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Hiram Foster

Crystal, MN
Commenter for
7 years 4 weeks

Recent Comments

One of the things we need to explain to people and that includes politicians and local folks who have a sad vulnerability to outside cash is that having money doesn't make you smarter. That the opinion of some outside billionaire willing to throw money around he or she made from some unrelated business isn't any more and is probably less valuable than your own.

Why not just boycott the game, TCF, and the advertisers on the TV broadcast?

Posted on 10/22/14 at 11:46 am in response to Why the DFL will lose the Minnesota House

"I hear that the DFL is using a cookie-cutter approach to running a state legislative campaign. They are using the same messaging, GOTV, and tactics in all of their campaigns. Such an approach is a recipe for failure, ignoring the special issues and needs of different districts."

From where I sit in a knock on wood, fairly safe DFL district, a statewide DFL legislative campaign doesn't exist at all. There is no DFL money. There is no DFL message support. There is little participation...

Posted on 10/23/14 at 09:56 am in response to Why the DFL will lose the Minnesota House

The wonder of a checks and balances system is something we all pay an extraordinary amount of lip service to, but less frequently commented upon on the specific problems such a system of government raises. We have constructed ourselves, for reasons that I am certain were persuasive to 18th century minds, a government, the parts of which, don't share interests, and which often enough, have interests which are conflicting and even contradictory, and which in addition is without a mechanism for...

Posted on 10/24/14 at 07:35 am in response to Why the DFL will lose the Minnesota House

In dealing with the legislature, even a legislature controlled by the governor's own party, the governor's power comes from the leverage the threat to veto gives him. The governor, powerful though he may be, must always work within the scope of what the legislature chooses to do. He cannot sign bills which, for whatever reason, don't reach his desk. Now it is possible, in theory at least, for the governor to have a great deal of influence over legislators or the legislative majority. The...

Posted on 11/05/14 at 09:01 am in response to Why the DFL will lose the Minnesota House

I would say it's now time to revisit and possibly expand on this article. I was reluctant to comment on this piece too extensively, because in a small way, I am a bit of a DFL insider, with a ring side seat to some of the dynamics the good professor describes. My own thought is that Mr. Schulz's descriptions were just a bit harsh; it isn't a question of arrogance so much, as difficulty is finding solutions to very difficult political problems. The DFL had to do certain things, because that's...

Posted on 10/13/14 at 02:21 pm in response to A geek's guide to political polling

I am known in my little circle at least as a poll skeptic. My most fundamental problem with most polls is that they can't be checked against anything, and therefore, it can't be determined whether they are accurate. How do you know a July poll is accurate when there won't be an election until November? The professor makes an issue of "confidence level" but the fact is, a bad result or an unknowable result isn't made better because you have confidence in it. How do we even know what the...

Posted on 10/14/14 at 04:39 am in response to A geek's guide to political polling

Given that the polls were inaccurate in 2010, why are we paying attention to them in 2014? No matter how much self interested confidence the pollsters had in them?

Posted on 10/14/14 at 09:46 am in response to Our odd primary system — and its odd results

The founding fathers, I have been told, had a distaste for parties. The result was a constitution that while it didn't rule out the existence of parties, did make it more difficult for them to operate effectively.

'An observer from another democracy would likely find it strange that a politician holding such a high-ranking position of the majority party in the House and a likely future speaker could be removed from politics by so few people of no special public or party rank."


Posted on 10/08/14 at 09:33 am in response to One intriguing argument why potential voters aren’t going to the polls

I do a lot of doorknocking and when people tell me they aren't voting, that's usually the end of the discussion. I literally don't have time to waste on people who are throwing away their right to vote. And for the most part, people don't tell me whether they plan to vote. But I would suggest that if you want to know why people don't vote it might make sense to go door to door and ask them.