consultants are sandburs

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dahlberg vs. The Robot. Ortman knifed in the back via a flyer. Whose flyer? And other news.

Minn Post, here, on Ortman out, The McFadden down, Dahlberg at 54% and needing 60%; as of early Saturday adjournment.

Faceless bureaucrats of the GOP inner party nominated for Sec. of State, Auditor, may they lose handily. Find your own reporting on that.

Knifing of Ortman: My bet, Gores Group fingerprints on the thing but Gary neglected to identify the specific acid distributor:

Hat tip Gary Gross, here.

So, presumably a Gores Group special, unless some helpful reader holding the thing posts a comment identifying the perp(s) of this thing. Now, to me it is saying Ortman has more cajones than the other parrot flock, by being honest, but that appears to not have played well with conventioneers. Ortman, given that level of attention by opposition forces, should consider NOT abiding by the floor vote/endorsement. A chip on the shoulder would be attractive in going after the perp(s). And taking the message to a primary, the healthcare improvements, limited as they are and with the rollout database problems, truly are water under the bridge; and people want to know about jobs, wages, and the future of their families and children. They don't want theater, robotics, that stuff. They want Franken-like good sense, and that flyer shows Ortman had a bit of it in her favor.

Other news: Strib, here, "Mosquitoes' arrival is no less intense for its lateness."

Other news: Andy at Residual Forces posted nothing so far since May 23. Did somebody hide his laptop?

____________MORE_____________
Breitbart's ghost and Palin like Ortman. Talk radio history, so what? Gilmore likes Siefert.

MPP coverage of GOP balloting by Dan Burns, here.

The DFL contest of interest is Secretary of State, both candidates better than anything out of the GOP show; but Simon being the stronger and better experienced candidate in my judgment. MPP coverage by Eric Ferguson suggests that so far that contest is hanging fire, as is the GOP Guv scrum.

Quote of the day, MPP's Burns:

Update: 7 ballots, no endorsement, and they’ll apparently continue beginning 9AM Saturday. Ortman was dropped after #5. #7 had Dahlberg at 54%, and McFadden at 44.1%. McFadden has made it clear that he’s going to a primary. Dahlberg says he’ll abide. That sounds easy for him to say now, but in fact he’s been saying it from the beginning.

[emphasis added] Pre-convention, Brodkorb predicted Ortman and Siefert. No prize, on guessing Ortman. Re Siefert, the jury is still out, but it seems a safe bet.

photo credit
Coincidently, per here, here and here; Dahlberg is Stanley Hubbard's dog in the hunt, and with that along with Emmer, Stanley's batting average is high this season. [Excuse mixed metaphors, please - let's say Hubbard's bagged two this season, keeping to a hunting theme]

Actually, a better cliche of the day - Big Stan is the power behind the throne. That and freedom of the press is great, and if you think otherwise, ask some billionaire who owns one.

_______________UPDATE____________
It looks like I Robot, endorsed. No primary then?

I sure messed up, not having a scorecard; Gores Group is NOT into robotics. Into carpet bags. My mistake.

Soooooooooo - It's now Scott Honour time. Make Norm and Vin happy. Somebody else to be endorsed, Zellers and Honour both forecast as stepping back with the primary in mind. Honour's got the money.

Does Hubbard have a Guv favorite?

DFL, SoS, diddling not voting. Still waiting.

.............3:16 PM Saturday, May 31, 2014..............

______________UPDATE_____________
Johnson got endorsed to run against Mr. Moneybags and Mr. Maplegrove. Bless the three.

Another primary threesome in CD6, Sivarajah, Krinkie, and the one who has a legislative record needing scrutiny. What's that other guy sponsored while being trusted to be a legislator?

CD6 Dems can cross over and vote the GOP ballot, and should.

_____________UPDATE_____________
Republicans can now give back to Andy his laptop. Last post, May 23, he wrote of "Team Thompson." At win or go home time, Thompson did not win. Will he join the other three, in a primary? Another fish in the pond, Thompson that way; and will the one from LA with all the money end up Kingfish? Call him Kingfish? Guess that way?

No, not populist enough for that nickname.

But what will Thompson do? He probably already has lawn signs printed.

_____________UPDATE_____________
How could I have forgotten? Marty's still going primary, more clutter on the GOP primary ballot side.

Yes, Team Siefert. Pam Myhra -- to balance the ticket??? What balance? She never said boo about Emmer DUIs, or what?

From Project VoteSmart:


----------snip--------


----------snip--------

High school teacher background atop the ticket, inactive CPA on the second spot; balanced ticket, jobwise, genderwise, but on the issues is the idea to make Siefert look, by comparison, like a moderate?

Good luck selling that snakeoil, folks. To snakes, maybe, but primary voters are a cut above that even on the GOP ballot side.

_____________UPDATE_____________
Gary Gross' first post after the GOP convention is judgmental about Siefert; while praising The McFadden.

Friday, May 30, 2014

RAMSEY - David Jeffrey died May 28, after a drawn out fight against pancreatic cancer.

David earned respect from many, and while not a close friend to him I thought highly of his character and effort on council. Sometimes I differed in opinion with David, and often I thought he was seeing things largely as I did.

ABC Newspapers reports, this link. I join others in feeling sympathy with his family.

From Eric Hagen's reporting:

Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Sunday, June 1 at the Thurston-DeShaw Funeral Home, 13817 Jay St. NW, in Andover. The funeral is 10 a.m. Monday, June 2 at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, 525 Jackson St. NE, in Anoka with a reception to follow.

David’s CaringBridge page is:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/davidjeffrey

Quote of the day

Koch Industries' corporate ethos is to pollute the American landscape with impunity. After hours, they fuel a dark labyrinth of propoganda networks to spew out pollution of another kind-disinformation, defamation and denials. Their goal is not to gain market share--it is to rid the world of government oversight of their businesses and the nefarious groups that prop them up. This is how they roll.

Each brother is worth over $21 billion, making them the 5th richest "person" in America and among the nation's most pernicious political activists. The brothers over the years have outspent ExxonMobil's subsidies of shadow climate denier groups by a 3-1 margin.

Quote is from Strib, Mark Andrew, here.

Some might call that an opinion piece, I call it pure truthful reporting and nothing but that.

Sling a tea bag for Ortman.


Strib, here:

Tea Party Express backs Ortman in Senate race
Posted by: Corey Mitchell under Minnesota U.S. senators, Minnesota campaigns Updated: May 30, 2014 - 4:02 AM


[...]“Julianne Ortman has continuously proven through her service in the Minnesota Senate she is a born leader, ready to take the reins and buck the D.C. status quo in the same manner as Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. Her unapologetic and bold reform has successfully led to balanced budgets and no new taxes in her state,” Tea Party Express Executive Director Taylor Budowich said in a statement.

[...] The Tea Party Express endorsement is the latest sign that Ortman is coalescing conservative support for her campaign. Former Alaska Gov. and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has also endorsed her.

[emphasis added] What has Gores Group to say about that?

Ballmer to buy Clippers?

photo: screen capture, Seattle Times homepage

Seattle Times reports,

Shelly Sterling, L.A. Clippers co-owner, has signed an agreement with Steve Ballmer. The $2 billion deal would be the biggest sale in NBA history, but it’s subject to league approval.

By Geoff Baker - Seattle Times staff reporter


Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers, throwing the future of Seattle’s efforts to land an NBA team into question.

Ballmer bid $2 billion, outdistancing the $1.6 billion offered by a group led by music mogul David Geffen and $1.2 billion from Los Angeles investors Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh. In a statement released late Thursday night, Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling said she’d signed a binding contract for a sale of the team by The Sterling Family Trust to Ballmer.

Ballmer “will be a terrific owner,” Sterling said. “We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premier NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success.”

The offer is the second-highest ever for a sports team. It is pending approval by the NBA, which would almost certainly stipulate that Ballmer must keep the team in Los Angeles and not move it to Seattle. In a statement released late Thursday night, Ballmer seemed to indicate he would keep the team in Los Angeles.

“I love basketball. And I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that the Clippers continue to win — and win big — in Los Angeles,” Ballmer said. “LA is one of the world’s great cities — a city that embraces inclusiveness, in exactly the same way that the NBA and I embrace inclusiveness.”

A timeline on Sterling-Clipper things, online here.

It is interesting that Ballmer is photographed a few weeks before the $2 billion proto-deal is announced, head to head with the league's CEO. Also interesting, the "keep the Clippers in LA" rhetoric. Is it only a for now thing, is the thought that even with the Lakers there too LA is the better market than Seattle; or is the aim to wait a decorous time and then move the franchise to Seattle if the town builds Ballmer a venue-palace (after all I already paid two billion, so you guys build the arena)?

Or is Ballmer leaving the Pacific Northwest, headed to LA to be a high-roller in a town full of hustlers and high-rollers? He's got cash to play, wherever, however.

With Paul Allen owning the Seahawks and the Portland Trailblazers; and presuming this Clipper thing goes through; what's on the table for Bill to buy as his comparable jock-toy? Or is Bill now too mature to so indulge? What would Buffet advise? Buy a railroad instead?

And Donald Sterling and estranged wife, that saga? With it likely a 50-50 divorce split, making politically incorrect statements seems to have paid off for the Sterlings, and let that be a lesson?

It is an interesting diversion from ordinary life, to watch a soap opera. This has been one.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Flaherty told no on a subsidy. Good. But they still are in the hunt. Does that surprise?

Here, stating:

May 28, 2014 4:33 PM

MUNCIE — An Indianapolis developer is collaborating with the Muncie Housing Authority and the city on a proposed $7.6 million proposal that would achieve a major victory in the battle on blight and abandoned housing.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) in February rejected Flaherty & Collins’ application for $684,158 in rental housing tax credits and a $500,000 Development Fund loan for the project.

Five other projects in Indianapolis, South Bend and Princeton were chosen as finalists to submit full applications by July 1.

“We applied for that project but didn’t get invited to come back in the July round,” said Duane Miller, a vice president at Flaherty & Collins. “We’re still trying to pursue something like that still for November. We haven’t given up on the project yet. It’s still a possibility.”

Without a shred of shame, trying the well again. It is in the Flaherty genetic code, apparently. Or imprinted on the mental patterns, via positive Pavlovian reinforcement. Suggest a subsidy, they salivate.

Later, same item, same been there and seen that stuff:

Flaherty & Collins proposes to tap into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s tax credit assistance program funds to serve as an equity bridge loan for the project. Those funds would be fully repaid over time by a limited partnership.

In that final sentence, "might" instead of "would" fits better, in light of Flaherty and its North Carolina LLC shenanigans. Perhaps it should be,

"... would be fully repaid over time" in the absence of turning to Bankruptcy Court "by a limited partnership."

[UPDATED] A minimum wage saga. "The Odd Couple Converge." Strib carries a Dana Milbank - WAPO item, (but omitting links in the original).

WAPO, here. An excerpt, (like Strib omitting links):

Democrats have made the argument that an increase is morally right and that the only thing standing in the way is corporate greed. That may be so, but it hasn’t won them enough Republican support to get the increase through Congress. But what if Democrats were to make a free-market argument that a higher minimum wage would shrink the federal government and reduce the welfare state?

That’s the argument Ron Unz made to Nader’s gathering. Unz, a wealthy businessman known for his 1994 Republican primary challenge to California Gov. Pete Wilson and his fight against bilingual education, has serious conservative credentials, most recently as publisher of the American Conservative magazine. But now he’s leading a ballot measure in California to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour.

“The government spends over $250 billion a year in social welfare programs aimed at the working poor,” he said, addressing the group via Skype. “If we simply made the working poor much less poor by raising their wages to a much more reasonable level, a lot of that money would be saved, probably in the range of $40 to $50 billion a year.” The $250 billion spent on welfare for the working poor, Unz said, amounts to a “massive subsidy for businesses” that are paying less than a living wage and “forcing taxpayers to make up the difference.”

But what about the Congressional Budget Office study this year predicting that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 would cost 500,000 workers their jobs? Actually, Unz argued, the study found that 98 percent of minimum-wage workers would benefit from a wage increase, while only 2 percent would lose their jobs.

One link WAPO gives, to National Review Online, here, an item quoting in turn from a Nov 25, 2013, NY Times item, here, noting:

[... Conservative Ron Unz] plans to pour his own money into a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage in California to $10 an hour in 2015 and $12 in 2016, which would make it by far the highest in the nation. Currently, it is $8 — 75 cents higher than the federal minimum.

Using what he sees as conservative principles to advocate a policy long championed by the left, Mr. Unz argues that significantly raising the minimum wage would help curb government spending on social services, strengthen the economy and make more jobs attractive to American-born workers.

“There are so many very low-wage workers, and we pay for huge social welfare programs for them,” he said in an interview. “This would save something on the order of tens of billions of dollars. Doesn’t it make more sense for employers to pay their workers than the government?”

Mr. Unz plans to submit the ballot language to the California secretary of state on Tuesday, declaring his intention to gather enough signatures to place it on the ballot in 2014.

Labor union leaders and top Democrats in the state said they were not aware of the plan, though Mr. Unz said he would welcome their help.

Presumably those in Minnesota employed full time [or part time to dodge employer-funded healthcare mandates] but still needing food stamps and/or other transfer payment assistance to survive would welcome Unz, whatever his motives, to spend a chunk of his own cash in Minnesota promoting the idea of paying a decent wage in exchange for an hour of labor. I bet Kieth Ellison would be open minded enough to talk to the man.

____________UPDATE____________
In the Pacific Northwest, do folks have a better approach?

An effort called "15Now" is promoted, with some saying "15 by 15" in wanting a $15 minimum wage to take effect next year; see, e.g., reporting at this link. The latest 15Now link is source of the below screen capture:

click to read, follow above link for detail

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
If you know who Floyd B. Olson was, you might enjoy from that last/latest 15Now link:

15 Now in Seattle is a Model for Building Nationwide

Since 2012 low-wage and fast-food workers have taken strike action and raised the demand for a $15 minimum wage. Now, Seattle has become the first major city to win the fight for $15, a victory achieved by a historic grassroots movement. This is a step forward not only for 100,000 low-paid workers in Seattle but for everyone fighting to end poverty wages.

The movement in Seattle forced the political establishment to accept $15, especially the launching of the 15 Now campaign in January 2014 by the newly elected Socialist Alternative councilmember Kshama Sawant.

Even with some corporate loopholes in the deal – which could have been defeated with a stronger movement – the message is clear. We can take on big business and win! In Seattle alone, raising the minimum wage to $15 would put an additional $3 billion into the pockets of low-wage workers over the next decade.

Now is the time to spread the movement nationwide. Imagine what can be achieved across the country if 15 Now grows into a strong national organization of low-wage workers, unions, and community activists in a common struggle for a $15 minimum wage.

Hint to others, Floyd B. was FL before there was DFL, and has nothing to do with any football trophy, Gophers against Hawkeyes. Will such rhetoric energize tepid Minnesota labor council types, or are they too narrowly focused on short-term membership jobs via Wilfare? Best guess: The K-Street crowd will love to see that 15Now mentality grow legs nationally. It will distress their customer/clients who will bring them sacks of cash to have them lobby to have the Capitol crowd throw the kill-switch on any such "mischief." The Kochs will hold sessions in Aspen. Good business potential for that suppress-populism cadre, in any 15Now national thinking? May they be surprised; though the squelching of the Occupy movement suggests otherwise.

A legislated sunshine protection for citizens re government contracts - an implied term of contracts and subcontracts where a governmental body contracts with the private sector.

Strib reports on Dayton signing "the Timberjay bill" here, referencing back to an earlier Strib item, here.

A Minnesota Newspaper Association "Sunshine Week Editorial" from mid-March, here.

FOR THOSE WANTING MORE DETAIL: The bill repairs a data practices loophole that needed a fix; see Court of Appeals decision favoring transparency here; see reversal by Minnesota's Supreme Court, here.

Bill text and history of it advancing through the legislature to become law also is online, here; for what the bill says; (with how the courts will read it being tomorrow's question).

MY TAKE: A frustration from before the last Ramsey council election; Flaherty had a financing contract for his apartment adventure with the City fronting him public money, and in that context there was the employment contract between Flaherty and his general contractor and Emily McGlone. It's details and Ryan Cronk's role in it coming into being was something I strongly believed the public should know, yet, where the bast gentlemen stonewalled me.

What pay, what details, it was inaccessible per the judicial precedent. Now, with this bill, presumably if a similar incident were to recur, a suit to compel disclosure of such elemental detail likely would succeed; although the expectation would be needing to sue, still, to force (from within the weed patch of those dealing in such a style of employment practices) a compliance with sensible and proper law.

We citizens wanting maximal accountability in government should all rejoice on the legislature, this time, doing the right thing by closing that offensive loophole.

NOTE: The headline use of "implied term" is appropriate. The law demands that subcontracts expressly contain a sunshine clause/term; but the likely place where litigation will ensue is where such a thing is omitted either via negligence or intent. Then, it would be for the courts on a "clearly at law should have been there" basis to imply it existing even if omitted in actual [sub]contract text.

[UPDATED] Fireworks? The individual politician should try ideas instead. Ideas could pop in his head, pop, pop, pop. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Strib, here.

UPDATE: From the politician's website:



Demagoguery? Well, whether or not you'd apply that D-word, the bottom's kind of dropped out of the bluster; here. From that item:

The interim investigative report released Wednesday found at least 1,700 veterans waiting for health care at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs medical facility were not included on the facility’s wait list, and patients there waited an average of 115 days for their first appointments.

The report also documents schemes used at VA facilities intended to conceal wait times and concluded that the problems are national in scope.

Less than a week ago, Walz said he would reserve judgment until the report was complete and that Shinseki, the longest-serving VA secretary in history, deserved the “benefit of the doubt.”

The troubling findings apparently removed all doubt.

Let's see, "released Wednesday" means yesterday, May 28, so the politician's website sputtering is all about not waiting to see the evidence presented via an inspector general's report? Isn't it best to wait until all of the reliable evidence has been analyzed and presented, rather than jumping to attack-mode conclusions, aka, being premature? It seems that Franken holding office was sagacious in holding judgment, which probably is why he should remain in office; sagaciousness; whereas others are getting fireworks permits.

___________UPDATE____________
It may be a universal problem with all healthcare cost. Too many chiefs and not enough indians.

NYT, here.

Hey, isn't that the military's problem too? And the service academies keep churning out graduates; no curtailment there despite an obvious brass-heavy status quo. In healthcare, specialization paying better and bottlenecking the med school doors makes primary care backlogs what they are. GOP tightness with the budget has meant the VA has been short changed and the chiefs in VA units appear to have been telling the indians to cook the books.

Shinseki is to fall on his sword, but the NYT item talks of 20-years of same old, same old. Veterans deserve better, and indeed, once Medicare for all becomes the norm, as it must over time, we all will deserve better.

Spending on oil wars should never be promoted over spending on citizen well-being, yet that is exactly what the Bush-Cheney-Rove administration and the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned of has done to us.

Progressive answers, not Tea Party keening, are needed to dig out of the hole by ramping out rather than digging deeper. And clearly, unfunded federal mandates is what digging the many holes deeper is all about. And which politicians are the ones mainly digging deeper? Answer that in November at the polls.

Fund it and it will work. Money spent of facilities, that does create short-term construction jobs, but medical care is dispensed by medical practitioners, not construction workers, not administrators [aka "bean counters"].

Do it. But do it right. And DO NOT politicize it. Fix it WITHOUT finger pointing. Remember, 20 years. That spans the Bush tax cuts, after all, so why is that side doing ANY finger pointing. They are the smoke and mirrors crowd.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mark 12:31

Here. Versions and reversions, same text, and why that, to headline this post, now?

Well, it has been a while since Crabgrass has looked at: Larry Klayman.

Today's Klaymanesque thought, is having the soapbox more important to Larry than who he shares it with? Or is he congruent with those who use the same soapbox?

Look at Klayman's soapbox link, the text, and it seems he has little love except for a judge who early in some litigation gave him a favorable ruling. Aside from that, the man's hard on NSA, Obama, Holder, Peter King, Mike Rogers, and Speaker Boehner (have I missed anyone).

And it seems not to be "hard love," just hard. Next, what love does Marielena Montesino de Stuart, there on the sidebar with Klayman have for "neighbors" in having a faith system? (See Marielena, in that partial screenshot I've titled "FlockingTogether.png".) She expresses little love, it seems, e.g., here in knowing better than Her Pope does, and in an undeterred enlargement on that theme; here.


Hey -- If you think Larry is prisoner of his own rhetoric, the lady's posts are of a trump suit.


Readers can draw many inferences, and are invited to, from the lady's opining. Indeed it would be presumptuous to try to catalog in this post a range of potential reader reaction; so leave it at this - It is little wonder such journalism is easily subject to parody. It invites parody. Broad and borderline tasteless parody. Climate change denier and denial parody. [UPDATE: More.]

Rightwingnut rhetoric seems a pushover for parody. So, that said, bottom line for reader consideration, is "judged by the company you keep" being fair to Larry? In the instance of his soapbox cohort, Ms. Marielena? Or do we judge him only by his own screeds?

Six of one, a half-dozen of the other? Not really. Larry's not gone, to my knowledge, where the lady goes.

Cut him that slack, such as it is.

___________UPDATE____________
A bit related, the rightwingnut scumsuckers have even stooped to bastardizing The Matrix. How low will they go? I am shocked.

They're a bunch of Agent Smiths. There I can bastardize the Matrix too. Proves a lot, doesn't it?

You may ask yourself - What is the GOP platform?

This page, these folks, go to the original to follow that link to, "The most recent copy ..."

click image to enlarge and read

As a thought experiment, this is posted mid-day, May 27. How long will that link be as it stood at the time of the post? Not that error cannot happen, but how long should it last?

Ready for retirement. Overdue for it.

This couple deserves more time together outside of DC.
Vote in Obermueller. Make it happen.

The Republican message of fighting decent medicine for all, independent of employment-employer reliance, the cynical tact of - keep folks on tenderhooks and insecure to keep them most pliant - cannot be the open overt message. It lacks traction with voter self-interest despite it being the inner party's GOP goal. Hence they have little choice but to be the party of no. It's all the snakeoil they have to sell you. Their major aims stink. And they want to Karl Rove over that stench.

The headline says it all. That's probably all to post today. Looking at the effort to empower a New Populist Majority may be time better spent than hopping all around the web from site to site. Here is a place to start,

http://populistmajority.org/

with hopping around the site's subpages being a good use of time.

That page links here:
 http://ourfuture.org/TheNewPopulism.pdf




Four pages of common sense. The above screenshot as the ending of the final page. At four pages, it is a memo too short to be called a manifesto. The GOP has its counter-manifesto, fewer words than four pages:

Do as Karl Rove says, do as Karl Rove does, the Roberts court has your back.

Karl Rove is the boogeyman, not Karl Marx. Learn that and you're on your way to a better America.

REPUBLICANS:
They have a contorted, stunted, insincere message because at heart they are: Not wanting actual tax reform, the rolling back of Reagan and Bush tax cuts for the wealthy with current budget levels maintainable via higher taxing of wealth and concomitant tax relief for everybody else, (including closing loopholes for the wealthy like Romney with his stashed tax-haven loot), that tax relief being a part of ending the imbalance the Republican mainstream has laid upon us via instigating factionalism and discord among those not in the 1% and doing that by buying propaganda and politicians. The Republican mainstream is having its insurgencies within their tent; the worry being their most cynical and organized inner party operatives simply exert a coup and take over the Democratic party, as has already happened in too large a measure.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Stupid is as stupid does. This report of pseudo-issue mongering reviews sheer fiddling around the edges of reality. They are not all over Geithner because they all were in cahoots with Geithner in letting Main Street suffer while Wall Street got coddled and rewarded.

Strib carrying an AP feed, here, this excerpt for the flavor:

GOP hopes renewed probes into Benghazi, IRS will fire up conservatives and not annoy centrists

House Republicans are gambling that ramping up new inquiries into old controversies involving the Internal Revenue Service and Libya will energize conservative voters without turning off moderates.

Over Democrats' heated objections, House Republicans voted this month to hold an IRS official in contempt for refusing to testify. They also launched a new investigation into the September 2012 terrorist attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, which killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

Democrats say the moves reek of political opportunism and desperation.

Criticizing the president's health care law "has run its course," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, and Republicans "have to find something else to talk about." She called the new Benghazi inquiry a "political stunt."

Republicans say their actions are serious and justified, even if they also might be good politics.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the select committee on Benghazi will not be partisan or involve political "sideshows." But he declined to tell Republicans to stop using the Benghazi tragedy to raise campaign money.

So what? We are all still suffering, yet early into things Wall Street got serviced. Fair and square, and too big to fail? Isn't the truth they proved themselves too failed to be big?

Geithner: Here, here, a self-serving account, here and here. Also, the thing did go splat under the Republicans, in the latter lame-duck Bush II months in office; handing a big puddle of muck to his successor; and through it all Goldman, Sachs prospered; Wall Street prospered; and politicians of both parties in our beloved two-party system kept criticism under check.

Whatever Barney Frank is doing these days, the other Dodd-Frank legislative leader, in the Senate, is now raking in MPAA lobbying millions each year, as Mr. SOPA. Here and here.

___________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Back once more to Elizabeth Warren, on how the Republicans insist on ignoring real issues - the economy, need for a minimum wage increase and tax inequalities being examples - over lesser far narrower considerations of no general concern or impact on many in the nation but which they hope to polarize and emotionally inflate, in hopes of reaping political benefit by distraction of the public's attention from the pattern of their constant and contrary aims to stifle fairness for the least wealthy while favoring plutocrat enrichment across the board; Warren re Benghazi, here. (Taking time, that last sentence might have been written more tightly, but I was searching for words to express the frustration felt over this Benghazi stuff being taken at all seriously by the press, who should know better.)

Memorial Day.

The Economist.

And who in their right mind would engage US troops in Syria? Attack Iran, yesterday as some urge? Get any deeper into the Libya quagmire? Or half-a-world away, the Ukraine? It would be worse than the Iraq and Afghanistan fiasco efforts of Cheney and the neocons, those saying there is now but a single superpower, so take military advantage of it; cash in those chips. The fewer troops put in harms way ending with a premature death, the smaller the memorial need be, and the better that is for our people, our economy, the world. War is Hell, so why charge hellbent into frays of intrigue and questionable merit. As some counsel, still, unmindful even after recent lessons of limitations of war as policy, after Vietnam.

If you find the drabness of The McFadden tedious, unfulfilling, empty - a reminder of Romney and Norm Coleman merged into a single robot's programming, try this for style.

This link. Watch and think over the Elizabeth Warren video.

The Economist, here, this quote:

A former Harvard professor, expert in bankruptcy law and long-time campaigner for tougher regulation of banks, she has developed a nationwide following among the Democratic Party’s grassroots since her election to the Senate in 2012 to represent Massachusetts. YouTube videos of her roughing up bankers and other bigwigs at Senate hearings have gone viral. She recently published a book of memoirs, “A Fighting Chance”, linking her upbringing by struggling middle-class parents with her political views (eg, tougher policing of Wall Street, a higher minimum wage, expanded Social Security benefits, cheaper loans for college students, a rollback of Republican curbs on union organising and collective bargaining).

In her speech last week, Mrs Warren laid into unpopular targets with gusto. Big banks “cheated American families, crashed the economy, got bailed out” and were now larger than ever. Indeed, they “still swagger through Washington, blocking reforms and pushing around agencies,” she thundered. The country was being starved of investment in infrastructure and education, while “rich and profitable corporations” enjoyed billions in subsidies and tax loopholes. “The game is rigged—and it’s not right!” she cried. The people believe in progressive values, she offered in closing, and the people would decide the future of this country: “This is our fight!”

Leaving aside the content of her policies, Mrs Warren is a punchy public speaker: crisp, clear and impassioned in tone, rather than strident. Her message was unmistakably pitched at a nationwide audience: this was not the speech of someone narrowly working for re-election in Massachusetts.

What's not to like about that? Somebody has to say what has to be said. If it is Elizabeth Warren, then Hillary, please step to the side as one powerful, connected, but becoming irrelevant.

Warren seems to have the same skepticism toward bankers and banking that Ron Paul displays, but without the hard heart. A populist rather than a libertarian, she seems less to want an ax to chop away at federal government, favoring instead a Bobcat tractor as a tool to push out the unsavory piled in muck. It is refreshing to have that view represented and voiced firmly.

Hillary's part of that status quo, not against it. It is how she and Bill got rich.

____________UPDATE_____________
Warren posts on the web, including one for Mother's Day.

Warren speaks honestly. That is refreshing after ... [make your own list, don't go overboard]. And it is unintentioned chance that the sidebar notice of Warren's book comes adjacent to things about Chris Christie. Pure chance. Really.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day. The VA. And Bernie, caring to do things with accountability, but correctly recognizing due process Constitutional norms.

Two links, here and here. The troll will perhaps offer a "he's a socialist, that's socialism" comment. It would be correct on both counts. The VA's medical coverage is an example of socialized medicine, which if off track can be put back on track, not privatized into oblivion as some would do with Medicare, Social Security, and VA benefits, under the guise of "reform."

Properly funded, those three systems work and help those less fortunate than the 1%, to feel secure and not subject to adverse whim and circumstance fueled by the greed of the 1%.

For the Memorial Day holiday, it is proper to look to substantive things, beyond waving a flag and saying, "They served and we respect that." Those words, that flag waving, it's cheap, and devoid of true substance. Any politician can pull that stunt; and many do. Put the funding and supervison where it trumps tokenism.

__________UPDATE___________
Marco No, from the party of NO, reported, here. WAPO, w/o a byline date, but likely this past week [UPDATE: reporting on earlier veteran affairs legislation; (byline Feb. 27 of this year)]; here. The Blaze, here, fails to discuss funding and coverage considerations, only Marco posturing. This link. The Senate Committee page. C-SPAN. Rollcall. While the House majority is moving as it is, Rollcall noted:

The chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee appears to be rejecting a House-passed bill that would grant authority to the VA secretary to fire a variety of senior officials.

Instead, Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., is working to develop a new piece of VA accountability bill in consultation with the White House, his office said in a statement Friday. The bill would include “expedited due-process protections” for covered VA employees, Sanders’ office said.

“In recent years, as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 1.5 million more veterans have entered the VA health care system,” Sanders said in a statement. “Congress must do everything possible to make certain that the VA has the financial resources and administrative accountability to provide the high-quality health care and timely access to care that our veterans earned and deserve.”

[...] Sanders also announced plans to reintroduce a version of broader veteran’s health legislation that failed to garner the votes needed overcome a GOP filibuster on the Senate floor.

House Republicans seem long on bluster, short on funding it; and that's fine with Marco No. Throwing stones.

RAMSEY - Fire protection arrangements. It would be as dumb as dirt for a merger, when only a joint operating agreement would suffice. However other towns and Ramsey have dug themselves into a hole in pension concessions, let each live within its own circumstances. Don't share that hurt.

This ABC Newspaper link, for context, and if readers do not check it out, the remainder of this post might not make sense.

There need not be a manpower/employment contract merger; indeed, much can be said against that. However, a joint operation - scheduling - capital expenditure understanding, reduced to a writing and binding, might make sense.

That way, Ramsey has the workforce it desires, other towns do the same, and how pension arrangements are arranged should remain with each jurisdiction. Some California cities (and other towns) have turned to bankruptcy court because of pension load upon current budget and/or because of massive liability judgments; Minnesota statutory law permits "municipal" relief in bankruptcy court, and if one of those other towns goes splat, the splat should not spill over to Ramsey; and vice versa.

The fewer and more constrained the inter-governmental entanglements, the better, should contract voiding become a bankruptcy issue. Finally, nothing could be found in Ramsey's Charter barring any use of Minn. Stat. 471.831 for relief, should the Council ever adopt that choice, for whatever reason(s) it might. It is good Ramsey has so far avoided founding for itself a slush-fund Pork Port Authority, since that kind of entitiy using Sect. 471.831 is not mentioned within the statute as feasible. I want a bar against ever having a Pork Port Authority written into the charter, but with the current charter commission the thought has yet to grow legs. (Too busy diddling around on franchise fee visions and revisions, with franchise fee concerns being posed as an election day ballot issue unless my tea leaf reading is faulty.)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

An item that speaks for itself.

This link.

In a show like that a cameo appearance would do, for Michele Bachmann, as a reincarnated 15th Century serf, wholly uneducated but driven by a scaffolding of loosely tied together superstition and a canny peasant ability to foresee and avoid the heel of leadership while otherwise wanting incredibly to rise above her station. Ends up after a play in three episodes being written out, after discovering a talent to turn dross into gold, and not afterward in any scripts. What would Nietzsche say? Tune in. Find out.

UPDATE: Dross into gold? This link.

Indianapolis Colt owner Jim Irsay agrees with Chief Justice Roberts. Money talks.

Strib, here, this excerpt:

Hamilton County prosecutors said Irsay was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite in the body, which carry maximum penalties of 60 days in jail and $500 fines for each count. A probable cause affidavit said Irsay was driving under the influence of oxycodone and/or hydrocodone, both powerful painkillers.

Irsay was arrested near his home at about 3 a.m. on March 16 with $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his vehicle. Police said Irsay denied being drunk and told an officer he had taken several prescription medications during the day. A police report said the 54-year-old billionaire was so disoriented that officers made him sit on the hood of a patrol car to keep him from falling, and that he had trouble reciting the alphabet.

Police had filed four preliminary felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, charges that each carried possible sentences of six months to three years in prison. Prosecutors took weeks before deciding to file the misdemeanor charges instead.

Why does this remind me of a few years back, the Anoka mayor, driving a squad car as a part-time sheriff's deputy on patrol duty, driving Rod Grams' son Morgan Grams home uncharged, after an arrest where the co-defendant in the auto was put in the slammer for a pot bust.

It got the Sheriff's office the name, "Morgan Grams Taxi Service," and got mayor Bjorn elected next chance voters had to throw the other bum out.

Influence talks. And Dean Barkley gets his SUV snarled in a forfeiture when letting a friend borrow it. Dean's fifteen minutes of fame clearly are behind him. Jesse's in Mexico, Dean's in distress.

The puzzle in all of this, and ex-Viking Koren Robinson's police/driving encounters; as rich as these guys are why have they not hired chauffeurs? It could be something that grows legs, an NFL status symbol as such; I party, my driver drives, I coast and continue doing touchdowns.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Organizing is how to get St. Thomas and others to play fair with adjunct faculty.

From an email received today:

Adjunct faculty at St. Thomas and other colleges and universities in Minnesota are organizing with SEIU Local 284 to address their low wages and lack of benefits. They are coming together to improve their working conditions and the learning experience of their students. With 2/3 of all new faculty now off the “tenure track,” this is an increasing important issue facing the future of higher education.

The men and women who teach at some of the most prestigious schools in the region should not have to struggle to support themselves and their families.

[,,,]

It is incredibly important for faculty to know the community supports their right to organize, so please take a minute to sign this petition and share with your networks.


In Solidarity,
Brian Elliott
Executive Director
SEIU MN State Council

Good for them. If it has to come to organizing to get a fair shake, then organize. The email noted an online petition community members are urged to sign:

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/support-the-adjunct-faculty-of-st-thomas

Robo-voter? Not primarily.

Strib reports.
Twenty years, nary a primary. This one is different since The McFadden is being entered by handlers, and likely will show up to vote for - The McFadden.

Can you say chutzpah?

More chutzpah than class? Opinions may vary. Either vote smart or don't vote.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

RAMSEY - The city website has some timely information.

This page,

http://www.ci.ramsey.mn.us/elections

This quote:

2014 Election Information

2014 is a regular election year. The City of Ramsey will have Council offices on the Primary and General ballot. The following seats will be up for election:

Councilmember At-Large
Councilmember Ward 1
Councilmember Ward 3

Filing for office opens at 8:00 a.m. May 20, 2014 and closes at 5:00 p.m., June 3.

The Primary Election is August 12, 2014 – all polling locations open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

In-person absentee voting for the Primary Election begins on June 27, and may be done at either Ramsey City Hall or Anoka County Elections. The hours are 8:00 to 4:30. City Hall will also be open on Saturday, August 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to accommodate absentee voting. You may absentee vote up to 5:00 p.m., on Monday, August 11. You may also request a ballot by mail by calling 763.427.1410 (City Hall) or 763.323.5275 (Anoka County).

The General Election is November 4, 2014 – all polling locations open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

School lunches - Scrooge or not?

Scrooge says, "Let them eat cake," while getting favorable attention from the cake people?

MN Progressive Project here, noting a Strib item which unlike much of Strib content, is authored in-house vs carrying an AP feed.

WAPO reports, here.

WAPO editorializes, with many helpful links, here. In particular, this study.


-------------------------
It's not working. The party of NO says so.

Does that sound familiar by now?

Especially when Mr. Mitt's 47% might appear to benefit from something actually working. Calling it a failure first, then wanting to undermine it, from kid's eating healthy meals to expanding access to healthcare; it fails is the regular starting litany - the party of NO, showing up, saying so.

Truth stands on its own, so look, think, decide. Should the nation be channeled to eating healthy meals, as a first step to curtail eating-habit related later life healthcare costs? That as a part of bending down that curve, as we've heard so much about? Should that happen or at least be initiated at as early an age as possible? What is the downside to that? Whose ox might be gored by such a policy; organic and other growers; or food processing conglomerates? Does any reader know whether Cargill has a position on the school lunch question? If so, please leave a comment.

___________UPDATE___________
Burns' MPP item posed the question of whether the Strib's in-house authored item was puffing pro-Kline or whether it was aimed to be somewhat neutral but not offensive to Strib subscribers who might favor Kline. Keeping subscriptions being an aim, this day and age of the web. He drew an interesting comment from Mac Hall, who sees Kline much as I do:

Pro-Kline.

First, off before getting into the jest of the story, what about the timing ?
The word was out last week that Mike Obermueller was going to have a “big announcement”. Kline’s camp had to know this was coming … so did they push a story to make sure they had something going for whatever Obermueller did. Let’s remember that his committee held a hearing on food lunches in June 2013 … so why is this a Strib story now when the school year is coming to an end ?

Ya gotta remember who the audience is and how far the reader will follow the story.
Read the first line — “From his powerful perch as chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, GOP Rep. John Kline is trying to slow down implementation of new rules …”

The issue is not school meals … it’s the nanny state. And that first line was a campaign commercial.

That’s the message that he wants his supporters to hear … “we don’t want the government telling us what to feed our kids” (the fact that he voted to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program that helps feed children is not a concern.)

John Kline has been Penny Unwise and Pounds Foolish for years which I outlined before.

RE : minnesotacentral.bl...
RE : mnpoliticalroundtab...

[...]

[links in original; Crabgrass readers are encouraged to read each].

As Hall clearly seems to judge, Mike Obermueller is by far a superior choice in that Congressional district, over sending Kline back for yet more kid food Scroogery and more student loan obscenity (favoring Kline's for-profit phony-university support base, and yes, opinions can differ).

I regret not being in that district where an Obermueller vote might make a difference more so than a Perske vote in CD6 where I live, and where despite every reason in the world not to, the electorate likely will replace Bachmann with Emmer and not feel shame over it.

Perske seems like a genuinely nice guy, more capable than Emmer and more decently self-restrained, but Emmer has the Hubbard steamroller fired up, so we shall see.

Here is hoping for but not expecting a sound CD6 result. Send a buffoon to DC being the expectation.

However, in CD2 any thoughtful voters there should be sure to respond to Obermueller GOTV effort, since Kline is vulnerable and overdue for being phased out of politics, this cycle.

To contribute or learn:

.........................................

the Obermueller Campaign:

phone: 612-518-0498
email: info@mikeobermueller.com

P.O. Box 211682
Eagan MN, 55121



_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
More local commentary on the student lunch effort, here.

It does seem Strib's item cautiously but decidedly spins against the weight of criticism.

Hall is likely correct about that despite the very tedious and ever constant groundswell of Republican blog bleating over the press treating them wrongly - which clearly is a falsehood regardless of how often it is reiterated.

And - bonus time but a constant thread of a theme - more of the big lie GOP naysayers being contradicted by fact; this time on their "It does not work" healthcare posturing, here and here.

Again two items well worth the time it takes to read each.

The bigger the lie; the more it is repeated -- propaganda methodology likely with us since Roman times if not earlier. So, take that "It does not work" stuff with a major grain of skeptical and analytical salt. Fact in an ideal world trumps fiction. The Mindemin item about Stuart Mills makes that point well.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Nobody jumps on Kline's diservice to the state and nation, hard and with spurs on. He deserves it.

Check out the maps MPR offers on obesity, something Kline does not suffer - he looks trim and fit, himself - unless his fat's all in the head. MPR notes on the "freedom to choose my [my kid's] school lunch as we'd feed him/her/them at home" mentality, the "no nanny state" worldview:

As for Kline, who didn’t offer any alternative in the article, he says the linking to campaign contributions is unfair.

Early on in 2011 comments to the USDA, General Mills weighed in against certain portion size restrictions and asked for a delay in mandatory implementation. The company’s Political Action Committee and employees have donated about $75,000 since 1997 to Kline, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

“I think we need to have a little more confidence and trust in the states and districts,” Kline said.

That’s how we got Mississippi, the fattest, least healthy, least educated state in the nation. In fact, the “freedom to” states tend to be the drain on obesity and health. Check this graphic from the Wall St. Journal.

[link in original] And with that, MPR publishes the charts proving that healthy food means less healthcare cost; and who wants their children to look like they come from Mississippi?

Besides, Kline's statement in the above quote begs the big question, how much "confidence and trust" should we have in John Kline's perspective and judgments?

Yes, it is a hypothetical for me in CD6 and a clear reality for CD2 voters to decide, but from a distance, I would cut the guy little to no slack. He gets money from the food lobby, and his convictions follow; he gets money from the phony-university crowd, and his convictions follow. He has VA socialized medical care available and the Congressional perks are far above average; and he is convinced a closer-to-universal healthcare situation is bad, for you and others and should be repealed or changed around to look like what existed before the admittedly limited reform steps were enacted; i.e., rule by the insurance bureaucrats aiming at enhancement of corporate bottom lines and not at providing the best for the most of our population. Their loss has been our gain, and why would anybody not in the 1% [or there AND fixed up fine as Kline is health-wise] dislike having better nationwide healthcare access available for all Americans?

UPDATE NOTE: Previously, at the beginning of the post just above the dotted and red highlighted text, this WAPO editorial was linked. In as simple and direct a way as possible it states why the program has merit as an improvement over a prior status quo, and why the WAPO editorial board supports it and opposes GOP efforts to water it down, tamper with it, or undermine it. Any reader who did not follow that link previously is urged to follow it now. Kline may be well intentioned in questioning things, and presuming that is the case and he is free of contributor influence, he nonetheless is plain wrong in attacking the plan and should stop.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Aplikowski - less than enamoured with Scott Honour.

Note use of the alternate spelling of the one verb in the headline, in honor of Honour.

Andy, here. At least he does not call the gentleman a "socialist." Andy may have faults but lack of candor, circumspection in stating his feelings, is not one of them.

Another politician to speak at the U.

This Strib link.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The McFadden, not a breakthrough, but an evolutionary small step in robotics engineering.

Replacing an earlier, now retired robotic model from the same firm of Rove, Weber & Coleman, LLC.

Replacement for retired (phased-out) model, The Pawlenty.

The McFadden: Uncontroversial, standing for nothing.

Looking respectably cordial doing so. Engineered Fashioned that way. (Engineering largely unchanged from phased-out federal or state models but with fine tuning of exterior styling.)

___________UPDATE___________
Ask yourself, is the crock half empty? Or half full?

_______FURTHER UPDATE_______
Another area where The McFadden might be programmed to equivocate, generalize, evade, obfuscate, blow fuses, or, with some of his friends thinking one way and other friends the other way, having programming conservatively set for The McFadden, presently, to simply and unequivocally agree with his friends:

The main system consideration, is there something hard-wired into The McFadden's central processor core circuitry (or is an installed RWC, LLC, BIOS ROM module governing and at play)?

Or is the thing running on updatable software, only for now at a pre-primary yet-to-be-advertised beta release version?

Something such as a "McFaddenware Core Values Aspiration Adaptation Module" adjunct to The McFadden's Operating System; a software ver. 1.0, (or a 1.1 recoding inclusive of a prelim bugfix avoiding infinite looping and any present firm commitment to any policy or position)?

_______FURTHER UPDATE_______
Think of the situation where, as with the healthcare website glitches, when Rove, Weber & Coleman, LLC, programmers get around to a first attempt at installing content what if they have comparable programming problems, and the thing never says boo up to November. The scariest scenario, The McFadden already has speaking capability programmed, but the will and content modules are being formulated as I write, and they are late to never before election day, and the McFadden still wins. Without need of a recount. Almost as scary (but better as theater) would be if programming glitches have the thing saying when first posed to speak publicly, that Marxist socialism is a superior statist form of government to 1% dominated capitalism, the rich should be taxed, he has no care whether the Vikings have a winning record, and Obama is not a socialist and it is a pure and dastardly lie from anyone so ill-motivated as to be saying so - the thing could void all programming warranties and do a reverse-Norm, from GOP to DFL.

_______FURTHER UPDATE_______
The Eric Black item from MinnPost as linked to above, shows that The McFadden's obfuscation-evasion module has already been installed and booted up into general working order without major mishap. The content module likely may involve a smaller or comparable number of lines of code, GOP content being sparse and predictable, but probably is still bug-prone to where the risk of having any McFadden content over an empty shell governs. Presumably, the code is being tuned by the LLC's programmers, for installation at some point when television advertising will proliferate, i.e., some time before the primary voting day. In an emergency, with little real risk, the content module from The Pawlenty could be downloaded to a tiny thumb drive and used in The McFadden without any expected doctrinaire mishaps to speak of. While not open source, the simplicity of The Pawlenty's content module is its greatest virtue, for cross-loading into The McFadden, and likely could be cross-installed in an hour or less, today, if felt necessary. Yet, these are conservatives, so they are moving as expected, conservatively. Cross loading content from The Christie might in contrast be problematic because Minnesota has already had one bridge disaster, while The Pawlenty was running on its own content module. Keeping content-neutral status set on The McFadden, short term, seems the prevailing strategy of the LLC, and with its success so far, that tact cannot be greatly faulted. Also, a consistent bug across content modules of The Pawlenty and The Christie is a laughable will to pretend being Presidential in scope, and if The Pawlenty's content module is used, that code would have to be set inactive, bypassed, but duly commented as to cause and reasoning for the code alteration prior to any installation in The McFadden.

_______FURTHER UPDATE_______
As one decidedly grounded on the Jeffersonian principle of absolute separation of church and state, I find it curious how this campaign page for The McFadden extoles alleged virtues of "Cristo Rey, an inner city school in Minneapolis [...] which was started six years ago, [and] is designed to serve children who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds," without ever using, as though consciously purged by handlers, the word "Jesuit."

This Twin-Cities school's founding appears not unlike an earlier formed Jesuit effort in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore with a Wikipedia page, down to a parallel naming, per the enterprise's about page, which shows the enterprise unashamed and unhampered in using the school's full name, as here:

Mission
The mission of the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School-Twin Cities is to provide an education in the Jesuit tradition which integrates college preparatory academic and professional work environments thereby preparing students from under-resourced families for success in college and life.

With history being:

The Cristo Rey model was developed in 1995, when then-Chicago Archbishop Joseph Cardinal Bernadine encouraged the Jesuits to find a way to provide quality, Catholic secondary education for the impoverished immigrant Hispanic population of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. When Fr. John Foley, SJ, was missioned to be the founding President of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, its development faced a great challenge... funding. There was simply no way these families could afford a traditional private secondary education.

Fr. Foley and his team set to find other means of financing the private school and stumbled upon the idea of a work-study program. When Cristo Rey Jesuit High School opened its doors in 1996, students attended classes four days a week and went to work one day a week at paying jobs in the local, Chicago business community. After only a year, faculty and staff observed that an unexpected benefit from the work-study program; the students themselves were earning more than just a wage to underwrite their tuition, but also valuable skills and experience for their future.

It was soon after, that Fr. Foley dreamed of others replicating his school in Pilsen. In 2001, the Cristo Rey Network was established when philanthropist B.J. Cassin established the Cassin Educational Initiative Foundation, to “blueprint” and replicate Cristo Rey-model high schools and similarly innovative grade schools.

It was through grants provided by the Cassin Foundation that the Cristo Rey Network was able to expand and build more schools across the country. During this time, feasibility studies were conducted in various U.S. cities to determine their viability of sustaining a Cristo Rey model school. Concurrently, the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus agreed to sponsor a Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in the Twin Cities. A year-long study was conducted in the Twin Cities by Fr. Eugene Donohue, SJ and in 2005 Fr. David Haschka, SJ was missioned to found the school.

[...]

[links in original]. So, The McFadden was not programmed with any leadership role in things happening in that school's founding, it being an effort of various named prelates with S.J. after their names. With that financing model in place within the network it is noteworthy that The McFadden is currently treasurer of the venture.

Now, back again to that campaign website wherein Cristo Rey is mentioned per a link given above, again here, the page captioned by the handlers, "A Quality Education For Every Child." In thinly veiled attack language against the Teachers Union which seems aligned in goals with the DFL more than the GOP, that page states:

Stop Serving Broken Systems and Special Interests and Start Serving Kids. For too long, we have accepted subpar results from our inner-city schools. Minnesota has the largest achievement gap in the country and the lowest graduation rate for Latino students. Instead of throwing more money into a broken system that was built to serve special interests, these dollars should be used to promote innovation and results. Every child deserves a quality education, and it’s time to start empowering kids and their parents with the resources and choices they need.

That is pejorative language, doubtlessly not from the content empty McFadden, but the handlers; making the omission of the word "Jesuit" more pronounced in importance. Don't do as the Teacher's Union does [it being nonsectarian a part of the state not of any religion], but do as the Roman Church's S.J. quite-sectarian arm does; is the incompletely stated message, and completion of it serves an electorate faced with making choices.

So, again, the question, the crock, half-full, or half-empty.

Now, easily I can be pointed at as politically incorrect, for bashing the S.J. A fully informed electorate is my goal, and in terms of bashing the S.J. the Roman Church itself has its own history that way. To its credit, it has, in this the 21st Century, appointed its first S.J. Pope, that being a milestone long, long after Constantine was Emperor of Rome.

I have nothing against the S.J., and its first Pope, who seems genuine, likable, and concerned for the poor more so than his predecessor(s) since the Papacy of John XXIII, but I do not want the S.J. directly or indirectly setting education policy for my state or nation, which is and should remain forever a fully secular function of government - the state - to meet that societal duty necessarily and irrevocably and fully separated from the Roman or any other church, mosque, temple, coven, or other enclave of any particular faith biases.

Given that, let us see how the programmers write the McFadden's "content code module - separation;" in view of the possibility, however remote, that the question of church-state separation enters into anything touching The McFadden's quest, along with handlers, for installing the bot into political [i.e., secular] office.

_______FURTHER UPDATE________
Now that there has been a segue to education as an issue, with The McFadden being posed as having an answer, fairness requires delving below the merely superficial toutings on a political website. Cristo Rey's network notes:

Twenty-five Cristo Rey schools in 17 states and the District of Columbia provide a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to 7,400 young people who live in urban communities with limited educational options.

Member schools utilize a rigorous academic model, supported with effective instruction, to prepare students with a broad range of academic abilities for college success. Cristo Rey Network schools employ an innovative Corporate Work Study Program that provides students with real world work experiences. Every student works five full days a month to fund the majority of his or her education, gain job experience, grow in self-confidence, and realize the relevance of his or her education. Students work at law firms, banks, hospitals, universities, and other professional Corporate Partners.

2013-2014 Snapshot
8,000 students nation-wide
26 Cristo Rey Network schools
25 cities in 17 states and D.C.
96% students of color
$34,000 average family income
1,700 Corporate Work Study jobs
46 National University Partners
100% graduates accepted to a 2 or 4 year college
2.4 average students per computer

[links within original omitted and never mind the 7400/8000 gap, the scale of things is there] That surely gives an appearance of cherry picking a student body; not come one, come all as is a requirement with public schools; without needed servicing of No Child Left Behind [Bush era] demands; and without need of specialty education provision of any kind. Only family relative impoverishment seems at play as an unusual elitist element of Cristo Rey.

But, cherry picking and then saying, "Look, we have something that works," merely proves what has been well known for some time. Cherry picking works. Elitism works. Universal public education access has inherent problems that attach to universality with differing child-skill and home-cultural value dimensions.

No news to any of that.

Cristo Rey Jesuit school, Twin-Cities, notes its board treasurer info: "Mr. Michael McFadden (Treasurer); Co-CEO; Lazard Middle Market; Minneapolis, MN." Then the Minneapolis school's alphabetical listing of its "corporate partners" in its touted unique work-study organizational Gestalt, duly notes The McFadden's co-CEO thing, Lazard Middle Market, LLP, participates.

The question begged, is how many Cristo Rey interns are there at Lazard, and then how universally accessible is such a learning opportunity made equitably available to students not at Cristo Rey?

Again, elitism and benefits of special opportunity to a handful of cherry-picked youngsters is not news to anyone who has thought an hour or more about public education and what might be a nice way to integrate benefit of community contact experience into the whole of the learner-teacher environment.

McFadden/Lazard has some 'fessing to do over universal equal access to its "open door" work-study access, given that The McFadden seeks and wants votes from all parents statewide, not merely parents of the few Cristo Rey beneficiary-families.

And if parents statewide are to see their children having or not having equal opportunity access to "corporate partner mentoring" as that accorded a select Cristo Rey handful; parents statewide might well think to weigh that in their voting.

Finally, within that Cristo Rey network and especially within the Twin Cities endeavor, what is the student:teacher ratio?

I could not find that most essential statistic published. Student:computer ratio, that's given, but not the other ratio, student:teacher. Computers do not teach but only assist teaching. (Only ALEC postures as believing otherwise.)

------------------------------
For a fair context of the larger and thornier needs faced by meeting the society-wide goal of educating each new generation, fully; (each and every as best as possible given equality of opportunity as a goal); what is to be contrasted with Cristo Rey, in looking at its touting of things?

"Twenty-five Cristo Rey schools in 17 states and the District of Columbia provide a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to 7,400 young people who live in urban communities with limited educational options.

"Member schools utilize a rigorous academic model, supported with effective instruction, to prepare students with a broad range of academic abilities for college success. Cristo Rey Network schools employ an innovative Corporate Work Study Program that provides students with real world work experiences. Every student works five full days a month to fund the majority of his or her education, gain job experience, grow in self-confidence, and realize the relevance of his or her education. Students work at law firms, banks, hospitals, universities, and other professional Corporate Partners."

Anoka-Hennepin serves approximately 39,000 students and 248,000 residents living in 13 suburban communities spread out over 172 square miles north of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The largest school district in Minnesota, A-H operates 24 elementary schools, six middle schools (grades six through eight), and five high schools, plus alternative middle and high school sites.

[source: here] If you for one minute think the Cristo Rey model could scale to that, without cherry picking, you are a first class idiot. And The McFadden and handlers want your vote.

Wouldn't it be helpful if the SJ were, for their Cristo Rey adventure, to publish on the web useful information such as the three featured pdf downloads, the AH district makes available, here? Along with info on the recruitment and culling of potential Cristo Rey beneficiary scholars? Comparison would then be at least feasible; with cost per student scaling a factor, and how the internship-memtoring via corporate partners could (ideally without elitist screening) scale to numbers such as 39,000 students in the single AH district.

BOTTOM LINE: If The McFadden's handlers are priming themselves to program the robot to posture about the Cristo Rey SJ elitist cherry-picking model being without any problem scalable to "fix" public education in Minnesota; the only sane answer would be, "Blow that out your shorts, Robot-Man."

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Told you so. Gary Gross, tuning the instrument. Even before programming of any content module for The McFadden is finished. November, please accelerate the clock, get this advertising and propaganda season over, yesterday not being soon enough.

Al Franken's been about what should have been expected, a bit better, and superior as a Senator to Klobuchar and her effort for the environmentally unfriendly Bachmann Bridge for Wisconsin on the Saint Croix.

Reelect Al.

Majority status matters.

Let the robot return to oblivion and excessive wealth, made in a zero-sum game, investment gambling.

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Well, still no faculty:student ratio could be found for Cristo Rey - Twin Cities on its website, but the site shows:

47 graduating seniors
52 staff and teacher

While those numbers suggest much individual attention is feasible, the picture is incomplete.

Class size matters. Any teacher will tell you that. Including those at Cristo Rey. It is a critical/missing statistic. Cherry pick and individualize. Great, in a world without budget pressures or a demand for district-wide universality of access including: dedicated and gifted, indifferent and talentless, all ranges between - that is the public school mandate. It appears Criso Rey operates without such troublesome complications to stress its model.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Paul Krause getting screwed by Elk River?

Strib reporting here. Hey, if the City of Elk River made any payment after five years from the date of the initial contract, isn't that a novation? A novation in equity, if not at law.

If it is not legal to extend the contract beyond five years, what else might it be but a novation, beginning a new five year or shorter term at the time a last payment to Krause was made, with $1.5 million due part-way through any succeeding period of five years after the last payment was tendered and accepted?

Inferring equitable novation terms from the prior defective contract makes sense. The basic promise and acceptance has to be protected. Cities cannot skate obligations on technicalities. That is unwise policy. When the deal was cut, which party suggested it be via a contract for deed vs an immediate deed transfer and mortgage? Did the town lead the landowner down the primrose path? What was course of negotiation and then course of performance? Why a lease first, then a transfer, by contract for a deed? Was Krause previously coerced by the city to abandon development goals, doing so in reliance upon a city promise, and one arguably all to cleverly couched? That seems how Strib is reporting it, except for initial course of negotiation detail.

To raise that technical a defense, now after well more than five years have passed and the big balloon payment obligation was willfully defaulted, deviating at the big-balloon point from the initial contract, (if there was payment of any kind after five years), seems unconscionable.

The courts should not permit that.

Of course, the courts can do as they choose, and if Elk River is acting as the report suggests, I hope Krause, who has sued, WINS A FULL RECOVERY AND THE CASE IS PUBLISHED AS PRECEDENT. In this instance force specific performance?

Of course, Paul Levy's report for Strib necessarily is terse and lacks some detail of course of negotiation/dealing, leaving readers to guess.

Last, why is LMC providing the defense [presumably via some LMCIT contract]?

Insurance coverage providing a defense for a party showing bad faith seems like it should be held void as against public policy. Encouraging bad faith, even its mere appearance on the part of a municipality, is not good policy.

A pure one trick pony, to the point of vexatiousness.

David Hahn, this link.

ONLY a major part of the problem, not much as a part of any solution.

RAMSEY - Noticing this morning public works or a contractor did crack sealing on the stretch of Alpine at Hemitite.

Presumably the run between Sunfish and Ramsey Blvd. was all done, if not more. It may be prior to a sealcoat, or not, but in any event work is being done and that is good.

Again, the County had pothole filling done along Ramsey Blvd, making the surface substantially less challenging. That also is good to see.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Understaning Scott Honour - his roots.

This link.

For further detail, here, linking here - which in turn links here, and where in LA did they [Gores/Honour] find that site-top band landscape? (It looks more like Minnesota to me.) Is McFadden's effort co-rooted? Or is it simply and only beam me up, Scotty?

Given site professionalism, a prompt courteous answer is expected.

Prompt at least. They promise that.