Thursday, July 28, 2011

MinnPost gets into the polling game

MinnPost PollCiting a lack of other news organizations polling about the state of opinion in Minnesota in the post-shutdown environment MinnPost decided to run with that ball and commissioned themselves a poll.

MinnPost (7/28, all Minnesotans):
Who do you think is most responsible for the budget crisis and shutdown?

Governor Dayton: 21
Republicans in the Legislature: 42
Both (volunteered): 22
No opinion: 15
(MoE: ±4.8%)

There's not really much to parse in these results, 64% of respondents blame the GOP while 43% blame Governor Dayton, supporting the impression I had that the public was siding with Dayton.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Redistricting: Special Panel releases schedule

Redistricting MinnesotaThe Special Redistricting Panel, appointed by MN Supreme Court Chief justice Lorie Gildea, issued a scheduling order yesterday that sets filing deadlines for petitioners and a hearing schedule for gathering input from the public.

The schedule is as follows:

Intervention: motions due July 29th, responses due August 12th
Stipulations and Unresolved Issues: September 28th
Redistricting Criteria: motions due October 5th, responses due October 19th, oral arguments (if necessary) October 26th
Remote Electronic Access to Records: request for oral argument due July 29th, if requested will coincide with Intervention hearing.
Public Hearings: October 6th - 14th

If everything goes according to schedule the Special Redistricting Panel will have concluded it's hearings by the end of October. For comparisons sake, in 2000, the deadline for motions to intervene was September 14th, so this new schedule is about a month ahead of the 2000 schedule.

In 2000 the final plan was released on March 19th so at this point it's probably safe to say that the Special Redistricting Panel is shooting for the February 21st deadline to wrap things up.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dayton's deal

Governor Mark DaytonThere has been a great deal of teeth gnashing among some Democrats and progressives over the deal Governor Dayton struck with the GOP to end the shutdown. So for anyone who thinks Dayton capitulated, let's brake the deal down to it's essential elements:

Mark Dayton gave up an income tax increase on top earners and in return he got everything else he wanted; his $35+ billion budget, none of the GOPs crazy policy bills including cutting 15% of the state workforce and even his long forgotten bonding bill.

The GOP got to not raise taxes on the wealthy and they gave up everything else; their grab bag of extreme social policy provisions, their demand not to spend more than $34 billion, their desire to cut an arbitrary percentage of state workers for no good reason and they even agreed to go along with Dayton's bonding bill.

Still not convinced? How about this; Mark Dayton will get most of the credit from the public for ending the shutdown.

So tell me again, who won?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gretchen Carlson is furious that Keith Ellison supports gender equality

Gretchen Carlson is the clueless co-host of the friendly sounding "Fox and Friends" morning show and she is pissed off. At who? About what? Well, Keith Ellison, of course, for supporting women's rights:

I recently hosted a forum in my district called Women's Rights in the Era of Extremism. And this is an era of extremism. These same people who want to shrink government till you can drown it in a bathtub also want mom to get back in the kitchen and take her shoes off and get pregnant. You understand? They are offended by strong, powerful women. And here's the sad part -- some of them are women themselves. Michele Bachmann being an example. So let's stand up -- let's stand up for women's rights, and brothers don't leave the sisters out there. We gotta be in this thing together.

My quoting of this passage uttered by Congressman Ellison probably just made Gretchen's head explode again like it exploded earlier today:

Let me just say this, as a strong, powerful woman, that is offensive. That is offensive. How dare you say that about any woman? You don't know what she wants. You don't know that she thinks it's OK to be back in the kitchen and pregnant. Are you kidding me? She wouldn't be running for president unless she wasn't a strong, powerful woman. She wouldn't be getting those people out on the sidelines there of all those streets in Iowa and every other state she goes to unless she was a strong, powerful woman. Just because she has a differing point of view from other people does not mean that she's not a strong, powerful woman.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Keith Ellison rejects including Social Security in debt ceiling negotiations

Rep. Keith EllisonThis is good to hear:

Social Security actually is not contributing to the deficit. Social Security loans us money. So at the end of the day, all this discussion about how we’re going to cut Social Security is very distressing to me because Social Security isn’t the problem…This is inequitable and regressive…We’re asking the poorest Americans to sacrifice. When are the wealthiest Americans going to step up and do the patriotic thing, which is to contribute to deal with this budget deficit.

The simple fact is that there is no Social Security crisis. The whole idea of the program being in crisis is manufactured for this very reason, to justify changing a popular and successful program that nonetheless conservatives hate.

Congressional Democrats need to stand firm and not allow Social Security, along with Medicare and Medicaid, to become part of the deficit negotiations. As Nate Silver pointed out yesterday, for any debt ceiling deal to happen, there will almost certainly need to be support from the House Progressive Caucus.