At what point did this seem like a good idea? WCCO-TV’s story on the contrarian firefighter, filed by Al Schoch says, “There may be repercussions from the parade Friday in southern Minnesota where a Confederate battle flag was flown from a participating fire truck. Brian Nielsen, a southern Minnesota volunteer firefighter, is suspended after flying a Confederate flag from the back of a Hartland Fire Department truck during Albert Lea’s Third of July Parade. Nielsen is also an EMS with the department, whose chief suspended him on Sunday. He said the chief is upset about all the negative attention the town is getting, and if the department asks him to resign, he’ll do it.”
Related. Nico Savidge of The Wisconsin State Journal writes, “A Wisconsin prison guard who posted a joke on Facebook last year about lynchings that referenced President Barack Obama received a one-day suspension and was required to attend training, according to documents obtained by the State Journal. Correctional Officer Collin Visser posted in December a photo of Christmas tree ornaments with the president’s likeness accompanied by the text, ‘Look guys. Obama Christmas ornaments. Suddenly it’s legal to hang a black man from a tree again!’” And you said there were no conservative comedians.
If you have to ask: Andy Greder and Frederick Melo of the PiPress are tasked with deciding if St. Paul is just a pawn in the MLS stadium game. “American sports history, says Andrei Markovits, is littered with examples of professional leagues pitting one city against another to get the best stadium deal. Has St. Paul been drawn into such a scenario with Major League Soccer? Markovits, an author and professor of political science at the University of Michigan, believes it has.” So who wins? The city that gets the team or the one that doesn’t have to pony up for the stadium?
The Libertarian view would be that you and I can build our own roads. In an editorial, the Strib “sputters” at the fecklessness of the last legislature. “There’s wide agreement that transportation is critically short on money — at least $7 billion to $11 billion short over the next decade, and perhaps another $40 billion short in the decade after that if the state wants a competitive, world-class system. But the conversation rarely gets that far. It’s pre-empted by a knee-jerk reaction against paying what’s required to raise the money. Quickly, the entire issue becomes ‘a higher gas tax’ without ever considering what it would buy, or without understanding that this unfortunate ‘politics of no’ also cuts off the metro sales-tax revenue needed for transit.” But both sides are equally at fault, right?
So Lambert Deep Thoughts, Inc. will get that new Audi tax free? Says Dee DePass in the Strib, “After a two-year delay, Minnesota’s much hated 1989 sales tax rebate program for capital equipment purchases ended last week. The change is a major coup for small businesses and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, which lobbied hard for legislators to rescind a law many considered an unnecessary hardship. Under the law, Minnesota factories had to pay sales tax, file returns and wait months to get rebates on every piece of equipment bought or repaired. According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, about 2,000 factories spend $4 billion each year on new equipment and repair parts and then shell out $270 million for a sales tax they eventually get back.”
Unlikely though it may be that you’ve spent a lot of time worrying about businesses on Lake Minnetonka: WCCO-TV’s Rachel Slavik tells us, “Record rain turned all of Lake Minnetonka into a no-wake zone for the first time ever last year. Lakes and rivers around the state also had similar restrictions. The slow going made for one of the quietest holidays on the water. ‘I think last year it scared a lot of people away because they took it as the lake is closed,’ Blake Alguire of St. Louis Park said. This year, weather isn’t slowing anyone down.” Hmmm. Not quite an I-Team story.
“Raise-gate” dithers on. Says Don Davis of the Forum News Service, “As Republicans blasted Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s decision to give his commissioners pay raises, Democrats reminded Minnesotans that an early 2015 deal negotiated by House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, allowed the governor to hand out the raises. The GOP, meanwhile, placed the blame on spending $900,000 on higher pay at the Democrats’ feet. Yes, the episode was subtitled, ‘The Blame Game’. … Republicans would disagree that they ‘specifically authorized’ the raises, but many Republicans did vote for a bill that gave the governor one day, July 1, to provide raises.”
But hey, a couple million for pro golf: Let’s get ‘er done. Says the AP, “The 2016 Ryder Cup was awarded to the Hazeltine National Golf Club near Minneapolis years ago, however its promoters quietly recently tried to wedge money into Minnesota’s new state budget for logistical assistance and sponsorships of the event. Although their efforts fell short — the Legislature concluded its session after passing a budget without any money for the prestigious tournament — organizers are expected to continue to push for state assistance before next year’s event. Their pitch — detailed in a private meeting held days before lawmakers adjourned their 2015 legislative session — ran from $600,000 to $2 million depending on the state’s involvement and willingness to absorb security costs. Potential benefits would range from the use of a private chalet for tourism and business promotion to Minnesota-themed ads run on international TV to hundreds of event tickets.” I love the smell of “major league” in the morning.
Look out your window. Pigs may be flying. The never exactly progressive Forum News Service editorial board writes about Minnesota’s #1 ranking in that CNBC poll on best states for business. “The rankings confirm that business growth is about more than low taxes. Job training and the amenities that higher taxes fund make a difference. North Dakota, with low taxes, does well. Minnesota, with higher taxes, does better.”
Walker Watch. Our closest presidential candidate is off to kind of a rough start. Sabrina Weiss at the website Refinery 29 explains, “‘In America we celebrate July 4th not April 15 because in America we celebrate our independence from the gov’t, not our dependence on it,’ [Walker Tweeted]. The results might not have been what his campaign planned. That set off a whole round of replies, both scholarly and snarky. The document signed by our founding fathers, they pointed out, was not a declaration of anarchy. It was a carefully drafted first step to forming a new government, separate from the British Monarchy.” A few blowback Tweets:
.@ScottWalker incorrect. That would be freedom from Britain. We still had a government.— Kelly (@ceallaigh_k) July 4, 2015
@ScottWalker As a career politician whose salary as legislator, County exec, & governor has been paid for BY TAX DOLLARS, this is laughable.— Guy Stalnaker (@gstalnaker) July 4, 2015
@ScottWalker Wrong. We celebrate the fact that we ARE the government and our freedom from tyranny, whether monarchy or Kochian oligarchy.— Manville Hoya (@ManvilleHoya) July 4, 2015