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Gay marriage polling shows Minnesota split

The shift in attitude is still pretty dramatic. As reported by Doug Belden of the PiPress, the latest Public Policy Polling says: “Minnesota voters support legalizing gay marriage by a small margin, 47 percent to 45 percent, according to a poll released Thursday, Jan. 24, by North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling. Responses broke strongly along partisan lines: 74 percent of Democrats favor it and 79 percent of Republicans are opposed. Forty-seven percent is down slightly from the 49 percent support for gay marriage that Public Policy found just before November's election. But it's the same as the figure for October and up from 43 percent in September. … In other results from the poll: Minnesotans support banning assault weapons, 54 percent to 37 percent.”

There is a lot of job potential in this backlog. Bill Salisbury of the PiPress says: “[A]nother study has found Minnesota's transportation system is deteriorating, and the state and local governments lack the money needed to fix poor-quality roads, bridges and transit services. Nearly one-third of Minnesota's major roads need repair, with 12 percent in poor condition, according to a report released Thursday, Jan. 24, by TRIP, a national transportation research group funded by highway and transit interest groups. The report also found 11 percent of the state's bridges are deficient or obsolete and its transit system is overburdened. The price tag for addressing the state's road and bridge needs identified in the report is $7.1 billion to $9.4 billion.” What if we put it on the books as “$7 to $9 billion for another stadium …”?

It appears we’ll have a new hometown airline in the not too distant future. Bill Dries of The Memphis Daily News writes: “Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines Corp. is moving its headquarters to Minneapolis by May as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. The regional air carrier announced the move out of One Commerce Square Downtown Thursday, Jan. 24, saying the new headquarters will be in vacant space leased by Delta Air Lines at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. … The Thursday decision caps a turbulent year for Pinnacle that included the company filing for bankruptcy reorganization in April in a stunning reversal of its fortunes in a larger industry changed forever by a spike in fuel prices. … The coming move to vacant space held by Delta Airlines in Minneapolis cements already strong ties to Delta in Pinnacle’s plan for recovery. Under the bankruptcy reorganization plan approved in Federal Bankruptcy Court in New York state earlier this month, Delta could take in Pinnacle as a wholly owned subsidiary as it emerges from bankruptcy. Pinnacle is heavily dependent on contracts with Delta to fly regional flights, dropping its contracts with other legacy global air carriers in bankruptcy reorganization to focus on the contracts with Delta.”

MPR’s Bob Collins adds: “There are many more flights out of MSP than Memphis. Various analysts have suggested Delta is in the process of getting rid of its Memphis hub. That's got to hurt a state like Tennessee, named last year as the fourth-best state for business. Minnesota finished 36th on that list. The announcement today comes a little more than a year after Pinnacle moved Mesaba Airlines' headquarters from Minneapolis to Memphis.”

Mr. Conservation … Doug Smith of the Strib reports: “A Minnesota angler faces up to $3,000 in fines and one year in jail after allegedly catching  nearly 250 fish over his legal limit. DNR conservation officer Shane Osborne of Evansville met up with Ronald Wayne Johnson, 69, of Carlos, as Johnson was about to pull his portable fish house off West Spitzer Lake in Otter Tail County. ‘I asked how the fishing was and he said he caught some fish, but it wasn’t that great’, Osborne said in a DNR news release. When asked if he had any fish at home, Johnson said he wasn’t sure. ‘He then asked if I thought he had too many fish,’ Osborne said. ‘I said I wouldn’t know that until I counted all of the fish he had. He said I could follow him home and check.’ When Osborne and conservation officer Mitch Lawler of Alexandria visited Johnson’s home, they found 22 frozen half-gallon cardboard containers, six plastic bags and several loose fish and fish filets. The cache totaled 228 sunfish, seven bass and six northern pike over the legal limit.”

Climate change deniers will not be pleased with Paul Huttner’s Q&A on Kerri Miller’s MPR show Thursday.
Miller: You sent me a very interesting chart that shows how long it has been that we've had one of these snaps where it has not gone above zero. What you see, though, if you look at the historical research is that it is becoming rarer and rarer.
Huttner: It is. We've talked about this before. This is not your grandparents' winter anymore that we're seeing in Minnesota. Our children are experiencing very different winters than we did or our parents did 30 or 40 years ago. Overall, winters have warmed about two to four degrees in the past 30 years or so. One good way to measure it is to look at these number of subzero lows that we're seeing at night. There are distinct trends that are emerging in the past 30 to 40 years toward fewer sub-zero low temperatures in Minnesota and the Twin Cities. Quick example: this year we've had five days so far, last year we had three. That's a very low number. If you go back to the 1970s — the whole decade — we had 444 subzero days. During the 1980s we had 280, during the 1990s we had 256; down to 198 in the 2000s. That's a 57% drop in those sub-zero nights.”

Score another one for consumer activism. Amy Bowen of the St. Cloud Times writes: “Dave Bell won’t share his Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll. Don’t even ask.  That’s because it took him 60 years to collect on a complaint he sent to the Pearson’s Candy Co. in St. Paul. Bell received a package of candy last week after sending an email reminding the company of an incident that occurred as a teen. He was a 14-year-old living in Cold Spring when he found a twig in his nut roll. ‘I bit into it,’ Bell said. It was 1952, and he decided to take action. ‘I sent them a letter to obviously get some candy’. … The company, which has been around for about 103 years, usually sends candy if a customer has an issue. It didn’t matter whether the complaint was from 60 years ago.The candy arrived Friday. Bell received five Mint Patties, two Buns (one vanilla and the other caramel), one Nut Goodie and one Salted Nut Roll.”

Life … or stock price … is good at 3M. Dee DePass of the Strib writes: “3M Co.'s stock reached an all-time high Wednesday as investors awaited the fourth-quarter results. 3M stock was trading at $99.67 a share by mid-afternoon Wednesday before closing at $99.49. The stock has climbed 16 percent in the last year, silencing naysayers who worried that economic woes abroad could thwart a surge in the company's share price.”

I’m not sure what it suggests, but I scanned every conservative blog I could think of looking for any fellow warrior saying anything about Michael Brodkorb, now recovering from a serious car accident, and there was … nothing. Not a peep. The closest was this from The Big E at the Minnesota Progressive Project, “All of us at MPP wish Michael a speedy recovery from his injuries. While we progressives at MPP oppose pretty much everything he believes in and stands for, this is one of those moments to put aside those differences and come together to offer our prayers, best wishes or send whatever positive energy we can to him during what has been a trying time for him and his family.”

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Comments (16)

Comments of Paul Huttner

As a"climate change denier," I welcome the comments by Paul Huttner regarding climate change (nee global warming.) He is absolutely correct that winters in the 1970s were colder than they are now.

What he did not mention was that the same type of people alarming us about climate change (nee global warming) today were telling us in the 1970s that we were heading for an Ice Age because we were experiencing a lot of cold weather. In fact, there were cover stories in good, liberal magazines such as Time and Newsweek assuring us we were in for a very long cold spell.

I guess they were wrong.

Time 'n' Newsweek

You're getting science news from Time and Newsweek?

There were some climate scientists in the 70s who believed in a coming ice age. There never was a scientific consensus on that. More studies predicted global warming than predicted cooling (a survey of studies on the subject published between 1965 and 1979 showed 10% predicting cooling, and 62% predicting warming). The "coming ice age" was largely a mass media fantasy.

You're calling Time--the magazine that so shamelessly promoted the Reagan presidency--a "good, liberal magazine?"


The concern of a recurring ice age in the 70s had a lot to do with particulate air pollution-similar to the "nuclear winter" scenario.

Well, unlike now, we actually took some action back then to address that problem.

Actually that is a common

Actually that is a common misperception. While a number of scientists did predict global cooling, and the media did run with that, most climatologists in the 70s, just like today, were indeed predicting increasing temps.

Global Cooling

A couple of popular articles in Time and Newsweek hardly constitutes a consensus on global cooling. You're cherry picking a sensationalized article from a magazine that promotes sensationalism to--are you following me here?--sell magazines. How does that compare with thousands of peer reviewed studies published in scientific journals?

Your analogy is like comparing a grade school coloring book to a college level calculus book. They simply aren't in the same league and to compare the two is intellectually dishonest on your part.

Regarding Paul Huttner

I realize climate change is happening, and I did not read the full article, but the piece the Glean author pulled out is pretty weak. Cherry picking one decade and then showing a subsequent trend with no related evidence is not going to convince anyone.

How did 1970 related to the past decades? What other variables might be related. These "shock" value numbers are very shallow when even the weakest argument is applied.


There is plenty of much better evidence for climate change - human induced.

Using arguments like the ones cited only gives the denialists an opportunity to point out vagaries in history in either the colder or warmer direction.

Are you suggesting...

that counting the number of sub-zero nights since the 1970's, 80's, 90's and 00's and showing them to be fewer and fewer is a "shallow?" Please, sir, tell me what you would need for a lay person to understand the climate is changing and the trend is towards warming?

Minumum, 50's and 60's sub-zero numbers

I mean "shallow" in the context of the data is shallow. That is 5 data points. Were the 70's an all time record for coldest decade? For all the reader knows, 1910-1960 could have had 9 "sub-zero" days combined and we have been a record cool spell from 1970-2010.

A lay-person could and would certainly understand the argument presented, that does not make it a good one, or more importantly, correct. Like Bill said, this would not convince a climate change denier, because any one of them who had a shred of common sense could shred the argument to pieces.

I'd love to hear your counter on how it could stand up, sir.

Minumum, '50s and '60s sub-zero numbers

They could post numbers from the '50s and '60s and you would just complain that they didn't have numbers from the '30s and '40s. Provide those numbers and you would ding them for not having earlier numbers. And so on back through time.

You might have a plausible argument about "shredding them to pieces" if there weren't also millions of data points detailed in thousands of studies that also support global warming. If Minnesota had a few warm decades, yet glaciers were increasing in Montana and other places around the world, then we would just say this is a localized event and this conversation wouldn't come up in the first place.

But given that we're experiencing record warm winters to go with our record hot summers, glaciers melting at a record pace, record droughts and floods, and huge hurricanes pounding our coasts, just to name a few, it's rather disingenuous to look at this one observation and claim global warming doesn't exist.

That's like staring intently at the pebble on the ground and saying the mountain rising above you isn't there.

I am not trying to argue the

I am not trying to argue the point of global warming. I am trying to note that the presentation of this particular data as "Climate change deniers will not be pleased..." is more than a bit much.

Mr. Lambert often cites the blog of Mr. Mitch Berg

so I am surprised at his comment that he could find no mention of Mr. Brodkorb on the conservative blogosphere.

I’ll Take A Moment…
Posted on January 24, 2013 by Mitch Berg

…to send my best wishes and prayers to my friend and former NARN colleague Michael Brodkorb and his family. Michael was critically injured in an accident last night.


Climate science in the 1970s

was more or less in its infancy, and the fact that some journalists picked up on how the Earth was currently in an interglacial period that had been cooling for the past 10,000 years led to reports that we were on our way to an ice age, given their superficial understanding about the Earth's climate. In the past 40 years the amount and quality of data that has been gathered and advances in computational models that climatologists use have given us a much better idea about how our climate has changed in the past and how it is changing now. Back in the 1980s scientists were debating what sort of "signal" would indicate that human activity was warming the Earth, and by the early 1990s the consensus among climate scientists was that the melting of alpine glaciers and rising sea levels were unmistakable signals that the Earth was warming. That's also when climate change denialists engaged in a campaign to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt about global warming, with the goal of preventing action that would affect the fossil fuel industries. They succeeded in delaying action for over a decade, but now the evidence is so overwhelming that the planet is warming and that carbon dioxide emissions are driving that warming. I'm sure the denialists will keep on trying to cast doubt and otherwise try to delay action to slow the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere, including shrugging their shoulders and saying that it's too late to do anything about it now, so why change? The truth is that we can still take effective action to slow warming and the sooner we do the better.

Here's a link to the NASA report that came out this week on the warming climate:

Mr. Michaels is spot on

Time and Newsweek as reliably left-wing magazines even back in the 1970s were simply reporting what the scientists were claiming. Just as the Star-Tribune, MinnPost and other liberal media outlets do today. The only difference is the consequence.

While the right often resorts to Biblical references to influence behavior, the left relies on nature. The right: you gays marry you will burn in hell. The left: unless you cut back on your expensive lifestyle, you will melt the ice and we will all drown. Both consequences are just far enough down the road so people have to rely on faith to accept them. A crucial element actor-scientist Ted Danson did not realize when he predicted that our oceans would be destroyed by 1985.

Down the road?

If last year's prolonged heatwaves didn't convince you, I suppose you will likewise find the recent spate of wildfires and the prolonged drought similarly unpersuasive. In any event, here's some more consequences not so far down the road as you might like:

Glaciers and ice caps are melting (perhaps not all of them are melting at the rate predicted, a factoid trumpeted on no end of conservative talk shows, but they are melting);

The range of biota in the wild is moving northward (good, bad, or neutral, it's still an effect);

Populations of polar wildlife are decreasing;

Disease-carrying insects are increasing their range; and

Check the new weather map of Australia. I understand that, in some places down under, it gets too hot to pump gas (how's that for irony?).

Face it: You and other deniers (excuse me--"skeptics") just don't want to give up your "expensive," yet wasteful, lifestyle. It's more about throwing a fit at the idea of sacrifice than it is a concern for good science. It's also about disdain for anything "liberal." Ultimately, it's about a disdain for reality.


One of the key differences between conservatives and liberals is the former, as you correctly pointed out, tend towards religious based decision making. The latter goes more towards fact based outcome--what you call "nature." Personally, I would rather go with science rather than some unseen spirit to guide me through life.

It's odd that you say the consequences are far enough down the road that we can't see them coming. In the year just past we had records break on just about everything, from floods to droughts, hurricanes, and record high temperatures in the summer as well as winter. And this on top of the last few decades with more of the same. At what point do you sit up straight in your chair and say "yes, there is something going on here?" Or do you slouch a little lower and just go back to the usual fallback position and say "it's part of a natural trend"?

As for lifestyle change, while it would certainly help if people cut back on what you term "expensive," it's not a necessary component when it comes to global warming. People may have to ADJUST their lifestyle, the way they do business, but that's not the same as reducing it.

For example: I've reduced my gas and electric bills by 2/3 in the past few years. It's still the same house in the same suburb--I haven't sacrificed my lifestyle in the least. The house is still warm, the lights shine bright, and I save money in the process. During the summer I bike to work a lot of days. No sacrifice to lifestyle there as I still get to work on time. That saves me money on gas, upkeep on the car, and it takes as much time as driving. As an added bonus I've lost 30 pounds, which increases health and reduces health care costs.

There seems to be this perception among some people that in order to reduce CO2 emissions that we have to all go live in a cave. Maybe you can correct me on this, but it seems they're simply not approaching the issue with an open mind.