Friday, April 1, 2011

Random Story Roundup

It's Friday, you know what that means don't you? Partying, partying and fun, fun, fun.

I couldn't resist that one on April fools day.

Now that you're in the proper frame of mind, on to the random goodness!

  • Politico reported earlier in the week that former Senator Norm Coleman wasn't too bullish on the GOPs chances of taking Amy Klobuchar's Senate seat.

    I think it could be a tough year. She’s certainly strong. She’s got good numbers and good support. She hasn’t been a very polarizing force. Clearly, that's going to be a challenge.

    Did I say "wasn't too bullish?" From an insider like Coleman the above quote is about as close as you're likely to get to "we don't have a snowballs chance in hell."

  • In November Nancy Reagan announced that the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, along with NBC and Politico, would host the first of the Republican Presidential nomination debates.

    Since than no one has actually announced they are running, at least no one anyone is taking seriously, leaving debate organizers in a dilemma, either they let the Bachmann's and Cain's of the GOP have the stage to themselves or they postpone the event until some actual candidates emerge.

    Not surprisingly they decided to postpone.

  • its_oshea posted another redistricting map on Thursday, this time trying out the Republican dream map of combining Minneapolis and St. Paul into one district.

    If you're keeping track at home the map score is now; its_oshea: 2, me: 0. (Did I punctuate that correctly? Probably not.) What that means is I need to draw some maps!

  • Minnpost has a great article about Mark Dayton's appearance at a North Minneapolis Economic Summit on Wednesday. As Mayor Coleman said at Drinking Liberally the other week, TGFM (Thank God for Mark).

  • Another MinnPost link, Steve Berg has an excellent article about population growth patterns or lack thereof, in the Twin Cities and how it hurts the whole region.

    This is from Berg's correspondence with Bruce Katz, of the Brookings Institution:

    This is an unfortunate trend for a host of economic, fiscal, environmental and social reasons. Economic, because strong central cores enhance the ability of metros to attract and retain talented workers and innovative firms, yield real benefits associated with density and allow metros the reap the full returns on prior investments.

    Fiscal, because population (and job) dispersion across fragmented metro areas raise the cost of building and maintaining infrastructure and delivering basic services and lead to immense fiscal disparities (mitigated to some extent in MSP by tax sharing).

    Environmental, because population and job dispersion lengthen commutes, increase greenhouse gas emissions, and degrade land. In some metros, there are enormous issues associated with water scarcity.

    As for social, the dominant trend is the increasing suburbanization of poverty — which presents enormous challenges for the delivery of social programs and resources given low capacity and high demand in changing communities.

    It's an excellent piece, check it out.

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