MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 9/21

Michele Bachmann…. A lady in decline

from Gov. Arne Carlson’s Blog

Michele Bachmann’s recent assaults against the Muslims and again suggesting that President Obama is sympathetic to Islamic extremism reminds me of the desperation of Senator Joseph McCarthy in his declining months.

Shared space: A crazy idea?

from streets.mn by Charles Marohn

The thought of a downtown without traffic signals was bizarre to many people. Don’t traffic lights help with congestion? Wouldn’t the downtown be more dangerous to everyone without signals? It seems like there would be anarchy and chaos. This is a crazy idea! Someone even asked me if I had heard of the MUTCD, as if it were a book in the Bible. (For non-engineers, the MUTCD, also called “the mutt”, is the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices).

Portland’s bike lanes, helmets, and why are the Dutch such good bike riders?

from Thoughtful Bastards by Paul Udstrand

I wouldn’t discourage anyone from wearing a helmet, but I don’t think helmets are a necessary safety feature. I think other factors like awareness, anticipation, and proficiency are more important. I think the availability of safe bike lanes and trails along with more familiarity amongst drivers, bikers, and pedestrians will ultimately decrease accident rates and injuries far more than helmet use.

The fiscal cliff: Insights on the economy and ice skating…

from Girl Meets Geek by Kate-Madonna Hindes

Here’s my understanding of the “fiscal cliff” in the simplest terms possible:  Think of the U.S. as an olympic figure skater. After spraining her ankle, the skater took 3 months off to rest and recover. After the 3 months, her coach demanded she perfectly land a quadruple axel while holding an infant on rusty skates, at gunpoint. The chances of the ice skater landing the axel with the infant and her ankle intact are minimal and if she’s shot, she won’t be able to compete again. Really, it’s a lose-lose.

Romney, lacking a winning plan

from Old and In the Way by Gary Sankary

In order to win, they have to sway voters in the middle. They should be studying those voters, understanding what’s important to them and hitting those messages hard. They should also be mitigating their weaknesses with those voters, and in doing so reducing the effectiveness of the opposition’s arguments against them. It’s this last point they’re missing big time.

Rather than focus on the issues the Republicans, have allowed themselves to be dragged into a series of red herring issues that will turn the middle right back to the President.

MoJo catches Mitt telling the truth

from Mr. Dilettante’s Neighborhood by Mark Heuring

Romney is actually explaining something that matters rather a lot. The reason pruning back government is going to be so horribly difficult is that many millions of Americans are essentially on the dole, either through Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI and other general relief programs. And because we’ve been running over 8% unemployment for the past four years, with a workforce participation rate of only 58%, the government has a lot of clients. And since the Democrats are the Party of Government, they will have a lot of support.

State of the races: Districts 51 & 57 (South metro)

from mnpACT! Progressive Political Blog by Dave Mindeman

The South Metro legislative races are essentially a group of Democratic insurgent candidates running against a host of incumbent Republicans. The GOP has dominated this area with a few upsets in recent years.

Should gluten-free folks be worried about arsenic found in rice?

from The Savvy Celiac by Amy Leger

Bottom Line:  folks with celiac and gluten intolerance generally eat more rice and rice based products than people who eat the normal US diet (See photo upper right– RED X marks the products that I found in my pantry today that if we weren’t on a gluten free diet, likely would be purchased without rice in them)!  So when the announcement came out that Consumer Reports was calling for Americans to limit our intake of rice because of potentially high arsenic levels….the response from the US in general might be shock, but from Gluten Free America– many might say– impossible.

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