Archive for the ‘Big Government’ Category
When the Strib first reported that the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority, aka MSFA, had used 2 suites at the Vikings new stadium to entertain family members and DFL political allies, Minnesotans were rightfully outraged. According to this article, that outrage hasn’t diminished much, if at all.
I’m sure, though, that Minnesotans will sleep easier knowing that the MSFA has a new policy towards those suites. Michele Kelm-Helgen announced that “I clearly heard and understand that people did not support having friends and family in suites. We now have a new suite policy.”
Ms. Kelm-Helgen isn’t stupid. She had to know that this wasn’t right. It’s more likely that she’s arrogant or that she felt entitled. Initially, the MSFA said that they used the suites “to host potential clients”, which I wrote about in this post. Back then, the Pioneer Press wrote “Kelm-Helgen and Mondale said they and the four MSFA commissioners use the suites to host potential clients who are looking to rent all or portions of the stadium, which opened in August. But they also acknowledge they regularly invite friends and family to the suites. The two say they can’t reveal the identities of their guests because that would hinder their marketing efforts. However, they did release the identities of 12 current and former public officials who reimbursed the authority $200 for their tickets to the suite.”
This time, Ms. Kelm-Helgen was more forthright:
The chairwoman of the government authority that manages U.S. Bank Stadium defended the use of two luxury suites for officials’ friends and family before a panel of state lawmakers Wednesday, saying it’s been common practice for years.
Here’s a picture of one of the suites controlled by the MSFA:
Democrats will always do the right thing … when it’s the only option left.
When I wrote this post about President-Elect Trump’s drain-the-swamp initiative, one of the things I wrote about was the Tomah VA hospital. This article provides more detail on the things that allegedly happened there.
The biggest thing that the Wisconsin Watchdog article talks about is the dentist that infected people with HIV and hepatitis C. What specifically caught my attention is the part where it says “the dentist in question knowingly did not follow VA standards for a year, between October 2015 and this October. A dental assistant blew the whistle on the misconduct. ‘He had a replacement dental assistant, and she noted this particular piece of instrument being used … He brought in his own burs and cleaned them with Virex solution, salt and a wipe, which is nothing we endorse,’ Brahm told the news site. ‘She reported it the next day, Oct. 20, to the dental chief who reported it to senior leadership. We took action Oct. 21.'”
Actually, it isn’t just that the Tomah VA doesn’t endorse what this dentist did. This article gives a more detailed account:
Earlier this week, officials said a dentist at the Tomah VA Medical Center improperly re-used his own dental equipment instead of using the sterilized, disposable tools as VA rules require.
“It was purposeful that he was violating VA regulations,” said Victoria Brahm, acting medical director at the Tomah VA Center in a press briefing earlier this week.
“During all of the orientation, he used our equipment. He used it appropriately, so it was very purposeful from what we found in our investigation that he knew exactly what he was doing, and preferred to use his own equipment against procedure.”
It’s clear that the VA hospital system is one of the biggest swamps of corruption that needs to be drained. Then there’s this:
A current employee who asked not be identified said Brahm “puts on a good face,” but the hospital is “still bad and full of drug abuse and employee abuse.”
“I have even spoken with the director about this and how veterans are harassed in Tomah due to the VA. All that has been said is, ‘There’s still work to be done.’ The same tag line that is always used,” the source said.
Hopefully, the Trump administration takes the VA corruption seriously. This needs to stop ASAP.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Ron Johnson, Drain the Swamp, VA Hospitals, Tomah VA, Victoria Brahm, Hepatitis C, HIV, Corruption, Accountability
St. Paul Chris Coleman is asking for another major property tax increase. This is likely the first in a lengthy list of mayoral sob stories set to be published.
Mayor Coleman, it seems, expected a “$3 million boost in state aid” that isn’t coming. The sob story will sound something like this: We passed a budget that expected an increase in LGA but House Republicans killed that. Now we’re stuck with a $3,000,000 deficit, which means we’re going to have to cut “up to nine police officers.”
Actually, the entire paragraph reads “The breakdown of talks over a potential special legislative session means the city isn’t going to get an expected $3 million boost in state aid, and simply cutting that money could cost the city up to nine police officers, force one of the city’s recreation centers to close and trim the city’s racial equity initiatives, Coleman wrote Wednesday in a letter to the St. Paul City Council.”
Start cutting, Mayor Coleman. Forcing “one of the city’s recreation centers to close” isn’t a tragedy. Losing 9 police officers at a time when BlackLivesMatter activists are throwing cement blocks and rebar at police offices is a tragedy. This paragraph sums it up perfectly:
“This is not acceptable,” said council member Dai Thao. “We spend millions of dollars on the Palace Theater. Some of the folks targeted by these cuts would never experience the Palace theater,” said Thao, saying the cuts wouldn’t be fair for many St. Paul residents.
The first question that isn’t being asked is this: why did St. Paul spend “millions of dollars on the Palace Theater”? Here’s why they spent millions on it:
Enhancing the vibrant downtown entertainment district is at the core of this project. Expected to attract more than 100,000 people downtown annually, the Palace Theatre will fill a need in the current entertainment venue market by offering a contemporary music venue twice as large as Minneapolis’ First Avenue.
In other words, St. Paul just pissed away millions of dollars to compete with Minneapolis? Now they want to raise taxes because they’re spending like a bunch of drunk sailors at a strip club. Imagine spending millions of dollars on a building like this:
I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that Angie Craig is attempting to tie Jason Lewis to Donald Trump. It’s what a hardline lefty like Craig has to do. When I wrote this post, I highlighted Ms. Craig’s issues page.
Ms. Craig’s issue page identifies her quickly as part Pelosi lefty, part Bernie Sanders lefty. For instance, Craig thinks that the federal government isn’t spending enough on higher education, saying “This includes both encouraging public colleges to find ways to lower costs and increase federal funding for the neediest students, providing incentives for states to invest in higher education and keeping tuition down. We can’t continue to saddle our kids with the tens of thousands of dollars of debt as they enter the workforce.”
Spoken like a true utopian. Craig isn’t done with the leftist ideology. Another bit of low-hanging fruit from the Craig ‘issues tree’ comes from her saying “We have to ensure that there are meaningful, good paying jobs for our graduates and more job opportunities for working families. Congress has lost sight of the fundamentals of growing the economy.”
That’s too easy. President Obama has been in office for almost 8 years but it’s Congress’s fault that the economy hasn’t helped people working for small businesses? It wasn’t a GOP Congress that passed the ACA, aka Obamacare. It wasn’t a GOP Congress that waged war against mining jobs with EPA regulations. Hillary Clinton promised to devastate blue collar states:
It was Hillary who said that she’d put lots of coal miners out of work. Ms. Craig seems to turn a blind eye towards that. I’d love to hear Ms. Craig explain how it’s possible to build a “a sustainable economy and create meaningful, good-paying jobs” while intentionally killing other jobs. Perhaps Ms. Craig would like to explain government’s history of picking winners lately. In Ms. Craig’s mind, is Solyndra a success?
Earlier, I highlighted the fact that Ms. Craig blamed the Republican Congress of losing “sight of the fundamentals of growing the economy.” Personally, I think Ms. Craig should be reminded of this:
Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer who took more than $500 million from President Obama’s stimulus then went bust, sticking taxpayers for the loss, lied to federal officials to secure the loan, the Energy Department’s inspector general said in a report released Wednesday.
But the Obama administration goofed too, and may have cut corners in fully vetting the project because of “political pressure” from top Democrats and Solyndra itself, the investigators said in their report, which took four years to complete.
Is Ms. Craig certain that we should trust the federal government in picking investment opportunities? If she is, then I’m pretty certain that she’s wrong for the Second District. Frankly, her ideas don’t make any sense. ‘Craigonomics’ sounds like the same hair-brained foolishness that’s had the economy spinning its wheels the last 8 years.
If Reaganomics is the picture of a thriving economy, which it was, then Craigonomics is the polar opposite of a thriving economy.
Finally, there’s nothing in Ms. Craig’s issues page that talks about civil rights or fighting terrorists. Doesn’t Ms. Craig think that those things are important priorities? If she thinks those things are important, why isn’t she talking about what her solution is to demolishing ISIS?
Technorati: Angie Craig, Nancy Pelosi, Free Tuition, Green Jobs, EPA, Solyndra, Hillary Clinton, Coal Mining, Democrats, Jason Lewis, Reaganomics, National Security, Civil Rights, ISIS, GOP, Election 2016
Donald Trump isn’t an idiot but he’s definitely ignorant. Yesterday, Trump criticized RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and the RNC for Colorado’s caucus system.
What’s apparent is that Donald Trump doesn’t pay attention to details. It’s apparent because he said “It’s a disgrace for the party. And Reince Priebus should be ashamed of himself. He should be ashamed of himself because he knows what’s going on.” That statement is exceptionally telling.
First, it’s telling because it’s clear that he doesn’t understand the concept of federalism. Having attended Minnesota’s precinct caucuses, their county conventions and other conventions, I’ve yet to hear of a time when the RNC dictated how we ran our conventions. It’s blindingly apparent that Trump doesn’t understand that each state has its own rules.
Perhaps more importantly, it’s clear that Trump wouldn’t know a strict constructionist judge if he met one. It’s apparent that Trump thinks that the federal government should make most of the decisions. Limited government conservatives cringe when they hear a politician who thinks that Washington needs more authority. Trump also said this:
It should go to a vote in Colorado like other places. … The best way to do it would be just a vote, should be a vote of the people. That’s the way it should be done. The delegate situation is a very unjust way of doing things.
Spoken like a man who prefers mob rule. Truer words were never spoken than these:
Asked if he would call for Priebus to step down should he become the nominee, Trump responded, “I haven’t given that any thought.”
The notion that Mr. Trump gives anything a thought is laughable. He’s the quintessential non-thinker. He’s the poster child of what happens when people don’t think things through.
This article highlights another instance in which the DFL is trying to drive companies out of Minnesota. They shouldn’t be blamed, though. Democrats in Washington, DC, are attempting to drive companies out of the U.S.
Specifically, “Senate DFLers are pushing a more generous paid family leave than the three states that require it, mandating up to 12 weeks of paid time off for new parents or people caring for sick family members. That’s double what is required in New Jersey and California; Rhode Island offers eight weeks.” Additionally, the “fight is gaining attention at the national level as Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have proposed leave policies.”
This is just another thing ton the DFL’s agenda that’s driving employment costs up for Minnesota businesses. (It isn’t like they aren’t already leaving for lower tax states.) The executive summary of Peter Nelson’s report doesn’t paint a positive picture for Minnesota.
This information is especially troubling to Minnesota’s long-term health:
Most of the taxpayers who leave Minnesota for lower-tax states are in their prime earning years. One might think that most high-earning families who leave Minnesota are retirees moving to Florida or Arizona, but this is not the case. Working-age people between 35 and 54 account for nearly 40 percent of Minnesota’s net loss of tax filers for the 2013-2014 period.
In other words, Minnesota isn’t losing people at the end of their prime earning years. If they were, they could recover from that fairly quickly. It’s more difficult to recover long-term income loss because you have to attract people who are entering or in their prime earning years.
Further factoring into this difficult situation is the fact that people in their prime earning years aren’t likely to be as loyal to Minnesota as someone in the last part of their prime earning years. Someone that’s 60 and still earning significant dollars likely has a family here. They’ve established their lifestyle and are comfortable with it. Their friends are likely here, too.
It’s understatement that government-mandated business costs don’t incentivize companies to stay loyal to Minnesota. Their first priority is to maximize their company’s profits, which contributes to their family’s security.
This says it all:
Doug Seaton said he believes that politicians have no business telling employers to offer paid family and medical leave.
When politicians start putting their capital at risk and start signing the front of the paycheck, they can choose to offer paid family and medical leave. Then there’s this:
“Politicians, most of whom have no experience signing paychecks for employees of any kind, are not in a good position to make these decisions,” Seaton said. “It restricts the ability of the business to tailor its benefits to all employees in a way that makes sense.” He added that it came on top of “what employers already perceive as a very extensive and expansive set of entitlements in Minnesota.”
That’s a polite way of telling politicians to stop imposing their will on companies that they don’t own. It’s a polite way of telling politicians to shut up.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Tom Bakk, Regulation Nation, Family Medical Leave Act, Paid Leave, Income Migration, DFL, Entrepreneurship, IRS, Economy, Marginal Tax Rates, Center for the American Experiment
The past 4 years have provided Minnesotans plenty of proof that the DFL is the party of corruption. Simply put, the DFL will do anything to increase or regain political power. During the 2012 campaign, 13 DFL state senate candidates coordinated their advertising campaigns with the DFL Senate Campaign Committee, which is illegal. Republicans filed a complaint about the DFL’s campaign committee hijinks. The end result was the DFL Senate Campaign Committee getting fined $100,000, the biggest fine in Minnesota campaign history.
Unfortunately, 11 of those 13 DFL state senate candidates won their election. In essence, these politicians bought their senate seats. Rather than apologize for their unethical actions, DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin characterized the incident as a nuisance before declaring the need to get back to governing. That makes sense in Chairman Martin’s world because this was just a financial transaction to him.
DFL State Sen. Jeff Hayden is tangled up in multiple messes, starting with the corruption that shut down Community Action of Minneapolis. He’s also had ethics charges filed against him for pushing the Minneapolis school board into funding a program run by his friends and associates.
I’m not surprised. The DFL is as interested in providing oversight of their political allies’ nonprofits as Hillary is interested in turning over Bill’s email server.
During the final days of the 2013 session, hundreds of in-home child care providers of all political persuasions descended on the Capitol to tell the DFL not to pass the forced unionization bill. Mike Nelson and the DFL waged war on these women, essentially telling them that they knew what was best. On June 30, 2014, the US Supreme Court told Mike Nelson and the DFL that their legislation was unconstitutional.
Mike Nelson, the DFL and AFSCME didn’t care about the Constitution. They didn’t care that private employers weren’t public employees. Mike Nelson, the DFL and AFSCME just deemed private small business owners public employees. That’s because their first concern was accumulating political power. That’s why the DFL sided with the special interests. That’s why the DFL didn’t pay attention to women they simply disagreed with. They only cared about their big money benefactors.
The DFL’s cronyism knows no limits. Senate Minority Leader Hann’s op-ed shows how invested the DFL is in special interests:
Dayton recently awarded his commissioners salary increases as large as $30,000 each. He gave the chair of the Met Council an $86,000 increase, and the beneficiary just happens to be married to the governor’s chief of staff. One of Dayton’s deputy chiefs is married to a top official at Education Minnesota, the teachers union. Another Dayton staffer is married to the chair of the DFL Party.
Why should I believe that the DFL is the party of the little guy? The DFL sold out Iron Range families in exchange for hefty campaign contributions from environmental activists. The DFL sold out in-home child care providers in exchange for hefty campaign contributions from public employee unions.
Worst of all, Gov. Dayton’s administration is filled with the DFL’s biggest special interest allies.
Elizabeth Warren loves telling her audiences that the game is rigged. She’s right and she’s wrong. She insists that it’s rigged by Wall Street fat cats. The truth is that it’s rigged by the Democrats’ special interest allies. The truth is that Big Government is just as corrupt as Wall Street.
Technorati: Jeff Hayden, Community Action, Mike Nelson, AFSCME Council 5, DFL Senate Campaign Committee, Campaign Coordination, Special Interests, Education Minnesota, Environmental Activists, Met Council, Ken Martin, DFL Culture of Corruption, Election 2012, Campaign Finance Disclosure Board