Monday, August 15, 2005

Daily Retread

  • I've been largely ignoring this story because I really wish it would just go away. It's close enough now to the strike deadline between Northwest Airlines and the mechanics' union to merit a top bullet point, however. The two sides have agreed to return to the bargaining table in D.C., after huffing and puffing their respective ways out of the room last week. The problem here: There can be no winner. Both parties are going to lose, no matter who ultimately "wins." The union is a dying organization that is truly in its "last throes," which is unfortunate for the workers. Northwest management may be in their "last throes" as well, although the company has pulled some Houdini tricks out of its hat in the past (albeit with the aid of Minnesota taxpayers).
  • I realize that in these heady times, complaining about fuel prices is the same as complaining about the weather. It sucks and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. But still, $2.69 in the Twin Cities and an average of $2.47 statewide? Sheesh! Be on the lookout for more Mobil Melees.
  • Speaking of gas prices/driving/commuting, the New York Times has a good article today on "exurbs," those burgeoning bastions of middle class security where the suburbs meet the country. While there's not much comparison between their example town - it's in Florida - and the phenomenon in Minnesota, it is a trend worth noting, particularly for me since I grew up in an actual small town that is now becoming an exurb.
  • According to the Bay Area Center for Voting Research (I can't find its Web site and have no idea what its credibility is), St. Paul is the 36th most liberal city in the U.S. out of 237 cities with populations of 100,000 or more. Detroilet ranked Numero Uno.
  • In a survey by the Center for Public Integrity, Minnesota ranked 4th (!) in lobbyist spending, behind California, New York, and Texas, three states with obviously larger populations. Some credit it to the sharp partisan divide, but a more likely culprit is Minnesota's lobbying disclosure laws, which are in sore need of updating. Campaign issue, anyone?!?
  • You know those annoying, almost-always-empty, mini-trains that snake their way through the State Fair every year and no one really knows where they go? Well, they're now on their way to the dustbin of history.
  • Of course Green Party activists use water-soluble markers for their covert graffiti pratices. Or were they set up?
  • Katherine Kersten writing about young people and religion? No...

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