Best job and wage numbers in a decade on The Range

It’s not news that the job picture up on “Da Range” is pretty good, but John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune puts some new numbers to the story: “Minnesota’s iron mining industry last year posted its highest employment and wages paid in more than a decade, a clear sign of recovery from a disastrous 2009 when all six of the state’s taconite plants shut down for a time. Data compiled by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development showed an average of 4,245 direct mining jobs in 2011, up nearly 11 percent from the average of 3,825 jobs in 2010. And it’s way up from the average of 2,642 jobs in mid-2009 when the global recession was hitting the steel and iron mining industries hardest. The increase reflects relatively stable demand for domestic iron ore by domestic steelmakers, as little of the state’s taconite is shipped out of the U.S.”

Also from the News Tribune, Mark Stodghill says the Carlton County attorney, arrested on a DUI charge a couple days ago, isn’t faring any better: “Thom Pertler attempted to hide a nearly empty bottle of vodka under his car seat and told the State Patrol trooper arresting him that he thought he was driving on Highway 53 from his Cloquet home to Menards in Hermantown when he was stopped at 61st Avenue East and London Road in Duluth during the noon hour Tuesday. That information was contained in the trooper’s report supporting a criminal complaint charging Pertler with seven crimes Wednesday in State District Court. The man whose job includes the prosecution of drunken drivers is charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test, fourth-degree driving while impaired, speeding, driving over the center line, failure to signal, possession of an open bottle and no proof of insurance. A preliminary breath test just after 12:30 p.m. indicated that Pertler had a blood-alcohol content of 0.234 percent, nearly three times the legal limit to drive.”

Finally! Something that addresses my upscale shopping needs. Nick Ferraro of the PiPress writes: “A key parcel of land in western Eagan is in the hands of a commercial developer that has plans to build an upscale outlet mall. Eagan’s Economic Development Authority this week unanimously approved a $14.73 million purchase agreement with Baltimore-based Paragon Outlet Partners for 29 acres of city-owned land in the Cedar Grove Redevelopment Area. Paragon wants to build a 420,000-square-foot, open-air mall consisting of 90 to 100 outlet stores of high-end retailers.” Does La Perla do outlet malls?

The GleanThe heroin problem in the Twin Ports area, and elsewhere, has authorities mulling new strategies. Conrad Wilson of MPR says: “[F]ederal officials say they have a strategy that is working to cut down on the amount of heroin coming into Minnesota. Federal law enforcement officials say the heroin that shows up in Minnesota comes to the state across the U.S. border from Mexico. For the most part, it is heroin from the Sinaloa drug cartel that is trafficked to Chicago and then to points around the Midwest. Officials say drug cartels have formed relationships with established street gangs that distribute and sell the heroin. And it’s that relationship law enforcement agencies are trying to exploit. … The data in Minnesota show a rising number of overdoses and deaths linked to heroin and other opiates. According to a report released in June, a record 120 people died from heroin and other opiates in the Twin Cities last year.”

It’ll be news when they don’t beat analysts’ expectations. The AP story says: “UnitedHealth Group said Thursday that its second-quarter net income rose 5.5 percent, trumping Wall Street expectations, as enrollment gains helped fuel revenue growth and consumers continued to moderate their use of health care services. UnitedHealth’s enrollment grew about 4 percent to 35.9 million compared to last year’s second quarter, led by gains in Medicare and Medicaid plans and commercial coverage, which includes employer-sponsored and individual plans. That contributed to an 8.3 percent jump in revenue to $27.3 billion. … The Minnetonka, Minn., insurer said it earned $1.34 billion, or $1.27 per share, in the three months that ended June 30. That’s up from $1.27 billion, or $1.16 per share, in the same quarter last year.” That’s pretty good, considering a socialist government takeover of your health care.

In a commentary for MPR, a libertarian lawyer goes after the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the individual mandate. Says Anthony Sanders: “What is most shocking about last month’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act is not that the law was upheld but that any justices voted to uphold it. Lost in all the intrigue surrounding why Chief Justice John Roberts voted the way he did is that four other justices would have upheld the law’s individual mandate — the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance — under a view of the federal government’s authority so sweeping that it would eliminate the Framers’ carefully constructed plan of enumerated federal powers. When the U.S. Supreme Court is one vote away from abandoning a basic safeguard for liberty, you know how precarious our system of federalism has become. … . Because health insurance is a commercial product, goes the argument, Congress can compel individuals to purchase it since doing so is ‘rationally related’ to ‘interstate commerce.’ Thus, even though not purchasing health insurance is (undeniably) not interstate commerce, the federal government can force individuals to buy it because of a ‘rational’ relationship between not buying it and actually buying it. In other words, the opposite of commerce is rationally related to commerce. The same would be true of not buying any product, or even any service. My not buying a car affects the interstate market of cars. If Congress feels there is a problem with insufficient demand for cars, it could require me to purchase one because of the ‘rational’ relationship between my choice not to buy a car and interstate commerce.” Whew!

Also at MPR, a very interesting piece by Dan Kraker relative to the old saw that “government doesn’t create jobs” or even facilitate it much: “To help businesses like Granite Gear and solve the internet woes of northeast Minnesota residents, Lake County began stringing fiber Tuesday in Two Harbors, which is on Lake Superior’s North Shore. The attempt to bring high-speed Internet access to a vast region has sparked a debate over the proper role government should play in upgrading the information superhighway. The cable industry aims to scuttle the project. … That, in a nutshell, is the big philosophical argument playing out in Lake County. Should the government subsidize competition with existing communications providers? … ‘It’s not going to work for our business if the government comes in and spends $56 million to put us out of business,’ said Tom Larson, vice president of legal and public affairs for Mediacom.”  Let me guess, with some tax cuts, they’d consider taking a closer look at the “financial metrics” of fiber optic.

T-Paw gets a mention in Gail Collins’ New York Times column. Leafing through books written (or not) by various Romney-Veep prospects, she says: “TIM PAWLENTY: “COURAGE TO STAND” Pawlenty is said to have bonded with Romney when they were both passed over by John McCain in favor of Sarah Palin. That seems like a sort of pathetic foundation on which to build a relationship, but this book demonstrates that the two men actually have a lot of other things in common. For instance, they were both governors. … They are also both proud of having a lively sense of humor. In his book, Pawlenty tells readers that once when he was introduced to a man who had just gotten a new hearing aid, he cracked up the room by ‘moving my lips as if I were talking but without saying anything so he’d think something was wrong.’ ” Some how, Gail makes no reference to Seamus, the Romney dog, or its cage on top of the car.

Speaking of “Courage to Stand,” Our Favorite Congresswoman, taking heat from both ends of the spectrum for her Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy jabber, out-ran a CNN reporter in D.C. Wednesday. Aaron Rupar of City Pages links to the Anderson Cooper piece and says: “Shortly after John McCain put her on blast yesterday, CNN’s Dana Bash tried to ask Our Favorite Congresswoman a couple questions while she walked down a Washington hallway. But Bachmann wouldn’t have any of it, and started speed-walking away as if Bash had Ebola or something. Bash, recounting the incident to Anderson Cooper, said ‘the good news is I can walk pretty fast in heels. The bad news is Michele Bachmann can walk just as fast.’ … Bash, probably a bit peeved about Bachmann’s blow-off, told Cooper that ‘if a lawmaker tells me they are going to get back to me, I try and take them at their word. She didn’t do that.’ ” Did I forget to TM that “Our Favorite … ” shtick?

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 07/19/2012 - 02:38 pm.

    Google to the rescue; again!

    Googling “dana bash leftist hack” yields 108,000 results.…60500.61266.1.61579.…0.0…1c.w4weAFRUziY&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=2cf25f040aba1e2c&biw=900&bih=523

    Maybe Rep. Bachmann has gone to the Google a time or two herself.

  2. Submitted by Don Wallen on 07/19/2012 - 03:46 pm.

    Google 2

    Googling “crazy michele bachmann” yields 679,000 results. Your point?

  3. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/19/2012 - 04:05 pm.

    Or these…. conservative hack….80,400,000 results
    Tom Swift conservative hack….22,100,000 results

    Don, there IS no point.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 07/19/2012 - 04:55 pm.

    Hate to break…

    …the fun everyone is having with numbers…

    Isn’t “upscale outlet mall” something of an oxymoron? Folks that shop “upscale” don’t strike me as the type to flock to an “outlet mall,” though I suppose marketing can do just about anything nowadays.

    Good news for the libertarian lawyer: A single-payer government health care program would eliminate the need for a mandate regarding a “commercial product” that he’d have to buy. He’d be free to purchase whatever additional coverage or services he wanted, but there’d be no insurance exchanges, at least of the type now being assembled in states that have at least entered the current century. A few, of course, are still living in the 19th century, where Social Darwinism is still the dominant philosophy and health care consists of the application of leeches. Be that as it may, however, our libertarian, being an amazingly informed consumer, will have no trouble picking and choosing what “extras” he wants to add to his health coverage.

    • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/19/2012 - 05:27 pm.


      “Isn’t “upscale outlet mall” something of an oxymoron?”

      *laughs* Yes.

      “A single-payer government health care program would eliminate the need for a mandate regarding a “commercial product” that he’d have to buy.”

      Single payer medical? Single-payer food? Single payer housing? How about single-payer transportation? The possibilities are endless….maybe that’s the whole point.

  5. Submitted by David Greene on 07/19/2012 - 05:42 pm.


    I love all these limited government types talking about Federalism.

    I have news for you: Federalism is a philosophy of a strong central government. Hence, “Federal”-ism. Hamilton was a great supporter of the idea, Jefferson a great opponent.

    The Federalist Papers argue for the constitution because it created a stronger central authority than existed under the Articles of Confederation. These guys were in no way about limiting government to the point of irrelevance as championed by today’s so-called conservatives.

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