Minnesota: The Best Place to Live … in 20 years?

Stuff like this just encourages the riffraff. At the Fiscal Times, Katya Johns writes: “Where will you want to live in 20 years? According to a recent Gallup study, the hottest destinations in 2032 might include Iowa … and Minnesota. When most people hear Iowa they think cornfields and primaries, not a popular destination to move to. But based on the results of Gallup’s new future livability index, which rated states on everything from economic vitality to physical wellbeing, Midwest states like Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North and South Dakota, and Kansas received the highest marks. ‘The best place to live in 2032 will have tackled unemployment, financial worry, health care costs, obesity, and education challenges,’ wrote Gallup researcher Dan Witters, who led the survey.” Somehow I don’t think they conducted this survey at the State Fair.

Our “swing state” status gets another look from Nate Silver at The New York Times: “Mr. Obama also received some mediocre data in Minnesota, where a new SurveyUSA poll showed him six points ahead of Mitt Romney there. This is the first survey to show the race within single digits in the state. On the one hand, a poll showing Mr. Obama ahead by six in Minnesota is not an intrinsically terrible, or unexpected, result for him. Minnesota has become more of a swing state in recent years, and polls in similar states like Michigan and Wisconsin had shown reasonably close races there. On the other hand, the poll shows a decline from the prior SurveyUSA poll of the state, and Mr. Obama may need to consider whether he needs to invest resources in defending it. With the new poll, Minnesota now ranks 11th on our list of tipping point states — putting it somewhere on the border between those states that the campaigns clearly need to attend to and those that might fall into the ‘optional’ category.”

At The New Republic, Nate Cohn, like a dog with a bone, keeps at it, saying: “Without converting states like Wisconsin or Minnesota into true toss-ups, Romney’s electoral map is unimpressive. Obama is historically weak among whites, but that hasn’t translated into historic weakness in overwhelmingly white states that lean Democratic, like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon, or Michigan. At the same time, Obama has translated his strengths into real electoral opportunities in the Mid-Atlantic and Southwest. For the moment, Obama has the benefits of his ‘new coalition’ without suffering the costs, but perhaps today’s SurveyUSA poll is a sign that’s changing.”

Awwww. Cute, furry-animal story alert. KMSP-TV reports (and shows): “An endangered Amur tiger cub has been transferred from the St. Louis Zoo to the Minnesota Zoo, joining a tiger cub born last month. The two zoos decided it would be best for the health of both cubs if they were paired together. They hope the social interaction between them enforces their natural tiger behaviors. … The two tiger cubs already have something in common: both have been hand-reared because the mothers did not successfully nurse the cubs.” So, no La Leche League for tiger cubs, I guess?

Dang, the dude looked like he needed a pick-me-up. The Forum papers report: “A Minnesota man pleaded guilty Monday to trying to sell cocaine to an off-duty Cass County sheriff’s deputy on March 14 outside a downtown Fargo bar. Fargo police said Adam Joseph Smith of Otsego, Minn., approached the deputy outside of Sidestreet Grille & Pub and asked if the deputy would like to buy some ‘blow,’ a street name for cocaine. The deputy declined but told Smith he might have a friend who would want to buy some. The deputy called Fargo police.”

An innocuous post by Rachel Stassen-Berger in the Strib gets at least one hilarious comment. Says Stassen-Berger: “[Jaime] Tincher will replace [former Deputy Chief of Staff] Michele Kelm Helgen, Dayton’s pick to chair the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority, charged with building the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. Tincher has served as the DFL House director of caucus and legislative services for the last several years. She was the Democrat’s House point person on redistricting and other key issues.” Routine stuff, right? But “clintonlies” comments: “When a leftist can’t find a job in the real world, where do you go? Government of course. That tax payer funded job is like crack to these Marxists.’ ” Presumably “clintonlies” devotes his free time to persuading “non-Marxists” to leave government employment.

“Retention compensation” gets a once-over in a Bloomberg story about Best Buy in better days: “A compensation consultant to Best Buy Co.’s board quit after the electronics chain awarded more than 100 managers retention bonuses without tying them to performance, said three people with knowledge of the matter. Don Delves, who worked with Best Buy’s compensation committee for seven years as an independent consultant, was opposed to the payments, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the situation is private. Delves, president of the Chicago-based Delves Group, a corporate governance and an executive pay advisory firm, confirmed in a telephone interview that he resigned this month.” You need outside “governance” for stuff like that?

The drought is making its effects known on southwest Minnesota crops. Mark Steil at MPR writes: “In some parts of Minnesota, crops continue to deteriorate because of hot, dry weather. The worst-hit areas of southwest Minnesota have corn fields that will yield half the crop that had been expected — or less. With drought threatening even more severe damage in other parts of the country, the federal government is stepping in with assistance. … Like most farmers, VanDyke has crop insurance which will cover much of the financial loss. He’s likely to need the coverage because the loss is so severe. It’s so dry in some parts of southwest Minnesota that some of the corn stalks failed to develop an ear, crop consultant Jim Nesseth said.”

Blogger Joe Loveland, at Wry Wing Politics, asks several key questions about Our Guy, T-Paw, that he doubts the Romney team has thoroughly vetted: “While news outlets such as the Saint Paul Pioneer Press have noted that fracking is “increasingly controversial,” they haven’t asked the kinds of questions national reporters will ask if Pawlenty becomes Mitt Romney’s choice for the GOP vice presidential nomination:

  • How much is Smart Sands paying Pawlenty?
  • What major local, state and federal regulatory issues is SmartSands facing?
  • Has Pawlenty made any contacts to government officials on the company’s behalf?
  • Is the fracking industry subsidized through the tax code, or through other means?
  • Is Smart Sands involved in any controversies?
  • How is the safety record of Smart Sands, and fracking in general?
  • How is the environmental record of Smart Sands, and fracking in general?”

This Loveland fellow sounds like a “job creator hater.”

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