Archive for September, 2010

The Federal DREAM Act

Congress is debating the DREAM act, which would give the children of undocumented immigrants the opportunity to normalize their status, and thereafter gain citizenship, if they server in the military or get a college education. If there was ever a no-brainer, this is it, and polls show widespread support for it. Businesses support it. Human rights groups support it. But….and you know when it comes to immigration, there’s always a but….there’s a group of vocal conservatives who are dead-set against it. I may not fully understand their logic, but as best as I can tell, it boils down to, “If we pass this, then we will encourage more 5-year-old children to convince their parents to come to the U.S. so they can join the military and go to college.”

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A Vision for Minnesota

Tom Emmer released the final part of his budget plan yesterday. As I figured, it was pretty brutal: a one-third cut(!) to LGA, cuts to K-12 education (giving them less than they get this year is not quite “holding education harmless”), cuts to higher ed, cuts to health care (reading between the lines of his priorities, I’m guessing a significant reduction in MinnesotaCare for working adults), and not paying back the K-12 funding shift until later (there’s that “harmless” again). It’s quite the vision for Minnesota. I had an inkling of what he was planning on doing before I read this, and it was confirmed in his talk today: Emmer wants to continue down the Pawlenty path of dismantling the Minnesota Miracle.

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Anti-union sentiment

I was reading this story about concessions that Harley-Davidson is asking its union workers to agree to in order to save their jobs in Wisconsin. What struck me was not the fact that workers were being asked to sacrifice for years, something that happens with depressing regularity these days, but the reader comments on the story. Star Tribune story comments, by and large, represent a diversity of political wisdom ranging from Pat Buchanan to Mussolini, so it’s not all that shocking to see right-wing comments on stories. What I do not understand, however, is the strong anti-union sentiment that so many people express and agree with.

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Emmer’s budget fantasy

Tom Emmer has been rightly criticized for not revealing the details of his budget (the Grand Forks Herald, not exactly a liberal newspaper, has a particularly brutal dressing-down of Emmer). So far, he’s released a program of more than $600 million in tax cuts, which only widens the budget deficit Minnesota faces. Why hasn’t he released a detailed budget yet? Probably because there’s little way he can make the numbers honestly add up.

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Upgrade blues and customer service

About six months ago, I bought a Motorola Cliq XT smartphone. The phone itself is still just fine, and I have no real complaints about it. However, my phone is at the center of an issue that is demonstrating how not to deal with your customers: the issue of a promised upgrade that keeps slipping away.

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