclosure, Harold Hamilton readily and happily acknowledges his role in helping Erhart's transition to involuntary retirement. Said Hamilton, "It was pretty damn sweet!"

The day Watchdogs have been waiting for these last 7 and a half years was realized.

Dan Erhart is done. Toast. Finished. Done. Over.

In a many respects, this is Anoka County's Berlin Wall moment. It's the moment when the old guard came crashing down in spectacular fashion, ushering in a completely new and more transparent way conducting county business.

While it took some time, the county board has completely transitioned to a taxpayer-centered model that will serve citizens well for at least the next two years.

There are now 5 bona fide, authentic conservatives on the county board, giving the good guys a 5-2 edge.

In many respects, this campaign was a major battle between the forces of Good and Evil for control of the county board.

Somebody needs to tell Harold to reconfigure his priorities instead of getting giddy over Dan Erhart's losing an election in an exceptionally disproportionate and unrepresentative County, and to face the fact that Moses was bringing three tablets down from the mountain, with the third one, bearing the Norquist pledge, having been broken by Moses along the way because he realized how indelibly stupid it was as something for his people in the wilderness to embrace, with Moses leaving the silly thing behind and then only destroying the other two tablets after seeing his people had turned to Baal in his absence, up mountain.

Bottom line, Karl Rove was given a big slush fund which he fully spent, while ALEC raged, and it was not enough to propagandize the stupid tax pledge - Taxpayer League child-like duncery and indulgences - into anything resembling a legitimate political idea.

Moreover, I believe if pressed Harold Hamilton actually might admit, given time, that his passions over "Good and Evil for control of the county board" might be colored by a tiny bit of overstatement. Maybe.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

With the election over, a look at

The home page:

That one should give Boehner cause to reflect. Heartburn.

Touting the interim healthcare provision situation (on the way to single payer):

Oooh, a timeline, a timeline. Woo woo. This carries less clout than extending the tax cut for the 98%, while those with specially high capability to pay taxes without true lifestyle threat may not be carried on everyone else's back as much as otherwise.

It is difficult to be enthusiastic about a healthcare legislative effort that begged all the real and important questions and threw sops to the insurance industry while drug pricing reform was off the table from the get-go. But beating the wealthy towards responsible carrying of their fair share, who besides the wealthy thinks that wrong in any manner?

To the victor go all the spoils. Minnesota legislative committee chair appointees.

The Daily, here. Minn Post, here and here.

For not understanding the spoils system now as well as when they were in power, Republican dyspepsia reported, here.

Money quote from the last item:

Current Agriculture Committee Chairman Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, was not happy with the key lawmaker in ag finance coming from Minneapolis.

Rep. Jean Wagenius will lead a committee dealing with environment, natural resources and agriculture funding. Hamilton noted that she is from Minneapolis, along with the incoming speaker, with the majority leader from St. Paul. “Seriously?” he asked in a tweet.

As to city folks heading agriculture decision making, where is Cargill headquartered?

In Minnesota's house, the Transportation Policy Committee will be chaired by Rep. Ron Erhardt.

RAMSEY -- Sakry has a lengthy article online about Ramsey's Town Center. With quotes, or attributed analysis, of interest.

This ABC Newspapers Link.

It is informative, and "speaks for itself." Only two separate items, of many, will be quoted. First, the article's ending:

Retail view

As a retailer in the COR, Coborn’s manager Vicki Wredberg does not see a lot happening in the project.

Coborn’s has seen a 5 percent increase in its customer base every year, at least until the Sunwood Drive project stalled the growth, she said.

The COR needs to continue to bring in more people and business, but there is not much going on beyond the SuperAmerica project, Wredberg said.

[bolding in original, italic emphasis added]

Next, mid-article, before the previous quote:

PSD, which is focused on land sales, developed and owns The Ramsey Office Plaza and the Veterans Administration Clinic building.

Projects on former PSD land include the Allina Medical Clinic, the Midwest Medical Examiner’s office and the NAU Insurance Company,

[...] It is easier for Landform to push projects because it is in the front line as a city representative, said Matt Kuker, PSD assistant manager.

The bad publicity the city has received on its council and the COR project has also impacted at least one PSD sale.

One company walked away and gave the council’s dysfunction as the reason, according to [... Jim Deal, PSD LLC owner].

“Companies are a little afraid to jump because of all the bad publicity,” Deal said.

The Armstrong Boulevard overpass needs to be done for the COR to spark development, he said.

Big box businesses have told him not to call until after the interchange is in, he said.

There is also the safety issues caused by the rail line, Kuker said.

Deal said the city needs to employ a transportation expert, such as it had when it hired Elwyn Tinklenberg to work on the rail station funding.

[italics added].

What work is being referenced, by Tinklenberg, on the rail station funding?

Is the claim that Tinklenberg played a role in the actual final building of the recently completed Ramsey stop; or is the reference to earlier but unsuccessful work by Tinklenberg years earlier, during the Pawlenty governorship?

As to Tinklenberg and his business, "Tinklenberg Group," am I the only one who gets a 403 error trying to access the site:

Reader comment on that would be appreciated. It is possible that, as a Tinklenberg critic, my access to the sight may have been blacklisted by the site webmaster, presumably not without Tinklenberg instruction or consent (screen capture):

[red text added] Is anyone else getting that "403 Access is denied" message? (It would be a point of pride, an endorsement of sorts, if I alone got blacklisted by the Tinkster.)

It appears that for some time now Tinklenberg has not been getting his name mentioned much in the press; perhaps dating back to the Oberstar CD 8 reelection loss. So did he play a role in the current Ramsey Northstar stop arrangements, and if so, what exactly did he do, and who hired him to do it and paid him consulting fees, if any? And - who did he deal with on the financing provider end of things?

The Sakry report does not explore that.

The public deserves to know such information. It is not serving the best public interest if Tinklenberg played a role in that present Northstar expansion financing situation, and then full detail of any such role is hidden under a hat.

I can see Jim Deal approving some Tinklenberg activity, e.g., Highway 10 mapping, this image, from here:

Itmes 36, 37, and 38 (with item 36 being most interesting in its history, including escrow closing statements) would probably, if on Facebook, collectively get a Jim Deal "like" badging. At a guess.

It is a blind guess that the linked item might relate to Jim Deal's positive recollections of Elwyn Tinklenberg's transportation consultancy history re Ramsey and the "TH10/169 Corridor Coalition," with a major interesting consideration being how exactly Tinklenberg ingratiated himself into things to attain consultancy dollars. See also, here and here. Presuming those links work, look for mention of year "2012" prescience in the second of those two items (hint, p.2). [UPDATE: The last two links were unfortunately to the same item. Interested readers should explore the agenda and minutes for meetings in the January 2008 time frame. The error was left as is.]

On those two items, again, why Tinklenberg, what was the RFP and bidding history to his being retained as a Ramsey consultant well before the Landform consultancy now in place?

Have we as a city learned anything from the two consultancies, Tinklenberg and Landform, or is there to be a flat learning curve shown when the new council is seated in January?

We wait. We see.

Jim Graves deserves all the sympathy in the world. Here is the state of zombie brain (but probably able to attain a photo ID) worldview/outlook that barely defeated his willingness to go to Washington and work at the job and for the district rather than posturing and seeking out photo and video opportunities in a vain and cheap manner that has been his opponent's trademark.

This video. Hat tip to Avidor for embedding that video experience in Dump Bachmann. Michele Bachmann has no shame, in working that crowd, and they have no shame, nor intelligence, in being worked like a herd of Scrapie afflicted goats.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Minnesota Republican navel-gazing is reported, among it, there is the fact reported that Pat Shortridge will not seek reelection as party head, once his term ends in April. Party leadership seems a spot Kurt Bills could step up to, Tom Emmer being another possible candidate. Who else might it be?

Strib, here, with the Shortridge timeline reported late on the second page of the item.

One has to wonder if the third proposed but dropped ballot amendment question, the right to work [for less] had been included in an amendment triple-header, how badly or better the GOP might have fared.

One thing, the ALEC agenda seems to rain doom onto those pushing it, especially via tampering with the Constitution to circumvent an executive veto; except, unfortunately, Mary "My Heart Belongs to ALEC" Kiffmeyer is still around to tamper away in her uniquely gifted way. Perhaps next go-round this Pied Piper of Big Lake will have fewer rats and children following her ALEC ways. Perhaps the flute goes flat.

Another thought, if Mary Franson loses that one vote victory margin she is now said to have she might serve as party chair; or if not her, the gentleman against whom she got the anti-stalker restraining order, he's experienced - as McLeod County GOP Chair. Put them in together, as back when it was Sutton-Brodkorb, where they could alternate attending meetings so as to not be in too close a potentially hostile proximity to one another.

I like that thought.

Marianne Stebbins being selected as party chair would send a clarion call among Republican rank and file that bland and inoffensive compromise might not be their only or best answer. Stebbins in that post might liven things up in ways a substantial bloc of the Anoka County local and the statewide GOP might like.

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
A focus on Stebbins is fair, since the total and clear undercurrent of the Strib item [link given at top of post] talked all around Ron Paul support without mentioning him by name. He whose name we dare not speak? What? That talk about how, in effect, the Ron Paul support can be disenfranchised by downplaying caucus politics and saying "Primary, primary, primary," is as indicative of dissent in some Republican entrenched places as is mockery inattentive to the Gipper's Eleventh Amendment. I think Ron Paul is the only Republican who could get traction and energize people. Or what, more Bill Cooper, more Mike Jungbauer, more Geoff Michel and Koch hunting? More tax money down the rabbit hole to litigate with Brodkorb? It seems the Republican agenda includes that, while if going beyond that high-profile spending to spite Mike, the case still has to be made.

I think the Republicans would best get past their past bickerings. A start would be working with instead of to sabotage the Governor's governing. What a change that would be. The only place they agreed and scmoozed together was about free bucks for Zygi; and that to me was Dayton's lowest point. Closeness to Ted Mondale on behalf of the New Jersey guy's Wilfare is not what I anticipated as his highest and best potential when I voted for Dayton, primary and general election.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Because it is news to me, it might be news to readers. Not news as to the human condition and what people will do for money and influence. But news of how precisely some gambled, hopefully where each such gambler takes a big-time loss for being up to such stuff. Son of a Mitt.

Willard's ways? This link. Influence peddling, via the son's hedge fund is the smell of it. How old are Paul Ryan's children? Old enough for business adventures? Would it surprise if any such shoe dropped, second spot on the GOP ticket? It's that old-time religion, entrepreneurial job creation, right?

... and not only that, the man never raided a single corporation and probably would not know how ... treats tax returns as if there is some public right to know would-be presidential fact and detail ... my money ...

Here, CBS news online Nov. 14, and here, L.A. Times, same date. Nice photo, number 13, here. Sincerity and warmth are things you can sometimes feel, even through an image.

Same basic story, different L.A. Times author, here. Compare the tone and "editorial content" of the two separate L.A. Times approaches to the story. Same outlet, same Maeve Reston, here, Nov. 15; vs the earlier linked Nov. 14 item. My impression is Reston's Nov. 15 item is true to who the Repbulican nominee always was, more so than the "more objective" Nov. 14 item. Truth sometimes is better told with less polite wording, where the story merits it. You decide whether some abstract "truth" or influencing opinion one way or the other is the aim of "journalism," (a nostalgic word at best since it is writing news stories day-by-day for an editor and a deadline, with nobody keeping a journal or a thread of stories as Winston Churchill did, about the Boer War and colonial happenings as he viewed them, on tour in his younger years). Journaling the wild west was a subplot in the film, "The Unforgiven," where it was mocked without the script and imaging being too ham handed in the mockery. Having a film character doing express mocking worked well.

Strib carrying of AP near to soap opera reporting of the Tampa, Florida Kelly family. Luckily we have no such social-climber problematic families in Ramsey. We also have no high profile generals. Just local politicians and land dealings, sometimes wrongly intermixed and overlapped.

Strib, here and here.

One Strib headline says "single spiteful email" but reading the other story, might it have been a good heads up warning? Saying "there may be trouble" is not spiteful, if intended to be helpful in a situation where trouble actually may have been foreseeable.

But personalities play out their near soap opera, and Benghazi events are a backdrop that will ultimately dominate the story. Benghazi and chain of command and turf battles does raise questions apart from family disunity forces and feelings. What the CIA was doing in Benghazi, good and bad, and how long it had been doing it is a question superimposed on how a top State Department person arrived and was met and dealt with. What is the proper role of the FBI in extraterritorial investigation and was it acting properly? What Nixon era legacy of keeping a professional distance between the FBI and the White House exists, and are such thoughts still relevant and without a previously unseen downside? If not the FBI, would you have the CIA investigating and judging its own actions, or the military intelligence folks judging the civilian intelligence folks? It seems an FBI task, by default; and is there really a Nixon-caused "Chinese wall" kept between the FBI/Justice Department and the White House, as claimed now by the White House; and if there is, would revisiting the policy be called for, now?

Finally, with civilian control of the military power an understood goal, is it a good idea to put military people upon their retirement into positions of leading the CIA or holding State or Defense cabinet positions? The retired generals' club can cause enough lobbying mischief retiring from the uniform to the defense industry, and should there be policies regulating that also? Do we ever want another General Haig in the White House as Secretary of State saying "I'm in charge now"? Having a big peacetime standing army is one concern, while keeping it ultimately beneath and answerable to civilian authority is a bigger concern. Ditto for careerists and others, at CIA, NSA, and, again, MIA. Aside from MIA, such careerists are "civilian" in a major sense, but also an inbred elite that needs to be under authority of a larger and more diverse civilian elected elite, not left wholly on their own.

So, the big headline-grabbing surge general is out at CIA, having grabbed his latest and biggest headline. Now what? Years will pass before the military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, impacts on oil and drug markets and trafficking, etc., are all sorted out in balance, but already Bush-era policy is looking misguided and counterproductive with passing time not likely to reverse that appearance.

Interesting online stories of a "have to wait and see" nature, here, here, here and even via the AP, here.

Officials are to be quizzed by House and Senate committees, in closed session. Not knowing the facts has not intimidated some, prone to finger-pointing, and even politicized finger-pointing; but all that is huffing and premature. Will the public ever know how events unfolded and what changes are being made in unreported ways? No, but the public has no choice, only an occasional vote where we need to worry about fair counting, and where some want to restrict access of others to the ballot box, entirely for political reasons but with accompanying trumped-up rhetoric of worry over "fraud."

After the election, the judiciary.

An interesting NY Times op-ed, here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ron Paul gives final Congressional speech.

It probably will be posted as news at other sites, but I first read of it here. This quote:

“I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits,” he said on the House floor. “If liberty is what we claim it is — the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace — it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.”

Paul also predictably attacked the “redistribution of wealth by government” and Keynesian economics, along with the Federal Reserve. He alleged that American wealth “today depends on debt.”

While much of Paul’s speech was devoted to economic issues, he also warned of the “continuous attack on our civil liberties” and the aggressive use of military power by the United States.

The Texas congressman said “promoting a virtuous society” was key to reforming the government. He noted that during the Republican presidential primary race, he was booed for saying the United States should not “do to other nations what we don’t want them to do to us.”

“A society that boos or ridicules the Golden Rule is not a moral society,” Paul remarked. “All great religions endorse the Golden Rule. The same moral standards that individuals are required to follow should apply to all government officials. They cannot be exempt.”

The report included a video.

One local Ramsey council candidate, probably out of lack of imagination, ran a "Sack the PAC," childrens' crusade; and he got whomped. How about, "Sack Minnesota PAC?" The Pete Hegseth "I'm running next time against Franken" front operation ended with a near empty sack. Republicans noted this.

True North, here:

State legislative candidates selected for assistance by former senatorial candidate Pete Hegseth’s “Minnesota PAC” (MNPAC) slightly outperformed those selected by former gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer’s “A Stronger Minnesota” on election night. Where all four of Emmer’s PAC selections fell short, two of Hegseth’s twelve candidates were able to claim victory. Yet for conservatives, there may have been a more concerning aspect to Hegseth’s choices.

In a September 10 e-mail to Minnesota Republican delegates announcing his MNPAC, Hegseth asked for money and time to help out six candidates he had chosen for the House and six for the Senate. For the House, it was Deb Kiel (1B), Carolyn McElfatrick (5B), Ben Wiener (11B), King Banaian (14B), Dan Kaiser (24B), and Russ Bertsch (42A). For the Senate, the candidates were Steve Nordhagen (SD1), John Pederson (SD14), Ben Kruse (SD36), Pam Wolf (SD37), Daivd Gaither (SD44) and Ted Lillie (SD53). The only two to win on Tuesday were Deb Kiel and John Pederson.

An October 4 e-mail to delegates from A Stronger Minnesota soon followed Hegseth’s with an announcement that Tom Emmer had joined the PAC. The group selected four candidates for the Minnesota House to assist. They were Chris Kellett (10A), Melissa Valeriano (25B), Andrew Reinhardt (36B), and Mandy Benz (37A). All four lost.

As many Republicans remember, Hegseth ran an intense campaign for the party’s 2012 senatorial nomination against Rep. Kurt Bills. Many establishment Republicans were supportive of Hegseth; the co-chair for Romney’s Minnesota campaign, Anne Neu, served as his campaign manager. One loud complaint those establishment folks made during the campaign was that they were afraid that neither conservative members of the party nor Ron Paul supporters would support Hegseth if he won the nomination.

One April 18 e-mail from Ms. Neu said that Ron Paul supporters were not supporting some (unspecified) legislative candidates. The e-mail stated, “This is not what the Republican Party is about,” and went to on to suggest that this description included Kurt Bills, saying, “It appears that Kurt Bills was hand-picked by the Ron Paul establishment to be the face of the movement in MN.”

After the party endorsed Kurt Bills in an endorsing convention that saw Hegseth come in third with fifteen percent of the vote, many in Hegseth’s camp refused to support Bills. In the Republican primary, Bills lost to a nameless candidate in the first and seventh congressional districts of Minnesota. He did, of course, win the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth.

There is more at the link, for any reader caring. Andy at Residual Forces was a Hegsether, and his posting likely gave Kurt Bills cold comfort, if any comfort at all.

How special do you have to be, or think you are, to accumulate traffic citations in seven separate Minnesota Counties?

And that's not including the big ones with the most cops on partol, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. Seven counties in half a decade. (Having hit Anoka County twice gives a shot at a trifecta?) These counties:

Sherburne, Kanabec, Isanti, Anoka, Benton, Mille Lacs, Aitkin, Anoka [repeate, 06/13/2012].

If Kurt Daudt ever runs for statewide office, he would have a shot at hitting a Bingo in every other county, statewide. Plus repeats. An opportunity.

This image:

Scofflaws make laws? Not in the DFL. This IS our GOP's rising star, not DFL. And this was the Marty Seifert booster who made much of Tom Emmer's old, old drinking and driving record. Read much more, BlueStem Prairie, here, here and here. Thanks to Tommy Johnson for emailing about that coverage.


Most recently, Daudt defined himself by signing on among the esteemed sponsorship group of HF 091, fiddling while real business needed attention. Coverage, here, here and here. This organization's page, here for their score-sheet. For sale.

My answer on that mischief; hand it back to them. They earned a hand-back via this modestly proposed non-obtrusive license plate selection proposal.

A trust-women bill could be easily authored using HF 091 as a draft text, with suitable substitution language. The more parallel the better. And, with the extra cash generated via citizens electing to display a trust-women license plate to go to Planned Parenthood of Minnesota. [Tom Hackbarth could hand deliver the checks. Planned Parenthood, after all, is non-communist. He could go armed; as in - been there, done that. Possibly, checks might better be mailed or e-deposits arranged.]

NOTE: The proposed license design is based on one available in Virginia, (the image is online here and here; explore sites here and here). A license plate bill could be an early-introduced DFL legislative item, to test the Republicans' posturing of willingness to explore bipartisanship. They could have their substitute bill, (HF 091 redux), and possibly both in the spirit of true bipartisanship might pass. Or not. For now it is only a thought experiment.

UPDATE: Republicans claim to like lean efficient organizations [governmental at least]. Efficiency this past election did not go to Karl Rove and his gazillion dollar slush pot. The high-efficiency award, it went --- well read of it, at MPP.

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
Daudt's speciality is igniting unneeded class warfare; specifically war on the poor, reported here and here [Daily Planet even giving this pic showing what clearly is a kind hearted man, you can see it in his face]. A man of Dickensian proportion who at some point will embrace little Tiny Tim, only, wait a bit. Bills listed, Chief Author Daudt, here.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
War on the poor, down under mining tycoon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The potential for tax relief, real for the majority of Minnesotans, not just fire staff, and kick the can down the road as we in Ramsey have seen.

This link.

Is kick Landform down the road a part of a sound answer, Ramsey-wise?

That is not my decision, but in January, if not sooner, it may be debated.

And it would be in the context of what worked or did not work well over the last several years, and whether changing course is sound or wrong.

The election vote was strong for new faces. But setting policy is going to be up to them, and they can make mistakes too. I have a gut feeling that people like Mark Kuzma and Sarah Strommen will not indulge in cronyism, nor do I expect either to be too attuned to any particular county board voice and viewpoint. That should prove good for Ramsey.

At the State level, tax the rich and make Minnesota a bellweather example of what a sound administered healthcare approach can look like. Expect an interesting session.

Monday, November 12, 2012

RAMSEY RELATED: Another Flaherty "domino." If it falls, what other Flaherty adventures might it imperil?

This link. I wonder if either Flaherty or Collins have any equity in this hummer, of if it is another bootstrap adventure, trading on the money of others.

The article says $33 million for the play, but does not say whose money is in play.

25,000 square feet of retail. Ramsey, in its infinitely better negotiation through Landform, had a match going, to get Flaherty to commit to 3000 square feet.

Sophisticated negotiation can beat negotiation that nails down a commission, incentive payment, whatever the term du jour is for Landform's taking a commission.

A four story parking garage, 400 spaces.

Who paid for it in this instance? Taxpayers? Flaherty? The Easter Bunny?

I wish the report had gotten into whose money was/is at risk, how deeply, in this newly reported Flaherty "product." A quote:

"For many years, Fishers residents have expressed their desire to have a vibrant, walkable downtown," said Fishers Town Council Member David George in a prepared statement. "This is a defining project in Fishers' history and we are determined to make it a project that residents will enjoy and be proud of."

Dave Flaherty, president of Flaherty & Collins, agreed, saying the project would help create “a pedestrian-friendly downtown where people can live, shop, dine and be entertained.”

The town’s director of community development, Tom Dickey, said officials are working through final details with Flaherty & Collins in preparation for a mid-2013 groundbreaking. Those details include approval of using tax-increment financing to fund part of the project.

Well, TIF, and bloviating, "a pedestrian-friendly downtown where people can live, shop, dine and be entertained."

According to our loving landlord, Mr. Flaherty, the foremost authority.

It sounds like a scripted too often heard crock to me.

In a lengthy Chicogo Trib publishing of an AP report on the Petreas-Broadwell-CIA resignation, there is an interesting set of paragraphs, on the first online page of three.

This link, and Broadwell had a military intelligence clearance but only for when on active duty, these paragraphs:

During a talk last month at the University of Denver, Broadwell raised eyebrows when she said the CIA had detained people at a secret facility in Benghazi, Libya, and the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate and CIA base there was an effort to free those prisoners.

Obama issued an executive order in January 2009 stripping the CIA of its authority to take prisoners. The move meant the CIA was forbidden from operating secret jails across the globe as it had under President George W. Bush.

CIA spokesman Preston Golson said: "Any suggestion that the agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless."

Broadwell did not say who told her about CIA activities in Libya. The video of Broadwell's speech was viewed on YouTube.

That part of the story is what should grow legs. What was the CIA up to in Benghazi, and how does that relate to events and deaths on Sept. 11; and was the ambassador's visit to Benghazi then an ordinary thing, or unusual, and possibly related to CIA and/or military detention practices that the State Department knew or did not know about? Was there a US military presence in Libya that was being kept secret? Doing what? What is the story of the US landing troops at the Benghazi airport and two Libyan militias having a turf battle over which would escort the troops to the situation?

It was not public until after the election, with Romney bleating for political gain in ways that may have compromised what the CIA was up to, whatever that might have been.

Who in Colorado was present at the Broadwell presentation/speech, and where did she get her "facts" from to be saying such things; and how did it end up on YouTube?

Legs appear to be growing, this Google. E.g., this link. UPDATE: Here. Trust this one if you will, Brietbart's minions.

UPDATE: YouTube video, this link. This link. There was at least one link in online press reporting where the underlying YouTube video had been scrubbed offline.

FURTHER UPDATE: CNN broadcast media devoted much coverage to the uncertainties, and presumably other broadcast outlets did the same. I was watching the Wolves-Dallas game and Monday Night Football, as less speculative. Was Broadwell tasked with getting a Petraus version of things on the public record, but at a deliberately low key venue; having it documented for possible later developments; and if so, who did the tasking - if she was being managed as an information/disinformation source, who was pulling her puppet strings.

How will all of this play out in terms of contraction of the military budget? Romney's mystery math was to cut taxes and spend more on the military, and he lost the election; so what's next, but a hive cleaning?

FURTHER UPDATE: Empty Wheel, here. Trying to make sense of a situation that seems seeded with disinformation and blind alleys.

Advice to Republicans (probably too stubborn to take it). Be very careful what you wish for or believe in, in light of stated goals.

That is Andy from Residual Forces, shaking hands with a loser in a photo Andy posted, but nonetheless Andy has a stated goal, "It doesn’t matter how much you agree with the candidate if the candidate can’t win. You have to be able to win, that doesn’t mean you change what he says or believes, but you have to understand that winning isn’t just a message."

Also, "The Republican Party does have some hard decisions to make coming up. How big should the tent be, do you tolerate destroyers for the sake of unity, do you have that candid conversation with social conservatives, do we need to finally address the platform reforms because the public has no clue what we really stand for, and what is it that we really stand for?"

The Republicans, of course, can stand with Paul Ryan or look elsewhere, it is their choice and it is not any party, from what I know of it in Minnesota and nationwide, that I would ever think to embrace.

Certainly not the Paul Ryan austerity for its own sake, people have to suffer to sing the blues, part of that cobbled together madhouse.

Kurt Cobain would have words for Paul Ryan, were he still alive and reading that Ryan feels passionate toward Nirvana. Perhaps Ryan could contact Courtney Love, and sound out that situation. My guess would be Courtney Love would not mince words. And Paul Ryan would learn a few new ones.

The headline and post, "Let's pick the important fights," seems belligerent in tone and less promising for ending gridlock than would a headline, "Let's see what can be hammered out from the minority in Minnesota, while realizing elections have consequences."

STRIB - "Editorial: DFL needs GOP on state bonding". So who are the "conciliatory" bipartisan Republicans? Are there any? Or is it look for the ones with their hands out, for their home districts? Locale over Reason?

Read Strib, here. Then weigh the headline questions, and guess, and wait and see.

A corollary question. What DFL legislators might scuttle good sense, in their own way?

BIG, BIG, BIG question: Will the Iron Rangers push through irresponsible sulfide mining, with compliant GOP confederates? Will Dayton be environmentally consciencious?

If there is to be mining, it has to be with assurances and so far there have been none, only politicking. Jobs on the Iron Range are not the first and only aim of the State of Minnesota and all its citizens, wherever they may be. Some have to keep being reminded of that, and it should not have to be so.

Strib again, here. Who is Kurt Daudt, the newly elected Minnesota House leader, and how will he lead similar to or different from Zellers? Hann, in the Senate is likely problematic, especially on healthcare where his job is within the medical-insurance-industrial complex, so will Daudt be less or more of a foot dragger? He does not list healthcare as an "issue," while cataloging the litany of GOP biases on his website. More of the same? In the minority?

Search for "daudt" here, is promising, in a small way, given this voting record. If not an ALEC member, it appears Daudt is a lockstep fellow-traveler.

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
Elk River Star News, here, has Daudt responding, "Occupation: Self employed, consultant." Isn't that a worry it might end up like Hann trying to pull the wool over our eyes about who feeds him and family? Who does Daudt consult with/for? Whose hand feeds him? Does any reader know, and if so, please leave a comment to the post.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Two Putt Tommy analyzes David Hann. Shame on Strib for what must be a deliberate non-mention of Boys and Tyler.

Strib reporting online, here, that Minnesota Senate Republicans picked David Hann as their minority leader for the next post-election legislative session. His employment status was "sort of" mentioned in the concluding four paragraphs:

Hann also attracted attention during a budget dispute with Gov. Mark Dayton in 2011, when Archbishop John Neinstedt warned legislators against cutting programs for the poor.

In a letter to the Archbishop, Hann wrote: "I was extremely disappointed to learn you endorse the socialist fiction that it is a moral necessity to take the property of the 'wealthy' under the assumption that those resources are better used by politicians and bureaucrats than by the individuals who earn them."

Hann had been a member of the Eden Prairie school board before joining the Senate, and was employed for 22 years by E. A. Sween Co., whose brand name is Deli Express.

While in college, he joined the Army and received the Army Commendation Medal for service in Vietnam. He got a degree in religion from Gustavus Adolphus College and then did graduate work in theology at the University of Chicago.

So where does the good gentleman work NOW, collecting a paycheck from which hand that feeds him, while having employer paid health coverage along with or above and beyond that coverage we taxpayers pay for him, via his Senate employment?

Go ahead, read Strib, and you have no clue. Ditto, Wikipedia (at least in its current Nov. 11, morning edit on Hann).

Open that Strib report and do a word search for either "Boys" or "Tyler." Tommy Johnson gets a hat tip for having done his research, and for thus having done us all a big favor in helping us understand Sen. Hann, who the man is and how open he is about himself and his likely biases regarding healthcare policy in Minnesota. I expect many Crabgrass readers, without reading further, can by now guess the business sector having the hand that reaches out to feed this Republican Hann gentleman.

Well -

In the following, I will post links as retrieved via Google, where some stories are reposting or double postings, - while noting that I learned the story before the election when Tommy posted on Minnesota Progressive Project and his own Two Putt Tommy website of what he had to report, and KOS and other items may be cumulative. Follow the links from there.

These Mainstream Media links: City Pages, here. MinnPost, here and here. A hat tip to each, for practicing journalism as it should be.

Links showing the base investigative reporting, again without overlap edited out: Here (Tommy, with the basic links over to other items), here (again Tommy, with links); and Kos, e.g., here, here, and here. MPP, here, post-election. This link.

That should be enough to get the story across of a cover-up, or at least call it attempted pulling of the wool over our eyes.

How can anyone trust the man now, hiding relevant personal information as he does? What else would he hide under a rock? True motivations for his role in engineering the Koch-Brodkorb purge, such as just possibly, personal ambition?

This sort of thing bothers me more as basis to resign office, than a general heading the CIA having a roving pecker. Or at least as much. Read it all. Decide for yourself.

And where does the Honorable Minnesota Republican Representative Steve Gottwalt have employment -- which hand feeds him as he endeavors to set Minnesota's healthcare policy?

Come on, if you missed mention of it in any of those links, guess.

Bingo. If you guessed that, you get a gold star.

UNRELATED: Here, of course having nothing to do with Boys and Tyler, is an online picture of a concentration of pond scum.

This is very important work Johnson has done. I cannot overemphasize its importance. Now when the DFL majorities will see these individuals talking against progressive healthcare implementation in our state, they and all citizens will know it is not only the minds of Gottwalt and Hann speaking on behalf of industry interests, but it is the voice of their pocketbooks loudly speaking too. That is insightful. Both Hann and Gottwalt are taking regular money from industry interests, while advocating and voting for the paymasters' interests.

Unswerving serving of the public interest gets tainted with the appearance of impropriety, when serving pecuniary self-interest and the paymasters' interests may be ruling the day, with the only question being whether there is some quid pro quo prior agreement to be discovered causing Minn. Stat. Sect. 609.42 "BRIBERY," to be a consideration in judging cause and effect.

_________FURTHER UPDATE________
The Nov. 2 City Pages item actually reports things both well and tightly, ending:

The story was first reported by local political blogger TwoPuttTommy. Tommy noted that Hann vaguely describes his occupation as "business process consultant" on his website, the official Senate website, and in campaign finance filings. Yet according to a tweet published last month by Twila Brase, president and co-founder of the conservative Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, Hann is now working in the insurance industry:

News Today at MAHU forum: Sen. DAVID HANN (R-MN) has license to sell insurance, has joined Boys & Tyler Financial & is now on a MAHU board.
-- Twila Brase (@twilabrase) October 4, 2012

A Fox 9 report notes that there are plenty of precedents of legislators regulating industries they work in, but according to government expert David Schultz, Hann's lack of transparency makes his case unique.

"The fact that he appears to have gone out of his way not to disclose work appears to lend suspicion that he's hiding it for reasons that he wants to hide," Schultz told Fox.

Compounding the appearance of a conflict of interest is the fact that Hann's Health Committee co-chair, Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, is also an associate at Tyler Financial. So what are these guys thinking about when considering possible insurance industry regulations, their bank accounts or taxpayers? Because at least in some instances, it seems as though the best interests of one or the other will come into conflict.

In the MinnPost report, DFL chair Ken Martin says, "The reality is that you have to call into question someone's ethics when the job they are paid to do conflicts with his Senate chairmanship of a committee that provides oversight to the industry."

Hann, for his part, says he hasn't "pursued all the requirements necessary by Minnesota law to become an insurance salesman." But according to Fox, that's only because no company has authorized him to write a policy yet. "That, however, is a very quick process," Fox's Tom Lyden writes.

It stinks.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
While the Strib report mailed in the "employment" situation by lifting the GOP press release disclosure, looking nowhere else, what is interesting about the Strib item is the comment thread. Nobody saying, "good choice." Instead, saying the opposite; and that's without the responding readers knowing about Boys and Tyler; and money to Hann in line with how he has voted, and how we surely may expect him to posture in the future. Single payer in Minnesota should run over Hann and his employer and their confederates like a runaway downhill logging truck with failed brakes.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
This link. Eric Pusey in that MPP item uses the term "craven journalism" which perhaps misses the mark, and arguably should be "mail it in non-journalism" or "gross negligence journalism" or "I can read a press release why do more journalism."

Hat tip to Tommy Johnson for emailing the link.