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Jon Erik Kingstad

Afton, MN
Commenter for
4 years 2 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 04/18/12 at 08:45 am in response to Obama, 49; Romney, 45, according to new Pew Poll

Eric, that you're not going to write a poll column every day. IMHO, you've already written two too many so far. Americans seem to have an unhealthy obsession with meaningless numbers and statistics. By"unhealthy" I mean far too many people will base their decision to vote on how they think other people will be voting. I particularly deplore the many "low information voters" who follow the crowd rather than inform themselves. I personally know people who have just come to the realization that...

Posted on 04/16/12 at 03:00 pm in response to Trayvon Martin case leads to corporate exodus from ALEC

is an ALEC front group, or "alter ego." All of these "tort reform" organizations are big business astroturf outfits created to lobby for legislation designed to prevent ordinary citizens from gaining access to the civil justice system when they are injured. They claim to be against "frivolous lawsuits" but from their perspective, any claim of injury by a human being is "frivolous." Just as they portrayed the elderly lady who sustained third degree burns from McDonald's coffee spilling on...

Posted on 04/16/12 at 09:27 pm in response to Bachmann on 'Meet the Press': Obama a health care 'dictator'

she might realize that abolishing Medicare is her party's goal, such as in the Paul Ryan budget. As Greg Kapphahn mentioned above, with right wingers like Bachmann, you can tell what they're planning when they accuse others of doing it.

Posted on 04/15/12 at 03:06 pm in response to Did the Constitution's framers favor a health care mandate?

but mandating that employers particularly of the seafaring kind, buy insurance to cover work related illness or injuries for their employees is different from mandating that the employees buy their own insurance. Until 1944, when the Supreme Court overruled Paul v. Virginia, insurance was not "commerce" so it was not regulatable by Congress. I suspect that the ghosts of Paul v. Virginia and its descendant Allgeyer v. Louisiana, which established "liberty of contract" in US jurisprudence are...

Posted on 04/13/12 at 08:15 pm in response to In health care, America is falling further behind its economic peers

is the name the right like to give to things they don't like, as if "socialist" was equivalent to "communist" which as we all know is "un-American" whatever that is. "Socialized" in this instance is merely a corruption of the phrase "social insurance" which is what Social Security is and what countries like Germany have enjoyed since Bismarck was Chancellor in the 1870's. Unemployment insurance and worker compensation insurance are other forms of social insurance that have long been accepted...

Posted on 04/09/12 at 06:01 pm in response to Twin Cities’ exurban housing boom stalls — perhaps for good

the City Council approved a 1.071 unit mega-development on Lake Minnetonka over the next ten years, as Brian Lambert reports. In my east Washington County, I see activities on farm fields that look an awful lot like pre-development with heavy equipment. I agree with Steve's article. It makes little sense. But then the commercial real estate market has never made sense to me either. How can you reconcile a massive glut of office space with the rental prices that have been stable for a long...

Posted on 04/10/12 at 09:13 am in response to Twin Cities’ exurban housing boom stalls — perhaps for good

or more precisely, the lack of it. Outer ring suburbs have average densities of 2-3 living units peracre compared with 7 to 8 for the urban areas. They are unwalkable, meaning you have to own at least one car and have virtually no public transportation alternatives. A city like Woodbury, designed by the Boonestroo Engineering firm, for example in 1978, at the height of one of the 1970's energy crises, assumed 85% of all trips in the city would be by private auto. I'd be surprised if it was...

Posted on 04/10/12 at 06:09 pm in response to Twin Cities’ exurban housing boom stalls — perhaps for good

or other public transportation? It feels funny being called smug about public transit because it's usually those who think only automobiles and trucks should be subsidized who project smugness in my experience. Public transit is for icky poor people. That's why we have so few alternative today.

My point is that we should have known better in 1978 than to literally engineer plan and design a sprawling suburban area around the assumption of never ending auto driving and supply of...

Posted on 04/06/12 at 09:07 pm in response to Titanic centennial: ‘All who perished came to Halifax’

and it remains so today. We really need to understand how things that happen even long before we were born have the capacity to and still do have shock waves that affect us even one hundred years afterwards.

Posted on 04/06/12 at 09:02 pm in response to Michael Brodkorb threatens Senate with a second lawsuit

but writers like Dennis Anderson can say it so much better than I can.

Actually, I love the column, but there's not a lot to say, as you say, Brian, without "uniters" like Bachmann issuing her proclamations hither and yon.

I wanted to say about the White Earth tribe's offer to underwrite a Vikings stadium for a deluxe casino in Minneapolis: the Potawatomi Tribe in Wisconsin either obtained or had some tribal land in Milwaukee which, after some controversy, they got the right...