Rain and havoc to continue

On his blog, Paul Douglas tells us the water will just keep coming. “Midwest Monsoon Season. At some point the sky has to run out of water, right? Not so fast. A stalled (hot) front just south of Minnesota will trigger more T-storms over the next 5 days; no continuous rains, but when it does decide to rain downpours falling on saturated ground may lead to more flash flooding. NOAA models suggest another 2-6″ of rain for the Upper Midwest by next Monday; heaviest rains falling on southeastern Minnesota.”

Still, despite that miserable winter, wretched spring and now all this rain, everything is … close to average. Says the AP, “Despite widespread rain last week, Minnesota farmers have managed to reach planting levels close to the five-year averages. According to the U.S. Agriculture Department, 97 percent of Minnesota’s expected corn acreage has been planted, only 2 percentage points behind average. Ninety-four percent of the planted corn has emerged, only 1 point behind normal.”

Well, this one got weirder … . Pat Pheifer of the Strib reports, “Charges of assault and arson have been dismissed against Twin Cities attorney David J. Gherity, who was accused of setting his longtime girlfriend on fire while she slept at his Burnsville home. The Dakota County attorney’s office said Monday that Gherity, 61, ‘has a substantiated alibi at the time this incident occurred. The matter remains under investigation’. … According to the complaint, when firefighters arrived at the condo, the woman was sitting, on fire, at a table.”

Apparently those upset with him did not prevail … . The AP story says, “The chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has agreed to a new three-year contract. MnSCU (MINN’-skew) said Monday that the Board of Trustees has entered into a second three-year contract with Chancellor Steven Rosenstone.”

Former State Sen. Ember Reichgott Junge reminds Strib readers of the role the Archdiocese played in tamping down disclosure in sexual abuse cases. “The past year of disclosures came about because legislation was passed in Minnesota in May 2013 opening the courts to those who suffered sexual abuse. But why only then? Why weren’t disclosures made years ago, so that other children could be protected from the trauma of sexual abuse? It could have been otherwise. Sexual abuse survivors worked for years to pass similar legislation to open the courts to such disclosure. But the sobering reality is that opponents, including Catholic church leaders, vigorously and successfully resisted its passage.”

A couple valuable factoids to keep in mind the next time someone starts on the ruinous 39.6 percent corporate tax rate. Strib business columnist Lee Schafer writes, “Only a handful of companies in its industry have a lower effective tax rate than Medtronic’s, about 17.3 percent of pretax income. The average tax expense for a group of about two dozen big medical-device companies is about 25 percent, according to a May study by the investment firm Morgan Stanley. … Morgan Stanley found that on average, the big medical-device companies had about 60 percent of their cash held offshore. The company with the highest percentage of cash held offshore of any on the list, at 95 percent, was Medtronic.”

At MPR, Martin Moylan writes, “Morningstar analyst Debbie Wang said companies may be feeling pressured to do these tax deals before Congress blocks them. ‘We do think that the window on these types of tax-advantaged deals will be closing,’ Wang said. ‘We think that was probably a factor as Medtronic contemplated this opportunity.’ Medical-device manufacturers also have been trying to broaden their product lines and rein in costs in response to price curbs forced by the nation’s new health care law.” THIS Congress block a sweet tax dodge? Ahahahahaha.

At WCCO-TV Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield reports, “Six months ago, a Twin Cities business took a risk few have voluntarily taken. Before state law changed minimum wage laws in April, the owner of Punch Pizza increased wages to $10 an hour — a $2.5 million investment over the next 10 years. … John Puckett is a Punch Pizza co-owner and he is two weeks from opening store number nine in Maple Grove. … The company has the financial stability to expand at an unexpected time — just six months after raising their wages. … Since the announcement and over one of the coldest winters, sales jumped 10 percent year to date.

And remember … Start Seeing Motorcycles … . Another WCCO-TV story says, “A 23-year-old man was arrested last week after police say he was swerving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed — at one point, hitting 146 mph — while on a motorcycle. … [Tyler] Gese was transported to Polk County Jail. Upon arrival, he told officers his speedometer did not work properly and he didn’t realize he was going that fast. He said he’s previously driven his motorcycle near 200 mph on a track.”

MPR’s Martin Moylan (again) asks around about what Target needs in its next boss. “John Wood, a CEO recruiter with Heidrick & Struggles of New York, expects Minnesota connections, values and tradition will weigh heavily in the selection of Target’s new CEO. ‘To find somebody who’ll fit with the values not just of Target but of the community is another level of complexity,’ he said. ‘You need to get the right sentiment and sensibility in that job because it faces the community pretty prominently. Especially in companies that are culture-rich and part of the community, ideally you find somebody inside.’”

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Rod Loper on 06/17/2014 - 07:58 am.

    Taxing Medtronic

    What happens to all the tax increment funding we gave them now that they are Irish? I heard some of those benefits are due to expire….

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/17/2014 - 08:06 am.

    Oh, those greedy corporations! If they pick up their jobs and leave I say good riddance, we don’t need their type around here.

    If they’re gonna complain about 16% (plus a teeny-tiny 2.3% more on each device sold to pay for Obamacare) we’d rather get $0 taxes from them, ’cause we’re right!

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 06/17/2014 - 10:46 am.

      Should we laugh or cry?

      Bad corporate behavior is always the fault of (a) the Fed gov’t, (b) state gov’t, (c) unions or (d) employees. The only thing more infallible than God is Big Biz. And some people aren’t even smart enough to charge a fee to be a PR shill.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 06/17/2014 - 01:56 pm.

      At least you used the right adjective Swift


  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 06/17/2014 - 08:21 am.


    I really have no idea what the point of Ember’s piece was except as an opportunity to deliver “I told you so.” from somebody who has been politically irrelevant for a long time.

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 06/17/2014 - 09:29 am.

      If Ember’s piece moves the St. Paul Police and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi to remember what scoundrels they are dealing with when they are investigating the archdiocese, then it has served a great purpose.

      (Provided, of course, that Choi and the St. Paul Police finally do their jobs and arrest those who have covered up the crimes of the serial child abusers in their midsts.)

  4. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 06/17/2014 - 10:38 am.

    Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

    If our high tech US corporations continue, in the area of taxes, to behave like stubborn, naughty little boys and girls who refuse to pick up their toys or do their other chores,…

    by operating as if maximizing profit and executive compensation (and tax avoidance) are their only concern,…

    I.E., we have NO concern for anything but getting more and more of what we want,…

    they should not be surprised (but, of course they will be SHOCKED! SHOCKED, I tell you!)

    to find that, since they have no desire to assist in paying for the infrastructures out of which their companies were born (Medtronic, for instance, WOULD NOT EXIST if not for the knowledge, innovation, and creativity fostered by the University of Minnesota in years past),…

    they will not be able to find the people they need to continue to maintain their positions at the forefront of technological developments in the places where they’re located,…

    and, having more loyalty than American high tech companies and their execs have, those who have grown up in places where such things were still fostered and supported will NOT be inclined to desert their homelands in order to work for Americans,…

    except, of course, for those types whose only concern in any and all situations runs parallel to those of our current crop of dysfunctional American Business executives,…

    “What’s in it for me?” being their ONLY concern.

    If American business continues in its Freidonian philosophy, “my personal profit above all other concerns,”…

    it will find itself rapidly accelerating it’s current slide down the slippery slope and over the cliff at the bottom of which it will have NEITHER personal profit, nor the prerequisites necessary to rebuild toward profitability.

    In their pursuit of personal wealth coupled with the avoidance of taxes, those MOST determined to proclaim how “exceptional” America is, are doing everything in their power to make sure all the things that fostered and supported that exceptionalism no longer exist and the US falls to the middle (or lower) of the pack of world economies and businesses.

    The other nations of the world are smiling and figuratively “licking their chops” watching our current business/financial leaders engineer our own demise. They will be only too happy to gather up the scraps of America’s once-most-successful businesses for pennies on the dollar when the fruits of the labor of America’s current business leaders finally fall from the tree and begin to rot on the ground, that tree having been killed because no one saw the need to tend it properly.

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 06/17/2014 - 11:57 am.

      A shorter version of what Greg wrote …

      A famous economist once said, “A capitalist will gladly sell you a rope today knowing full well that it will be used to hang him tomorrow.”

  5. Submitted by jody rooney on 06/17/2014 - 11:24 am.

    A target exec with our community values?

    You mean Steinhafel Wisconsin connection wasn’t close enough?

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