The Minnesota Grizzly Bear

Roaring about life since 2009

Late Friday News

Polls:

Few Want Members of Congress Re-Elected, Poll Finds – They needed a poll to figure this one out?

North Dakota House: Pomeroy (D) At Risk? – See above comment.

North Dakota Senate: Hoeven By A Mile At This Point

International:

Iceland aims to become an offshore haven for journalists and leakers – My dear Iceland hits the news again, this time for something more positive than massive debt obligations.  Score!

In Europe, Time for Tea

MN/ND Politics:

Minn. mayors: State aid cuts mean fewer services

Emmer on Seifert and his own campaign for governor

Rally by ND GOP, conservative groups draws 900

Education:

The Schools are Doing a Wonderful job!

Pawlenty wants mayors to manage St. Paul, Mpls. schools

Opinion:

It’s You, Not Me: Liberals and libertarians finally break up.

Have it good,

-Mike

Advertisements

February 13, 2010 Posted by | Education, Minnesota, North Dakota, Politics, Republicans | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday’s Roundup, 2/10/10

Wednesday Roundup for 2/10/10

Polls:

Republican Voters Often Have Ignorant and Irrational Views — And so do Democrats – Okay, so I might have to retract my previous post headline of “more knowledgble.”  Sometimes people are just weird.

MN Politics:

MN credit rating could slip which would cost taxpayers

Minnesota Senate approves bonding bill; next stop House

Pawlenty defends unallotment power in court filing

Republicans:

The Tea Party Primer – Good post on reaction to neoconservatives taking over the Tea Party

Billboard mystery partly revealed – I originally read this story and thought it was in Wyoming.  Who the hell names a city after a state.  Seriously.  This story ties in with the next link below.

Things I don’t miss about George W. Bush – Looking at the trainwreck that is President Obama’s first year I do feel some pangs of nostalgia every so often for Bush, but thank the gods for Michelle Malkin.

Uncovering the Youth Vote – What keeps young people out of the GOP?  Maybe I’ll post later on what kept me out personally, and why I got sucked in.  Oh, the suspense builds…

Jane Hamsher on HuffPo: Ron Paul vs. Sarah Palin for the Soul of the Tea Parties – Guess who I want to win?  No really, guess, it’ll be fun.

Energy:

Ethanol: The Real Growing Problem – I’ve never liked this ethanol garbage.  All it’s going to do is raise the cost of my beer by having farmers plant corn instead of wheat and barley (for the corn money) and make me buy gas more often because I’m 99% sure I get worse mileage off ethanol blends I buy in North Dakota than I do in MN, which for the most part does not add ethanol.  Yeah, three-cheers for ethanol.  pffh.

North Dakota Production Surprises – I guess they’re going to be able to squeeze more oil out of ND than originally thought.  Good news for ND’s budget (like they needed it with a surplus like that) and energy prices.
.
And in closing, I just glanced up at MSNBC and saw an interview with conservative talk show host Jerry Doyle talking about the filibuster rule in the Senate.  But he’ll always be Michael Garibaldi to me.  :0)
B5

 

Well that’s it the roundup for now, have a good Wednesday!

-Mike

February 10, 2010 Posted by | Energy, Minnesota, North Dakota, Politics, Republicans | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MNgb’s picks – Monday, Feb. 8th

Here’s your GrizzlyNews and opinions from across the country, and Minnesota in particular for 2/8/10:

Unallotment Deadline Looming – an excellent blog post about the political ramifications of the unallotment debate and court case for the DFL in an election year (what is unallotment?).  I still can’t quite get over the difference between the MN Constitution and the Federal Constitution in terms of separation of powers, we seem to be a lot more fast and loose with the branch distinctions in Minnesota than the Feds are.  I tried to spur some discussion on the difference between unallotment and the line-item veto in my Precinct caucus group last week, and it actually developed more than I thought it would.  I even learned some interesting things about budget authority.  Neat.

Google to enlist NSA to help it ward off cyberattacks – Not too sure what to think about this story, honestly.  I’m swinging back and forth between “good for you Google, protect my privacy” and “OH GOD BIG BROTHER OMNIVEILLANCE AND CORPORATISM.”  You can see the problem that arises with a story like this, obviously.  I picked up the term Omniveillance from an article by Josh Blackman that I know I’ve mentioned before, yet it still comes back to haunt me with its insightfulness…

The inevitable fix for the deficit – Is the VAT really as “inevitable” as this article says?  I don’t think so, sorry.  The Value-Added Tax strikes me as another shadow way for government to hide its tax increases and to pay for its bloated expansion plans.  If the government taxes products at the manufacturing level, as the article states is the basic plan for a VAT, at what will the public focus its anger?  Business.  All business.  Since the businesses will have to price their goods higher due to skyrocketing input costs (thanks, VAT), the people will see the entity closest to them as the problem, and if businesses are the last link in the chain, then government gets off scot-free with the money.  Whether that rant is an argument against VAT I have no idea, but damnit do we really want bureaucracy as big as Europe’s as the future of America?  Look deep into your reservoir of knowlege and honestly answer that question.  I don’t.

Jobs push continues with $50M MN Senate proposal – Everyone repeat after me.  “Government spending does not create meaningful, long-term economic growth.”

To be continued, it’s time for class.

Have it good,

-Mike

February 8, 2010 Posted by | Economics, Minnesota, News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Groups Ask for Amendment Review

Damnit, I’ve been saying this all along since this amendment was proposed and passed in Minnesota.  All that the MN constitutional amendment raising the sales tax will do is give the State Legislature another source of tax revenue to raid when they want to do something.  And it seems like the outdoor and environmental groups that supported the amendment are having some qualms with how the State is defining the language of the amendment:

“By changing the definitions you have spread out the purposes for which the constitutional amendment was dedicated to,” Ness said. “Our fear is that money will now be diverted to other types of projects other than what was intended by the vote of voters.”

Groups asking for review of outdoors amendment language

I thought from the beginning that the amendment was just a backdoor tax scam, a smokescreen to raise revenue for whatever the Legislature wants at the time.  By defining the amendment’s words as broadly as they have, it allows the state to do anything with the money.  Welcome to the world of legal elasticity, you’ll see a few familiar faces – over there is the Interstate Commerce Clause, ooh ooh and over there is General Welfare!

Maybe we would all be better off if we didn’t approve unnecessary amendments that the government could abuse in the first place?  Don’t give them words to broadly define by keeping laws simple and few.

Exactly.

Have it good,

-Mike

February 8, 2010 Posted by | Environment, Minnesota, Politics, Taxes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saturday’s Light Reading 2/6

Here’s a selection of good light reading for a lazy saturday.  Happy 99th birthday to our 40th President!

 

Have it good,

-Mike

February 6, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MN GOP Caucus attendance up from 2002

When I attended my precinct caucus on Tuesday I could definitely tell there were more people than last year, but nowhere near the numbers of 2008.  But apparently it was up over 20% from 2002 numbers, a year where MN saw a similar political situation as in 2010:

Eight years ago, just 15,862 Minnesotans cast their vote in the Republican gubernatorial straw poll. On Tuesday night, over 19,150 Gopher State residents voted in a precinct caucus GOP straw poll – an increase of 20.8 percent with 4,118 of 4,129 caucuses reporting as of late Wednesday evening.

Minnesota GOP Caucus Gubernatorial Straw Poll Voter Turnout Up Over 20 Percent from 2002

That’s definitely a good sign, but why the increase?  Even with the earlier caucus date and colder temperatures Republicans still turned up, so what drove us there?

My Answer: The remnants of the Ron Paul Revolution.

Why do I say that?  Because I’m one of them, and so were many of the faces I saw in the crowd on Tuesday night.  Yes, the firey passion has subsided and it’s not a presidential year, but the result of a massive bottom-up campaign focused on activism and word-of-mouth has left an innumerable crowd of conservatives looking for a means to continue their fight against the radical liberal excesses of the Obama Democrats.  So here we are Minnesota GOP, treat us well and we’ll do the same right back.

We got fired up and interested, and for many of us that interest hasn’t evaporated in us like it has in a majority of Obama supporters.  State Republican parties across the country are better off because of our increased involvement, for a great deal of the Ron Paul grassroots campaign was composed of younger people and college students that the GOP desperately needs to make inroads with. 

I was asked at least 5 times on caucus night why I came and why I was interested, because I was so much younger than the majority of others at the caucus.  A party in which it’s a surprise to be under 40 isn’t going to survive.  But that has started to change, thank gods, and needs to keep changing in the future if we’re going to remain a voice for growth and prosperity in Minnesota. 

Children are our future!  teehee.

Have it good,

-Mike

February 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Friday roundup – 2/5

Here’s a few good stories in the news today, and several relate to the new Minnesota legislative session that began this week. 

Local/Minnesota Politics:

Both of my State Legislators are in the news today, check it out:

Lanning under pressure in bonding bill debate – State Representative Morrie Lanning (R-9A) is apparently being courted by the DFL as potential vote to support the massive bonding bill introduced at the beginning of this legislative session.

Job creation is top priority as Senate unveils capital investment package  – This is State Senator Keith Langseth’s (DFL-09) press release promoting the specifics of the “capital investment package.”  $999.9 million, really?  Just throw in the extra penny and make it a billion, haha.

 

Education News:

Beings that I have been a student for such a large period of my life, education reform has slowly elbowed through the other important issues that I try to keep up to speed on regularly.  As a soon-to-be college graduate entering a recession-sickened job market with a heavy debtload, I’m more than a bit irritated at the current workings of the “education-industrial complex.” 

It’s these concerns that have led me to bone up on and devote a number of posts on a regular basis to K-12, undergraduate and graduate school issues.  Here’s the first few links:

Donations to colleges down 11.9% in 2009 – Well at least Minnesota made the list. 

Outlook bleak for state-funded college financial aid – Maybe the above story will help out us college students given this bleak outlook.  Here’s hoping, heh.

Rulings Leave Online Student Speech Rights Unresolved – Do students have free speech?  Where?  Courts aren’t too sure.

Woodbury’s going back to school – in August – Deals with shifting the duration of the school year, and not necessarily lengthening it.

 

Opinions:

Of big tents and tugs of war – Excellent piece on the direction of the Republican party in 2010

 

And finally, here’s your humor for the day – “How not to design a campaign website

Have it good,

-Mike

February 5, 2010 Posted by | Democrats, Law, Minnesota, Politics, Republicans | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GOP Caucus update

I attended the local Republican caucus at for the 3rd year in a row last night, and a fun time was had by all.  Got to Moorhead High School about 6:30pm, pretty early I know but I wanted to scope out the room before the whole thing got started.  I was met at the door to the auditorium by Jeff Backer who is running for State Senate in our district.  Nice guy, I wish him the best of luck.  By the time we started, I noticed that most of the conservative elected officials in Moorhead were there – Brenda Elmer, Luther Stueland and Mark Hintermeyer from the City Council and Bill Tomhave from the school board are the ones I recognized right away.

After some socializing, the Chairman gave an introduction which was followed by some remarks by State Representative Morrie Lanning about Republican prospects both in Minnesota and around the country.  I realized again why I’ve voted for Rep. Lanning whenever I could.  He’s definitely a good voice for 9A.

After the speakers, some letters from candidates were read, I was particularly interested in the governor’s race.  Tom Emmer’s letter was read by Luther Stueland, and I really enjoyed what I heard.  It seemed very personal and energetic, just like what I’ve seen from his campaign.  I think I’m leaning more in Emmer’s direction as of late, especially after hearing Seifert’s letter, it just seemed very…uninspiring. 

Sure Seifert’s letter covered all the classic conservative bases, but I just came away feeling unfulfilled and unexcited, like what I’ve seen from his campaign.  I honestly agree with this opinion on TrueNorth today about Seifert’s moderate success in the GOP straw-poll, the author states that “considering Seifert’s ‘commanding lead’ in dollars, his insider status, and inheritance of a campaign operation – only garnering 50% last night is a bad performance.”  I’d have to agree with that assessment.

After the last letter was read we broke up into groups based on precinct and went to separate rooms to continue the caucus.  There 5 people including me in our room for 4W1P, and we elected a Precinct Captain and Secretary (the latter of which was me, oh boy!), took the straw poll that Emmer won with 3 votes, and had a lively discussion about some points of the MN GOP platform such as homeschooling, nullification by the 10th amendment and healthcare.  Since we were allotted 8 delegates for the precinct, and there were 5 people there, we voted us all as delegates to the County BPOU convention on Feb. 27th. 

A lot of people were curious why I, as a relatively young person, was as interested and committed enough to come to local caucus.  I realized I didn’t really know what to say, but after I thought about it, it was because I strongly believe that the principle of responsibility, which Rep. Lanning said was at the heart of our party, is really the best choice for Minnesota.  Whether its personal responsibility, fiscal responsibility or social responsibility, all of them are essential to good governance in Minnesota.

So that was pretty much the caucus, I thought it was a fun night bu then again I’m a political nerd.  haha. 

It was nice to see Conrad again since it’s been a while since we last talked, especially about politics, so that was cool too. 

Have it good,

-Mike

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Minnesota, Politics, Republicans | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caucus day is here again!

Wow, it’s already the end of January.  That means the Minnesota caucus day of February 2nd is approaching fast, but what does that mean for you?  What is a political caucus, and why are they important?

The caucuses present an opportunity to make your voice heard beyond your single vote on Election Day, they give you a venue for opinion into which candidates will make it to election day for you to vote on. 

A party caucus is where self-identified supporters of a political party get together and talk about the upcoming elections and state of their party, every major political party in Minnesota (Republicans, Democrats, and Independence) has them.  In big election years like 2008 and the Minnesota Governor’s race, party caucuses play an important role in the party endorsement process and are responsible for deciding who the party will officially support come Election Day.  

Who could pass up a chance to meet and engage with like-minded individuals who likely share many of your beliefs?  And if you don’t see eye-to-eye with another caucus-goer, start a dialogue and discuss your divergence on issues.  The caucus is where the party’s platform is solidified and resolutions for change are brought forward and carried to the State convention, so have at it when it comes to issues you disagree with!  

So what’s going to happen when you go to your local precinct caucus?  Here’s what the MN Republican party has to say about caucuses tomorrow;

What Happens at Caucuses? 

  1. Elect the Chair of the Caucus and the Caucus Secretary
  2. Elect Precinct Leaders
  3. Elect Delegates and Alternates to the Local Republican Conventions
  4. Conduct the Gubernatorial Preference Ballot
  5. Pass Resolutions to the Republican Party of Minnesota’s Standing Platform

Why are caucuses important?

For our Party, caucuses serve several important functions:

1. It’s the start of the platform process

The resolutions passed at caucuses are the starting point for changes to our Party’s standing platform, which states our Party’s principles and beliefs.
2. It’s the start of choosing Republican candidates

The process for electing delegates, who will endorse individuals to become our Party’s candidates, starts here

3. It’s where our precinct leaders are elected

Local leaders serve as the backbone of the Party. A commitment to forward Republican principles qualifies you to accept this leadership post tonight.

4. It’s the base of our grassroots efforts

With their experience and knowledge, precinct caucus attendees make great volunteers for our candidates and our Party. Our principles cannot move forward without your involvement.

 

 

Find your party’s caucus date and location here if you live in Moorhead, MN

Clay County caucuses Tuesday: 

  • Republican Party: 7 p.m., Moorhead High School, 2300 4th Ave. S.; the following precincts will meet at Barnesville High School (Alliance, all Barnesville precincts, Comstock, Elkton, Holy Cross, Humbolt, Tansem); the following will meet at Hawley High School (Cromwell, Eglon, Goose Prairie, Hawley, Hawley Township, Highland Grove, Hitterdal, Keene, Parke, Skree).
  • Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party: 7 p.m., Comstock Memorial Union, MSUM, Sixth Avenue and 14th Street
  • Green Party: 6:30 p.m., Moorhead Library, 118 5th St.
  • Independence Party: 7 p.m. This is a remote caucus. Go to www.independenceminnesota.org.
  • For all other caucus locations, go to http://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us.

 

Campaigns drive interest in Minnesota caucuses

 

Have fun and remember that “all politics is local.”  Your vote and voice really do count.

Have it good,

-Mike

February 1, 2010 Posted by | Democrats, Minnesota, Republicans | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rasmussen and MN Governors Race

Wow, I really wonder who Rasmussen polled to get results like this.  I have a feeling they didn’t go beyond a few suburbs of the Twin Cities.  According to today’s Rasmussen poll of Minnesota Republicans, 52% would prefer former Sen. Norm Coleman in the 2010 Governor’s race and he’s not even running!  Look at the dropoff from Coleman to State Rep. Seifert, and the latter raised over $262,000 last year!

2010 Minnesota Governor Primary 

I met most of the candidates a couple months ago, and I was impressed by the strength and quality of every person running.  Especially the potential in State Rep. Paul Kohls, I’ll be watching him after his performance at the candidate debate.  Tom Emmer’s campaign called me this afternoon wondering if I had made a decision concerning who I will support, since I’ve been a delegate for the last two years in a row. 

Honestly, I’m not too sure so far.  I like a lot of what Marty Seifert has to say, enjoyed the fierce libertarian streak of former candidate Pat Anderson (who is now running for State Auditor), the fresh and hopeful view of Paul Kohls, and the strong charisma of Tom Emmer.  I remember seeing Senator Coleman speak at the 2008 MN State Convention and not really being all that impressed, it seemed too glossy and photogenic.  But I really wasn’t attuned to MN politics to make any kind of judgement, but I have heard good things about his record. 

This is going to be a very tough choice for Republican caucus-goers this year.  Too many good choices.

Have it good,

-Mike

January 13, 2010 Posted by | Minnesota, Politics, Republicans | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment