Christmas Comes to Polk Street

A long-blighted property in the 55418 is no more.

Backhoe demolishes 2632 Polk St NE

May this be the first step toward major redevelopment in the Audubon Park neighborhood.

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Hit That Sh*t, Mr. Prez

In a most untimely manner, Time has published a series of photos of Barack Obama from 1980. This was before his awakening to a political calling, back when he was a layabout weedblower and part-time cokehead. And, if I recall correctly, when he was still Barry the Hawai’ian, before he started crafting his Afro-Barack identity.

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Minneapolis Upgrading Parking Meters

A couple of days back I tossed out a suggestion to help Minneapolis meet its budget shortfall. Turns out our City Overlords are working in the oppostie direction:

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Weapons of Mass Abduction

Piracy off the Somali coast continues to be a significant concern. Fourteen ships and over 200 sailors are currently held captive. Fret not, the UN is on the case:

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a US resolution allowing countries to pursue Somali pirates on land as well as at sea.

It is an extension of the powers countries already have to enter Somali waters to chase pirates.

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We Have Representative Government

Do you believe Sarah Palin said she, “could see Russia from her house?” If so, you’re in agreement with 86.9% of Obama voters. But Palin never said it. It was a line from Tina Fey in a Saturday Night Live sketch.*

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Thought for the Day

I refer you directly to Theo Spark.

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Northeast Power Vacuum

Paul Ostrow, the 1st Ward’s City Councilmember, has decided against running for a fourth term in 2009. Ostrow, in my estimation, is knowledgeable and diligent. He seems to have the temperament of a bureaucrat, without the obvious passion several other wards enjoy from their representatives. His decision does not create, but merely amplifies, the power vacuum in Northeast.

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Sell the Meters

As the municipal home of NRR is facing a deteriorating financial position, I have a suggestion. Divest non-essential services. In particular, sell the rights to operate parking meters.

Chicago just raised $1.15 billion in cash by selling their meter rights for 75 years. They have 36,000 meters, while Minneapolis has only 6,800. But that would still result in a payment something over $200 million, assuming a similar rate.

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Misinformation as News, Obama Birth Edition

The Supreme Court has decided against considering the latest challenge to Obama’s citizenship. Their decision was issued without comment.

This time, the story has made it past the blogosphere. The StarTribune posted a longer version of the AP’s story, which included this:

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A Gift for Railfans

In 1825, in the northeast of England, the Stockton and Darlington Railway began operating the world’s first steam locomotive. Next February, in the same locale, the world’s newest steam locomotive will enter service.

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Double Your Waste

More fuzzy-minded righteousness from the same sort of folks who gave us food miles:

Use Both Sides
(warning: link has annoying auto-play soundtrack/video)

This campaign has a simple objective: to give paper another chance. We hope to convince everyone that we can—and should—use both sides of paper.

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Hard to Deny

St. Charles Streetcar in Snow

A streetcar in snow. Nothing unusual in any northern US town during the first half of the 20th Century. Is this a quaint Rockwell-style image to illustrate a Christmas shopping story?

Nope.

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Me, too

I am just so tired and disgusted by the hipster attitude, seen everywhere from this book club to the writers at Salon, to a dozen other places (and people I’ve met) who like to pretend that popcorn culture is something more than it is, and that when you don a pair of Lisa-Loeb glasses and add a dash of sarcasm, you’re a wildly witty and informed consumer who is deconstructing the stuff and appreciating it on a meta level.

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Conscience

Everybody's guilty of something, and they know it.

Quoted from: The Barrister at Maggie’s Farm

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Obama Citizenship Challenge, Round 3

The US Supreme Court has denied to review the New Jersey challenge to Obama’s natural-born citizenship. But there’s yet another, this time from Connecticut, which the Supremes will consider considering this Friday.

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Money-Back Guarantee

In the ordinary world, an investor buys bonds to earn interest. The world today is not ordinary. The Treasury Department has just sold $32B worth of 4-week bonds (T-Bills) that yield 0%. Zero. Percent.

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ODS

Although I created a tag on NRR for my Obama Derangement Syndrome posts, I do not think I have been truly afflicted. At least not yet. As evidence of my mental health, I have made all these points, either here or in the meat world:

Presidents really don't have that much to do with the economy. Constitutionally, their scope for action independent of Congress is extremely limited. For we citizens, that means presidential utility in such matters is largely to focus public opinion on Congress when Congress is failing to act, or acting inappropriately (such as looking after their own butts or catering to special interests), rather than taking care of the broader public interest.

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Malkin Exposes Berg as a Truther

A princess in the righty blogosphere believes Obama was born in Hawai’i. Michelle Malkin made her name with her rhetoric more than her reason. She commits a standard ad hominem fallacy while exposing attorney Phillip Berg as a 9/11 Truther:

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Smashing Glass at the Power Plant

There may be good reasons to switch from existing energy sources to renewable. But President-elect Barack Obama's energy plans have significant costs. His energy promises rely on questionable science and even more questionable economics. Creating "green jobs" would kill other jobs.

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Socialized Medicine Casts Off Elderly

President Obama will likely be signing into law some form of socialized medicine legislation. Already a goal of Congressional leadership, now with an even stronger majority, I expect a American Health Protection Act will be the last bill sponsored by, and first national tribute to, Ted Kennedy and his brain tumor.

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