Archive for June, 2015
Gov. Dayton is proudly proclaiming that Minnesota is the best state to do business in. He’s basing that propaganda on CNBC’s latest ranking. After looking at how they arrived at the categories that they ranked states on, it’s easy to see how CNBC arrived at their ridiculous ratings. First, it’s important to know this about the rating system:
For example, if more states tout their low business costs, the “Cost of Doing Business” category carries greater weight. That way, our study ranks the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves.
According to CNBC’s report, workforce is the most important category, followed by cost of doing business and infrastructure, economy, quality of life, technology & innovation, education, business friendliness, cost of living and, finally, access to capital.
Minnesota ranked 13th in workforce, 35th in cost of doing business, 9th in infrastructure, 5th in economy, 3rd in quality of life, 6th in technology and innovation, 2nd in education, 23rd in business friendliness, 32nd in cost of living and 23rd in access to capital.
CNBC’s ratings only tell us what the states think of themselves. They don’t tell us what businesses think of the state. The fact that more businesses are leaving Minnesota than are moving to Minnesota is the best indicator of what businesses think.
That isn’t to say that Minnesota is getting everything wrong. There are some things that we can build off of. It’s just that there’s a handful of important things that we’d better correct if we want to be the best. Lowering the cost of doing business is essential. That’s only possible by streamlining government, especially regulations. Cutting special deals with a couple companies to entice them here, then shafting businesses that are already here, which the Dayton administration has done, needs to change, too.
UPDATE: King Banaian’s article for the Center for the American Experiment highlights similar points. This point is especially noteworthy:
If you’re a state that isn’t particularly business friendly, you don’t talk about that in your marketing materials. You emphasize other things. You puff your materials with discussion of quality of life and how hardworking your workers are and ignore the areas where your policies might make business a little harder to conduct. And CNBC will go right along and take weight off those things, if the rest of the states are doing the same thing.
I can’t emphasize enough the fact that CNBC’s article isn’t a serious economic statement. It’s a statement based off of the states’ PR statements.
Laurence Tribe’s op-ed about the King v. Burwell ruling is typical progressivism. It’s all about rationalizing a terrible, wrong-headed decision. Tribe made some statements that deserve rebutting. This is one of those statements:
The Supreme Court correctly applied standard interpretive methods in holding that, despite the apparent clarity of those four words, the law makes subsidies available on all exchanges, state and federal. Looking to the overall purpose, structure, and context of the Act, the court asked with incredulity why Congress would risk total implosion of the ACA just to encourage states to create their own exchanges especially when Congress itself provided the federal backstop.
When the words are clear, which they are, the test that Tribe mentioned isn’t applied. Typically, that test is only applied if the words are ambiguous. Chief Justice Roberts said that the 4 words were “inartful drafting.” Justice Scalia’s response was that it wasn’t likely that that inartful drafting would appear in the ACA’s language 7 different times.
As for whether Congress “would risk total implosion of the ACA just to encourage states to create their own exchanges”, the answer is yes. That’s why the federal government didn’t start building their website right away. Their plan — their concerted plan — was to pressure states into creating their own exchanges. Further, the IRS didn’t write its rule extending subsidies to people who bought their insurance through HealthCare.gov until it was clear that a substantial number of states weren’t going to create state-run exchanges.
Isn’t it curious that that clarification wasn’t the first thing mentioned in the rules? The instructions to the IRS weren’t written until late in the process. Why wasn’t it the first rule written? If the ACA’s success hinged on the subsidies, shouldn’t that have been the first rule written?
The people also won because the Roberts Court has given them a solid basis for trusting that hard-won victories in Congress will remain intact when challenged in the court. When it decides constitutional cases, like the much-anticipated same-sex marriage cases, the court’s role is to serve as a check on the people, ensuring that legislative or popular majorities don’t act in violation of the Constitution. This is the sense in which the court has famously been described as “counter-majoritarian.”
The Constitution was built to restrict what government isn’t authorized to do. That’s insanity. The Fourth Amendment wasn’t written to tell people what they couldn’t do. It was written to tell government what it can’t do. Specifically, the Fourth Amendment prohibits the government from conducting unreasonable searches against private citizens and publicly-traded companies.
The First Amendment prohibits Congress from writing laws that restrict people’s ability to speak out against politicians and government. It isn’t a check on people. It’s another check on government.
If Prof. Tribe can’t understand the most basic principles underpinning the Constitution, then his opinions on Supreme Court rulings is questionable.
When I’ve written about censorship on college campuses, it’s usually been because people have argued that they have the right to never be offended. Jon Stewart recently interviewed Judge Napolitano about the First Amendment, specifically citing the right to fly the Confederate Flag. Here’s the entire interview:
Here’s the heart of what Judge Napolitano told Stewart:
NAPOLITANO: I say you have the right to fly that flag on your private property. You have the right to any opinion or thought you want, even one manifested or animated by hate. And the government has no business regulating thought. If the First Amendment protects anything, it protects your absolute unfettered right to think what you want and say what you think.
Last week, I heard something simple, yet profound. Someone said that there’s no need to protect popular speech because nobody objects to it. The First Amendment is the most important part of the Bill of Rights because it tells the government that We The People will decide what’s said and that the government shall not have the right to tell us to shut up or restrict what we say.
Judge Napolitano quickly pointed out, however, that if he said something controversial, or even hateful, he doesn’t have the right to not hear from people who disagree with him. Napolitano said that nobody in the United States has “the right to not be offended.”
Apparently, the enlightened people on college campuses didn’t get that memo. Apparently, Cass Sunstein didn’t learn that in civics class either:
In recent months, universities have turned their attention to an important problem that should be included in our national effort to examine and root out bigotry. They have identified, and attempted to reduce, “microaggressions” — words or behavior that might stigmatize or humiliate women or members of minority groups, with particular emphasis on African-Americans, disabled people, and gays and lesbians. The effort has admirable goals, but there is a risk that schools will overshoot the mark.
University administrators don’t have the authority to ban words from campus. Further, administrators aren’t doing students a favor by limiting students’ exposure to repulsive language. Just like there’s no way to totally eliminate gun violence, there’s no way to stop people from saying disgusting things.
That’s because there will always be hate-filled, ill-tempered people.
The solution to this isn’t banning words or flags that trigger hurt feelings. The solution is criticizing people who say hurtful things. BTW, Hillary Clinton has called for banning certain types of flags.
I’d way rather live in a world that lives according to Judge Napolitano’s principles than a world living by Hillary’s principles. It isn’t even close.
The Minnesota Timberwolves were excited going into Thursday night’s NBA Draft because they had the first overall pick in the draft for the first time in the team’s 26-year history. They also had the first pick of the 2nd round, the 31st pick overall along with the 36th pick overall.
When the dust settled at the end of the first round, the Timberwolves had picked Kentucky’s Karl Anthony-Towns with the first overall pick, then traded their second round picks to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Tyus Jones, the NCAA Final Four MVP for Duke. For Jones, it’s a dream come true after being named the best basketball player in Minnesota his final 3 seasons at Apple Valley High School.
Here’s the video of KAT getting picked first overall, then getting interviewed on ESPN, then watching his parents react to the news:
The more you learn about KAT, the more you’re certain that he isn’t just a talented player. Without question, he’s a supremely talented player both offensively and defensively. Flip Saunders has to be pinching himself because, more than anything else, KAT’s got the mindset and work ethic of a champion. Teaming him up with Andrew Wiggins, this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year and NBA All Star Weekend Dunk Champion Zach LaVine is exciting enough.
Adding Tyus Jones, with his winning pedigree at every level that he’s played at, is how foundations for future championships are built. After trading for Tyus, T’Wolves Coach Flip Saunders walked over to the night club where Jones’ family was watching the draft:
For years, I found it impossible to get excited about the Timberwolves. They’re still a few years away from being a championship contender but, without question, the building blocks are there.
Special Interests’ Citizens Board held its final meeting Tuesday. It was a bittersweet day, depending on your political persuasion. For environmental activists, it was a bitter ending. For people that believe in holding government accountable, it was a beautiful sight. First, let’s listen to the special interests’ whining:
“Dissolving the Citizens’ Board is bad for rural and metro Minnesota,” said Kathy DeBuhr at a protest before the board’s final meeting Tuesday morning. “This legislature has taken away the voice of the common person. The little guy.”
DeBuhr was among those who protested a proposed 9,000-cow “mega-dairy feedlot” in western Minnesota in 2014. In a controversial move, the Citizens’ Board ordered the dairy operation to seek an expensive and time-consuming environmental impact statement even though MPCA staff had not ordered one. The dairy ultimately decided not to go forward with the project.
Ms. DeBuhr’s whining is annoying at best. This wasn’t a panel of ordinary citizens. It was an activist board. The fact that they ran off a major dairy operation after the operation had gotten its permits from the MPCA speaks to their activism.
Further, what type of citizens panel reserves a spot for a union member? The Board had a member of Duluth’s Transit Authority and an “agriculture representative”, too. I still haven’t heard anyone explain why there’s a need for a citizens panel. Isn’t the MPCA doing its job properly? If it isn’t, shouldn’t the MPCA be overhauled or outright abolished?
The Citizens’ Board was established to guard against undue political influence of the agency and to create a public and transparent decision making process on controversial issues. Supporters of the board say its abolishment will remove the final public process for environmental review and permitting actions for industry and factory farms.
The notion that the Citizens Board was impartial is absurd. It wasn’t. It was filled with activists. As for the statement that this removes “the final public process for environmental review and permitting,” that’s a bit melodramatic. Why is it necessary for limitless environmental reviews?
If there is a thing called progressive logic, this Times Writers Group article fits the definition perfectly:
Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, introduced an amendment titled “Northstar Commuter Rail Extension Study,” key to getting the line from Big Lake to St. Cloud. The study would estimate ridership, identify funding sources and include a timeline for implementation.
Ironically, it was Central Minnesota lawmakers who put the kibosh on this perfectly reasonable, much-needed effort. Rep. Jim Newberger, R-Becker, took the lead, characterizing Northstar commuter rail as only a shuttle to the St. Cloud prison. “Boy, wouldn’t that be convenient,” he said on the House floor, “to have that rail line going from the prison to North Minneapolis.” He continued that in his “neck of the woods” in Becker, “we don’t call it Northstar, we call it the black hole because that’s where all the money goes.”
Where to begin?
By Newberger’s logic, apparently no one from the Twin Cities would want to visit St. Cloud for any reason other than to stop at the prison — not to go to St. Cloud State University, Munsinger and Clemens Gardens, the Paramount Arts District or to see the 100,000-plus people living in our metro area. By his logic, we should take out U.S. Highway 10, so people could not visit the 242 prisoners from Hennepin County behind the granite walls. Egad!
We don’t need to spend money on more studies. Ridership of the Northstar is tiny. As for where to begin, let’s start with the reality that only transportation lobbyists and pork-tasting politicians like the Northstar project. Thoughtful people prefer the liberty that comes with driving. Environmentalists have been trying to force transit down our throats for decades. People have overwhelmingly rejected these options.
Rather than listening to the people, these progressives keep pushing these unwanted options. When will they accept that we aren’t interested?
After reading this article, it’s clear that Jeb Bush’s campaign will insist that he’s picking up momentum:
A brand-new national NBC/WSJ poll finds Jeb Bush leading the crowded Republican presidential field, with 22% of GOP primary voters saying he’s their first choice. He’s followed by Scott Walker at 17%, Marco Rubio at 14%, and Ben Carson at 11%. While Jeb had a similar five-point lead in our April NBC/WSJ poll, you see his current position has strengthened when you look inside the numbers of this new poll. (It was conducted during the buildup and coverage of Bush’s official presidential announcement on June 16.) The latest survey shows him ahead among self-identified conservative GOP primary voters, when he was in third place in April behind Rubio and Walker. And as we unveiled on Sunday, 75% of Republican primary voters in our new poll say they could see themselves supporting Bush, up from 70% in April and 49% in March. Bottom line: While Jeb has plenty of potential problems to overcome (his last name, his positions on immigration and Common Core, his desire to run a general-election campaign instead of one aimed at GOP primary voters), this poll is very good news for him.
First, the poll’s sample is a tiny 236 likely primary voters. That’s less than half of a single night’s sample for Rasmussen’s polling. That makes this poll virtually junk in terms of its predictive value on that part alone.
Next, Jeb’s support has dropped a point since the April NBC/WSJ poll. In April’s poll, Gov. Bush had a 9-point lead over Gov. Walker and a 5-point lead over Sen. Rubio. Gov. Bush garnered 23% to Gov. Walker’s 14%. Now, it’s 22% for Gov. Bush, 17% for Gov. Walker. That isn’t great news a week after Gov. Bush’s official announcement. That means that Gov. Bush essentially didn’t get a bounce from his official entry into the race.
There’s another thing that’s worth noting. The NBC/WSJ poll is the only poll where Gov. Bush has topped 20%. If we exclude the NBC/WSJ poll and we take the last 5 polls, Gov. Bush has gotten 9%, 12%, 13%, 10% and 10% from Monmouth, Fox News, CNN/ORC, ABC/WashPost and Quinnipiac respectively. Given the predictive value of this NBC/WSJ poll, it’s more than justifiable to question this poll. Frankly, I don’t know how you take it seriously. Apparently, Allahpundit has taken it a bit too seriously:
Bush leads with 22 percent, then Scott Walker at 17, then Rubio at 14 — and remember, Walker hasn’t formally announced yet. Part of Jeb’s big bounce in this poll may be due to the positive buzz he got after finally declaring his candidacy; Walker may be the next to bounce as those now-tuning-in Republicans are formally introduced to him.
It’s difficult to take this NBC/WSJ poll seriously, especially in light of the fact that Gov. Bush has had difficulty getting into the last 5 national polls. Why should I believe that a poll with a microscopic sample that shows a candidate with twice his RCP average support?
Based on this article, Hillary’s attempt to capitalize politically on the Charleston Massacre is failing. Check this out:
Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered on Saturday her boldest remarks yet on race and gun violence, topics that have quickly become some of the most prominent and divisive in the presidential campaign, particularly after Wednesday’s mass shooting in Charleston, S.C.
“It’s tempting to dismiss a tragedy like this as an isolated incident, to believe that in today’s America bigotry is largely behind us, that institutionalized racism no longer exists,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech in San Francisco. “But despite our best efforts and our highest hopes, America’s long struggle with race is far from finished.”
Invoking President Obama at times, Mrs. Clinton called for a “common sense” approach to gun laws, pledging to take swift action if elected. She did not, however, make clear how she would navigate the divide in Congress that has undercut Mr. Obama’s own efforts to pass gun laws. “The president is right. The politics on this issue have been poisoned,” Mrs. Clinton said. “But we can’t give up. The stakes are too high. The costs are too dear. And I am not and will not be afraid to keep fighting for common sense reforms.”
Mrs. Clinton, it’s easy talking about “common sense reforms” without explaining the details. Who isn’t for common sense reforms of whatever the subject is? The thing about “common sense reforms” without including the reforms’ details is that it sounds like a cheap politician repeating a focus group-tested message. That isn’t a solution. One thing that’s apparent is that Mrs. Clinton isn’t interested in leading.
Will Mrs. Clinton propose a ban on assault weapons like her husband passed? Or will she propose closing the non-existent gun show loophole? Will she propose things like they passed in Colorado and New York? Will Mrs. Clinton propose something entirely different? Proposing gun control legislation will fire up Hillary’s supporters. It won’t solve problems.
The important question that Ed Henry or other journalists with integrity should ask Sec. Clinton is how gun control would’ve made a difference at that church in Charleston last week. If she can’t answer that, then the next question should be why Hillary’s pushing gun control when it wouldn’t have solved anything.
It’s time reporters put Hillary on the spot. Let Hillary know that we’ll reject her if she isn’t offering solutions. Send Hillary the message that we won’t tolerate her chatting about checking off items from her ideological wish list.
It’s becoming a matter of routine to hear that Scott Walker is leading in another poll or that he’s won another straw poll. Gov. Walker was the final speaker at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, where he won another straw poll with surprising strength:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got some of Philadelphia’s brotherly love in a Republican straw poll of declared and presumptive presidential candidates this weekend.
But Scott Walker got more.
The Wisconsin governor left the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference with 25.3 percent of the poll, taken among the 600-plus party leaders and activists from 20 states who attended, according to a news release from the event. Christie won 11.6 percent, taking second place. He edged out Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who had 11 percent. Rounding out the top five were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who tied with 9.6 percent.
Gov. Walker’s message is simple: he’s a fighter that wins:
Seeking to differentiate himself from some of his potential rivals who serve in Congress or have been out of office for some time, Mr. Walker said he was a unique combination of fighter and election and policy victor. “We fight the good fight and win those fights over and over and over again,” he said.
It’s impossible to argue with Gov. Walker’s history of success. The record speaks for itself. If ever there was an election that showed elections aren’t about the past, this is that election. Gov. Walker appears able to fight and win on that turf, too:
Mr. Walker also mocked the president on national security, citing Mr. Obama’s recent speech in which he said climate change was the biggest threat facing America. “I’ve got a message for you, Mr. President. The number one threat to the military, the number one threat to America, the number one threat to the world is radical Islam. It’s time we do something about it,” he said to roaring cheers.
President Obama admitted that he doesn’t have a complete strategy to defeat ISIS. Unfortunately for solutions-oriented Americans of all political stripes, that isn’t surprising. It’s just disappointing. It’s impossible to think of President Obama as a policy wonk. It’s impossible to think of him as anything more than a political hack.
Saying that climate change is the “biggest threat facing America” requires mocking. Thankfully, there are several serious conservative candidates who are capable of taking over as commander-in-chief. Right now, the one winning the straw polls and leading in the polls is Gov. Walker.
If anyone needed confirmation that the Iron Range thinks that they’re being treated like second class citizens by Metrocrats like John Marty, this week’s Onions ‘N Orchids might provide some of that proof:
Orchids: To the DFL Iron Range Delegation. You all did an exceptionally good job representing corporate mining and corporate agricultural interests during the recently ended legislative session. You pulled the rug out from beneath the feet of Democratic Gov. Dayton. Being Democrats in name only, it would be appropriate now for you folks, led by Sen. Bakk, to either retire or switch to the Republican Party. That would at least give us voters a choice in the 2016 elections. Let’s get some Democrats back in office from the Iron Range.
Orchids: To Tom Bakk for standing up to and beating John Marty and the green metro liberals; so-called allies and friends of the Iron Range, but they are nothing but a bunch of back stabbers. Jerry Janezich sold his Iron Range heritage and bent his knees to the Green Liberals, even traveled to Seattle, Wash. to march and protest against industry with them. Where did it get him? Nowhere!
I get it that that first ‘orchid’ is sarcastic. Calling Bakk a “Democrat in name only” is proof that the Metro DFL has lost its mind. Apparently with them, it’s their way 100% of the time or they’ll excommunicate the heretics from the DFL.
Let’s get something straight. John Marty is upset because the MPCA’s Citizens Board soon won’t exist. That’s a great thing. Lots of businesses have followed the law and gotten their MPCA permits, only to have the Citizens Board reject the approved permit. Contrary to Sen. Marty’s contention that they were just a bunch of citizens reviewing the MPCA’s work, they were environmental saboteurs.
They’re most famous for sabotaging 2 major dairy farm projects. Thanks to the anything-but-Citizens-Board, those farms are now located outside of Minnesota. Though these were the highest profile cases of environmental sabotage, they weren’t the only cases.
The question now confronting suburban voters is whether they’ll support DFL politicians that support the DFL’s radical environmental agenda. Do they really think that’s in their best interest?