consultants are sandburs

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dan Burns at MPP examines for-profit schooling, pitfalls, politicians and profiteers.

Three related posts, in chronological order (oldest first), here, here and here.

Dan links to a MinnPost report, online here.

Also Dan has one post on healthcare which is worth reading.

I could quote, summarize, or paraphrase. Just read the items. That is best. Ask yourself: If universal public education of all youth were not a social benefit, why do we have it? Why has it evolved in the form it has? Is privatization of education to for-profit firms a sound thought? What are the dangers? What benefits and losses would attach?

UPDATE: For profits are under scrutiny; our friend John Kline, of all things obfuscating; this link.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ars Technica has been covering former NSA director Gen. Alexander's retirement to the private sector. As has Congressman Grayson.

Ars Technica links here, here, here, and here.

Grayson's letter inquiries, here.

Bloomberg. Slate.

Reuters reports of a Senate Intelligence Committee concern.

I expect the General expected lesser levels of scrutiny while cashing in his chips, and likely blames his being scrutinized as Snowden's fault, and not at all his own.

This link, this quote:

He oversaw a workforce that studied cyber-attacks and cyber-defenses, often drawing on highly classified or privileged information. So it struck many observers as suspicious that, immediately upon retiring, he suddenly had a dramatically better solution to a pressing national-security problem, one he never introduced while in government but planned to patent and sell. Had he withheld a valuable security solution to profit from it later? Were the novel approaches he intended to patent developed on the public dime? Alexander claimed that his part of the relevant work was done in his spare time, while other cyber-defense solutions were developed by his partner outside government.

No one could prove that those explanations were lies.

But they smelled fishy, especially because even as Alexander created the appearance of multiple improprieties as he entered the private sector, the NSA refused to release the statements of financial conflicts of interest that he'd filed as a federal employee. Indeed, the NSA refused to release the financial-conflict forms of any of its employees, despite the fact that they were required by public-records laws to do so.

Winthrop, MN - They are on the list. Not Ramsey.

Ars Technica, here, links to the homepage of "Next Century Cities" - with that being a click away from a members list (including Winthrop as the list's closing entry):

As apart from Next Century Cities there are last century towns [with Town Centers]. Name one?

In reviewing the Next Century Cities site, look at the resources page, linking, e.g., here, here and here.

FURTHER UPDATE: Another Ars item, here.

Two newspapers endorse Dayton.

Brodkorb gives links and quotes.

MN HD35A - strib endorsed Whelan.

Readers who will be voting are strongly urged to independently judge for themselves between the pair, Perovich and Whelan. This is made easy; per having this forum video online; see also, earlier Crabgrass post.

This link

Wes V. submitted a now-published comment, a Whelan supporter commented; and for quicker access than via a link within the comments, here is the link to Wes' post at his website

The post there is headlined, "Wednesday, October 29, 2014 -- In 35A, the StarTrib Endorses Whelan - Here's My Response on Why Peter Perovich Should be Elected Next Tuesday."

For disclosure, Wes is a local DFL party official. As an acquaintance of Perovich and one not knowing Whelan, I agree with much of Wes' analysis. If some pro-Whelan person wishes to submit thoughtful argument favoring Whelan, it would be welcome commentary. If any reader has thoughts on the "millenial" divide, sharing that would be interesting as commentary.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

RAMSEY: "Jeff Katers is a home-grown Anoka County resident who has been protecting the people of Ramsey for the past 14 years through the Ramsey Police Department. Ramsey Police Capt. Jeff Katers will be the Ramsey Police Chief after Jim Way retires Jan. 31, 2015. Katers, 44, was hired by the department in March 2000 as a patrol officer. Over the years, he has advanced through the ranks and held the titles of investigator, investigative sergeant, administrative sergeant, lieutenant and captain and will add police chief to that list after Ramsey Police Chief Jim Way retires Jan. 31, 2015."

The headline represents lead paragraphs of the ABC Newspapers report of Ramsey's council having selected its new police chief from among town law enforcement ranks. Eric Hagen's ABC report includes much detail after the opening.

I told you strib would do it. strib did it. Glen Taylor drives his new car - strib endorses Beer Bong III in CD8.

Mills III endorsement, strib, here. (Compare this link.)

Collin Peterson's strib endorsement, here.

The Congressional pattern under Taylor ownership so far, endorse incumbents except for Nolan in CD8. Expect it to be where there is no incumbent, endorse GOP, never mind Steve Simon being strib's SoS pick; with the big question whether Perske will get the open seat snub to go with Nolan.

A prediction: Expect Emmer; after Mills III.

strib seems to be holding that CD6 endorsement back. Having weighed in on all the other Congressional districts besides Ellison's and McCollum's safely DFL fiefdoms.

Or have I missed a strib CD6 committment?

One way or the other?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Franken - McFadden, on YouTube.

This appears to be, in segments, the most recent co-appearance of the pair. Start with this segment, follow YouTube's sidebar links.

Mentioning Jesse Ventura, IP guv candidate Hannah Nicollet gets an editorial published in strib.

This link, this mid-item quote:

On a basic level, the IP represents a government of the people. We believe in transparency, honesty, equal treatment under the law and getting money out of politics. In philosophy, we offer an alternative to the other two major parties. We are “socially tolerant,” meaning we don’t want to run people’s lives and we won’t legislate morality. On the fiscal side, we are “responsible,” meaning balanced budgets, putting needs before wants and not spending money we don’t have.

Minnesota needs to clean house. Though 68 percent of Minnesotans wanted the Vikings stadium “entirely privately funded,” a shady deal was made behind closed doors to fleece Minnesota taxpayers for its construction. When 76 percent of Minnesotans wanted legal medicinal marijuana, our legislators caved to influential special interests and produced the most restrictive and least effective medicinal marijuana law in the nation.

The candidate makes two good points. The stadium cramdown was offensive, the medical mj foot dragging to satisfy the police union which has supported Dayton, is offensive. Nicollet has siezed on two issues which are issues The McFadden seems to regard, together or individually, as third-rail opportunity. Touch it and die seems to be how the handlers are posing The McFadden.

Dayton, fault him on the stadium, fault him on the medical mj approach; but for all that Vin and Norm's pal in the mergers and acquisition business is hardly a sound alternative.

Bottom line: Nicollet is more appealing a candidate than The McFadden. She will be the third place vote getter; that is how things are; but she is a cut or two better than one of the two major party choices.

strib continues endorsing incumbents - now Paulsen in CD3.

This link. Kline and Paulsen so far, on the GOP side. We await strib re CD6 and CD8. Those are where the "Glen Taylor bought it, owns it, litmus test" will surface. Still strib with a lower case "s." It can earn a capital "S" depending upon its Sixth and Eighth district endorsements.

Another email from Joe Perske. Asking the "Wouldn't you be proud" question.

This quote:
You support Joe because you know our district deserves a representative who reflects our values. Joe is approachable and honest. He believes in working together to reach a consensus, not resorting to bullying to get your way, as colleagues say his opponent, Tom Emmer, did when he served in the state legislature.

Isn't it time we had a 6th District representative who was as approachable as your favorite neighbor? Who listened to you and learned what was important in your life, instead of preaching to you about their Tea Party philosophy? Isn't it time for somebody whose greatest political ambition is to help you?

Please help our campaign to elect Joe Perske for Congress! Give generously, so that when Joe goes to Washington, you can be proud to say, "My representative? He's Joe Perske!"

I would be more proud to say, "My rep is Joe Perske," than having to say, "My rep is Michele Bachmann. Yes, a foot taller, 220 pounds heavier, male Diva voice, on rollerblades for the foreseeable future, answers to 'Tom,' but don't be fooled by any of that; it's just more Michele, more of the same, all of the time, all the same bluster, the same 'it's about me,' the identical aiming forever at 'best for my advancement' rather than 'best for the district.'"

Opinions may differ. Forecasting the future is always uncertain ...

RAMSEY - Contesting Ward 3 and at large candidate responses featured by ABC Newspapers.

Ward 3.

At Large.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tom Emmer. ECM Publishers; Hometown Source online.

This link.

UPDATE: Item date is Oct. 13, so it is past news that until now went without comment. Until discovered online about a half hour ago. It is something I did not know of until now.

strib endorsements so far favor incumbency. Kline and Walz added to the sample.

If incumbency is favored in CD8, we might feel more trusting toward Glen Taylor's purchase of strib.

For now we wait and see. Walz, here.

Kline? An awful choice.

Not the better candidate in anything I have seen. Retiring the Col. is overdue, and he should be handed his Congressional exit now, in the same "graduating" class as Michele Bachmann.

RAMSEY - Upcoming city council meeting.

Without mention in the agenda materials of "Jim Deal" or of "PSD, LLC," this agenda item relates to the presently lapsed Deal earnest money offer to buy city-owned Town Center land. The draft Planning Commission agenda pages are bare bone, curiously so, unnecessarily so; and yet if Brauer and VanScoy oppose things, they represent institutional memory in town greater than anyone on staff has regarding the planning and thinking then and now; and that's a red flag to me.

Why the barebones minutes in the package? Surely better drafted, more complete minutes from the Planning Commission would be required to understand the objections. That has the appearance of a James Norman type of stunt, the appearance of an insincerity of effort to preserve and present detail, and we all should take notice and demand more of staff with regard to Planning Commission deliberation of the issue.

It seems some agenda is getting fast-tracked in the agenda processes, perhaps wrongly.

Apart from that, a caveat: Those who would suggest Jim Deal can influence decisions in nefarious ways, however, should note the city's agendas for the upcoming week touch three land deal proposals, where in each instance the proposing party has worded its contract in a manner best attuned to its plans and financial interest.

Jim Deal is but one of three so positioned, along with the Church, and the garage door firm. Everybody makes as favorable an offer to their own interests as they feel proper. Jim Deal is no different, as one within a uniform sample of three offerees.

Some should come forward and admit it is in no way wrong nor unique that Jim Deal seeks the best deal he can get.

The Church does it. The garage door firm does it. Why hold Deal to some different standard?

(See the following two posts re the other pending cash purchase real estate offer, and the Church's land swap offer.)

RAMSEY'S HRA AGENDA - This one looks like tying up a land parcel until Feb 18, and a three grand earnest money is not a good option price. Or is it?

HRA agenda, this link. Conditioned on Buyer subjective satisfaction with financing available; which makes it a promise that can be hiked away from at any convenient time. Deadline setting, Feb. 18 is months away. What about a term allowing consideration of any intervening unconditional purchase offer. At the least.

It is paying three grand earnest money for the property to be off market until months from now; in effect, three grand for an option to purchase in the future; and a dispute over refund of the earnest money due to failure of a contingency makes it not ever that. "We were unhappy with financing available, subjectively so, and the deal was better per another parcel we tied up in Elk River, so sayonara, and since it never closed refund the earnest money please," can by mid-February of next year be a reality. The question then, how likely is it other fish in intervening time might bite a hook? And be landed?

Three grand to tie up a piece of land, with conditional escape and recapture of the three grand possible, sure seems a bad option contract for City of Ramsey to be getting into.

The greatest single land owner world wide, the Catholic church, local variant, wants a favorable land deal perk from our secular church-state separated city.

This link. I'd say no and stay patient, but seven other people hold the elected responsibility to serve the SECULAR public interest in things, and in my view the public interest would be served by telling the Church no. Legacy learning argues to say no, but that is a separate entity that stiffed the town on its land deal promises. Bottom line, why give St. Kate too sweet of a deal? Nice people in the congregation I am sure, but let them not exploit poor Ben Dover.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Perske endorsed by St. Cloud Times, as best CD6 candidate to send to represent us in DC. Emmer, specifically, a problematic choice. "Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington."

Rather than a link to the Times [readers can websearch] I quote a Perske email:

We got some great news today! The St. Cloud Times endorsed Joe Perske for Congress!
"It's Perske’s credible voice and local experience that can best serve district residents," the Times editorial board said in urging voters to support Joe.
"While Emmer is the likely favorite because of the district’s conservative demographics, voters need to seriously consider whether his political persona will help the district," the Times said. "He's similarly conservative to Bachmann and he is known as a political bully, which makes his House strategy of 'building relationships' a tough sell."
That's the message we need to keep spreading in these final days before the election. And to do that, we need your continued support.
Please donate generously to help Joe win!
Because, as the Times editorial board said so well, "Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington."
Thank you for your donation!
Because it’s time to get ahead again, instead of just getting by.
Friends of Joe Perske

 Thank you for your donation!
Friends of Joe
Paid for by Friends for Joe Perske
Joe Perske for Congress
PO Box 824
Sartell MN 56377 United States

image is the Perske email's banner header

That said, the St. Cloud Times entire item is online here. Readers are encouraged to read it, it includes a Franken endorsement; also, this google.

The browser display screen capture below is from the St. Cloud Times link. It is presented as good sidebar highlighting.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Earlier, this link worked for a replay of the CD6 candidate forum held recently, before the S.C. Times chose to endorse.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"My concerns with Johnson’s candidacy for governor started with his previous campaign for statewide office in 2006. Johnson ran for attorney general and was soundly defeated by Lori Swanson. By every reasonable measurement to analyze a candidate’s performance, Johnson was a poor candidate for statewide office in 2006 and he has shown the same deficiencies in 2014. Johnson and his campaign team rarely mention his failed run for statewide office in 2006. Rather than showing how that experience would make his run for governor more successful, there has been an attempt to pretend it did not happen."

Brodkorb writes Johnson off as history, with the headline quote from Brodkorb's mid item, here.

Jeff Johnson. He's not a Lyndon Johnson, that is for certain. I expect Brodkorb's correct on this early write-off score. Dayton's been okay. He should fairly easily be reelected.

strib endorsements continue. Incumbents favored, Supreme Court, sheriff.

This link, on endorsements so far.

"In her first 18 months as [Met] council chair, Susan Haigh, Bell’s successor, has yet to meet with representatives from the adjacent counties. However, a council spokesperson says she plans to reinstitute the meetings later this year."

The headline is the final paragraph from MinnPost here. Also, can the beast be tamed, and if so, in what manner and direction?

It most certainly costs a bundle, and has nil cost-benefit balance favoring it, but the imposition of comprehensive planning upon the involved counties is pure waste, cauing hiring of staff planners where fewer always is better.

The beast needs taming, the devil is in the details. However, firing all the planners cannot be too bad a way to start sensible reform of Met Council. Ending it is one other option; but eliminating a rung of government in its ladder seldom seems to fit politician biases, the knee jerk response, "it's been there for a reason," being the greatest impediment to fixing a problem. Does it really have a reason to be, and would growth happen better, or not, without any Metropolitan Council at all? Surely it would cost governments less, and that's not a bad start.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Online CD6 candidate forum.

This link.

Dan Burns at MPP writes of Tom Emmer. Also, brush aside the cobwebs from the man's past legislative chief authorship.

Burns, read it, here.

Bill listings, three legislative sessions attended by Emmer; here (2005-06), here (2007-08), and here (2009-10).

Marriage definition, voter ID, all the stuff he is silent about now. It's all there. Fingerprints match.

Same ol' Emmer.

Among other things, 84th Legislative Session, HF 1131, which specifies situations and special appellate review procedures for when the State might want to cut someone's balls off. Somebody put a lot of time and thought into crafting that legislative gem.

FURTHER UPDATE: 85th Legislative Session, HF 121 and HF 1847; defeated amendments - each put to voters, each rejected by voters. Subsequently. The fires were kept tended lest the flames might extinguish.

FURTHER UPDATE: A credentialed man about ALEC.

We opinion manipulators
in the press,
why should we pay?

The engine housing for a Harley.

this link

A legislative candidate panel forum tomorrow night, primarily on environmental questions. The four member panel of bipartisan invitees are: Jerry Newton, Coon Rapids (District 37A); Peter Perovich, Ramsey (District 35A); Peggy Scott, Andover (District 35B); and, Mark Uglem, Champlin (District 36A).

This Anoka Ramsey Community College page, detail quoted below:

Anoka-Ramsey Community College is hosting a political debate Oct. 23, 2014, 8 to 9:30 am, Legacy Room (SC272).

Several local candidates for the Minnesota House of Representatives will debate issues prior to the Nov. 4 elections. The visiting candidates include:

Jerry Newton, Coon Rapids (District 37A)
Peter Perovich, Ramsey (District 35A)
Peggy Scott, Andover (District 35B)
Mark Uglem, Champlin (District 36A)

The panelists will discuss a range of topics, but the main emphasis on environmental issues identified by students in the college’s Environmental Science class taught by Terry Teppen.

The public is welcome to attend.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A visiting dignitary. Forgive me if I do not genuflect.

Woo bah. Hillary Clinton. In the Twin Cities. Doing politics. Gives you goosebumps, right? Just anticipating the event ...

Jeff Johnson gets caught doing what too many get away with daily.

You run, you say you support policy that benefits the middle class. It is a cliche of Politics 101.

And of course the term "middle class" is an empty glass, needing to be filled.

There are those who must labor to live and keep a family intact, whether with or without government assistance at some point in their lives. There are those who can live by the income their capital earns.

That makes two classes - mandatory laborers, and the wealthy. So what's "middle" when there really are only two classes and one is made up of the 5% who own it all and annually haul in it all.

"Middle" in such a scenario are those who during a working life can manage to save sufficient sums to hope to be able to retire and not depend upon social security income in old age. You get it, but it is not the crucial link between survival and disintegration of life and comfort.

That is less a matter of income level at any point in time, than in habit and fortune over time.

So the Johnson "no clue" response is not as devastating as it might appear; EXCEPT for the politician will to always say "middle class" to mean us - you and me - cut better in society than "the lower class." If only two classes, and you are not in the upper 5%, Joe, you are in the lower class and "middle class" is largely a fiction that makes political decision making harder for voters than if honesty were more frequently used.

What Johnson did was to break ranks with the politician class, almost admitting "the middle class" is an election time fictional usage for the more fortunate of the laboring class, by his "no idea" remark.

Note how it is a politician, Brodkorb, who is most distressed in appearances, by Johnson's debate comment. The shibolith of "middle class" getting overdue consideration is not a bad thing.

Links: Brodkorb, here and here. The DFL's offensive negative soundbite ad/video on the Johnson commentary is online, here. A simple google, Jeff Johnson "no clue" will get hits.

Brodkorb wrapped up one commentary,

The millionaire incumbent, who Johnson and his campaign staff have labeled as “unaware” and “incompetent”, correctly answered the question about the middle class in Minnesota. In his answer to one question, the 67-year-old governor, who graduated from Yale, showed he was better able to understand the middle class, than his 47-year-old challenger, who lives in a middle-class house in the suburbs.

Even if Johnson was not able to offer statistics (which he should have been able to do) about the middle class, he should have offered himself as an example of the middle class and explained why the Ivy League-educated, millionaire incumbent standing next him couldn’t possibly relate to the middle class. But he didn’t and Dayton showed why Johnson’s “unaware” and “incompetent” questions are aimed at the wrong candidate.

Republicans should focus on the middle class beyond just the next 16 days, but they need to look for someone other than Johnson to be their messenger, as he removed himself today as a credible spokesman.

So while avoiding like a third rail, any concrete characterization of "the middle class" Brodkorb's homilies about "lives in a middle class home in the suburbs," define him better than they define Johnson. In a less of a dirge of a post, Brodkorb quote a Johnson campaign flak:

In a statement from the campaign, Johnson’s communications director Jeff Bakken said:

“Mark Dayton was born into wealth and has lived most of his life off a South Dakota trust fund. Jeff Johnson was born and raised in Detroit Lakes, his dad delivered bread to supermarkets for a living, and Jeff has earned every dollar he’s made.

If Mark Dayton and his attack machine want to get into a debate with Jeff Johnson over who better understands the middle class, bring it on.”

There is in there the tacit admission of the fictional nature of "middle class" rhetoric, daily labor as a survival necessity vs capacity to live off earning of capital being the distinction line between the laboring class and the privileged wealthy being the two things that matter being clear in the statement, etc.

Perhaps "middle class" is such a political cliche because it is used to mean poor folk who are not so demoralized by the way the deck is stacked against laborers, that they nonetheless vote while getting little to nothing back from the politics of lobbyist servicing at the expense of everybody else. Since they vote, it is de rigueur to pander to them for their vote when an election is near, and to screw them the remainder of the time and Brodkorb's hollowest but most telling sentence in it all, hence, is:

Republicans should focus on the middle class beyond just the next 16 days, but they need to look for someone other than Johnson to be their messenger, as he removed himself today as a credible spokesman.

The world of cliche thought underlying that single sentence paragraph is staggering.

And Republicans are simply worse at pandering around within the "middle class" lie set than the Democrats; who at least tell you, for instance, they will tax the rich. At least they give you that chance at a hope, while the Republicans pull tax the rich off the table as wholly Verboten. The Democrats in Minnesota last session gave a token tax goose to the rich; with the Republicans having given you Reagan tax cuts for the wealthy followed by Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and the non-wealthy somehow can still be conned from time to time into voting for such rascals. As if they were the lesser rascals.

Any reader offering a definition of "middle class" in the context of "lower" and "upper" classes is welcome to include it in a comment. I doubt any reader can, or will, cogently define "middle class" but if we are to dump a big load on Jeff Johnson; have we a sensible definition to offer in doing so?

strib endorses Swanson, Otto

Otto, this link.

Swanson, this link.

No surprises so far. No Republicans. I cannot see McFadden endorsed by anyone. I can foresee congressional seat endorsements from strib I might disagree with.

Monday, October 20, 2014

strib endorses Steve Simon for Secretary of State.

This link.

He is tangling us up in yet one more Middle East war, and this is the opening page they trot out?

Screen capture done minutes ago:

Perovich - Whelan. The open House District 35A seat. ECM Publishers, Inc., reporting.

This link. This excerpt:

2. What distinguishes you from the other candidate?

PEROVICH: I believe what distinguishes me from my challenger is my experience in leadership roles. My leadership roles started the Teamsters; I was on the Employee Management Committee that negotiated labor contracts. I have also owned a small business. Currently, I am President of the Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation, a non-profit organization. My leadership with B.A.S.S. led to me being appointed to the DNR Fisheries Oversight Committee, where I now serve as chair, and the Budget Oversight Committee for the Game and Fish Fund.

I have worked with a diverse group of people across a variety of situations; dealing with issues, I have brought a common sense understanding to the table, working with all parties involved to bring consensus.

WHELAN: I believe my perspective as a Millennial brings an important and needed balance to state government. We need to have a voice, as we are frustrated with the way government continues to sell our future by increasing taxes and spending in a way that is unsustainable. My generation will be footing the bills for years to come, and I believe we need to have a seat at the table where these decisions are being made.

We should not have a representative body of all Millennials, rather, we need a mix of every generation, a mix that is representative of the people of Minnesota.

As evident from the "2" there was substantial information reported before [and in fact after] the single above excerpt. The item is a helpful reporting of studied (rather than spontaneous) responses to preidentified questions; and bio information.

UPDATE: I shall confirm, but my understanding of the media outlet's m.o. in doing such reporting each election is to solicit independent candidate responses; i.e., neither candidate knows the other's responses, but each has equal time to reflect and answer the identical set of questions for which the opponent will be writing and submitting answers - with a deadline and with co-publishing, as was done.

FURTHER UPDATE: An editor from ECM confirmed the process, stating by email:

We send out the same questions to everyone in that particular race, they have a word limit for responses. We generally give them about a week to respond. The candidates do not get to see their opponents' answers until they are published, either online or in print.

FURTHER UPDATE: The NMMA candidate forum video remains online:

This link

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Central planning. Stalin had five year plans. Met Council has 30 year plans - i.e. Stalin had a bigger plate but presumed a shorter planning horizon as within reasonably foreseeable forecasting capability.

Yet, a genre is a genre. How central a level of planning makes sense, from appointed bureau members and their staff, in light of diversity being good for an area of multiple counties and pressures for homogeneity should always be questioned.

strib: here.

strib endorses Dayton

Since Glen Taylor bought it, the name is in lower case, "strib" and not "Strib," certainly not "STRIB."

This link, with more good things said about Johnson than I'd say.

strib will be dropping endorement "news" in other races between now and election day. Look for Glen Taylor to make the call, Mills III in CD8, despite Nolan being better for Minnesota. It's now about what's best for Glen Taylor in the eyes of Glen Taylor; and anybody unable to field a compettive men's basketball team cannot be trusted to competently and without bias run a newspaper. Look for a Mills III strib endorement in coming days.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

RAMSEY - The LWV council candidate forum is available online at QCTV,

This link. The forum was held Oct 13, but QCTV posting it online allows viewing now and up to election day for any voter unsure of who to choose.

All of those voting in Ramsey will have a say in the contest for the at large council seat.

Not living in Ward 3, where there is a contested election, nor in Ward 1 with its uncontested seat; I leave readers with a vote in either such ward to view the beginning of the session, first being Ms. Johns and after Ms. Johns' unopposed presentations the Ward 3 candidates speak.

At around minute 47 of the item - where the at large contestants were speaking, TIF comes up as a question. Neither candidate made any strong showing of where TIF fits into Ramsey's future, how it might be retained as is or modified for greater effectiveness, or curtailed. Buchholz and Williams clearly differed, but the forum short-answer format did not foster detailed argument.

Williams' opening statement together with Buchholz noting how the HRA activity is being ended, demonstrate how, going forward, the Ramsey EDA's operations shall take on even more importance to where all EDA activity should, each and every meeting, be televised (with resuming televising of work sessions of council also an overdue positive step for optimal citizen awareness).

With the Charter silent as to "Authorities" despite there being the HRA saga, start to finish while the Charter was unchanged in only mentioning "boards and commissions" but not "Authorities." Likely change in the EDA role with the HRA being ended suggests the ongoing role of the EDA will exceed current levels of decision power, despite nil televised coverage of EDA meetings. But with a changing, enlarged EDA nexus a question exists as to what constraints and requirements might be appropriate to set on EDA actions, affirmatively by charter, and what can be continued to be left for default state law to specify.

It was interesting how the actual name "Jim Deal" was wholly absent from the forum event talking points. It was almost as if "He whose name shall not be spoken" kind of stuff was at play.

Indirectly there was a question about developer rights to support and advocate campaigns and candidates and whether that's good or bad for the community in terms of potential conflicts of interest, but nobody opted to try to make any strong case that way - that developer interest is somehow leading to bad outcomes - and the forum certainly allowed for such a case to have been stated.

Nobody chose to stand his/her ground on the question of Jim Deal's power and influence on the community's future. Those thinking he is largely a beneficent figure surely had no cause to state otherwise; but the silence of every candidate regarding Jim Deal, secifically, was telling me that whatever may be door-to-door talking points of anyone in particular about Jim Deal, the prevailing tactical wisdom of whoever among current candidates has problems with Jim Deal was to leave them out of forum content - unstated and not getting the full sunshine of discussion.

With a put up or shut up forum opportunity to make a case against Jim Deal to voters, if there is one truly to be made, the adoption of that opting for silence tactic appeared noteworthy. We can only guess at the motivations and thinking behind avoidance of getting into a discussion of Jim Deal and his timely current development activity and proposals. It seemed a bit puzzling. It surely seems an agenda to some to scrutinize and criticize questions of parking ramp needs and wants, but nobody among the participating candidates suggested having any personal preformed agenda in seeking office.

So we do what, depend on what they said in the forum, guess that one or more of the participant was holding back, or take the showing as proof of a lack of any clearly articulated cause to want to stifle or impede Jim Deal or any other specific developer with a deal pending that would convert town owned distressed land into productive tax base growth? Candidates were vague on the role, if any, the city should hold as to promoting and subsidizing growth - with Buchholz emphasizing "private sector" being the main difference between him and Williams, who is experienced with and supportive of EDA pushing the process along within its presently expanding (but untelevised) ways and means.

Again, the QCTV - YouTube link.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"In June 2014, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) wrote a letter to Wall Street's largest lobby group, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, in which he questioned Alexander's financial ethics."

Ars Technica, before this excerpt below, in ending had used the headline sentence as its lead-in to a letter quote:

Disclosing or misusing classified information for profit is, as Mr. Alexander well knows, a felony. I question how Mr. Alexander can provide any of the services he is offering unless he discloses or misuses classified information, including extremely sensitive sources and methods. Without the classified information that he acquired in his former position, he literally would have nothing to offer to you.

Following a link, below is a screen capture of that letter as posted online here, which readers can click to enlarge and read:

Grayson asks the intriguing question, what offer has this man made to you that you cannot refuse? Something like that. Close enough.

Strib carries AP item, "Mayo Clinic files lawsuit against former executive, alleges he stole trade secrets."

Not a happy separation. Details can vary, read Strib's report, but the range of happenstance arising between disgruntled leaving employees interacting with employers at the door (or earlier) waving signed non-compete covenants; it is a recurring question in commerce.

RAMSEY - PSD, LLC wants our city to alter zoning as part of a Town Center proposed development. Zoning is to be changed. The original Deal offer has lapsed. Lower density requirements are a part of things, but ramp-building cost is where things converge.

So, the zoning will be altered before any post-rezone purchase agreement offer will be accepted. Discretion to accept a post-rezone PSD, LLC offer is not presently compromised, and Jim Deal is on record as still interested in a particular project.

QCTV has online full video meeting coverage, here.

Nitty gritty: There need not be a developer financed ramp per the changed zoning. Zoning has not yet been changed because there is a binding timeline requirement - a statutory procedure with guidelines that must be met. But zoning will be changed.

Eric Hagen's Oct. 16 ABC Newspapers reporting, online here, does delve into the "will a ramp requirement be waived" essence of the question facing the city as owner upon making a change - if changing the use profile of the real estate are you drastically changing its marketability (including market value being boosted)? Is it now of interest beyond the PSD, LLC consideration of record?

ABC wrote:

The Ramsey City Council next month will consider a zoning change that would make it possible to continue working with a local development company on a $1.9 million land deal.

[...] The COR Development Plan forecasted 435 housing units for the 9-acre parcel. PSD’s conceptual plan for a development called Parkview East includes a four-story, 120-unit apartment building in the first phase and a three-story, 90-unit building in the second phase. Community Development Director Tim Gladhill said in a memo to the HRA that this density would be acceptable.

The [potential] hotel, conceptually, would be three stories tall and have 73 rooms. A “future parking ramp if needed” is located between the hotel and apartments.

The Ramsey Town Center and The COR master plans both included a second parking ramp in this area. A COR-1 zoning district was established within a quarter-mile of the Northstar Commuter Rail Station to establish high density requirements. Due to PSD’s request, the council is considering lowering a requirement within the [entire] COR-1 standards called the floor area ratio. This would allow any developer of the three vacant parcels in this zoning district to develop at a lower density.

Gladhill said lowering the floor area ratio, “reduces the likelihood that you may see structured parking but it doesn’t eliminate the possibility with future projects.” The city is not obligated to pay for a parking ramp itself in the future.

Will there still be a single suitor or not, given the change? Bottom line then, there need not be a developer financed ramp per the changed zoning. That alters how the market may view the property, and should PSD, LLC having let its deal lapse, be made to face a competitive market, should one emerge, or has it gained entitlement to an inside track on at least the one of three impacted parcels on which it already offered?

A reflective contrast, (the mirror that only reflects on its right side), congers boogeyman dimensions to Jim Deal, while not clear on issue dimensions here and here.

This is from a vocal arm of the naysayers to whom council member Tossey alluded in QCTV video, online here.

For those wanting a name, The Reflector's present wording divulges:

After my comments, which also pointed out that the council and HRA are creating the perception that no other developer should try in Ramsey, because Deal has the city in his pocket, PSD’s assistant manager took his time making his way to the podium, because I knew he was trying to come up with some rebuttal. The first words out of his mouth were about how PSD wasn’t trying to stuff bad people into Ramsey and then he continued, claiming the opposition to the project was purely political. Pure emotion and ad hominem.

Well, go to the QCTV video to see who spoke first before Jim Deal's PSD, LLC rep, and you learn who THE REFLECTOR IN RAMSEY is, the only remaining mystery being whose opinions beyond his own might he be reflecting in this anti-Jim Deal mindset?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pynchon's Inherent Vice is being released as a film, in December, and a YouTube trailer has been posted.

Some detail here, including a link to the trailer.

Ditto, here. Ditto, here.

A friend emailed an image. Simple in its messaging, lacking in subtle truths - weak on themes and variations. Those gun NRA people - gotta simplify, they are not attuned to subtleties and nuances.

That image was attached by email without attribution to an image originator. Well, let's see good guy bad guy, each with a gun; bad guy could zap good guy, so already a problem has arisen. A bad guy with a gun could stop a bad guy with a gun. That's certain, and it obviates "the only" part of the image/premise. A worse bad guy at that could be the one with a gun to stop the original armed bad man. Or with luck - less bad a guy, with a gun, but still bad as sin ... he could be the one to zap the original first and worse bad guy. There are a range of outcomes. Add the 'Ugly" -- Eli Wallach in the film, and then those pairing round robin possibilities besides good/bad mixes simply abound.

Still the premise, need a good guy with a gun, what about with a tractor or a truck, run over the bad guy with a gun? Leave that bad-actor devil with tread marks up the middle ...? Stop him cold.

An army could stop an armed bad guy, outnumber and surround, just as with Custer.

From behind, a stealthily moving ninja could top a bad guy with a gun, surprise making up for superior weaponry; surprise being the lesson of Valley Forge and the Hessians. So the premise of the image, as cutesy schlock as it is, is not well grounded.

Finally, that NRA stuff arguably held for the ending of Fight Club, although traditional simplistic-enough-to-appeal-to-NRA-types notions of good guy -vs- bad guy scenarios do not exactly fit Fight Club's ending sequences.

How about this: an existential man with a gun; could he stop just about anybody else equally armed? What about a secular humanist with a gun? An abortion provider with a gun, you tell me, good guy or bad guy? An anti-abortion would-be abortion clinic murderer - with a gun - he could be stopped by an armed and ready provider; (readers to provide personalized "good" and "bad" labeling).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jeff Johnson, ditching now his Tea Party gravitas to move middle, get this - also ditches his photo-op coffee. So who is this man of a strange for-as-long-as-useful attitude pattern?

Brodkorb: This link. Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie take's note of the Johnson charisma level among extremists of the my-own-drummer mode of thought marching.

So, the me-oriented extremist, Jeff Backer, the GOP endorsed candidate Sorensen highlights, had that Jeff Jefferson experience - where I bet the Jefferson guy was less a twit than the Johnson fellow, when contemplating Jeffs side by side.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"New Minnesota wildlife management area"

The headline above is part of the headline, here, that item reporting:

Behind him, traffic was picking up on Minnesota Highway 24 south of Clearwater. While audible, the vehicles remained invisible from this spot in the 604-acre Veterans State Wildlife Management Area, Minnesota's newest. Shoulder-high prairie grasses and waist-high wildflowers stretched to a horizon anchored by oak forest in one direction, cattails in the other. A half-mile of the Clearwater River runs through a corner of the property, marking the boundary between Wright and Stearns counties.

Forty miles from the Twin Cities' edge and no development in sight.

The WMA's size, its proximity to the Twin Cities and its high-quality, diverse habitat set it apart, the St. Cloud-Times reported ( ). The $3.1 million purchase, funded partly by Legacy Amendment and Pheasants Forever dollars, preserved the land for public use. It gave the landowners a way to ensure the property would be maintained. It built upon a habitat corridor that includes the neighboring 1,000-acre Succonix WMA, and stretches to include the Hoglund WMA and the river corridors.

Minnesota's 1,458 WMAs encompass about 1.3 million acres; average size is 300 acres. Pat Rivers, who supervises WMA acquisitions for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said about 4,000 acres are added in a typical year — most of those in the form of 40- or 80-acre extensions of existing WMAs.

"There aren't many acquisitions that we do in this part of the state or on the prairie where they are really turnkey," Rivers said. "The state of the lands that we acquire, they tend to be used for agriculture or they're marginal cropland."

This land on the edge of the Anoka Sand Plain was poor cropland, and that's why, Welby Smith said, his father rented it out and headed for Minneapolis after World War II. The property had been in the family since 1862. About 15 years ago, Welby and two siblings, brother Keith and sister Marion Thorne, took the land out of production and began work on a 250-acre prairie restoration through the Conservation Reserve Program.

... and more ...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Help the poor. Plan transportation centrally by Met Council. Somehow, the poor, while discussed at length in the reporting, seem secondary to the actual point of disagreement.

ABC Newspapers reporting, here, headlined, "Suburban counties at odds with Met Council, By Peter Bodley, October 10, 2014 at 10:30 am."

It seems what the central planners want for us might differ from what we want for us. Father knows best ...

FLAHERTY - In its Indiana headquarters area, the Flaherty firm hired a former city official who had been instrumental in engineering favorable city co-participation in the construction loan capital financing stage of a rental real estate adventure in Indianapolis. It was an official primarily responsible in Indianapolis for economic development decision making and implementation. Ramsey's been experienced, that way.

This is reported in a way suggesting the move is much akin to the one McGlone spouse being put onto the Flaherty payroll in Ramsey after the McGlone council member who chaired the HRA back then was instrumental in putting in place a comparable government co-participation in the at-risk capital pool needed to fully fund construction costs of the Ramsey rental Flaherty built. We can recall local events in reading IBJ reporting:

Former deputy mayor joins local developer Flaherty & Collins
Scott OlsonOctober 10, 2014

Deron Kintner, the city’s former deputy mayor of economic development, has landed at local apartment developer Flaherty & Collins Properties.

Kintner left city government Sept. 5 and joined the company Monday in the newly created position of general counsel.

“For a company our size, with 500 employees, to not have a general counsel is unusual,” Flaherty & Collins CEO David Flaherty told IBJ. “Deron fit that role perfectly.”

[...] His move to Flaherty & Collins, however, is drawing skepticism from government watchdog Julia Vaughn, policy director of Common Cause/Indiana.

The city has agreed to contribute up to a $23 million subsidy for Flaherty & Collins’ $100 million, 28-story mixed-use skyscraper to be built on part of the former home of Market Square Arena. Kintner served on a five-member panel that unanimously recommended the developer’s proposal for the project to Mayor Greg Ballard.

The City-County Council in March approved a financing plan to fund the subsidy. Property taxes generated by the project would be used to repay the city's contribution.

“I think it’s way too close for comfort,” Vaughn said of Kintner’s joining the firm. “There should be a period of time before people leaving government service can jump into the private sector.”

State officials are required to wait at least a year before taking a job with a company they have regulated or whose contracts they oversaw, although a provision in state law for waivers allows some to circumvent the requirement.

At the local level, city officials have no time constraints prohibiting them from joining the private sector. [...]

Flaherty doubts that will be much of a concern anyway, since many of the developer’s projects are outside of Indianapolis.

Vaughn remains unconvinced.

“I think this gives Flaherty a big leg up on other developers to have somebody out of the mayor’s office to come work for them,” she said. “It simply doesn’t look good.”

[...] Kintner and Flaherty began having conversations in June, once Kintner informed the mayor of his plans to leave city government. Kintner said he approached Flaherty, although he had casual discussions with “dozens” of potential employers.

From the reader comment stream accompanying the report [the earlier a comment is made, the lower it is in the thread]:

Greg has been smoking on the Crack Pipe too long
Gomers' Pyle October 10, 2014 8:35 PM
Is this Greg Ballard? Seriously what is wrong with this picture quid pro quo? Boss Tweed at its finest. You cannot cut deals to developers to the tune of $20,000,000+ and then go take a position like that. Indianapolis is a BANANA REPUBLIC!

Jerry October 10, 2014 5:30 PM
So, Greg, you see nothing wrong with a city official working on a multi-million dollar deals that benefit a company and then turning around and taking a job with that company? You see no possibility of a conflict of interest, that his work for the city was influenced by the promise, directly or indirectly of future employment at that company?

What's the big deal?
Greg October 10, 2014 5:05 PM
I really don't understand where these negative comments are coming from. It seems to me that he did everything right. What's he supposed to do --- never work again? I imagine it would be nearly impossible for someone in his position to find a job with a company that has not worked with the City. If he would have gone to any law firm, you could have made some kind of connection to the City as well. I agree with everyone that corruption abounds at every level of politics in the US and Indiana. But it sounds to me like Deron handled this exactly as he should.

Some in Ramsey declined to see anything wrong, delinquent, or improper in the McGlone-Flaherty employment arrangement, viewing it as fine and proper, while others objected to appearances (as in the Indianapolis - Flaherty hiring situation). Surely in the Ramsey situation no criminal bar was crossed, but election results were not consistent with the general public seeing the situation as unobjectionable. Voting majorities favored a change of faces at the council table for whatever reasons swayed opinion in the secret balloting. Hence the impact of the McGlone-Flaherty employment cannot be measured but must be guessed at.

Apart from local persons in the parallel instances being accorded favorable employment, the common theme is a questionable arrangement, and the common actor was and is David Flaherty. Gentlemen normally tend to want for the sake of reputation to avoid such questionable appearances. Such a rule or outlook of conduct, avoidance of even the most remote appearance of impropriety, must be something of a back-burner consideration to David Flaherty.

This pattern is most disturbing. It seems a bad way for government officials to behave, and a bad pattern of conduct for private sector persons to repeatedly induce or enable such stuff.

Flaherty is now a two-time offender. (At least only that, per known reporting.)

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Glen Taylor bought Strib, and it is clear who is in the driver's seat, today, per homepage "News" that's less than real news.

This screen capture [red highlighting added]

click to read

If what two Republican politicians are saying is news, and what Democrat politicians say is not equally news, go figure.

If anything McFadden says is in any way, whatsoever, "news," then pigs fly. He is that awful a candidate. Put him on ice until after Franken is reelected, so we can be spared his commentary.

Jeff Johnson pandering to outstate resentments? News? Get real. News would be if he were not doing exactly that.

Strib has an image. A reflective person juxtaposed with a posturing politician, the latter appearing to want to inflame and misdirect, rather than reason. It reminds me of Braveheart, the battle scene portions. McFadden should paint his face with warpaint, Mel Gibson style.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Sharon Sund is runing as the DFL candidate for CD3, where Erik Paulsen, with an egregious voting record on the Environment, is the Republican incumbent. Please contribute to support the best chance of Sund being elected. The air, water and earth will thank you.

This is from an email sent by Sund to subscribers. All links are from the original item:

Erik Paulsen may talk a good game about renewable energy, but his voting record tells a whole different story. Increasing the risk of air, water, and soil contamination and pollution is terrible policy, but Rep. Paulsen…

…voted to bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gasses.
…voted to subsidize Big Oil with continued massive tax cuts that they don’t need.
…voted against funding for research into renewable energy and improving energy efficiency.
…voted to cut funds from safety inspectors for pipelines and hazardous materials.
…voted to gut the Clean Air Act and block air pollution rules from being enforced.
…voted to open even more of the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling, even after the BP spill.
…voted against funding for climate change assessments and response plans.
Representative Erik Paulsen has voted with the most conservative members of his party in ways that risk the health of our planet and our communities. Developing clean, renewable energy is one of the most important steps we can take to boost job creation and protect our environment. We need a representative who understands that fact and will vote accordingly.

Join us in taking a stand to protect our planet, our families, and our economic future. Tell Rep. Paulsen that you reject his dangerous votes that put our health at risk, and demand accountability for his disastrous environmental record.

Paid for and Prepared by Sharon Sund for Congress

Sharon Sund for Congress
P.O. Box 46142
3300 Plymouth Blvd
Plymouth MN 55447 United States

Dismissal of a creationist teacher in Ohio on the basis of insubordination was denied hearing by the Supreme Court.

Strib carrying an AP report, here. This Googal Scholar link for anyone wanting to read Ohio case law which was allowed to stand without review.

This Google Scholar search, with return list items captioned Freshwater v. Mt. Vernon City School Dist. Bd. of Edn. including the litigation history in Ohio. Without reviewing the returned items, one cannot determine what of
the links was subject to the denial of review; i.e., what final Ohio judgment was appealed.

Readers interested in the politics of church and state interacting at the level of public school science education norms may want to review the Google Scholar items.

Larry Klayman loses one.

This link, Strib carrying an AP item.

This Google Scholar link, with this being a published federal district court dismissal grounded on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The latter item puts in context some of the returned items from the Google Scholar search.

Klayman loses, the judge is prejudiced?

Doubtful. Very doubtful. But not adjudicated. Klayman's complaint was dismissed short of any determination of its merit.

Klayman loses and nurses a big time grudge?

His litigation record speaks for itself.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Oh no, say it ain't so, Joe. Please, please, no.

We Were 'Dead Broke'
Upon Leaving White House

[image credit - click image to read author's caption]

If the Dems do it, it will turn out the same as back in DFL CD6 times, "Elwyn's turn." And it could be Ted Cruz winning. Please, please no. There is Elizabeth Warren, Maria Cantwell, others, so if it is time for a woman President, choose someone like Cantwell, moderate enough to win, smart enough to have had a business career allowing her to earn a fair share of the American Dream, before entering public service (and exiting so pitifully broke before the sun shined favorably), etc., etc., etc.

Do it right. Do it smart. Stow the Dead Brokers. Don't do it wrong.

Ask yourself, do you really want to hear about Whitewater again? Vince Foster? Missing law firm billings? Mena? Benghazi? Senate super hawk votes for Afghanistan, Iraq? You name it? The incessant sound of $109 million in skeletons rattling all the way to election day. Compare.

Is productively fighting the gender gap with no speech fee more important than $200,000 a pop, as a fee for saying whatever?


Friday, October 03, 2014

More discounting of the seriousness of rape and insensitivity to that issue. Also, the search and seizure shoe is no problem, no pinch to it, until somebody puts it on your foot. Then ... whine, whine, whine.

This Strib AP feed carry. Surely law-and-order folks to a fault, until ...

Here is the truth: Nobody should be subjected to excessive searches and seizures. The founders knew that and the Fourth Amendement has a history for reasons. Yet now the penalties for unlawful, tainted searches and seizures are far too lenient, but in this instances a bench warrant was duly attained, and the preliminary appearance is that it likely was a justifiable judicial act. Whiners. And having office and home searches for documents and electronic evidence of wrongdoing with an absence of any hint of a violent contact or conflict between search warrant execution forces and the targeted individuals is a far distance from violent rape.

Any sane person can see that.

It is grossly insensitive and irresponsible to even hint or imply that an orderly execution of bench issued search warrants approaches an equivalence of any kind with the violent and traumatizing crime of rape in any way whatsoever. Put Eric O'Keefe in a cucking stool for a good dunking over that excess.

ABC Newspapers reports, " Government Ramsey extends Tinklenberg contract for 10-Armstrong project October 2, 2014 at 9:00 am;" thus highlighting a true dilemma in the Williams-Buchholz Hobson's choice.

This ABC link. With the council already top loaded with EDA persons, and Williams offering one more in a string, you look to options and all that's there is Buchholz and failed Matt Look - Town Center stuff from the Bob Ramsey - Colin McGlone experience. Yikes.

But, more Tinklenberg? Yikes.

Did I mention sandburs?

Why does Jim Deal like having Elwyn Tinklenberg as what, a cutout?

But then others have been entrusted with making such "did I mention sandburs?" consultancy decisions, for the good of the citizens. Ostensibly for that. Those others, they faced an electorate, all that.

But, Tinklenberg?

ABC reports:

The council Sept. 23 on a 6-0 vote, with Councilmember Randy Backous absent, approved extending the city’s contract with Elwyn Tinklenberg’s The Tinklenberg Group to Nov. 7. This decision costs the city $6,700.

Excluding this new contract, the city has paid $71,200 to date for consulting fees with Tinklenberg. The new contract will bring the total to $78,700, according to Finance Director Diana Lund.

“Until that ground is broken and the governor is out here with a hard hat on and with a shovel, I think it’s important to keep (Tinklenberg) on board and make sure it happens,” Council Member Jason Tossey said.

[...] “I believe the project will get done. Local stakeholders need to keep an eye on it, myself included,” [Andover resident and Republican state Sen. Branden] Petersen said.

Tossey said had it not been for Tinklenberg closely following the funding status of this project, the city may have not been aware what was happening until it was too late.

Mayor Sarah Strommen and Council Members John LeTourneau and Chris Riley echoed Tossey’s comments of wanting to make sure this project is a go before ending a working relationship that started in February 2013.

“I think we’ll make it, but he has proven there are issues,” Council Member Chris Riley said. “My concern is I don’t know if there will ever be an end to this contract, but at the same time, I don’t think now is the time to stop.”

Tinklenberg also continues to work with the Counties Transportation Improvement Board on finalizing its grant contribution. He heard it is considering giving the city a $10.2 million grant. With this money, the $8 million from the state bonding bill and a $10 million federal TIGER grant and a $10 million Corridor Investment Management Strategy state grant, the county and city would be covered for its estimated $35 million interchange.

[...] “In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need any consultants,” Tossey said.

I already voted absentee. I voted Williams. Another EDA person elevated to a council seat. Another lesser evil situation. Where everyone has a vote, and every vote is a guess and a hope.

If the election goes the other way, Buchholz elected; Ramsey will not fall to ruin. Buchholz is not disaster, just closer in appearance to Matt Look and to prior ties with and support of Lazan and some since unelected council parsons than I'd favor. However, that's an impression and we often make decisions based upon impressions and available but incomplete evidence when best and complete evidence on a question is in the hands of others and they do not choose to directly and publicly share it.

You have circumstances. You draw inferences. Choosing between Williams and Buchholz for a council seat is not that extreme a decision that Ramsey's entire future rests on the outcome of a single seat choice between these two candidates. Yet, in a "perfect world" with that being an ABC quoted term from Tossey, the choice would be different.

I had previously favored Hendriksen as the better independent and unaligned candidate vs. Towberman, who had that same status; with Williams an EDA insider and Buchholz a Republican inner party functionary and convention attendee; part of giving us McFadden and MacDonald. And Emmer. And there is Wayne, Maria, and that gross and offensive kid's tee shirt; as well as the massive in kind discount for Look's printed merchantable and fit for purposes red signs when orange as a favored color was offered as explanation for roughly $1700 worth of signs being billed by Look to Buchholz at $275. I am uncomfortable with those circumstances.

Bitter medicine whichever prescription you take. However you swallow it. Enjoy casting your vote.

Tinklenberg now registers and reports as the lobbyist he currently is. Question: with all those goose-eggs on the report, where's Ramsey's money going/gone? Or need I ask?

[click a thumbnail to enlarge and read]

Obviously back in 2008 while pursuing a candidacy for Congress, CD6, Tinklenberg was not registered as a lobbyist and the CFB looked at the question and concluded he was not one, then. It is res judicata, in that sense. It is the last and only CFB complaint I have filed and will ever file. If anybody makes or made in 2014 a formal complaint to the CFB or any other formal government entity, it was not me. I have come to believe the forum of public awareness and opinion exchange, the give and take there, weighs more fairly on such things as might arguably be grist for the formal complaint mills around, such as they are. I cannot find much difference between rail advocacy in 2008 and road lobbying in 2014 but there must be some, or else the CFB back then would have ruled differently.

In the words of Jimi Hendrix, RIP, "Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? I have." Please do not ask me who I voted for, CD6, that 2008 election cycle. That's why we have secret ballots.

Effective teachers.

And is negative learning helpful? Learning from an anti-role model?

These are questions those bellowing about reform of K-12 education need to face, and few really do that. Learning one thing by seeing the opposite? A "Man I don't want to ever turn out like that," experience and Gestalt?

What is the definition of an effective teacher?

At the Perovich-Whelan fourm, Whelan in one point of the opening period mentioned "effective teachers" in passing. That later let to the question, basically, what is an "effective teacher" and how can the question be concretely faced and fostered in St. Paul?

It was an audience question, Perovich going first.

He focused upon the profession being best placed to make teaching decisions, and Whelan largely agreed. Both echoed the other, the effective teachers need to be recognized and kept and rewarded. But how can you do that when unable to put your finger on some generic definitional norm? On a case by case basis administrators, having had experience teaching, are left to cull and buy out those not wanted. And an ever present danger is that younger, newer teachers are less expensive and a mediocre school board will make the easy mediocre decision, go with price and try to cut the higher salaried high seniority folks.

Next the links.

The easiest way to present the links is as discovered online; here, here, here, and here.

The litigated issues are teacher tenure and LIFO inventory treatment of a K-12 school factory's faculty [for those unfamiliar with inventory acounting, LIFO, the opposite of FIFO, stands for Last In First Out, and regarding corporate taxing, say for a utility buying coal to produce electricity, if prices are trending down the utility wants to be taxed on net income per FIFO while if prices trend up LIFO is favored - either way to minimize the accounted-for net income].

The notion behind the California case is that LIFO can remove some very effective teachers, that tenure may thus cut against best interests of the student, and that hence tenure and LIFO should be thrown out with the bathwater. Roughly that. I have not seen any online link to the case but shall give a google link before closing the post. For now, the secondary source quote of note (from mid-item with links omitted):

California and the teachers unions filed an appeal of the court's decision, but the state's and teachers unions' continuing defense of these nonsensical laws likely won't succeed.

The facts and the law overwhelmingly support the trial court's decision. The California Constitution provides powerful protection for the educational interests of students — particularly for those less fortunate students whose future depends so mightily on a quality education. The trial record compiled over two months leaves no doubt that California's teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff laws subject students to exactly the kind of direct and substantial harm that should not be tolerated by the California Supreme Court. In particular, the judge said the evidence of the harm of grossly ineffective teachers on students' long-term success "shocks the conscience."

It should shock taxpayers, too. According to the testimony of the plaintiffs' expert witness, a student assigned to just one grossly ineffective teacher loses $50,000 in potential lifetime earnings. If only 3% of California's 275,000 teachers are grossly ineffective, and each teaches 25 students per year, California students lose more than $10 billion in lifetime earnings each year.

Progressives should be part of the solution. We can't succumb to simplistic defenses of the distorted teacher protection schemes.

What sort of a junior grade mind would attribute any evidential value to that sentence, "According to the testimony of the plaintiffs' expert witness, a student assigned to just one grossly ineffective teacher loses $50,000 in potential lifetime earnings." That is nothing but pure and simple extrapolation from hither and yon to produce pure bullshit. What manner of "expert" would trade in such nonsense and be taken seriously?

Until you can define for me, in a cogent way, the difference between what ultimately is a subjective and not any manner of easily measured thing, the difference between an "effective," and an "ineffective" or "grossly ineffective" teacher; please spare telling me it's a measure of fifty grand and not a dollar three-eighty, per student/per "grossly ineffective" teacher. Get real.

And the dunce who wrote that? Laurence H. Tribe. Google that. It is scary what you find. An emperor unclothed by his own use of what a fifth grader with ordinary common sense could see as in the least questionable massaging of somebody's data from somewhere, extrapolated with multiple assumptions. It is actually a laughable contention to be attributed to an expert witness, since it could as likely be a viewpoint of some bum who wandered into the courtroom off the street with prejudices to share.

The California case is Vergara v. California and at least good Mr. Tribe and his USA Today editors named the case but without providing a link to anything like the court's opinion or court documents, while linking to much else under the sun.

And while this Google discloses query return items with blurbs such as "the most important court case [fill in the blank];" readers, check things on your own, find me a citation and something in an online record from the court's record of the case.

So, until you can do what two legislative candidates could only talk around - not from their limitations but from their comprehending the difficulty of the question - until you can define for me in some sensible way "effective teacher" please then shut up and go with what both Mr. Perovich and Ms. Whelan each said, the professionals in the system day-in and day-out know best and idiots should not intrude, interfere, or pontificate.

It IS what they said and is perhaps the wisest answer either could have given to the question. And if you believe that fifty grand per student in some classroom headed by an "ineffective third grade teacher" with a class size approaching 40 students all seated and to different degrees attentive, costs each one of the forty a forty grand hit down the line - somewhere down the line, cumulative; and unless you are an absolute idiot, you would have to say the best answer is to lower class size so that the "effective teachers" can be most effective and the "ineffective teachers," ordinarily or grossly so, do minimal damage by head count alone.

[UPDATE: Perovich noted he had little faith in or liking for standardized testing, and Whelan said nothing to contradict that being a shared impression.]

If you fail to understand that class size is the most important factor that school boards have any control over you fail to understand K-12 education; and that means school boards have to spend on hiring enough teachers to reduce class size, or they compromise fiscally with what the community will tax itself and then accept some supposedly optimal cost-benefit balancing degree of ineffectiveness, cumulative presumably in a school system and not simply third grade problematic, all others top notch.

The talking-down Wannabe, Mike McFadden, bellows and back-pats himself about Cristo Rey, a school the SJ is responsible for and not him, yet he glosses over the one-off hard-to-scale nature of that enterprise, and most importantly he does a total glide and slide over the incredibly low student to teacher ratio at play in that experimental environment. Try sometime adding a real world job learning experience for every student in Anoka-Hennepin, as implemented at Cristo Rey. The sponsorship for that in the community simply is not there, at that scale, there are not enough businesses, and Cristo Rey is an outlier of little relevance to the major full-scale implementation of "effective" K-12 universal public education on any feasible budget.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Champlin's next?

Strib, here, opening two paragraphs:

WALDO, Fla. — The tiny town of Waldo in north Florida has such a notorious reputation as a speed trap that AAA erected billboards to warn drivers about it, but all that may be about to change.

On Tuesday, weeks after the police chief and interim chief resigned due to state investigations into ticket quotas, mishandling of evidence and other issues, Waldo's City Council disbanded its police force.

Champlin's gold - a highway runs through it.

Are there gold mining quotas? Ask Dennis Berg.

Dayton - docs.

This link.

So? But then ---

Strib item, headlined, "Bill Clinton coming to Minnesota."

The last out of state Republican to visit was Chris Christie, now the Clintons. GOP lite. At least it is Bill and not the ambitious one.

Aren't there some progressives to try a visit? Last one fitting that description was Sanders.

UPDATE: Bill Maher visiting, with a broom for Col. Klink. Sweep out the stuff.

Getting there. Getting better. Getting progressive. And for such a fine, outstanding cause.

Governor debate on YouTube.

This link.

UPDATE: On the quick response questions Hannah Nicollet has verbal diarrhea. And trouble staying on point. Not solid qualities.

FURTHER UPDATE: It is a two-horse race. Nicollet disqualified herself, by talking.

FURTHER UPDATE: Does Johnson's "Greater Minnesota" harangue mean whoring to outstate because he writes the Twin Cities off as favoring the DFL? It surely comes across that way; and Dayton's calling out "pandering to Northern Minnesota" where the environment faces great risk from undo haste and corner cutting, was a show of character and strength that was lacking, in one out of the three. Nicollet did well by saying don't let mining start without a cleanup escrow in place adequate for the risks. Johnson went the same "pandering to the worse of the Range" way that Mcfadden did earlier in the day. And was equally offensive doing it. Both being very transparent doing it.

Nicollet jumped the "rural Minnesota" bandwagon too, looking there like a Johnson clone, different gender. And hey, can you tell me where Johnson was born? Said it too many times to be anything but outstate pandering. Detroit Lakes should put up a Birthplace of Johnson plaque at least, if not a statue.

FINAL UPDATE: Nicollet was at her strongest in closing, jumping all over Wilfare, and Dayton and a great number of other politicians deserve to have their noses collectively rubbed into how much Wilfare is and should be resented.

Wilfare sucked when it was being done to us. It still sucks, and the graphics of this new stadium with the Peterson 28 image on it having the image dropped sums up a lot about Wilf and Wilfare that is ugly. Throw Peterson wholly under the bus if that's where the cash flows dictate. Sure, Peterson keeps a cash flow himself while not putting his body at risk running the ball, but that's a Wilf cost of business dwarfed by far compared to funding his own %(*&%^%$ stadium from his and family's own ample #%&(%% pockets.

However much that stadium stuff is galling, Dayton's done a good job on most else, and with Johnson having the shoes of Pawlenty to fill, and seeming eager for that task with those shoes fitting well; then whatever else, keep Dayton.

Keep Dayton, defeat Johnson. That has to be a bottom line.

AT THE RISK OF TOO MUCH, ONE MORE UPDATE: This is a background question. On Wilfare, where was Johnson on that vote, and where was he back when Pawlenty was overseeing free public subsidy of the Pohlad family's baseball empire?

Has Johnson ducked the visceral dislike of Wilfare as an issue because he was for it and greasing the skids at the time?

While web research might likely find an answer, I will put out the question asking reader help. Why has Johnson not criticized Wilfare? Is it the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum nature of how both parties did us the citizens in both as to the Baseball subsidy for people not needing it, and then the same for the Football subsidy for people also not needing it?

Nicollet was the ONLY one making that an issue, and Johnson was mute as a brick after she'd thrown the gauntlet.

Any reader knowing Johnson's history on Wilfare and/or Twins stadium subsidy is asked to submit a comment.

UPDATE, THAT QUESTION: It was enough a question to do a Google. Johnson's relatively clean on the stadium subsidy outrage question. He was against Wilfare. See, here and here, the latter item linking here. Given that, why was Johnson mute on Wilfare? Already had his closing spiel put together and did not want to deviate to freelancing after Nicollet handed it to him on a platter? What? Now a convert to Wilfare? Opposed it for a while but no longer? Pawlenty advisors now having Johnson's ear advising steer clear?