Carmine plan redux

I’ve not linked to any of the recent stories about the Duluth Schools. Its sort of like kicking a dead dog. Nonetheless I shouldn’t abandon the subject completely.

This recent story is more of the Red Plan’s aftermath. The District continues laying off teachers. Not that many this time. The staff is already greatly diminished.

There are other stories I’ve missed. There was one about a new school proposed for Park Point.

A new school proposed for Duluth has students, teachers and an educational philosophy all lined up with a goal of opening this fall. Now the backers of the long-planned Spirit of the Lake Community School need to find a home.

It may draw from homeschoolers acording to one person who posted in response to the story (which is no longer accessible on the DNT website) Still, its creation will offer disgruntled families one more option to avoid enrolling their kids in the Duluth Schools.

A Duluth teacher who five years ago would often relay snide comments about the School Administraion to me, but who began clamming up when my fight with the District went into overdrive, recently told me she is looking for a way out of the District. She’s having a miserable experience in one of our new schools. That’s an anecdote not a survey but I suspect she’s not alone.

Rick Nolan becomes the establishment candidate for the DFL

At this point Tarryl Clark’s and Jeff Anderson’s chief role in the DFL race will be to make people pay more attention to the actual DFL endorsee running up to the primary.

Roll Call, the political news site in Washington, reports that Rick Nolan’s campaign for the DFL primary for Congress in Northeastern Minnesota’s 8th District will get a boost tonight at a fundraiser where all DFL members of the state’s Congressional delegation are scheduled to attend.

Club for Growth gives Cravaack a relatively low rating

I’m surprised that the DNT hasn’t printed this story since they’ve started using MPR as a news source.

Cravaack’s relatively low score from one of the most politically powerful groups on the right might come in useful in his re-election campaign in the DFL-leaning 8th District. Cravaack’s three DFL opponents have regularly called him an extremist and a member of the tea party, although Cravaack has never formally joined the House Tea Party Caucus.

Small Dead Animals

My Buddy sent me this video interview of one of my favorite ex Republicans US Senators, Alan Simpson. He found it on a right wingnut blog “small dead animals.” I love the comments from a colorful Senator who understands that we are sitting on future fiscal ruination.

What the wingnuts of the GOP won’t admit is that the Grover Norquist solution “no new taxes” is asinine. Simpson would be kicked out of today’s GOP like Indiana’s Senator Richard Luger recently was by most devoted Dead Animal readers. Enjoy the Bloomberg interview but keep in mind Simpson would raise taxes.

Libertarian Shmibertarian

From a post I heartily agree with over at Sullivan’s blog.

You know, it’s interesting, as an attorney, I spend a lot of time reading the libertarians over at the Volokh Conspiracy. To a man, they purport to believe in the sanctity of contract rights. During the auto bailout, they raged and gnashed their teeth when various bondholders were forced to take losses by the big unions and their lackeys in the administration. Remarkably, they never have anything to say when a worker gets screwed out of earned pension benefits or health care coverage. It’s as if the contract rights of labor are somehow illegitimate or second-class compared to the inviolate rights of the One Percent.

It reminds me of California when it passed a law allowing anyone to open a safety deposit box that had not been visited within the last three years and claim its contents as abandoned forking over some percentage of the take to the cash strapped state while the “salvager” kept the rest. And Romney only has to pay 15% taxes on his earnings from the looted pension plans Bain cashed and swallowed.

Guess which of these causes of the deficit are the GOP’s?

Most of them – at least most of them that are continuing to aggravate it.

[T]he main drivers of projected deficits over the next decade are the wars of the oughts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts and the so-called “automatic stabilizers” — unemployment insurance spending, lower tax burdens — built into existing policy to combat economic downturns. Recovery measures by Bush and Obama caused a short-term spike in deficits but have mostly phased out and thus represent only modest fractions of the national debt.

Economy – Going to hell in a hand basket?

In response to my Buddy’s recent email linked to an hour-long economic video lecture I sent him this typo heavy reply:

I watched this in part because it was recommended by Mitt Romney’s econ advisor Mankiw. As it began I thought to myself this will be all about the boom and bust cycle or the business cycle and I thought of the tulip bubble in Holland which the Yalie eventually mentions.

He also made the comment that much of what he was saying would be pretty obvious to the layman and indeed it seemed pretty obvious to me. He called the top end home buyers “optimists” but another word for it was gamblers.

I find it ironic that a Romney (Republican) Mankiw econ guy would highlight this because so much of this was a repudiation ofof the new GOP economic orthodoxy. Germans are bad because they who hate Kenysianism want the Greek pound of flesh. The failure to relulate banking by allowing no or low interest home loans is wrong headed so let the FED Reserve do so. Forgive bad debt to underwater home buyers or things will simply get worse.

So what will Mitt do if Mankiw has his way? Has Obama made a big mistake?

Obama wants banks further regulated Republicans don’t. I’m not sure if Obama has giving the Fed more power to insist on higher downpayments is part of the Obama plan. Obama is a Keynsian. Republicans and Germans arent…….except (if memory serves) George HW Bush did forgive debt back during the Savings and Loan crises of the 1980’s’s. I remember lots of conservative home owners objecting to the federal help bailing out incautious home and comercial building buyers.

I’m trying to figure out how any of this lecture is all that surprising. The only thing I find surprising about it is that it should seem surprising.

I suspect Obama would be happy to let underwater homebuyers off the hook. How about Republicans? It seems pretty obvious to me that government short term spending is a curative. Listen (or read) this [from NPR]. Its much shorter


Then I sent my Buddy this grim economic forecast from a liberal economist. It only takes about 45 seconds to read.

I also added the comment that its too bad we are in the throes of a Presidential Election because the Republicans would likely try to thwart Obama from pressuring the Europeans from backing off German enforced austerity.

I do recommend this piece from NPR.

Bill Gates has one smart wife

From the Daily Beast:

Gates believes that by focusing on the lives of women and children, and by making it clear that the agenda is neither coercive population control nor abortion, the controversy over international family-planning programs can be defused. Right now, she points out, 100,000 women annually die in childbirth after unintended pregnancies. Six hundred thousand babies born to women who didn’t want to be pregnant die in the first month of life. “She is somebody who really sees this as a public-health necessity,” says Melanne Verveer, the United States ambassador at large for global women’s issues. “I think she believes, and I hope she is right, that people of different political persuasions can come together on this issue.”

GOP class…


Mitt Romney leads a gang and scissors off the long bleached hair of a lonely lispy kid back in his high school days. Can’t remember doing it but sorry now if he did.

Michelle Bachmann applies for Swiss dual citizenship for her kids who think it would be cool then cancels it when fearing it will diminish her credibility as a flag waving patriot.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is videotaped revealing that his claim of fighting for a balanced Wisconsin budget is really a sham hiding his intent to institute Right to Work laws by dividing and conquering public sector from private sector unions

and dim bulbs who think Dick Cheney screwed up raising a lesbian daughter.

Not to mention the Congressman who thinks half of the Congressional Democrats are Commies.

2AM – 5/9/2012 – Orderliness in lieu of accomplishment

My eight loyal readers have often read in my posts a claim that I am more interested in writing a book than getting elected. I still think that’s true. My recent blogging quiescence began with a month of intensive final organizing of materials related background research. I was partly driven by the death of my principal eye witness, Don Boyd. As Don grew weaker I worked, not on writing, but on making sure ever last scrap of information he provided me would be instantly retrievable. I’ve pretty well accomplished that task.

Don’s passing also gave me a new sense of freedom. For the past four of six years I kept telling Don that I wasn’t sure I could finish the book before he died. It turned out to be true. Still as Don grew more infirm over the past year I made some furious attempts to crank out random selections to the book. All the “bookin it” postsin LIncolndemocrat are a reflection of that mania.

Over time it became apparent to me that to do the book justice I had to start at the beginning and move on. In the last two weeks of Don Boyd’s life I figured out what the first chapter had to be and even began it. I also have a pretty well worked out chapter plan for everything that follows. Now I need to do some interviews.

Thursday and Friday I’ll go down to the Twin Cities to do just that. Claudia’s going. She will visit museums. I will research. We have a good reason to want to be out of town. Our house sounds like the internal workings of a factory as workment undo the damage I did thirteen years ago. More on that in the next post.

After I finished putting all of Don Boyd’s information in order (including 500 or so pages of my own hand written notes) I decided to finish organizing my house. I’ve been tidying up nearly forty years worth of debris from my married life for the past ten years beginning shortly before I quit the School Board and met Don Boyd. This clean up was badly sidetracked by my war with the Duluth School Board during the dark days of the Red Plan and other personal family crises but those are past me now.

I do have one corner of my attic crammed with five or six tubs of Red Plan records that I can’t part with yet in case I’d like to write a book about the war. I also have a file cabinet with a lot of paper left over from my school board days. That will be easier to throw away when I get around to it. Even so, I managed to get my entire house put into good order during the recent blog lite hiatus.

I did still have one organizational weak point our second home where my grandson’s live. I maintain a second workshop for house repair. My last week of organizational mania at my house was directed at my workshop. For the past couple years it was the one room I refused to clean. It had become useless as a workshop. If I needed a screwdriver to tighten up the cover of an electic outlet it took me ten minutes to wade through the tiny workshops debris to reach one on the peg board. The workshop was my id. It had become a jungle. It’s confusion made every home improvement task a nightmare and probably doubled the time it took me to do home maintenance. No more. Over a week’s time I cleaned it and organized it and its better than its been at any time for the past ten years. I even gave the work bench a fresh coat of paint.

I was almost ready to begin by book research again until I decided to fix my front steps. The tumult that sprang from that project drove my wife and I over to our daughter’s house where helping her organize her home has proven much more tranquil than staying in our home. Tomorrow will be the third day of our escape from our house. I’ve almost gotten my second workroom as organized as my first. Claudia has worked wonders with my daughter’s closets. Goodwill will get another visit from us this afternoon.

Tomorrow we will escape out house yet again. Now its time to explain the reason we need to escape.

2AM – 5/9/2012 – on waking

Been up for an hour thinking random thoughts. Time for a little stream of conscience blogging, perhaps to make up for so little blogging for the past few weeks. I’m a potential candidate for Congress for goodness sakes!

Blogging is a bit of an addiction. I’ve had several other episodes of non communication. Maybe they were bouts of cold turkey. Maybe they were bouts of me forcing myself to concentrate on other important tasks at the expense of my addiction. Well, tonight – this morning – I feel like rewarding my eight loyal readers with something fresh. I may not write every day but I usually check my stats just to see if my eight still show up and they always do.

So, for my only Congressional stream of conscience thought here’s my quick reaction to the lopsided DFL endorsement of Rick Nolan. Wow! I had no idea the other candidates were so weak.

That news is several days old. I seem to recall that 20 % of the delegates at the Saturday convention voted not to endorse anyone. That’s a troubling sign for Nolan. Why didn’t they? These are the hard core DFLers who are anxious to remove Chip Cravaack. What kept them from giving someone their vote? Maybe its a modern day malady like all those Republicans who can’t get on board with Mitt Romney. Call it unenthusiasticitis.

Nolan who I’ve described as a Humphrey-like spectre from the past left Congress after only four terms back in the 1980’s. Its so long ago I can’t recall the details. One of the dozen comments about the DNT news story on the endorsement recalled something vague about Nolan having gotten some bad press for being something of a male swashbuckler. (that’s my dramatic interpretation of the somewhat more vague comment) If there is anything to it I’m sure it will be rehashed during the summer by some superpac.

I paid more attention back in the 1980’s to my old Mankato-area Congressman, tom Hagadorn. He cheated on his wife as I recall. His campaign manager, Vin Weber, took over for him. I knew Vin from my College Republican days. Vin told me he was allergic to marijuana. Today he’s a top level GOP strategist and sometime media talking head.

I’d say the DFL’s non-existant support for other candidates was the most telling. Tarryl Clark got zip and Jeff Anderson got 10%. I don’t see how either of them can expect to pull off a primary win if the folks who saw them up close and personal won’t support them.

If they decide to make it a three-way despite their poor showing I’ll be far more inclined to join them. It would be fun to see if I could pull more votes out of Duluth than Jeff without bothering to campaign.