|Polanco hits 3-run HR in both games, Twins split with WSoxABCNews.com / 5 h. 3 min. ago more|
Jorge Polanco hit his second three-run homer of the day as the Minnesota Twins scored six times in the second inning and routed the Chicago White Sox 10-2 to split a doubleheader
|Twins take nightcap for split with White Sox Big News Network.com / 6 h. 54 min. ago more|
CHICAGO -- Dillon Gee allowed two hits in six innings and Jorge Polanco, Brian Dozier, Byron Buxton and Jason Castro homered as the Minnesota Twins picked up a doubleheader split against the Chicago W
|‘I Don’t Know What Other Animal Can Do It’: Inside Twin Cities Pigeon RacingCBSlocal.com / 7 h. 20 min. ago more|
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When you think of pigeons, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not, “world class athlete.” “People know ’em as ‘rats of the sky’ and things like that. Sitting down on the buildings downtown and pooping on people,” Tom Hart said. “Pigeons have gotten such a bad rap over the years.” (credit: CBS) But among a small group of people here in the Twin Cities, these birds simply inspire awe. “It’s an enjoyable sport,” Hart said. Competing in a sport most people have probably never heard of. “It’s like having a kite, with no string,” Hart said. Pigeon racing. “Yeah, most people I run into, don’t have a clue on it,” Hart said. Race day begins before sunrise. On this Saturday morning, the release point is just across the Iowa border, just south of Albert Lea. Hart works to get everything prepared. There is a starting gate, if you will, but the unique thing about pigeon racing is the finish line is different places all over the Twin Cities, since the birds use their homing instinct to fly back to their own coop. (credit: CBS) There are about 60 pigeon racers in the Twin Cities, and in this trailer, about 1,500 birds. (credit: CBS) Then, at the designated moment, the race begins. This race is only about 100 miles, but others are as long as 600. “They average about 50 miles an hour, but if they get a tailwind, 85, 90 miles an hour,” Hart said. “And on some of the long races, when you think them birds been pumping them wings for 15 hours, that’s pretty impressive.” This race will only take a couple hours. In the meantime, at coops like Paul Rudolph’s in Maplewood, it’s a waiting game. The winner of this race is going to win by how much? “Seconds. Seconds. If that bird just pauses for one second, you lost the race. Just that quick,” Rudolph said. How that’s measured is high-tech. “These are what we call antennas. And as the bird walks over, he has a little chip band on his leg, like this, that triggers the clock,” Rudolph said. Since they finish in different places, a calculation must be done — total time divided by total distance — to determine an average speed. The fastest is the winner. (credit: CBS) The keys to this sport are breeding and training — actually a lot like horseracing. “In time you find the birds that can do the distance, do the tough stuff, and so you naturally mate them together and you weed out the ones that don’t. And, ah, sell ’em to somebody else,” Rudolph said. Is there prize money? “There’s some. But it’s so minute,” Rudolph said. It’s not a sport you do for the money. It’s for the love of the game. “When I see a bird come home from a four, five, six hundred mile race, and you think of the hours that bird was on the wing,” Rudolph said. “You can take ’em 600 miles and they’ve never been there, you turn ’em loose and they come home? Pretty amazing. I don’t know what other animal can do it.” (credit: CBS)
|Good Question: Where Are America’s Troops Deployed?CBSlocal.com / 7 h. 22 min. ago more|
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, there are currently 2.1 million people serving in the U.S. military. About 62 percent of them are active duty and the other 38 percent are in the Reserves or National Guard. Of those in the Reserves or National Guard, 95 percent are located in the U.S. Among those deployed overseas are 122 members of the Minnesota’s Army National Guard, who are currently in Guantanamo Bay guarding detainees. Among the active duty U.S. military forces, 85 percent are located within the United States. California has the most service members at 130,498 as of August 2017. Overseas, almost 200,000 are stationed or deployed across 800 bases in 177 countries. The country with the most U.S. service members is Japan, which has close to 40,000, followed by Germany (34,000), South Korea (23,000), Italy (11,000) and Afghanistan (approx. 10,000). The Defense Manpower Center also lists 26,000 troops whose whereabouts are “unknown.” The Congressional Research Service says, as of late 2016, there are 9,800 troops in Afghanistan. In 2007, there were 24,000 American troops there. In 2011, at the height of the last decade, the number jumped to 100,000. In July 2016, then-President Obama announced 8,400 troops would stay in Afghanistan through the rest of 2016. Of the 1.3 million active duty troops currently serving in the U.S. and abroad, 35 percent are in the Army, followed by the Navy (24 percent), Air Force (24 perent), Marine Corps (14 percent) and Coast Guard (4 percent).
|Nicollet Mall Target’s $10M Renovation CompletedCBSlocal.com / 7 h. 23 min. ago more|
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Target shoppers can now get a preview of what the future holds for the store’s look. The renovation at the downtown Minneapolis Nicollet Mall location is complete. (credit: CBS) The makeover, which costs a reported $10 million, spanned several months even as the store stayed open. “I love Target,” said Cynthia Evans as she made her way through the women’s apparel section. She felt that way well before the Nicollet Mall store was renovated. Now she feels the company hit the bullseye with its new look. “It’s comfortable, it’s beautiful, looks amazing,” she said. Her reaction is exactly what Target execs were hoping to hear. “We want our guests to feel warm and invited and welcome right when they walk in,” said Mark Schindele, senior VP of Target Properties. And the second they step into the store, they’ll first notice a mural a local artist created that highlights Minneapolis. (credit: CBS) The white tiles that adorned the floors are gone. Now it’s a polished, concrete look. The fluorescent lights were replaced with LEDs. A “Made in MN” section greets customers on the second floor, packed with clothes and items made locally. Some of the trinkets caught Kendelle Haws’ attention who was visiting from Utah. (credit: CBS) “It actually just feels like lot more upscale, like a lot nicer,” she said in comparison to other Target stores. One aspect people will notice as soon as they walk in is the fresh food section, which Schindele said was a priority. “One of the biggest things we heard from our guests is make it easy for me to find, easier for me to find grab-and-go food options on my lunch and so you’ll see that we moved produce and fresh food to the front,” he said. “We’ve more than doubled the space for grab-and-go options and we really warmed up that environment.” Mannequins now come in a range of shapes and sizes to better reflect Target’s customers. The self-checkout area was enlarged. “I would say it’s better than the ones in the suburbs,” joked Evans. Her opinion could change in the next year or so. Seventy-five percent of Target stores across the Twin Cities will be renovated just like Nicollet Mall location by the end of 2019. Wednesday from 5-7 p.m., the downtown location is hosting a grand reopening celebration complete with food, promotions, music, giveaways and more. Target plans to open a small-format store in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood in October 2017, similar to the location in Dinkytown.
|How To Navigate Your Way To The State FairCBSlocal.com / 7 h. 25 min. ago more|
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — Just getting to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds should qualify Jane Martin for a blue ribbon. Because if you think your commute’s rough, try navigating Twin Cities detours with a horse trailer in tow. “It only starts once I get to the cities … Slow, I came in middle of the day,” Martin said. But any time of day all fairgoers are likely to find their major routes in and around town constricted by construction. Interstates 94, 694, 35W and Minnesota Highway 169 are all in some form of rebuild, requiring restricted lanes and some detours. “It can be pretty trying,” says Woodville, Wisconsin, resident Joe McCurdy. McCurdy will drive the torn up route Interstate 94 east of St. Paul from his Wisconsin home each of the 12 days of the fair to help his father run three cotton candy stands. “Everyday, all day. Like I said beat the traffic and get out here early and start doing the sugar thing,” McCurdy said. The sweetest way into the fairgrounds won’t cost you a dime. Hop aboard a bus at any of the fair’s 33 free park and ride lots operating throughout the Twin Cities inner-ring. “In 2016 51 percent of our fair guests came by some form of mass transit,” Transportation Manager Steve Grans said. That’s over 1 million fairgoers riding the $5 express buses, charters or the fair’s free park and ride buses. A new and spacious transit hub on the west end of the fairgrounds will help ease the congestion. “That is by far the easiest way to get here,” Grans said. He also points out that the fair has added more parking for bicycles and motorcycles this year, in addition to the drop-off and pick-up locations for Uber, Lyft and taxis. About the only way you can’t arrive at the State Fair is on horseback. So says horse owner Jane Martin, “plan ahead and take the bus.” She acknowledges that she would, if it wasn’t for the horse trailer. The State Fair only has 7,000 individual vehicle parking spaces set aside. Also, there are added bus routes to transport riders from the Green line light rail train at the Snelling Avenue station. For more information on State Fair transportation, click here.
|Minnesota park trail closed after owl attacks 3-year-old - TwinCities.com-Pioneer PressGoogle News / 8 h. 7 min. ago more|
TwinCities.com-Pioneer PressMinnesota park trail closed after owl attacks 3-year-oldTwinCities.com-Pioneer PressStaff closed the park's Rocky Point Trail — where they said most “owl activity” occurs — and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources workers investigated the attack but couldn't locate the bird, which they suspect is a barred owl. The attack could ...and more »
|Gophers Dominate In Home Opener - Gophersports.comGoogle News / 8 h. 13 min. ago more|
Gophersports.comGophers Dominate In Home OpenerGophersports.comThe Minnesota Golden Gophers took down North Dakota State University in the home opener at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium 3-0 in front of 1,662 fans, the fourth most in program history. Minnesota got goals from two seniors, including a blast from senior ...No. 19 Minnesota Shuts Out Bison Monday, 3-0NDSU Bison Athleticsall 3 news articles »
|Police Capture Fugitive In Cornfield After Chase Ends In CrashCBSlocal.com / 9 h. 7 min. ago more|
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police captured a fugitive in southern Minnesota Monday after he fled into a cornfield following a pursuit. The Albert Lea Police Department said officers attempted to stop a vehicle driven by 40-year-old Carlos G. Reyez just after 1:30 p.m. Reyez was a fugitive from the Minnesota Department of Corrections. (credit: Albert Lea Police Department) Reyez refused to stop near the intersection of Front Street West and First Avenue, leading officers on a chase that ended near 760th Avenue and 340th Street when Reyez hit a car driven by a 22-year-old woman, according to police. The woman was treated at the hospital and released. After the collision, Reyez ran into a nearby cornfield, where police found him after a short search. Reyez is in custody and will be charged with third degree possession of methamphetamine in a school zone and fleeing police in a motor vehicle, police said.
|Fridley McDonald’s Offers Look At Future Of Fast FoodCBSlocal.com / 9 h. 37 min. ago more|
FRIDLEY, Minn. (WCCO) — Everyone recognizes the “golden arches.” They’ve been lining roadways and feeding families since 1955. But now, McDonald’s is looking to the future. On Monday, the location on University Avenue in Fridley debuted new kiosks where customers can change the way they order. (credit: CBS) “I would say in general it’s probably easier,” customer Robert Mackereth said. “This is just a bigger tablet, bigger phone that you run it on.” Owner Melissa Kennedy explained the new method allows people to order and pay at the kiosk and even have the food delivered to them at their table. Mobile orders and pick-ups will soon be available. For those who still prefer the old-fashioned way, they’re free to order at the counter. “We are part of peoples’ routines,” Kennedy said. “We are listening to feedback from our customers about how to do things in a more convenient way for them.” Kennedy says expect to see many more of these kiosks at locations across the state within the next year, as the future of fast food aims to become even faster. Kennedy said she isn’t concerned that more technology will eliminate jobs. If anything, Kennedy said a more efficient workflow will hopefully lead to more of a profit and more jobs.
|White Sox Hold Off Twins Rally, Win Doubleheader Game 1 7-6CBSlocal.com / 9 h. 58 min. ago more|
CHICAGO (AP) — Carlos Rodon has been pitching well enough lately to win. He finally got a long-overdue victory Monday. Yolmer Sanchez homered and drove in four runs, Jose Abreu hit his 25th of the season and the Chicago White Sox held on to beat the Minnesota Twins 7-6 in the first game of a doubleheader. Rodon (2-4) pitched effectively into seventh inning for the fifth straight outing to earn his first win since July 3. The left-hander allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings while striking out nine. (credit: David Banks/Getty Images) “Another nice outing, going deep into the game,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “We extended his pitch count a little more, but he was actually looking stronger at the end.” Rodon threw 115 pitches. Going forward, the 24-year-old is expected to be an important part of the rotation for a rebuilding Chicago team. “I would have liked to have gone a little longer, but (the Twins) are a patient, good-hitting club and made me work,” Rodon said. Rodon, who didn’t make his first start this season until June 28 because of left biceps bursitis, had been strong in no-decisions during his four previous outings. He has a 2.25 ERA in his last five starts. Jorge Polanco hit a three-run homer for the Twins off Derek Holland to cut it to 7-6 in the eighth. Holland, who has struggled in 24 starts this season, was charged with three runs in one-third of an inning during his second relief appearance. Juan Minaya worked a perfect ninth for his third save. “Not the kind of excitement you’re looking for,” Renteria said, “but Minaya did a nice job to finish off for us.” Avisail Garcia had three hits and two RBIs for AL-worst Chicago, which has won three of four. Abreu doubled and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He became the first White Sox player to hit 25 or more home runs in each of his first four seasons. Eduardo Escobar, Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton each drove in a run for Minnesota, which had won four straight and entered tied with the Los Angeles Angels for the second AL wild card. Tim Melville (0-1) lasted just 3 1/3 innings and allowed five runs in his Twins debut after being recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start. “To be able to be back up here is gold,” said Melville, who was 0-1 in three games last season for Cincinnati. “Down in Triple-A, we’re working hard, but it means a lot more to be up here.” The Twins jumped ahead 1-0 in the first on Escobar’s RBI single. Garcia’s single in the bottom half drove in Yoan Moncada and Abreu to make it 2-1. Sanchez’s three-run homer in the fourth, a few rows deep into right-center stands, stretched the lead to 5-1. Abreu’s solo shot and Sanchez’s sacrifice fly in the fifth made it 7-1. Rosario’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the sixth cut it to 7-2. The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the seventh against reliever Danny Farquhar, but settled for one run on Buxton’s sacrifice fly. ROSTER MOVES The Twins made LHP Nik Turley their 26th player for the doubleheader. He replaced Melville in the fourth and pitched 3 2/3 innings. The White Sox added RHP Carson Fulmer from Triple-A Charlotte as the 26th man on the active roster and planned to start him in the second game. Fulmer is 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA over 24 starts this season with the farm club. TRAINER’S ROOM Twins: Placed All-Star 3B Miguel Sano on the 10-day disabled list with a stress reaction in his left shin bone. Sano was pulled from Saturday’s game against Arizona and sat out Sunday. He’s batting .267 with 28 home runs and 77 RBIs. … 1B Kennys Vargas was recalled from Triple-A Rochester for the fifth time this season to fill Sano’s spot. … Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said LHP Hector Santiago, out since July 2 with upper back pain, is expected to throw a bullpen Wednesday. Adalberto Mejia, sidelined since Aug. 8 with a sore left arm, will follow on Thursday. Both could make rehab appearances by the end of the month. White Sox: Moncada missed the previous two games with shin splints. He was expected to sit out the second game. … RHP Reynaldo López, on the 10-day DL with a strained back, played catch. UP NEXT Minnesota RHP Dillon Gee (0-0, 3.16 ERA) was set to face Fulmer in the second game. Gee made his most recent start for Texas on June 6 against the Mets. Fulmer makes his 2017 White Sox debut after appearing in eight games last season. (© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
|Shurmur: Vikings Want To ‘Keep Developing The QB Position’CBSlocal.com / 10 h. 37 min. ago more|
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — As long as Sam Bradford stays healthy this season, the Minnesota Vikings won’t be worried about their quarterback situation. There’s a lot of uncertainty behind Bradford on the depth chart, though. Teddy Bridgewater remains immersed in his rehabilitation program, of course, trying to push his knee back into playing shape. He’s on the physically unable to perform list, where he’ll likely start the regular season. So if the Vikings decide to keep a third-stringer on the active roster behind Bradford and backup Case Keenum, they’re currently looking at Taylor Heinicke or Mitch Leidner. Heinicke is the third-year project who went undrafted out of Old Dominion and has never taken a snap in an NFL regular-season game. He’s most famous for severing two tendons in his foot from an ill-fated kick through a glass pane of a door to his friend’s apartment that they were locked out of. Leidner is the local rookie who signed with the team on Sunday. He’s the only player in Minnesota program history to rush (33) and pass (36) for 30-plus touchdowns in his career. Leidner was driving around meals for the restaurant delivery service Bite Squad in between workouts while waiting on a call from an NFL team. Heinicke has had a spotty preseason. He sat out of practice on Sunday and Monday because of an injury. Leidner produced just three passing scores against 11 interceptions over eight Big Ten games in his senior year. The Vikings cut Wes Lunt, an undrafted prospect from Illinois, at the beginning of training camp. The question, then, is whether they’ll reserve a 53-man roster spot for an unproven prospect at the position as long as Bridgewater is sidelined. “I think it’s extremely important that you’re always developing quarterbacks,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. “You just never know how it’s all going to play out. You just want to keep developing the quarterback position throughout the season and especially during training camp, so that if for some reason you need a guy, you have a guy ready to go.” The practice squad would be a natural place for such a developmental player. Last season, with Bridgewater on injured reserve and Heinicke on the non-football injury list, the Vikings kept only Bradford and Shaun Hill on the active roster to start while stashing Wisconsin product Joel Stave on the practice squad. Coach Mike Zimmer, asked about the subject after practice on Monday, said the team would “like to” keep three quarterbacks on the initial 53-man roster. “You look around the league, and when quarterbacks go down, then you start scrambling and finding guys on the street and things like that,” Zimmer said. Keenum, for his part, has played well in two preseason games. He drew praise from Shurmur for the crispness and mobility he’s shown in the pocket. With two more exhibition games remaining, then, the spotlight will be on Heinicke and Leidner or whoever else might wind up in camp to audition for an active roster spot. “It’s been a lot of months of just grinding and hoping this moment would come,” Leidner said. Practice on Monday was held inside the fieldhouse, with stormy weather in the afternoon. There was also the matter of the solar eclipse that peaked at the start of the workout, with the potential distraction that came with that. “I can watch it on CNN or something, I guess,” Zimmer said, shrugging off the missed opportunity to witness the scientific rarity. Then the coach who’s had eight eye surgeries in the past nine months quipped: “Hey, I’ve only got one good retina. You don’t get two.” (© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
|Haupt: Why traditional media segued to the leftWatchdog.org / 10 h. 39 min. ago more|
“Edmund Burk designated the Fourth Estate as watchdogs of government; the press.” – Albert Clogen The media has long been regarded as the most important force in government. It is considered the heart and soul of democratic egalitarianism. Thomas Carlyle is a legendary writer and considered the most conspicuous social commentator of his time. He saw the press as instrumental to the birth of democracy, spreading facts and opinions and sparking revolution against tyranny. Carlyle was the first luminary who recognized the importance of the press during the French Revolution. He said, “A Fourth Estate, of able editors, springs up, increases and multiplies; irrepressible, incalculable.” It is a simple fact that a functioning democracy requires informed citizens. Since our coordination of jurisprudence is a government of “we the people,” rule by the people entails that the people should be informed. And no governing body can operate without knowledge of the issues on which it is to rule. In a representative democracy, the role of the media is a key ingredient to the success of this ability to rule. It not only has an obligation to inform the citizens, it is responsible for bridging the communications gap between the government and voters. It is their duty to indubitably elucidate complex national policy, and … “Write to be understood, and speak to be heard.” – Lawrence Powell Singer Jim Morrison told us, “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” It is the media’s responsibility to make the actions of the government known to the public. They have a duty to give equal representation to all opinions as a source of public information. Without media, the loop between the government and the public welfare no longer exists. This makes media indispensable in a functional representative democracy. Without an unbiased media, a utilitarian democracy has little chance of surviving. Regardless of public opinion, the media’s obligation is to report and inform not to trade appeasement for approval. “Ratings don’t last. Good journalism does.” – Dan Rather Today the Fourth Estate has taken a back seat from professionalism. The evolution of the liberal media since the 1950s clearly validates how they have dishonored their once-esteemed vocation. The great “sell out” started after WWII. Media was used to promote the war effort and the networks took notice. And now with national TV in every home, our media outlets realized they had a captive audience. For most all national networks, this was a financial blessing, but for the public it was a curse as they traded ethics for dollars. “Money often costs too much.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson But why did they choose the Left and not the Right? After WWII, there was a tremendous focus on higher education. And since many of our universities converged on teaching liberal ideology, they received grant money to promote the liberal model of the economy and its benefits to our society. As a result, new journalists, reporters and news anchors were indoctrinated by liberal professors about the evils of capitalism and the damage done by the free market. This played right into the hand of the left as these reporters became liberal robots. “When yellow journalism replaced real reporting, it forever displaced the Fourth Estate in Parliament’s reporter’s galley.” – Sir Walter Ebson By the late 1950s, far left politics dominated most major national newspaper media organizations. And once television became popular, liberals saw how Americans could be influenced by it. This is when they made their move to gain control of the networks. With predominance over them, they controlled all prime time TV and used this valuable air time to sway a gullible public into believing the liberal ideologues would save them. And since news media and political parties share crucial geographic boundaries, this was an obviously beneficial marriage of influential entities. And because all “media markets” and “voting districts” share the same characteristics, they were collectively able to buy predominant market shares. It is with these combined resources they have been manipulating elections for decades: “The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.” – Edmund Burke The media also realized since the larger U.S. cities are controlled by the far left, the vast majority of newspaper readers and TV news-watchers in these cities must be Democrats. Since the media did not want to alienate their markets’ voters, they bought into the leftist agenda. Yet this is actually a bit of an oxymoron. What came first, the chicken or the egg? While both the media and Democrats are ultimately dependent on their demographics for survival, the Democratic Party is the one that controls the populations of the major cities; not the media. The media simply nurses from its udder, which keeps it nourished. The left must remain diehard bedfellows with the media to maintain their politically-social dominance. “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” – Rob Heinlein Plutarch stated, “In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker.” Instead of liberating voters from perjury-emanating spin-hacks, the right of center depends on new age media to defy them. But this only reaches their base while the left sustains inclusive exposure. Traditional media is firmly entrenched in progressive ideology and willingly espouses this while the right-of-centers call talk radio hosts and vent about this bias. When the right has had occasions to retort, they failed to sway public opinion with mundane repartee. Liberal media continues to control markets by demagoguing half-truth opinionated news, claiming this aggrandizement is reporting. “Truth does not sell nearly as well as a cleverly contrived disingenuous fairy tail.” – Chadwick Black The left keeps the wheels of deception running with well-oiled spin. They feed the media unlimited agitprop to enhance their rhetoric of helping the poor, punishing the rich, and chastening those who contribute most to our nation. The media in turn pontificates this re-branded federalism with gallant enthusiasm that helps them expand federal programs and bring federal dollars into urban markets that support their patronage. Now, reporters espouse more hyperbole than a science fiction writer. They’ve been trained liberalism is synonymous with journalism by federalist professors. CNN’s Jeff Zucker’s nose grew greater than Pinocchio’s when he said, “If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it”. In establishing our independence, the pen and the press had a merit equal to that of the sharpest sword. Newspapers were pivotal in the making of America. As the only mass media of the time, they fanned the flames of rebellion, which sustained loyalty and ultimately brought independence. Without the contributions of Ben Franklin, Tommy Paine and some of our lesser known writers, we would still be begging Parliament for tax relief so we could buy tea and crumpets! “What motivated the British to colonize much of the world was they were looking for a decent meal.” – Max Harrison The progressive media has catechized our nation into divide. The last eight years of reporting was abhorrent. We had an administration that ruined free markets, the job market, ravaged national and international security, and was praised for it. Americans have been dumbed down by spoiled brats with typewriters. Anyone who has not discovered the many new sources for altruistic journalism is an obvious candidate to buy a 1985 Yugoslavian Yugo. Dr. King told us “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Republicanism can’t survive without a candidly ingenuous Fourth Estate. “The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.” – Vladimir Lenin
|Sheriff’s Office: Motorcyclist Injured In North Metro CrashCBSlocal.com / 10 h. 48 min. ago more|
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A motorcyclist was injured Sunday night when he struck an SUV on a highway in the north metro. Scott Anderson, 57, was northbound on Highway 35 near 1220th Street in Oak Grove when he failed to navigate a curve and struck an SUV driven by 37-year-old Erin Kochendorfer, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. Kochendorfer and her passenger, 45-year-old Daniel Truttman, were uninjured. Anderson was transported from the scene with undetermined injuries, the sheriff’s office said.
|Healthy Line Offers Hope For Vikings OffenseCBSlocal.com / 11 h. 28 min. ago more|
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — As the moon eclipsed the sun in the sky overhead, the Vikings put their buzz-killington-glasses on and practiced inside instead, where we saw an even more rare phenomenon. What is this…a healthy Vikings offensive line? Yes, that’s right. After not playing Friday, Riley Reiff and Alex Boone were both back at practice Monday, with Pat Elflein at center and Joe Berger and Mike Remmers on the other side. That’s not the final lineup though. Coaches are still looking at combinations — but maybe getting closer? “We’re trying to get it done as fast as possible but Reiff has been out and hasn’t really done much and Boone was out last week. That’s why I’m hopeful that this week we can see how it goes,” coach Mike Zimmer said. But at least they’re healthy. And for the first time in a year, their performance Friday offered a lot of positivity. “I thought it was a better performance, obviously, than Week One. I thought the guys, for the most part, blocked the line of scrimmage pretty well,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. A big positive has been the quick development of rookie center Pat Elflein, who’s also been playing some guard. Friday’s game was his best showing yet. “I thought he had a good day. He moves his feet, he’s a little bit of a grinder-wrestler kind of guy in there, so he’ll stick with the extra block, kind of get a guy turned a little bit,” Zimmer said. Positive signs you hope you don’t have to wait for the next eclipse to see again.
|Clouds Can’t Stop Twin Cities Viewers From Enjoying EclipseCBSlocal.com / 11 h. 39 min. ago more|
COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — The big day finally arrived. And just like that, the eclipse came and went. While we weren’t in the path of totality, the Twin Cities still saw a partial eclipse between the clouds and rain. But that didn’t stop crowds from gathering to watch the historic moment. Earlier a crowd flocked to Peavey Park to check out the eclipse. WCCO’s Molly Rosenblatt ventured to Silverwood Park in Columbia Heights and joined eclipse gazers for the historic event, and it was spectacular. Well, at least before the clouds rolled in. “Wow.” “It is cool, it’s very cool.” “It’s kind of cool, I guess. It’s kind of wondrous.” So many different ways to describe such a historic event. At least a thousand eclipse gazers rushed to Silverwood Park hoping the ominous clouds to the west would hold off for the entire show. “I was pretty excited. It’s the eclipse, it’s not gonna happen for seven more years,” Carter Miller of St. Anthony said. “We got here early enough to get a pair of glasses and we got to see it until it was maybe a third of the way, and then the clouds rolled in. But, they still might clear. We’ve got about 30 minutes, you never know,” Nancy Dunivin said. At 1:06 — peak eclipse time — we had cloudy skies. But folks at the park didn’t let the cloud cover rain on their solar eclipse parade. “I still am not at my desk right now, I’m outside in a park on a Monday so I can’t really be too mad,” Abe Levin said. “They thought it looked like someone had bit out of a cookie, like dunked an Oreo and nibbled a bit on it,” Harris Alworth said. Alworth says she’s happy to see the eclipse make her 9-year-old son Joshua more excited about science. “Is there any other place you’d rather be than right here today?” she asked her son. “Somewhere further south where I could get a view of the full eclipse,” Joshua said. “Maybe next time we’ll be able to take a full road trip,” Alworth said. If you want to plan for the next solar eclipse, plan for April of 2024. The path of totality will spread from Texas to Maine.
|UPDATE: Minnesota changes wild rice rules from sulfate to sulfide - INFORUMGoogle News / 11 h. 39 min. ago more|
INFORUMUPDATE: Minnesota changes wild rice rules from sulfate to sulfideINFORUMPAUL -- Minnesota would measure how much wild-rice-killing sulfide is in the water of specific wild-rice lakes and rivers when setting pollution regulations, and not just the sulfate that spurs sulfide production, under a proposal that could impact the ...Minnesota regulators propose changes in wild rice protectionMinneapolis Star TribuneMinnesota changes wild rice rules from sulfate to sulfideGrand Forks HeraldTo protect wild rice, officials suggest new sulfate ruleMinnesota Public Radio Newsall 8 news articles »
|After Boy’s Death, Officials Offer Safety Tips For Off-Road VehiclesCBSlocal.com / 11 h. 40 min. ago more|
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We know more about the utility vehicle crash that killed a western Minnesota boy on Thursday, and injured his sister. Jon Dingwall was 9 years old, and according to the Douglas County sheriff, he was the driver of a utility vehicle that rolled over in a hay field in Millerville Township. We learned today what parents need to know about operating these kinds of vehicles. Tony Musatov is a DNR conservation officer who’s familiar with the popularity of off-road vehicles. “A machine of that size, [a child] of that age, is not appropriate,” he said. Thursday afternoon, investigators say 9-year-old Jon Dingwall and his 10-year-old sister were visiting a family friend when he began to drive that friend’s UTV, with his sister as a passenger. It was a Polaris Ranger XP side-by-side. The company’s website shows what that kind of vehicle looks like. Deputies say it overturned on the slope of a hay field and Jon was pinned under the machine. His sister was too, but was able to free herself and go get help. A GoFundMe page has now been set up for the Dingwalls. “A class 2 ATV is considered to be too large for a person of that age and also helmets need to be worn, anyone under the age of 18,” Musatov said. Investigators say the Dingwall children were not wearing helmets, and Jon did not have training in operating a UTV. It’s not clear if there was adult supervision. Musatov says parents need to know kids are required to have off-road vehicle training before they operate one and there are restrictions on how big those vehicles can be for them. “They have to be able to handle the controls, reach the controls and safely be able to move the vehicle,” he said, adding, “They’re getting to be more CCs and bigger machines and faster machines.” Jon’s death is the 11th off-road vehicle death in Minnesota this year. The laws differ depending on whether you are on public or private property. More information on off-road vehicle laws: Off-highway vehicle regulations OHV regulations for youth riders What is an OHV?
|‘Came Out Of Nowhere’: Woman Says Man Lunged Over Her To Try To Open Plane DoorCBSlocal.com / 11 h. 42 min. ago more|
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We know more tonight about the weekend flight into MSP that petrified passengers. Witnesses say a passenger tried to force open the exit door while the plane was in flight. Video taken by a passenger shows police escorting a man off the American Airlines flight coming from Los Angeles Saturday. The FBI confirms they are now working on the case. On their six week Australian adventure, there wasn’t much Drake University pharmacy student Katrina Zerwas and her family didn’t see or touch. (credit: CBS) “We got to hold a baby koala while we were down there, too! She was pretty cute, her name was Hazel. So it was a fun trip … until the end,” Katrina said. Katrina and her Dad were glad to have scored more spacious exit row seating. Twenty-four hours of travel behind them, they were on their third and final flight home to Hugo, the plane was descending. “It just all the sudden came out of nowhere,” Katrina said. She says a man who wore glasses and a hood the whole flight lunged over her and her father and the man on the aisle. (credit: Richard Munassi/YouTube) Her father Eugene Zerwas says the man “started to reach across my daughter and I couldn’t figure out what in the heck he was doing. I looked over and he reached and he grabbed that handle and he kinda said something like, ‘I want to see what this does,’ and I told him, ‘To hell you’re gonna see what this does.’ That’s when I grabbed his hands and forced him back in the aisle and got him back in his seat.” Eugene is military-trained. He’s wearing a maroon shirt in the video. Katrina says the man returned to his nearby seat and screamed out saying his name is Dalton Carlson. “My dad kept saying, ‘What was going through your mind doing something like that?’ The first thing he said was, ‘I was just looking out the window.’ We’re like, ‘No, no, no, no don’t try to do that to us, we know exactly what you are doing,'” Katrina said. Katrina’s father directed police to the man she says caused the uneasiest of landings. Katrina says passengers say the man in question was acting odd the whole flight, pacing and getting confused over the latch to the bathroom door. The FBI saying they are working this case and thus far, there are no federal charges.
|Second Minnesota lake infested in 2017 by starry stonewort - Minneapolis Star TribuneGoogle News / 11 h. 43 min. ago more|
Minneapolis Star TribuneSecond Minnesota lake infested in 2017 by starry stonewortMinneapolis Star TribuneThe lake, located in central Minnesota near Glenwood and Starbuck, has already been infested with Eurasian water milfoil and curly-leaf pondweed, according to the Lake Minnewaska Association. Mike Stai, president of the association, declined to comment ...and more »
|Loons debut bodes well for Ethan Finlay at Minnesota United - MLSsoccer.comGoogle News / 11 h. 55 min. ago more|
FOXSports.comLoons debut bodes well for Ethan Finlay at Minnesota UnitedMLSsoccer.comThe 27-year-old midfielder started for Minnesota United in the Loons' road matchup with the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field on Sunday. It was his first time in the XI since he was traded from Columbus Crew SC — and he made his presence felt ...Schedule favors Twins as playoff fight continuesFOXSports.comSeattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United: Highlights, stats and quotesSounder At HeartMinnesota United fans envy Seattle diehardsSt. Cloud TimesNews & Observer -INFORUM -The Seattle Timesall 61 news articles »
|Extra DWI Patrols on Minnesota Roadways - FOX 21 OnlineGoogle News / 11 h. 56 min. ago more|
FOX 21 OnlineExtra DWI Patrols on Minnesota RoadwaysFOX 21 OnlineDULUTH, Minn. – Now through Labor Day, law enforcement agencies across the state of Minnesota are cracking down on drunk driving. In 2016, over 23,000 drivers received tickets for driving while intoxicated according to the Department of Public Safety.and more »
|State Capitol Memorials Face Scrutiny Due To Questionable ContentCBSlocal.com / 12 h. 40 min. ago more|
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The State of Minnesota does not have monuments to the Confederacy, but that does not mean its statues and memorials are without controversy. The only Civil War statues in Minnesota honor the Union soldiers who came from the young state. But State Capitol memorials — like Christopher Columbus — are generating similar anger, and getting closer scrutiny. Native Americans object to the 1931 statue, inscribed in stone as the “Discoverer” of America. What bothers critics? “The fact that he’s been attributed having ‘discovered’ America,” said Paul Mandell, the executive secretary of the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board. “Not that he landed here.” Mandell is among the top state officials who regulate monuments on the 10-acre State Capitol mall. In 1992, Columbus got a new plaque explaining how the explorer actually “initiated the merging of the cultures between the old and new worlds.” “I think it’s important that we capture history somehow, but certainly there’s a point where what you honor and what you recall are two different things,” Madell said. Columbus is one of several State Capitol memorials “re-interpreted” because of questionable content. There’s a new bronze plaque that was added to a Spanish American War Memorial, correcting the inscription and reflecting the suffering of Filipinos. The original memorial honored Minnesota soldiers who “battled to free the oppressed peoples of the Philippine Islands, who suffered under the despotic rule of Spain.” The corrected language reads: “The United States entered that war to defeat Spain, not to free the Filipinos. Most of the battles listed above were fought against Filipinos.” Two controversial paintings of Native Americans, considered offensive and historically inaccurate, were recently removed from the Governor’s office. The paintings, which depict Father Hennepin at St, Anthony Falls and the signing of the Traveser Des Sioux Treaty, are not hidden from public view. Instead, the Historical Society displays them prominently in a public gallery with a new interpretation. “Of course we look at that with a different lens today, that it’s really a tragic part of the story of the Dakota people,” said Brian Pease, the Minnesota Historical Society State Capitol Site Director. “They sold their land, were put on reservations, had the U.S.-Dakota War. They were exiled from the state.” A bill at the Minnesota Legislature would order the state to chisel out the word “Discoverer” of America on the Christopher Columbus statue. And a recent bill also tried unsuccessfully to erase the word “discovered” America from a nearby statue of Leif Ericson. Mandell says the state takes seriously the words — and also the outdated words — on the monuments, but says the memorials can be altered, not scapped. “These need to be preserved, but some place where you can give context,” he said.
|NTSB: Worker urged evacuation before Minnesota school blastABCNews.com / 13 h. 9 min. ago more|
Preliminary report about explosion at Minneapolis school says maintenance worker smelled natural gas and used radio to tell others to evacuate a minute before blast
|Ehire Adrianza, Ervin Santana, Minnesota TwinsABCNews.com / 13 h. 31 min. ago more|
Ehire Adrianza, Ervin Santana, Minnesota Twins
|Vikings have several options on interior line - ScoutGoogle News / 13 h. 36 min. ago more|
ScoutVikings have several options on interior lineScoutFor those trying to piece together a picture of what the Minnesota Vikings' offensive line will look like when they open the season in New Orleans on Sept. 11, the options are narrowing but still open. The battle for the starting center spot is down to ...and more »
|Despite measles outbreak, anti-vaccine activists in Minnesota refuse ... - Washington PostGoogle News / 14 h. 6 min. ago more|
Washington PostDespite measles outbreak, anti-vaccine activists in Minnesota refuse ...Washington PostMinnesota's worst measles outbreak in decades has unexpectedly energized anti-vaccine forces, who have stepped up their work in recent months to challenge ...and more »
|China, North Korea fume at U.S.-South Korea military drill Big News Network.com / 14 h. 41 min. ago more|
BEIJING, China - As the U.S. and South Korea began their joint military drills on the Korean peninsula, China renewed calls for the two nations to suspend the drills. The war games that
|Search Continues in Unsettling Disappearance of Minnesota Teen ... - NBCNews.comGoogle News / 15 h. 10 min. ago more|
NBCNews.comSearch Continues in Unsettling Disappearance of Minnesota Teen ...NBCNews.comJasmine Block was last seen the night of August 8, 2017.and more »
|Expert tips to make the most of your Minnesota State Fair adventuresMinnesota News / 15 h. 10 min. ago more|
It's here! Well, almost. Starting Thursday, Minnesota's biggest party begins its 12-day run.
|Russia mocks America’s non-immigrant visa freeze Big News Network.com / 15 h. 26 min. ago more|
MOSCOW, Russia - After the U.S. Embassy in Russia announced on Monday that it would implement a visa freeze for Russian citizens - Russian officials have said that it wouldn’t respond to the
|Expert tips to make the most of your Minnesota State Fair adventures - Minneapolis Star TribuneGoogle News / 15 h. 58 min. ago more|
Minneapolis Star TribuneExpert tips to make the most of your Minnesota State Fair adventuresMinneapolis Star TribuneIt's here! Well, almost. Starting Thursday, Minnesota's biggest party begins its 12-day run. Every year, about 2 million people attend the State Fair, the largest daily attendance of any fair in the country. The fairgrounds — all 320 acres of them ...and more »
|Secret Service out of funds: Trump’s frequent travel blamed Big News Network.com / 16 h. 42 min. ago more|
WASHINGTON, U.S. - In a shocking expose, the Secret Service is believed to no longer be able to pay its agents to carry out its protective mission. The expose, by USA Today revealed tha
|Excerpts from recent Minnesota editorialsMinnesota News / 17 h. 21 min. ago more|
Minnesotans ought to pause for a moment of appreciation after national headlines last week warned that health insurance "premiums will soar" from the latest misguided effort in Washington, D.C., to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. More than in most states, policymakers here took advantage of the opportunities to innovate that President Barack Obama's health reform law provided.
|U.S. Navy probes destroyer collision, operations paused Big News Network.com / 17 h. 50 min. ago more|
WASHINGTON, U.S. - In what became the second time in two months that a Navy destroyer based at the 7th Fleet’s home port of Yokosuka, Japan, has been involved in a collision at sea - the USS
|Liberty host Unity Game with Minnesota LynxABCNews.com / 19 h. 12 min. ago more|
New York Liberty hosted the first "Unity Game" in the WNBA with Minnesota Lynx; they locked arms with NYPD during national anthem
|Minnesotans Making Minimum Wage Getting A RaiseMinnesota News / 19 h. 36 min. ago more|
If you're making minimum wage you'll be getting another raise in a few months. Minnesota's minimum wage rates will be adjusted for inflation on the first of the year.
|Courts, Pipelines and Liabilities: Minnesota may want to take noteMinnesota News / 21 h. 52 min. ago more|
For the past two weeks, Minnesotans and tribal members have packed Department of Commerce meetings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Enbridge Line 3. Thousands of people have come to ask questions of the state, in what is a very, very short timetable for a major project.
|Goodhue County sees four crashes in 12 hoursMinnesota News / 1 d. 2 h. 11 min. ago more|
Less than 12 hours after a woman was killed in a one-car crash on U.S. Highway 52 in Goodhue County , authorities responded to three additional crashes on that stretch of highway. Cassandra Lynn Sims, 32, of Sargeant, was killed in the first crash Friday, which was reported at 4:50 a.m., just south of Goodhue County Road 7 in Minneola Township.
|Most American Indian tribes opt out of federal death penaltyMinnesota News / 1 d. 6 h. 32 min. ago more|
In a heinous case on the Navajo Nation, an 11-year-old girl was lured into a van, sexually assaulted and killed. The tribe did not seek to have the man who recently admitted to killing her put to death.
|Rosario hits slam in 9-run 1st as Twins rout D-backs 12-5ABCNews.com / 1 d. 10 h. 26 min. ago more|
Eddie Rosario hit a grand slam in a nine-run first inning and the Minnesota Twins routed the Arizona Diamondbacks 12-5 to complete a three-game sweep
|Clouds For The Eclipse Monday? Heaviest Rain Through Tuesday Stays Across Southern MinnesotaMinnesota News / 1 d. 10 h. 54 min. ago more|
Are you preparing for the partial eclipse here across the state Monday? It looks like we will have to contend with some cloud cover during the time frame of maximum coverage of the sun, which will occur at 1:06 pm in Minneapolis with 83% coverage. The partial eclipse begins at 11:43 am, ending at 2:29 pm.
|Trial Set For Man In Nebraska Crash That Killed Minnesota FamilyMinnesota News / 1 d. 13 h. 4 min. ago more|
TV is part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corp. and one of the largest network-owned station groups in the country. Click here for WCCO-TV news stories Send us your breaking news tips  830 WCCO Welcome to News Radio 830 WCCO on CBSMinnesota.com! WCCO is part of CBS Radio, a division of CBS Corp. and one of the largest network-owned station groups in the country.
|Grim week at the White House concludes, but problems remain Big News Network.com / 1 d. 13 h. 41 min. ago more|
WASHINGTON, U.S. - The week that ends today, is set to feature as one of the most controversial ones in the new president’s tenure, and there have been many such weeks when the West Wing has
|North Korea returns to making startling nuclear war threats Big News Network.com / 1 d. 14 h. 48 min. ago more|
PYONGYANG, North Korea - Responding to the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises set to start on the Korean peninsula on Monday - North Korea has fired another warning at America.In an
|Embarrassed by Trump? Three key states say YES! Big News Network.com / 1 d. 15 h. 46 min. ago more|
WASHINGTON, U.S. - Approval ratings aside… a new poll set out to measure whether Americans are embarrassed by their leader and discovered some stark findings. According to the ne
|Ousted Bannon warns the GOP to get in line with Trump’s plan Big News Network.com / 1 d. 16 h. 22 min. ago more|
WASHINGTON, U.S. - Following his high-profile departure from the White House, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has issued a warning to GOP leadership, asking the party to unite behind President Donald
|Saint Mary's University expanding Minnesota facilityMinnesota News / 1 d. 17 h. 25 min. ago more|
The Winona-based university is looking to add about 10,000 square feet to its Cascade Meadow facility in Rochester, the Post Bulletin reported. "We know that Rochester is a growing community," said Scott Walker, the associate vice president in Rochester and director of Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center.
|Police Investigating Stabbing In Northeast MinneapolisMinnesota News / 1 d. 19 h. 43 min. ago more|
TV is part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corp. and one of the largest network-owned station groups in the country. Click here for WCCO-TV news stories Send us your breaking news tips here Contact WCCO-TV anchors and reporters Check out Good Question Send us your weather and news photos Get information on  830 WCCO Welcome to News Radio 830 WCCO on CBSMinnesota.com! WCCO is part of CBS Radio, a division of CBS Corp. and one of the largest network-owned station groups in the country.
|Minnesotans who work in Wisconsin to get tax breakMinnesota News / 2 d. 0 h. ago more|
Minnesota residents who work in Wisconsin will get a tax break next year, but they'll still have to file tax returns in both states. Minnesota is abandoning efforts this year to reach a tax reciprocity agreement with Wisconsin.
|Reward, don't punish, Minnesota health care innovationMinnesota News / 2 d. 4 h. 21 min. ago more|
Minnesotans ought to pause for a moment of appreciation after national headlines last week warned that health insurance "premiums will soar" from the latest misguided effort in Washington, D.C., to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. More than in most states, policymakers here took advantage of the opportunities to innovate that President Barack Obama's health reform law provided.
|Berrios shuts out D-backs through 7 as Twins winABCNews.com / 2 d. 7 h. 6 min. ago more|
Jose Berrios threw seven innings for his 11th win to lead Minnesota over Arizona 5-0 to help the Twins keep pace in the AL wild card race
|Nazi resurgence alarms Minnesota World War II veterans, Holocaust survivorsMinnesota News / 2 d. 8 h. 35 min. ago more|
"It's a shame we have to fight like that, and bring all these old memories back." World War II veteran Mel Dahlberg, of Jordan, Minn.
|Counter protesters flood Boston during Free Speech rally Big News Network.com / 2 d. 16 h. 4 min. ago more|
BOSTON, U.S. - A planned ‘free speech’ rally in Boston was flooded by thousands of counter-protesters on Saturday morning, after the rally took off with several people crowding the city
|Fant's injury cast shadow over Seahawks' win over VikingsABCNews.com / 3 d. 4 h. 30 min. ago more|
Russell Wilson looked just fine throwing for 206 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and the Seattle Seahawks suffered a significant injury loss to left tackle George Fant in their 20-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings
|Couple renews vows as arranged marriage enters final chapterABCNews.com / 3 d. 14 h. ago more|
A Minnesota couple who gained fame through a very public arranged marriage have renewed their vows as their 19-year love story enters its final chapter
|Twins reinstate Perkins from DL, after 16-month stayABCNews.com / 4 d. 11 h. 30 min. ago more|
The Minnesota Twins have reinstated relief pitcher Glen Perkins from the disabled list
|Congressman: Repealing death tax would be ‘nirvana’Watchdog.org / 6 d. 15 h. 22 min. ago more|
It was Founding Father Benjamin Franklin who said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” One Illinois congressman wants to disconnect the two by eliminating the so-called death tax. Tax reform is one of the major issues being pushed by the administration of President Donald Trump. U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Illinois, recently shared what’s been concerning his constituents the most. “Less government,” Shimkus said. “Individual responsibility, lower taxes, more personal freedoms and liberties.” While tax reform has been elusive so far in Washington, Shimkus said one issue he hopes to get right is eliminating the federal estate tax, also known as the death tax. “We don’t want triple taxation,” Shimkus said. “We want a simple code that says, ‘You’ve got income, you’re gonna be taxed on income. You’re not going to be taxed on assets evaluations over families, over generations and force people to sell farms.’” Tax reform is going to happen, Shimkus said, it’s just a matter of what reforms and when. “So now it’s a matter of how you get lower rates,” Shimkus said. “To get lower rates you have to reduce what we call the loopholes, or the exemptions and all that stuff, and that’s what the fight is going to be.” As for the estate tax, Shimkus said it doesn’t just hit family farms with triple taxation. “It could be the automobile repair shop down the street now,” Shimkus said, “with that much assets and just a building and equipment.” Shimkus said repealing the estate tax would “be nirvana.” Even if Congress abolishes the federal estate tax, Illinois still levies levels the tax at the state level.
|Haupt: Abandoning the gold standard created legalized theftWatchdog.org / 7 d. 10 h. 35 min. ago more|
“The gold standard kept us honest and forced us to control out of control spending.” – Lane Brody Alan Greenspan told us, “Gold is a good place to put money, given its value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments.” This basic truism certifies that money has emerged by evolution from the market process. It was not invented by governments. For centuries, economic forces contributed to the evolution of world monetary systems. The security of nations has always been judged by how they manage their money. Those with stable economies have fewer social and political conflicts. Nations that don’t practice credible guardianship of their currency continually fight for survival. There is nothing more destructive to any society than a government that cannot manage their finances competently. Although we’ve been told “Money can’t buy happiness,” that wise comic Groucho Marx reminded us that, “It certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.” Centralized banking systems have been around for centuries. Dutch merchant Johan Palmstruch formed Stockholms Banco in Sweden 1657. But this bank ended in disaster when the value of the paper currency exceeded the amount of dalers backing it. When customers learned this, there was a run on his bank and it collapsed. In France 50 years later, John Law, a Scottish womanizer and gambler once convicted of murder and exiled by England, talked the French into helping him open a central bank, the Banque Générale backed by government IOUs. His inept blundering caused the bank and the economy to collapse. Law was banned from France forever. Palmstruch and Law both forgot: “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No.1.” – Warren Buffett The first legitimate paper currency issued by European governments was distributed by colonial governments in North America. The shipment of goods between Europe and the colonies took so long, the colonists often ran out of cash. To pay for luxury items, due to a shortage of currency, the colonial governments used IOUs. This practice of “trading paper for goods” started in Canada, a French colony, in 1685. Military personnel were issued denominated playing cards signed by the governor to pay for goods instead of French coinage. Although primitive, this system of bartering worked well for their colonies: As Plato told us in 390 BC: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” By the mid 1800s, most countries adopted the gold standard. This guaranteed paper money could be redeemed for its value in gold. This also facilitated trade since it no longer had to be done with heavy gold bullion. It increased trust in world currencies since paper currency had value tied to a precious commodity, gold. And in 1913, America created the Federal Reserve to stabilize gold and currency values. Since printing money not backed by gold created hyperinflation, their goal was to keep inflation low and guarantee the health of the dollar. But that did not last. We soon would learn that: “Governments lie; bankers lie; even auditors sometimes lie: gold tells the truth.” – Lord Mogg In 1900, The Gold Standard Act officially placed the U.S. on the gold standard. America remained on the gold standard until President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Congress passed the Gold Reserve Act in 1933. It required all gold and gold certificates held by the Federal Reserve to be surrendered to the U.S. Treasury. All contracts and currency that required redemption in gold were declared null and void. He justified this claiming we wanted to stop the run on banks. But contrary to his populist propaganda, his real motive was simply to gain control of our money supply. He was planning massive, expensive socio-economic programs that required capital. Controlling the gold supply would give him money to do this. He knew: “He who controls the money supply of a nation controls the nation.” – James Garfield Before 1934, the government was allowed to print $20.67 in paper money for each ounce of gold. After FDR did his damage, it increased to $35; a difference of $14.33. By doing this, the value of the gold held by the government increased by over $3 billion! This enabled FDR to create $3 billion in new money out of nothing. He then used it to fund his expansion of government. In doing so, FDR flooded the market with currency, which initially helped the economy. However, this cost us dearly. FDR devalued U.S. paper money by 41 percent to finance his “Bad Deal.” This brought more uncertainty to industry and discouraged investment. Like our former president, he was totally unpredictable? As author Ivan Panin commented, “Of the future, man knows least; yet, about this, he worries most.” Reaction by the rest of the world to FDR’s actions was immediate. When they heard the U.S. pulled off of the gold standard, it stunned world leaders and seriously damaged world monetary markets. It also locked in pestiferous worldwide economic nationalism. Skyrocketing tariffs, trade subsidies, manipulated fiat currencies became universal and global leaders lost faith in the U.S. economy. Sweden, Holland, and France shortly abandoned the gold standard. This fiasco left international financial markets demoralized. FDR’s idea of a one size fits all economy failed the international litmus test. Author Dean Koonts reminded us that, “One man’s idea of perfect order is another man’s chaos.” Removing us from the gold standard caused irrevocable damage. And the passage of FDR’s next Bad Deal made matters worse. He spent like a junkie on a money fix. When the Treasury tightened its grip on currency, this economic uncertainly prolonged the Depression until WWII. FDR went too far. His credibility suffered ineluctable damage and the spell he cast over his Congress vanished quicker than Genie can go back into her bottle. Most of his legislation to expand government was rejected en masses by Congress. They knew we were headed to the “eve of destruction.” As Milton Freeman said, “The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus.” Four decades later, in 1971, the remaining U.S. ties to the gold standard were severed by President Richard Nixon. Desperately in need of money to pay for the Vietnam War he dubiously inherited from former President Lyndon B. Johnson, he unilaterally canceled the direct convertibility of the U.S. dollar to gold. And we have had wafting free floating fiat currencies since. Later, he told critics: “Well, I screwed it up real good, didn’t I?” Since we’ve been divorced from the gold standard, we have suffered three atrocious recessions. Unemployment has been as high as 11 percent. These are horrendous numbers compared to the post WWII era, from 1947 to 1970, when we averaged less than 5 percent. Since government has the power to manipulate the quantity and value of our money, it controls the economy but not our free markets. U.S. Keynesianism has usurped the role of free enterprise and it has created a new era of austerity at the expense of prosperity. “We pay dearly each day for the cost of free money.” – Chadwell Black It’s impossible to return to the gold standard now. But we can resurrect the “classical school” of economics. The health of our economy is dependent upon its valued-real money supply and our free markets must adapt to the changes in equilibrium necessary for “laissez faire” government to work. This is the only responsible way for us to remain independent and maintain individual liberty. Every country that has taken control of their economies also found it necessary to restrain freedom and re-engineer society. “A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.” – Milton Friedman
|New health care plan would make smaller, bipartisan reformsWatchdog.org / 12 d. 23 h. 55 min. ago more|
A number of Congressional members have begun working on a new alternative health-care plan after the last effort to replace Obamacare stalled. But a healthcare expert says it’s likely too late. The Problem Solvers’ Caucus, consisting of a bipartisan group of 43 House members, introduced a plan to try and combat the coming spike in health-care costs. Companies have until Aug. 16 to lock in their rates and decide whether they’ll participate in a county’s marketplace. Reps. Dan Lipinski, a Democrat, and Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, both from Illinois, are members of the 43-member Problem Solvers Caucus. The caucus unveiled a health-care plan last week that wouldn’t be as far-reaching as Obamacare or the American Healthcare Act, which stalled last month in the Senate. The new plan would make small reforms that have been largely agreed to by both parties. Republicans persuaded Democrats to go along with raising the small business exemption from 50 employees to 500. Democrats pushed to maintain levels of Medicaid expansion. The centerpiece is funding for the cost-sharing reduction program designed to keep premiums low. Without that, insurance companies have indicated that rates would skyrocket for high-risk or low income patients. President Donald Trump has hinted that he may pull that funding, but the bipartisan plan would appropriate it. The plan also includes coverage for chronic and pre-existing conditions, repealing the medical device tax, and giving states the ability to do business with companies across state lines. Kinzinger said there are still ways to improve health care for people over what’s out there now. “Unless the Senate can somehow pull a rabbit out of a hat this month, there is going to be a failing of the health-care system,” he said. “Let’s explore areas of common ground between Republicans and Democrats to try to help give people a better health-care system.” In a release, Lipinski said their plan will likely see detractors looking to blame the other side of the aisle for a collapse of the health-care industry. “Some partisans in both parties may even believe that if the ACA fails, the other side will get blamed in the next election,” Lipinski said. “Others will oppose it because they want the ACA to collapse.” Naomi Lopez Bauman, director of Healthcare Policy for the Goldwater Institute, thinks the failure to repeal Obamacare has killed momentum on more health-care votes in D.C. She thinks that any more action this year will be to simply subsidize providers to keep them offering plans. “Anything that they’re going to do this late in the game is going to basically involve throwing money at the exchanges,” she said. “After the debacle that was repeal and replace, there’s just not much appetite for the heavy lifting on major health-care reform this year.” She says that Trump could force the issue of reform by making lawmakers subject to the Obamacare exchanges. Insurance companies must submit whether they will participate in a county’s exchange by Aug. 16. ###
|Haupt: America and the Roman Empire’s political downfallWatchdog.org / 14 d. 12 h. 1 min. ago more|
“At the height of its mastery, Rome was the pulsing heart of the earth. The day the empire fell the world learned even the most stalwart empires can fail if avarice replaces prudence.” – Solon Greco There is not a continent on this planet where one cannot unearth the fallen ruins and silent stories of forgotten great civilizations. Tales of their broken past lay buried deep within the earth under the canopy of the bustling industry, imposing skyscrapers and apartment duplexes of a modern world. These fallen empires that once stood mighty among the most prodigious and influential societies of their respective era, all met their eventual demise for various reasons. There is a salient consensus on one collective attribution for failure; delusive management of finances and excessive taxation. “The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.” – Plato The overarching criterion for determining the collapse of these governments lays in their inability to deliver political goods and services coerced by their citizens. When supply doesn’t meet demand, it is impossible to sustain security and preserve law to regulate and supply blood to the arteries of its legislative body. This strangles their ability to officiate, and severely limits their functional capacity. It eventually cuts off their oxygen and they self-suffocate. There’s no timeline for failure. Some self-implode, with a total collapse of all institutions. Others fall without a whimper. There are no violent revolutions, or catastrophic natural disasters. Instead, they quietly fall victim to collapse unable to manage the central population. This is a consequence of man. “In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed defeats disorganized democracy.” – Matt Taibbi The Roman Empire reached its zenith in the 2nd century. At that time, there was unprecedented stability and prosperity. This powerful kingdom was an example of good stewardship. The Empire was ruled with authority and obedient restraint. Rome was a pillar of strength no man challenged. As their economy blossomed they became the world leader in the arts, education, and commerce. Their institutions and culture had a lasting influence on language, religion, architecture, and law. The value this brought to expansionism throughout the modern world was more significant than anyone will ever fathom. “Rome was great in arms, in government, and in law.” – Goldwin Smith But the decline of Rome became inevitable due to its immoderate and unmanageable greatness. Once all foe had been conquered, prosperity ended. Its aftermath was moral decay. Rudimentary principles of governing the lives of citizens became irrelevant. Incompetent leaders led to political necrosis, corruption and instability. The Senate and the Emperors were sullied with power, and thought themselves as cardinal gods. Inordinate spending led to economic decline, skyrocketing debt, oppressive taxation, inflation, and a devalued currency. Class warfare and cuts in the military further burdened the republic. Increasing dependence on municipal gratuities stifled incentive in favor of support from the treasury. “Rome was great as long as she had enemies who forced her to a vision of unity and heroism. When she had overcome them, she then began to die.” – Webb Dante Rome’s fall from grace as the epitome of world powers was less unpredictable than the weather in Tennessee. Who would ever think the mightiest of all mighty empires in the history of man would stumble into oblivious demise, without taking up arms to maintain its dignity? Although their future was clearly written on the Coliseum walls, they refused to remove the blinders that sheltered them from indulgent sins of omission. The magistrates frolicked in fruition, while intellectual mediocrity, over-population of the urban areas, disease ridden streets, prostitution, homosexuality, alcohol and drug abuse all led to social and legal putrefaction. This ultimately caused Rome’s collapse. This is what ended Classical Antiquity along with the fall of the great Roman Empire. “Today, Rome has not seen a modern building in more than half a century. It is a city frozen in time.” – Richard Meier The history of this once great republic was omnipresent in the minds of America’s founders as they created our republic centuries later. As a consequence of their deliberations and obvious reliance on divine providence, our founders shaped the United States, fashioned as the modern equivalent of the Roman Republic. And the similarities are illusory and uncanny. The Roman Republic was established in 509 BC by the overthrow of Roman King Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and expulsion of the Etruscan theocrats by the Latin Italic tribes from the south. And America is a prime example that history repeats itself. The Republic of the United States was birthed in a bloody revolution against the British King George over 2,000 years later. “If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience?” – George Bernard Shaw Despite the efforts of our founders to set a different course than that experienced by our Roman predecessors, an analysis of these two great republics is inevitable. There are stark congruencies between them. Both societies were the pre-eminent entities in military might and economic power. They were leaders in culture, commerce, technology and ideas. Today, the world turns to America for guidance and leadership. In the heyday of the empire, Publius Cornelius Tacitus claimed even “things atrocious and shameless flock from all parts to Rome.” Thus today, as Romans claimed “all roads lead to Rome,” America projects the same image: All roads lead to the U.S. “America, just as Rome envisioned, considers the U.S. unequaled in national character and strength.” – Tibius Culens Roman politicians had difficulty disjoining public and private liabilities. As a consequence, public services declined while pet projects of the public officials and their patrician sponsors grew at the expense of their citizens. Multitudinous failed reforms were resisted by the patricians that parrot the partisan battles in America today. Middle class Romans were cowed by slave labor much as rising technological change and the transfer of entry level jobs overseas threaten our middle class. The inability of the opposing political parties of the Republic, the Optimates and Populares focused on political gain rather than tasking the people’s work. America too faces a political system transfixed in political party idealism; too shamelessly egomaniacal to govern. “To run an effective political party you need a degree of tribalism, it’s the glue that holds everyone together.” – Charles Kennedy Roman Senator Tacitus said, “Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” The Roman Republic survived 500 years and the American Republic has weathered around 250 years. America lingers on facing major challenges that could negatively affect its future. We lack the ability to satisfy the economic demands of too many at the expense of a few. Our social divisions over priorities and growing unrest caused by a negative political environment heighten the likelihood we could parallel the final stages of Rome. Let’s hope we heed this atrophy before we garner the fate of Rome. The power to do this lies in our hands, not in the politicians. A republican government belongs to we the people, not politicians. We can only hope we have the courage to stop history from repeating itself. Thomas Sowell said, “Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.” If we lose sight of culpable governing, future civilizations will be walking on our memories. “Our Republic has chartered a path similar to Rome. If we don’t change course, America will end, as a replay of Rome.” – Tiberius King
|Congressman pushes for federal tax reform to help offset state income tax hikeWatchdog.org / 18 d. 0 h. 5 min. ago more|
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., is embarking on a tour to talk federal tax reform, and he’s getting an earful from constituents. One of the participants in the roundtable discussion in Springfield Aug. 1, Merrill Lynch financial adviser Gary Seitz, told Davis to be bold, throw out the current tax code, and start from scratch. “I’m a believer that as the government grows, the economy slows,” Seitz said. “Take less money from the individual so they can use it for themselves to buy houses, buy cars, invest, buy a pizza.” Seitz said the economy works best when people spend or save their money as they see fit. Davis, who hails from Taylorville, is pushing for tax reforms that will help middle-income families, who, Davis said, are too often forgotten by Washington. Materials from Davis’ office explain that the plan is to simplify the tax code so that 9 out of 10 Americans will be able to file their taxes on a simple post card. Davis also wants to lower rates for Americans across the board, preserve important middle-income deductions to help Americans buy homes, pay for college, or donate to charity, and allow more savings by cutting in half the tax rates on personal savings and investment. Davis said simplifying the tax code and reducing rates across the board would save taxpayers a lot of money. “The average middle-class family in Illinois,” Davis said, “would get an extra $5,200 dollars in their pocket to be able to pay for a house, to be able to send their kids to college, and to be able to save up for a rainy day.” Davis said getting federal tax relief will help alleviate part of the newfound burden Illinois residents have with an increased state income tax. The state income tax went up 32 percent to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent after Democrats and some Republicans overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the tax hike. The state corporate income tax also went up to 7 percent from 5.25 percent. Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch said federal tax reform will also help Illinois’ small and midsized businesses. “Illinois definitely needs to get its act together and have its own policy changes,” Maisch said, “but Illinois will definitely benefit if there is federal action.” For businesses, Davis’ office said the tax reforms discussed so far would help create more than 70,000 jobs in Illinois by no longer taxing small-business income at an individual rate, which his office said can be as high as 44.6 percent. The plan would also end the federal estate tax, also known as the “death tax,” which would allow family farms and businesses to pass property down to future generations without a large tax bill. Davis said it’s up to constituents to help cut through the partisan divide in D.C. “It’s going to be their responsibility to talk to all policymakers to find bipartisan solutions.” Davis said it’s unfortunate the Senate didn’t act on health care reform, which he said goes hand-in-hand with tax reform.
|Krug: President Trump disrupting news consumption, bringing in more womenWatchdog.org / 19 d. 15 h. 19 min. ago more|
This just in: President Donald Trump is polarizing. Some love him. Some hate him. Hate is a strong word, but they hate him. There are probably some who are too busy watching “The Price Is Right” or rainbow-vomiting cat videos to care. But they still might make time to check in on Trump. Regardless of your thoughts on his presidency, Trump’s effect on media has been fascinating to witness. No presidential candidate more masterfully usurped the mainstream media’s system to create his own narrative. Unquestionably, this disruption – primarily through the 140-characters-or-less social feed Twitter – is a byproduct of Trump’s ability to demean the mainstream media and leverage social media to allow for direct communication with the citizenry. The so-called Trump effect has been stunning with regard to a renewed interest in national news. What audience segment is growing the fastest? A recent Pew Research Center study says that American women represent the largest-growing demographic of national news consumers. Trump has stimulated a wave of new interest in media and current events among women, despite his past comments about women that have drawn the ire of the left (and, frankly, some on the right). The study suggests that 58 percent of American women say they are paying more attention to politics since Trump was elected. That same research showed that 63 percent of women who identify as Democrats have increased their interest in U.S. political news. Interest in domestic political news among women who identify themselves as Republicans is up 54 percent. Overall, Trump’s presidency has increased U.S. interest in political news by 52 percent. Former President Barack Obama compares in numbers, but not in impact. Obama has about 93 million Twitter followers – nearly 55 million more than Trump. Together, they are the two most followed politicians in the world, but the winner on impact is decidedly lopsided – and there is nobody in politics who’s even close to Trump. Trump’s Twitter feed is hyperactive, rarely boring and often the root of stories that aren’t reported exactly the same elsewhere. He’s randomly on Twitter, occasionally around the clock. This began well ahead of the past election cycle, and hasn’t slowed down. Trump vowed nobody would take away his phone. Nobody has. In a completely unscientific polling of people I know who are dialed into social media, there seems to be equal measures of left- and right-leaning followers who mind his feed. And people from all walks of life seem to speak of Trump with corresponding degrees of disgust and curiosity. Set aside the messaging for a moment and purely consider the impact to media: He’s demonstrated that news can be a business-to-consumer proposition for politicians, following the path of entertainers Katy Perry and Justin Bieber. Trump is cutting a new path in that regard – utilizing direct-to-market bursts of commentary to prompt behavior and create news narratives that the media is only too willing to follow. At its purest, it’s business-to-business communication. He has, effectively, bypassed the permission of the press. He stays in the news by creating the news and discounts the media’s account of his story. Take a step back, and it’s difficult to argue that he isn’t setting the news agenda masterfully. When you have the same tools as multi-billion-dollar media companies that could cloud your message, why bother offering the stories to them when you could skip the distributor and sell to the customer? Question Trump’s business acumen if you will, but his ability to promote and draw attention are changing the way that we think of presidential communication. Since his election, which seemingly came against every legacy media prediction or poll, Trump has continued to be a boon to coverage of national affairs. If people didn’t care about national news in the smooth-jazz presidency of his predecessor, they care now. And they are following. Amid the otherwise awful news of decline of the mainstream press, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson told MSNBC in May that the company had added 308,000 digital subscribers in the first quarter (the company reports that is most in its history in a given quarter), and another 93,000 net subscribers in the second quarter. That was after the company reported that it increased by 276,000 digital readers in the fourth quarter of 2016. Newsonomics author Ken Doctor reported in a May article for The Street that, “The Washington Post said that January generated more subscription starts than any other month, beating what had been a record-setting November, with the Post overall seeing ‘doubled digital subscription revenue in the past 12 months, with a 75 [percent] increase in new subscribers.’ “ The news will always matter. Where you get it, how you get it, and from whom you get it, though, may matter substantially more. Chris Krug is President of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity.
|Haupt: No confidence in the political classWatchdog.org / 20 d. 23 h. 40 min. ago more|
“There is no act of treachery, infidelity, or avarice of which a politician is not capable; for in politics it’s every man for himself to remain in the graces of the political party.” – Marty Blunt The Articles of Confederation was a noble attempt at creating a central government in the colonies. But it was both a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing that is established order but it was a curse since it did not provide provisions for the government to govern with authority. It was a determent that crippled governing during the Revolutionary War. Since the Articles were designed to recognize a division of powers similar to the British, it was flawed from the beginning. There was no king in the colonies nor was there a parliament. Although it served as a war-time confederation to help direct the colonies, it lacked central leadership. As the war moved on it was obvious this divisive chaos had to end for our nation to survive. And we needed “change we could believe in” to make it better before it got worse. “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill Once the Convention commenced, it was clear this would not be a walk in the park. The only thing they agreed on was the necessity to create a government that was not subject to the vagaries of regional influence or majority dictatorship. This opened the doors of republicanism. Considering the political mobocracy that took place with each changing of the guard in past republics, they sought to avoid entrapment by creating buffers between the government and the people. With a House elected by the populous, a Senate by state legislatures, and a president by a convocation of elders, they figured they had enough detours to insure no political force or roguish group could usurp the people’s will. “Sometimes, simple things turn out to be the most complex of all.” – Harold Butler The core idea of the Constitution was to restrain ambition and force competing powers to make legitimate attempts at compromise and keep the integrity of the republic in check. The delegates felt the brand of federalism they created was bullet proof during those patriotic times. But they were to find out during the 1st Congress their failure to make constitutional provisions to hold politicians accountable to one another or us was a serious omission. They were forgivingly naive, putting such amatory faith in politics. They never envisioned two antipodal opposing political parties hijacking the people’s government. One that would control it and citizen influence would be subservient to their parties. A lesson learned the hard way. “Hindsight is always 20/20.” – Billy Wilder Our founders set fourth to develop a perfect government. Since most came from across The Pond, they were gun-shy about mimicking the King’s government in our constitution. Therefore, there was no provision made to hold politicians within the legislature accountable if they proved incapable to govern. Unlike England, where all government ministers, and the Prime Minister, are accountable to all branches of the legislature with de facto power vested in the House of Commons. Motions of no confidence are key components in the Westminster government that requires an executive to retain the impudence of the House of Commons. It is a fundamental principle that their government must retain the confidence of the legislature to operate effectively with majority support of the legislature. “Reporters who brandish parliament would have a field day if they covered Congress.” – Litton Sidle Since the 1st Congress when Jefferson and Hamilton reignited the fuse of vexation, politicians have scurried to parties. Unfortunately, our Constitution makes no provisions for a political structure of political accountability. So Congress formed a way to control government with seniority rewarding through the committee system. We continued to develop an awkward self-policing system within the system to make a legitimate effort to legitimize the party system. By 1830, the party system had festered like a bad splinter. Politics was run by well-oiled machines. They seemed harmless since they helped to maintain order between competing factions and greased the wheels to control in-party turmoil. They vetted candidates while picking the pockets of donors to fill their political war chests. They formed voter groups to bring others to the party and forged policy to promote party propaganda. This sustained the illusion that they were doing what was best for the populous. “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt Hierarchical political bosses like Boss Tweed, Huey Long, Jefferson Randolph, Soapy Smith, E. H. Crump, Richard J. Daley, Frank Hague, Hinky Dink and Bathhouse John around the nation took control of local and national politics. They held the keys to the doors of government. They hand-picked political hacks whose feet they held to the fire through incentives, promotions, financial contributions, pet-project spending and other perks. The “outsiders” were banished into the Land of Oz with the Tin Man. And this became the DNA of American politics. “One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace, good people don’t go into government.” – Donald Trump For decades our branches of government have worked against each other and against us. It is a fundamental principle in parliament that government must retain confidence to function or they can be replaced with a no confidence vote. Unlike Westminster that requires legislative confidence to operate effectively, we’ve mastered the art of ineffectiveness. We have no authority like parliament to cast a no confidence vote. The only confidence we have is tremendous confidence nothing will get done each session in our congressional houses. British politicians are always looking over their shoulder for ways to appease each other to insure public and legislative confidence. On this side of the pond, our politicians are looking over their shoulders to make sure their party bosses are happy. In America: ‘We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” – Aesop In America, the only way we can rid ourselves from non-achieving politicians is by impeachment. And charges against them must be substantial. It’s a complex and complicated process purposely devised to insure it was not abused. But what happens when a whole Congress is deadlocked in incompetence? By law, the British can put an entire body of government or individual on notice, shaming them from office with a no confidence vote. When Congress continues to demonstrate no power to govern, voters publicly denounce them and the media chastises them, expressing that they have no confidence in them. But this falls on deaf ears except at election time and everyone sings ‘Kumbaya’. Then they have little or no recourse except to vote for another hand-picked party hack. “Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.” – John Galbraith Thomas Sowel wrote, “There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs” in American politics. Our political system was an afterthought, invented as it went along without planning or conviction. Our founders had great faith in their fellow Americans and the future generations to follow. They were obviously blinded by the greatness of their patriotism and belief. Giving us a government of free men controlled by free men, it would be self-policing with no need to protect us from artless party politics. Although we have no law that grants us or other branches of government to issue “a no confidence vote,” we have that opportunity each Election Day. If we don’t judge a candidate by his character instead of his party, we have not used our “no confidence vote” wisely. Little confidence is as bad as no confidence. “No matter what name we give it or how we judge it, a candidate’s character is central to political reporting because it is central to a citizen’s decision in voting.” – Roger Mudd
|VP Pence breaks tie to open debate in Senate on Obamacare replacementWatchdog.org / 27 d. 0 h. 13 min. ago more|
Both parties in Washington D.C. know Obamacare is flawed and getting worse, but no Democrats and two Republicans voted Tuesday against opening debate to change things. That meant it took Vice President Mike Pence to break a 50-50 tie just to open up debate on reforming the country’s controversial health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Goldwater Institute Director of Health Policy Naomi Lopez Bauman said there needs to be radical reforms to focus on access and affordability. “Congress, lawmakers, really need to clean up this mess,” a mess Bauman said federal lawmakers created. “It’s the people in the states that are suffering as a result of these very misguided policies.” Opponents of reform, such as U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, said they hope Republican efforts fail. “You cannot take helpless people, some who are working hard in jobs, two and three jobs at a time, that have no health-care benefits and say to them, ‘Sorry, our system won’t take care of you’,” Durbin said. Bauman said people already are losing out because of high prices and lack of insurance and care options. She said two main reforms should be a priority. “Return the regulation of insurance back to the states where it was before the Affordable Care Act and where it rightfully belongs,” Bauman said. “And what that would do is that would make it legal to sell insurance policies that better meets individuals’ needs and preferences.” Bauman also said Medicaid should be a real safety net, not expanded to assist able-bodied people. “What has happened under the Affordable Care Act,” Bauman said, “is that the federal government is basically providing a lot more money to states to provide benefits and coverage under the Medicaid program for able-bodied adults above the poverty level.” That means tax dollars to provide services to the most vulnerable will get squeezed out even more, Bauman said, adding that the promises of many individuals keeping insurance, doctors and lower premiums fell apart, as she’s predicted for several years. Even New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer acknowledged on the Senate floor the current law is flawed and needs to be fixed. Despite revelations he’d been diagnosed with brain cancer, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain appeared on the floor and said ACA needs to be changed. He voted to allow debate but said he’s not promising to vote in favor of what ultimately comes out. He wants there to be bipartisan efforts to change the bill. Durbin and others blasted leading Republicans for allowing for debate on reforms without unveiling what reforms were going to be on the table. “The bottom line is that lawmakers in Washington created this mess,” Bauman said. “They knew from the beginning that the promises from the Affordable Care Act were not going to be delivered. We’ve seen, year after year, more failures.” Any reform measures will now have to go through a process known as conference with the House before advancing to President Donald Trump’s desk.
|Haupt: America needs group of Tom Paines to take government back from elitesWatchdog.org / 28 d. 12 h. 49 min. ago more|
“Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.” – Thomas Paine, Common Sense, January 10, 1776 The year was 1776 and the time had come for Americans to assert their independence from the British. This was the topic of contentious debate throughout the colonies in the summer of 1776. Though locked in a bloody struggle with British troops, the talk was not about battles won or lost. People gathered, in townships, villages, taverns and churches, to talk about one thing: Common Sense. This was the title of a scholarly pamphlet on the rights of man which captivated a country caught between war and peace. Its powerful arguments against empirical rule were both revered and questioned, which provoked oracular thought throughout the anxious colonies between loyalists and patriots. “The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe.” – Paine At the time, few knew who the author of this work was. Yet this enlightenment text was dramatically changing the attitude of many Americans toward their conflict with the English. At one time or the other, one of the political or intellectual elites was credited with the prodigious work of Paine since he never stepped forward to claim it. Paine knew a true leader remains anonymous so the people will believe they were the ones responsible for this new breed of insurgent thinking. He was keenly aware after watching revolutionaries across Europe; nobody can plan revolutionary change. It is a spontaneous combustion that is ignited by thought-provoking idealism. And Paine was so gifted to plant those seedlings that could be cultivated in the minds, hearts and souls of many others. “One encourages intercourse, and promotes our happiness by uniting our affections.” –Paine Despite his humble beginning, Paine was admired and respected by founders such as George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. Yet, his workingman’s perspective threatened the elites who wanted to design a government primarily to benefit aristocrats. To some, Tom Paine was the most hated man in America, and others, a light in the wilderness for those who sought direction, courage and leadership. Those who loved him for his benefaction of guidance saw Paine as the patriot that he was. And those who hated him thought of him as a trouble maker stroking his eccentric ego for indulgent narcissistic causes. And much of the legacy of that apprehensive animosity lives on by activist groups for one who thinks sovereign from them. They chasten those like Tom Paine who fail to court their compatriots. “Character is much easier kept than recovered.” – Paine Paine had an unselfish ability to keep fellow patriots aligned for the common cause. Many feel his greatest contribution to our liberty was Common Sense, which demeaned the authority of the British and the royal monarchy. It was that pamphlet that brought the breath of freedom to the embers of independence. But few comprehend the significance of Paine’s The American Crisis. Paine wrote these articles during the Revolutionary War. His unrelenting inspiration for American patriots during this inexorable crisis kept the blood of liberty flowing freely in their veins. George Washington was so moved he recited The Crisis word for word to his sullen troops at Valley Forge. “Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.” – Paine Paine rallied troops at The Battle of Saratoga, which is considered the turning point for America in the War. They stopped the southern advance of the British, which brought them French support. Although this was a cardinal victory, their problems remained incessant. By 1781, the Continental Congress was bankrupt. Citizen support was dwindling faster than the English could enact a new tax. Army desertions were common place. The army was indigent and no longer united because the generals blamed others for this chaos. And once again Paine stepped forward and galvanized the troops. In 1781 at Yorktown, Paine motivated them to fight their best fight and they answered with their greatest victory. The colonies beheaded the great British Goliath to end the war. “The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance.” – Paine Throughout the decades, America has faced insurmountable crisis. But in those darkest of hours, a Thomas Paine stepped up to find a way to reignite the founding flames of republicanism. Many felt The Civil War would forever dis-unify our country once the last cannons fired at Palmito Ranch in 1865. Yet the day word reached the south that Lincoln had been assassinated, one southern telegraph operator saw this as a signal to begin the healing. And the entire south joined him. As word spread from the plains of Texas to the farms of Virginia that Lincoln had died, church bells rang for their fallen enemy. “An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.” – Paine Again, America is in crisis. It’s a crisis planted in American polity with the election of Barack Obama and his socialization of the republic. When voters rebelled and elected Donald Trump, the left cried he was unfit for the presidency; just as the right had claimed about Obama. Each party can make a case but that isn’t the crisis, only a symptom of it. This won’t be resolved until the elitists are removed from party politics. Leftist elitists supported Obama whose agenda few ever wanted. And cynical voters then choose a man who ran against party elites. That signals to both parties, elites are the real problem. “It’s the duty of every patriot to protect his country from its government.” – Paine The elitists have always moved policy, yet the average voter doesn’t realize this. In the past, party elites imposed their authority to benefit their pocketbooks. In a capitalist society, as long as voters benefit from the profits of industry they go along to get along. But party elites went too far under Obama. Leftist elites crossed over the path and those on the right counter-reacted. When far left elites endorsed social engineering to romance the progressives, party politics replaced the will of the people in government. With each invented crisis to gain support from his flock, Obama drove a wedge between the two parties and true republicanism that even Tom Paine would find difficult to close. “Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness.” – Paine After Obama’s reign, the two parties took sides and refused to back down. There’s a learning curve for every president and its far steeper without political experience. Obama had political experience, so one would think he could learn the job competently. But that never happened. From the day he took office, he acted like the bully in the school yard who cries “it’s my ball so we play my game or you can go home.” On the other hand, Trump had no political experience and is learning the art of governing the hard way; yet from day one the left has been bashing his inexperience inexorably. Elitists in his party excoriate him the worst. “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” – Paine The elitists have painted us into a corner. To them, the only way to end this one crisis is to remove Trump from office with no constitutional justification or collective voter consent to appease the left. To subject the right to this punishment will not only acerbate the crisis in American polarity, it will prove that our democratic republic has lost all legitimacy. We need a group of Tom Paines to step forward and take back our government from the elites to end this crisis forever. “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.” – Paine
|Proposed legislation would open up records on federal pension recipientsWatchdog.org / 33 d. 23 h. 25 min. ago more|
A Florida congressman and an open-government organization have launched a campaign to make key information on federal pension recipients subject to public disclosure. The legislation, which is being sponsored by Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis, would make information about pension recipients subject to the federal Freedom of Information Act. The information subject to public review would include the retiree’s name, monthly annuity amount, the retiree’s total contribution to the annuity, total wages earned and retirement date, according to a draft of the bill. Federal employee pensions are currently hand-calculated inside a Cold War-era facility deep inside a Pennsylvania mountain using 28,000 filing cabinets, according to Adam Andrzejewski, the chief executive officer for OpenTheBooks.com, a watchdog group that works on behalf of government transparency issues. “This legislation has the potential to pass with huge majorities in both houses and go straight to the president’s desk,” Andrzejewski told Watchdog.org. Similar transparency laws on state public pension systems in states such as Illinois, California, New York and Oregon have resulted in the uncovering of abuses and corruption, he said. A federal law would allow citizens to engage in a robust debate over federal retirement payouts and also shed light on the system’s liabilities, according to Andrzejewski. It remains uncertain just how serious the effort is, however. DeSantis’ office did not respond to requests for comment about the legislation, dubbed the Taxpayer-Funded Pension Disclosure Act, and there is no mention of it on a list of legislative priorities on the congressman’s website. DeSantis did co-author an opinion article with Andrzejewski about this issue. That article said that in states with pension transparency, waste and mismanagement have been identified, including how two union officials in Illinois taught as substitutes in public schools for a single day and then retired to collect pensions with lifetime values of $1 million. “Pulling this data out of the government’s underground pension cave and into the light will protect taxpayers, retirees and near-retirees who have a right to ensure these taxpayer dollars are well-spent,” DeSantis and Andrzejewski said in the co-authored 0p-ed. Many observers have pointed to the debt-ridden federal retirement system as a source of concern, including Moody’s Investors Service. “The unfunded liabilities of the various federal employee pensions systems, covering civilian and military employee benefits, amount to about $3.5 trillion, or 20 percent of the U.S. GDP,” or gross domestic product, Moody’s said in a statement last year. Another nonprofit group that advocates for government transparency, the Sunlight Foundation in Washington, D.C., takes a more nuanced view of making the federal pension system subject to public disclosure. While there is a presumption of openness in the Freedom of Information Act, government also has an interest in protecting people’s privacy, according to the foundation’s deputy director, Alex Howard. “It is conceivable that you could rank individual pensioners to expose them to public incrimination,” Howard told Watchdog.org. In addition, disclosures of personal information require a thoughtful, ethical review, and certain data would always have to be redacted, such as certain medical information or personal financial identifiers, he said. And the test of whether disclosing pension information is in the public interest might vary based on whether the retiree is a public figure or not, according to Howard. But the proposed pension transparency legislation does call for the exclusion of medical conditions and any data that identifies the retiree’s beneficiary, according to OpenTheBooks.com. “We’re aware of absolutely no instances where this information can possibly be used to create identity theft,” Andrzejewski said. His group’s website has published the salaries of 15 million federal, state and local public employees and has never run into a privacy concern, according to Andrzejewski. “Not one single time did we run across any case of stolen identities or anything else,” he said. Andrzejewski expects the campaign to attract bipartisan support in the same way that former Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma teamed up with then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2006 to author legislation that placed federal “checkbook” payments on a public website. Howard acknowledged that pensions can be used as vectors for corruption and that bringing more public scrutiny on how pension dollars are spent can help identify abuses of the system. “It’s reasonable for the public to want to ask, ‘Who made those decisions and at what time?’” he said. But Howard also stressed that government has to take care to be good stewards of such financial data and respect civil liberties of the parties involved. “These are public records,” he said. “They are not our deepest, darkest secrets.” Andrzejewski remains upbeat about the prospects of passing the pension transparency bill, saying that public employee unions might oppose the bill but would likely not win. “I definitely think [President] Trump would sign it,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
|Haupt: Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhereWatchdog.org / 34 d. 23 h. 57 min. ago more|
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” – Francis Bellamy Those that crossed the Mason-Dixon Line to work in the Civil Rights Movement were shocked to experience denial of justice and the violation of their Constitutional rights. They entered a twilight zone in a mythical Orwellian novel. They gathered from around the U.S. for an adventure few knew little about. Some wandered to the delta of the Mississippi, the red hills of Georgia, and war zones of Montgomery to Selma for conviviality. Others came to listen to Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and Joan Baez. But by the time they navigated Highway 61 back to the North, they knew why they’d ventured south. “A nation that denies equal access to justice is a prison of malcontents.” – William Howard The Civil Rights Movement has taken on an air of inevitability in the popular imagination. Far too many have reduced its significance to a few heroic figures and the words “I have a dream.” The true purpose of the Civil Rights Movement has been distorted and romanced into something each individual, secular, political or religious group wished it to be for convenience or condemnation. The Civil Rights Movement had only one salient, underlying purpose: To banish the practice of denying equal justice to all Americans. Those ideals are embedded in every founding document. It remains an enigma why so many distort its historical significance, with false narratives promoted by liberal race baiters, media pundits and politicians. “The true rule of law and justice in a judicial system is one in which the rights of some are not secured by the denial of rights to others.” – John Seales Three documents, known collectively as the Charters of Freedom, have secured the rights of all Americans for over two centuries and are considered instrumental to our founding and philosophy of our nation. These are The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights. In each founding document, they guarantee us equal rights and equal access to justice, which is the most indispensable right of all. Without access to justice, none of our rights are guaranteed or protected. Any American who does not covet their right of expedient access to justice is forsaking liberty. If we don’t protect that one right, it’s impossible to defend all others. “The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.” – Stonewall Jackson Americans are continually at the mercy of lesser magistrates who cowardly subvert the provisions in our founding documents to deliver justice. Our right to justice is guaranteed by the Department of Justice, yet government subordinates regularly invent ways to abridge them. We hear about this on TV, see it in the fish-wrap and social media during high-profile trials, but hear little about the denial of justice by our local governments. We permit this to happen daily, yet this is a federal right and is disciplined by the DOJ! “America was founded upon the doctrine of equal rights. Its cornerstone is the principle every man is endowed with access to equal justice to defend them.” – Randal Hall In hearing rooms across this nation, questionable legal practices are being reported to the DOJ to expose a miscarriage of justice in court proceedings. If a litigant cannot afford a high priced mouth-piece, they are appointed counsel. If they foresee an unfair advantage for the defense, they seek a change in venue, dispose of a capricious juror and recuse a judge. Although this is not a perfect system, most Americans have a fighting chance to improve their access to unabridged justice in our courts when they suspect malpractice. Even a green horn public defender will point out abuses of statutory protections to insure his client has access to justice. – “Today, there are few times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but we must possess the knowledge on how to do so.” – May Willard The biggest offenders are not criminal or civil courts. We’ve all heard about the speed traps in our local “one-blink-of-the-eye speed limit signs” in rural townships. Although America has its fair share, they pale in comparison to the rights we thought we had and found out we didn’t have in local and state governments. These are rights denied at what are billed “informal hearings.” The only thing informal about these proceedings is how “informally” you find out they were anything but “informal.” Once a gavel is dropped, and the magistrate makes his decision, more times than not, you leave this “informal hearing” wondering if you just appeared before Judge Judy in a kangaroo court. “One cannot bandage a mortal wound, that’s been inflicted by a miscarriage of justice.” – Throe Bradley This judicial deception has been going on for decades when offended citizens choose to protest any activity they have a right to in the governments they own. This is common when their property rights are violated. If their home or business is hijacked by eminent domain, the decision is etched in stone before the commission meeting. The hearing officer makes up rules as he goes along if they do not have Perry Mason there to scold him. If their rural neighborhood is rezoned to build a burger joint or county dump, notifications for these meetings are tacked on the bathroom door of the county seat or placed on page 10 in a local throwaway scandal sheet so they can call it legal. “Those who make the law know best how to break the law without getting caught.” – Albert Simms States never reassess all counties at the same time. If they did this they’d have a tax revolt similar to California’s tax tsunami Prop 13 that rocked the U.S. like a New Zealand earthquake from east to west. “Prop 13 made the Gold Coast as infamous as Boston Harbor.” When a homeowner receives a tax bill for a Taj Mahal and they live in a 1,000 square foot home, they are forced to buy back their rights at dubiously “informal” tax hearings. The homeowner is guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of the taxman. The moment they arrive to face this hit squad, they are intimidated by the judge who is also the jury and only allows them to present what he wants to hear, not what they prepared. They feel like a Roller Derby skater in the “penalty box” wearing a dunce cap and wonder why! To this judge, just showing up is a capital offense! “Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.” – Dr. King Denial of justice is generic in local tribunals. Most are semi-structured to mimic a fair legal process. There is no impartial verdict, to the detriment of the accused. It is decided in advance. This violates all formal judicial process. Rules are invented by the officer obtusely, which even the best jailhouse lawyer cannot defend! If you try to quote law, you are declared out of order. Humbling intimidation is the worst injustice of all. Taxpayers are made subservient to justice that is rationed to guarantee they lose. When a taxpayer is scolded for something insignificant to put them in their place, they are defeated before they have a chance to win or lose and sheepishly give in to the tax man to end this abuse! They quickly learn how it feels to be a punching bag in a federal penitentiary gym! “Bullies are everywhere, but the worst kind of bully is one who bullies behind the cloak of law.” – Eely Stalls President Ronald Reagan once said, “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.” The only way we can guarantee our access to justice is to know the law. If you feel violated in any way by a magistrate, you have the duty to file a formal complaint with your governmental controlling agency or the federal DOJ. You must know your rights and how to defend them! “It takes great courage to stand alone against a judge whose best resource is to intimidate you when you and he both know you are innocent.” – Reggie Stone
|Krug: Editors and publishers fail when transparency is absent in reader ‘comments’Watchdog.org / 35 d. 21 h. 7 min. ago more|
Where the media falls down so badly so often is in its approach to stories. Slanted and misleading headlines, hyperbolic and unsubstantiated reporting that’s short on facts and long on opinion, and manufactured outrage probably are the worst of what stands for journalism today. But that’s simply the content that lives above the comment line. What of the interactive, social aspects of today’s journalism? Well, that can be all forms of awful, too. According to a report released July 12 by the Pew Institute, four of 10 Americans have experienced online harassment, 18 percent have been threatened in some way for sharing their point of view, and more than 60 percent consider this form of harassment a problem. If you operate a news media site and allow the online forums to fester with hateful comments when matters are less important, they implode when real issues arise. Most traditional media companies are so stripped down that they don’t have the resources to monitor comments and, as a matter of creating some visibility, have turned to Facebook comments to create some transparency. Oh, sure, they’ll take the clicks, but the responsibility for the environment? Not so much. Others, well, I am not sure what they’re doing or if they are adhering to their own criteria because the inclusions and extractions appear arbitrary and capricious. One moment, a seemingly innocuous comment is there. The next time you might visit the site to see how people responded to your comment, but what you wrote is gone. Why? Nobody knows. For readers, the absence of continuity is jarring. More than a decade ago, a daily newspaper and digital news site in greater Chicago I oversaw became one of the first in the country to allow comments on stories. We had this functionality and interactivity before any of the U.S. metropolitan newspapers had entered into the space. At that time, there was great debate whether the voice of the reader belonged alongside the journalism that had been published. During my tenure as executive editor there, I saw comments as a meaningful way to interact with readers, and it provided explosive online growth at what was the onramp to the internet for most newspapers seeking to grow a digital presence. We wanted to engage with the communities that we served. We believed, correctly, that our reporting was not the final word. We were part of a discussion – a significant part, but a part nonetheless. And we wanted meaningful conversations to occur around our reporting, because that is what journalists should strive to achieve. We opened our online comments – I believe in 2005 – without rules, without filters, without any parameters at all really. It was a new frontier, so nobody knew what to expect. Iterations ensued that required registration with a confirmed email, a profanity filter, and comments to remain in line with the subject of the story. It was an early handle on this key element of community building, interaction and balancing the newspaper’s standards with the community’s contributions that earned the 2007 Chicago Headline Club’s Lisagor Award for best website (over the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, et. al.) and an innovator of the year award from Local Media Association (an organization that then was called Suburban Newspapers of America). The online community on our news site was vibrant, somewhat civil, oftentimes humorous, and with balanced and interesting points of view that – on occasion – brought new information or insight to the story. Because we served to include our community, we welcomed a reasonable amount of readers who came in without bringing their flaming torches or pitchforks. There is nothing more essential to our democracy than the protections provided by the First Amendment. But if you want to hijack a discussion and run away with it on someone else’s news site, you’re not practicing discourse. Stay with the story. Participate in the discussion germane to that story. Be civil. Be frank, but be civil. Civility may be too much to ask, though, as a story as innocuous as a local lemonade stand could elicit tangential commentary from trolls and wing nuts. Any digital forum, in particular those that welcome comments without accountability for them, can be hijacked by people far less interested in discussion and far more interested in hit-and-run bomb-throwing. For publishers, a hands-off approach to comments on your site isn’t good ethical practice. It’s malpractice. If you operate a site, and welcome guests to comment, your guests should adhere to house rules. So, as a site operator, basic rules should be determined that welcome discussion. Be clear about them; and fairly apply them. And, to evolve the thinking, any organization that would seek to control the comments on their site through deceptive means (cloaking, fire-starting provocation, et al) is equally bad practice and, frankly, unethical. Anyone who administers a site that allows comments knows the value of comments. And the law is on the side of the site owner. A site owner incurs no more responsibility for what is written on their “wall” than the landlord of a building whose alley-facing fence would for the scrawling from a graffiti artist. It’s actually one of my favorite aspects of digital news, because light reveals truth – right there in front of God and everyone else. Bottom of Form Trolls, flamer-throwers, and other cowards make some news media sites run. They drive more traffic than the content itself. Some editors say they deplore them. But they know readers like them, and visitors return again and again to see what the newest screed says. Online comments have become the media’s click machine, powering their sites by blowing breath into what otherwise can be so-so stories that don’t advance the reader’s understanding of a subject. As mainstream journalism continues to wane, comments often are more interesting and insightful than the stories that prompted them. But anyone who operates a news media site and allows anonymous attacks – or those created under the veil of pseudonyms – to stand is morally complicit in those comments. I don’t care what your lawyer says. Lawsuits shouldn’t be the bar by which this is measured. Responsible news sites should aspire to higher standards. And, when comments are anonymous and authors shielded by the public, the scrutiny of authenticity is not met. It harms the journalism. Chris Krug is President of Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. This column is original, but draws from his thoughts included in a column for ILNews.org that was published on July 7, 2017.
|Overtime rule changes great news for small businessesWatchdog.org / 47 d. 0 h. 10 min. ago more|
Small businesses across the country are breathing a sigh of relief on news that the Trump administration is walking back former President Barack Obama’s proposed overtime expansion. Small businesses were dreading the Obama-era order that would have doubled overtime eligibility to cover people making as much as $47,000 a year. It was scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1 last year, but a federal judge ordered an indefinite stay. Terry McClallen with Integrity Data, an HR system company in Lincoln, Illinois, said most small businesses were still unprepared for all of the regulations on salary, time-keeping, and paperwork that the overtime rule brought with it. “People who never had to keep a time card, and companies that never really had to deal with time cards, were going to have to not only deal with time cards but deal with calculating overtime rates,” McClallen said. The U.S. Department of Labor said as many as 193,000 people in Illinois would have been impacted by the rule. McClallen said the overtime rule forced many small businesses to move some workers from salary to hourly. It would have been a move that cost some workers money and even jobs as employers sought to make up for the new costs. “If you’re talking about service industries that are running on a very, very narrow profit margin, and all of a sudden you have to start paying overtime, those are things those businesses just aren’t able to absorb,” McClallen said. The Trump administration said it intends to walk back many of the federal mandates included in the old overtime rule.