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James Blum

Minneapolis, MN
Commenter for
6 years 33 weeks

Recent Comments

Don't hold your breath waiting for Mr. Swift to provide "evidence." Mr. Swift is well-known by frequent visitors to MinnPost to make wholly unsubstantiated, wild claims (just like his patron saint, Rep. Bachmann). Not only are there hundreds of thousands of kids raised by stable gay and lesbian couples (I personally can name several dozen kids just from my daughters' roster of friends that are the product of long-term, stable gay and/or lesbian households), but we are far enough along into...

Posted on 07/20/12 at 03:40 pm in response to Bachmann now alleges Ellison ties to Muslim Brotherhood

Huma Abedin has served her country admirably for nearly 2 decades. To call her legitimacy into question, after she has submitted to the most rigorous security vetting the US government (keep in mind, she is a State Department employee), is abominable.

Let's turn it back on you, Mr. Swift: when did you quit physically abusing your family members? That question is of exactly the same ilk as questioning Ms. Abedin's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Conservative; "This is a bad idea because it doesn't benefit ME PERSONALLY!" No, but it does benefit the 27,100 people who ride it on an average day. I know Conservatives don't give a rip about them because the vast majority of them aren't wealthy, but since they make up 12% of total public transit ridership, I think there is an easy case to be made for investing in their commutes versus, say, the 3X more expensive commute of a bus rider in Shakopee.

My second-favorite part of the...

Why are religious institutions tax-exempt? Why should money given to support your religious hierarchy be non-taxable, but money given to support your [baseball team, knitting circle, bicycling group, whatever else you want to fill in the blank with] be taxable? I agree that donations to support any charitable work a religious institution does should be tax-exempt, but that charitable work is a small part of any religious institution's expenditures. Money that is used for employee salaries...

I really like your idea of a "NO-NO campaign." Taking away our rights is a NO-NO. Voting against equality is a NO-NO. Marriage equality and voter rights advocates, Walt Cygan has your slogan for the fall!

Posted on 04/03/12 at 12:15 pm in response to Why the quality of Minnesota’s Legislature has declined

Several commenters hit the nail on the head: being in the legislature is basically a full-time job with lousy part-time pay. You have to campaign year-round, and yet the pay is $31k plus $77-86 per diem. Who would want that job? Only people who can't do financially better for themselves. The quality people wouldn't dream of taking the huge pay cut to be a legislator, so we get unskilled, unintelligent people running (and I'm not even going to start with the tremendous character flaws,...

Posted on 04/04/12 at 04:44 pm in response to Why the quality of Minnesota’s Legislature has declined

I'm not sure where you're getting your data, but according to the US Census Bureau, the median household income in Minnesota 2006-2010 was $57,243, so legislators make significantly less than the median, and although the legislature may be in session for only 4 months, the job of representing constituents, handling their questions and requests and campaigning has become a much larger commitment. I took a look through the Wikipedia pages about a dozen of the higher-profile members of the...

Posted on 04/09/12 at 12:45 pm in response to Why the quality of Minnesota’s Legislature has declined

Ok, so the median individual income (what the US Census Bureau calls the "per capita money income) in MN is $29,582, which means legislators make a bit more than the median per capita money income. It's still a lousy job (one I wouldn't take for triple the salary). I do note that many (most?) of our legislators have other employment, which makes me question (a) their ability to segregate the interests of their multiple employers and (b) how much value "representation" really has. Before I...

Posted on 03/20/12 at 05:04 pm in response to Where are the men's voices favoring coverage of contraceptives?

The US government mandates a huge, huge number of things, from how you can behave on an airplane to how you can handle a US flag to how fast you can drive on an interstate highway. A lot of these mandates involve financial costs (federal income taxes, for example), and in most cases they mandate behavior that is, relatively speaking, generally agreed upon by citizens without respect to their political, religious or other affiliation. This weird focus on objecting to mandated coverage for...

Posted on 03/16/12 at 11:24 am in response to State Rep. John Kriesel explains why he’s leaving Legislature

He was a shining star at the Capitol and a legislator that others from both parties should strive to emulate. I disagree with Rep. Kriesel on a number of issues, but I respect both his commitment to improving the lives of Minnesotans and his determination to hold his convictions even when they are unpopular with his fellow legislators. He is a decent, principled person, and I can't say that about the vast, vast majority of his peers at the Capitol.

Rep. Kriesel, thank you for your...