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Regional manufacturers have worst month in six years

REUTERS/Adam Fenster

December. Bad month for manufacturing. Says Dee DePass of the Star Tribune, “Minnesota and other Midwest manufacturers slowed in December to one of the worst performances in six years due to the strong U.S. dollar and weaknesses in Canada and abroad, according to a widely watched economic report. ‘Those factors will continue to squeeze U.S. and regional manufacturers,’ said Ernie Goss, director of Creighton University's Economic Forecasting Group, which produces the Mid-America Business Conditions Index.”

Related. Jim Spencer of the Strib says, “The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), whose members include some of Minnesota's biggest companies, came out in favor of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Monday. The free trade agreement ‘will open markets and put manufacturers in a much stronger position to compete in an important and growing region of the world,’ NAM CEO Jay Timmons said in a news release.

The Case of the Peeved Pot Purveyor. Says Brian Bakst of the AP, “A cannabis producer left out of Minnesota's medical marijuana program is suing the state over the planned public release of information submitted as part of an unsuccessful bid.”

And The Case of The Case That Rolls Ever On. Emily Welker of the Forum News Service reports, “A Clay County judge upheld a plea deal that spares a former junior hockey player from sex offender registration requirements after the player pleaded guilty in a teenage sex tape scandal that led to a three-count conviction on child pornography charges.”

And while we’re talking stories with legs, the GOP is still running with this one. At MPR Tim Pugmire says, “Republicans in the Minnesota Senate contend that the new legislative office building they continue to oppose will cost taxpayers more than originally expected. GOP lawmakers said they were recently notified that Senate funds will be used this year to defray the cost of parking rates in the ramp attached to the new building. The monthly rate will be $74.28. The $90 million project was supposed to cost taxpayers $77 million, with the remaining $13 million coming from parking fees.”

Then there’s this one. Grace Lyden of the Forum folks tells us, “The associate superintendent of Fargo Public Schools has upheld a principal's decision to refuse to allow a photo of a student posing with a rifle in the school's yearbook. Charles Renville, the North High School senior's father, is now urging parents to send their kids to school wearing shirts that support hunting rights and the Second Amendment. ‘Do not lay down your God given rights! Resist this bad policy and stand for liberty!’ Renville wrote last week on Facebook, before asking all involved ‘to be civil and respectful.'" He forgot the “precious” part.

In the Pioneer Press, Mara Gottfried revisits the mystery of the woman killed while crawling across a freeway. “The 28-year-old was killed when a vehicle struck her as she crawled on Interstate 35E near Grand Avenue. The hit-and-run driver has not been found, and the State Patrol cannot conclusively determine how [Emily] Boone ended up on the freeway. … At the time Boone was killed, people had been trying to reach her. An aunt called Boone's cellphone, which was found near her in the road, and a trooper answered it, the report said. Officers checked the area above the highway on Grand Avenue and found a man walking around, saying he'd been looking for Boone. He said he worked at a nearby sober house where Boone had been staying. She had become upset and left, so he was trying to find her, a State Patrol report said. But the property's owner, Scott Kueppers, told the Pioneer Press that Boone had not lived at the residence for months.”

Wisconsin loves a good recall. Another Forum News Service story says, “In the wake of a Facebook comment that sparked controversy, Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen says he supports a recall election if that process helps the community move forward. … On Dec. 21, Hagen responded on Facebook to a post that included a photograph of first lady Michelle Obama and wrote, ‘Unbelievable! She and her Muslim partner have destroyed the fabric of democracy that was so very hard fought for.’” If he loses, he might be able to get some militia work in Oregon.

It’s a powerful thing, the sex drive of a Great Lakes lamprey. John Myers in the Duluth News Tribune says, “After decades of development and testing, an effort to use pheromones to fool the sex drive of lampreys in the Great Lakes has been deemed good enough to be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA last week registered the pheromone, 3kPZS, as the first ‘vertebrate pheromone biopesticide’ authorized for use in U.S. waters. While it's worked in test efforts, it's now hoped that the pheromone, when poured into rivers, will attract adult lampreys on a large scale to a specific spot where they can be captured and destroyed before they can mate, thus reducing the overall population.”

About our soon-to-be-Super Bowl champion Vikings, Sports columnist Matt Calkins in the Seattle Times urges caution, “It looks like a lay-up. A one-foot putt. A jigsaw puzzle with just two pieces. A month after manhandling the Vikings, 38-7, the Seahawks will head back to Minnesota for their first-round playoff game. But don’t let that score from Dec. 6 sucker you. That result is officially irrelevant. You may think Seattle was just dealt the ideal hand, but in reality, they could have their hands full. … Sunday is suddenly an intriguing matchup. You almost wonder if Seattle wishes it beat the Vikings by, say, 13 instead of 31 last time. Fear generates the survival instinct, and the Seahawks may have just scared Minnesota straight.”

Meanwhile, down in Charlotte, Scott Fowler of the Observer says, “Think you’ve got a Sunday off, Panthers fans? Think again. It’s time for you to re-familiarize yourself with Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson, Captain Munnerlyn and the younger Kalil brother. Because on Sunday afternoon, you should be rooting hard for the Minnesota Vikings to beat Seattle. If the Seahawks win – and although seeded lower and on the road, they are favored over the Vikings by nearly a touchdown – they come to Charlotte to play Carolina … . I think the Panthers and Seattle are actually the two best teams in the NFC right now. But with the way the seedings have shaken out, it is impossible for them to meet in the NFC Championship Game … .”

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Comments (3)

Superior [sic] Wisconsin

So Obama is a Muslim? Are we talking about the same guy who

-Goes to church
-Drinks beer
-Smokes cigarettes
-Eats ham
-Pro gay rights
-Pro women's rights

Doesn't that pretty much make him the worst Muslim ever? You would think someone who is the mayor of a major American city would be more intelligent than that, but I guess it doesn't take much qualifications to get the job.

Parking Rate

If Republicans don't like the subsidized rate for the parking ramp, they can always forgo the discount and pay full fare...

There Was A Time

When Americans manufactured goods for other Americans.

Things were a bit more expensive, but they were built to last.

Even basic appliances were built to be repairable (toasters, mixers, etc.).

OTHER countries were attracted to American goods because of their high quality and highly-advanced technology,...

consequently, we had a very positive trade balance with the other nations of the world.

"International trade," and "trade agreements" have consistently sought to dismantle this,...

partly because business leaders wanted to pad their own pockets rather than paying for research and development of new products,...

which allowed other nations to move to the forefront of developing new technologies,...

but even more, because SOME of the leaders of American business SO resented the power of labor organizations,...

that they were determined to do everything in their power to wipe them out,...

which they have substantially done.

Because of these efforts, America, rather than being a "light to the nations" in teaching other nations how to raise their standard of living to match our own,...

and developing the technologies that would have allowed for this,...

has been responsible for the destruction of local populations and local environments worldwide,...

while, at the same time, destroying the American middle class,...

while all the profits that would formerly have gone to those middle class American workers,...

are now going into the pockets of those who are leading those multinational corporations,...

and SOME American business owners and executives,...

who use legal but massively immoral strategies to stash MOST of their income and their profits off shore,...

so that they don't have to pay for the infrastructures they use very heavily in every nation in which they do business,...

but leave the cost of THEIR doing business to be paid for by the same workers,...

that they worked diligently to DISempower and impoverish.

In the end, it doesn't matter to those in charge of international trade and manufacturing if Minnesota, or any other state or nation has a bad month, year, decade, or century.

Like the Wall Street banks and brokerage firms, they make money no matter whether you're buying or selling.

They make the MOST money if those working for them,...

and even the owners of the small, independent manufacturing firms where the work is being done,...

are starving to death (whether in the 3rd world, or here, in Minnesota).

Those at the top of this system now have sufficient power, due to their extreme wealth,...

to manipulate EVERY politician into continuing to prop up the system which continues to funnel wealth to them,...

(witness the recent cancellation of the medical device tax,...

which NEVER hurt any company in Minnesota,...

nor cost a single job,...

and was a mere pittance compared to their profits,...

but which our Minnesota members of the US Senate and House voted for because certain VERY PROFITABLE Minnesota-based manufacturers didn't like it).

Sadly, this entire system may now be so entrenched as to make it impossible for it to be changed,...

until AFTER it crashes the entire world economic system,...

as it inevitably will,...

those at the top of such a system ALWAYS remaining completely blind to the destruction they're causing until it arrives at their own (literal or figurative) doorstep.