Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday musings - hot, hot March edition

(Insert inane global warming joke here) Let's muse.


An article on the proposal moving through the state legislature to allow Broadway Liquor Outlet to bypass zoning regulations in North Minneapolis (damaged by the tornado last year) to move across the street yield some interesting quotes.  Among them, this from councilman Don Samuels:

"Rather than going through a lengthy process, which someone from outer space would look at and say, 'These humans are ridiculous, why don't they just move the business across the street?"

Unless they were fleeing their home planet to escape onerous regulations, in which case they would studiously avoid Minneapolis.

And councilman Gary Schiff:

"why don't we just do away with the [zoning requirement] so we're not just doing this for one person?"

Hey Gary, next city council meeting, look around at the faces staring back at you. You'll have your answer. No go back to writing more frivolous regulations for the bemusement of the space aliens. 


Some ideas? No gazebos within 50 ft. of multi-stall garages. The scourge of gazeboshame has plagued our city long enough. Get Meg Tuthill to propose it and ram it through. Also, a two week moratorium on ice cream sales by grocery stores, because that's probably important to somebody.


So yeah, I've never been a fan of Yelp. In theory, the democratization of the review process can yield valuable results, in the aggregate. One million people can't be wrong collectively, even if 600,000 of them are, individually. I get it, and I'll even tolerate it.

But what essentially amounts to extorting local businesses (albeit not necessarily in the legal sense... That's for you, Yelp legal team) is not tolerable. Read this here, and do encourage your friends not to visit that site anymore.

An interesting analysis of the new Obama fundraising hagiography documentary by The New Republic. This is especially salient

"The film essentially argues that the economic circumstances forced the president’s hand on health care reform. Hanks explains how health care was “a crisis that others wanted to avoid” and that it was “crushing family budgets, choking business.” “He knew he couldn’t fix economy if he didn’t fix health care,” Hanks instructs us.

Not only is this not true as a substantive proposition—the lack of affordable health coverage simply had nothing to do with the spiraling unemployment rate and shrinking economy."
Correct, and here are a couple of observations about that. Clearly, the focus on health care didn't win Obama any support among voters, but HOW he sold the health care bill has as much to do with why it failed.

First of all, the administration went to great lengths to pretend Obamacare would save us money. Not only did this not pass the smell test, but it opened him up to some of the more damning charges against the plan itself.

Simply put, a small percentage of people, most of them close to dying, consume the lion's share of health care. This inconvenient fact forced Obama to back off his claim to cost savings, and instead jujitsu the numbers such that CBO would declare the bill to be deficit neutral (which his legions of fans ignorantly took to mean it wouldn't cost anything). In order to make this work, the administration punted the most expensive components of Obamacare into 2014.

As a result, in addition to there being no positive economic impact from Obamacare (obviously), there is no health care impact. Worse, as companies prepare for the onslaught of ensuing federal regulations, and as health care costs continue to rise, most people are seeing reduced benefits.

That's quite the pickle, but one of his own brining. 


I do find adorable the fact folks on the left think normal people will want to watch a 17 minute campaign ad for Barack Obama.


Molly Ball of The Atlantic asks: "Has Mitt Romney run a lousy campaign?"

No, he has not. He is winning the nomination handily, and polls even with the sitting president. He'd have the thing de jure were it not for state GOPs tumbling over themselves to stagger their primaries in a vain attempt to play a more important role in selecting the nominee.

The article cites a former strategist for McCain and Huntsman as a source, which is adorable.


Had a date night at Saffron. Opted to split small plates, which choice the waiter affirmed by declaring we were going tapas-style. Smart move. Tell a foodie they're splitting appetizers and you'll deflate their pride. Tell them it's a tapas-style experience, and they'll feel edgy, because 'tapas' is not an American word.

As always, the brains were a highlight, but so was the baba ghanoush (part of the traditional spreads plate) and there are no misses at this restaurant. Service knocked it out as always. Place was depressingly under-patronized as always. Get there.


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