Tag Archives: economic stimulus

News Day: All flood, all the time / Justice system stumbling / Post office bomb threats echo past / more

All flood, all the time As the level of the Red River slowly recedes, MPR continues to be an excellent source for flood-related news, if little else at the moment. Fifteen of the last 20 stories posted on-line (as of 7:30 a.m. today) focused on the Fargo/Red River Flood story, and one of the remaining five was the forecast of a storm that “could dump 12 inches of snow” in the region. Luckily for Fargo, most of that snow is going to fall farther south. For the Twin Cities, WCCO confirms that there’s nastiness heading our way, too, but probably not until tonight, and probably 2-6 inches of snow with freezing rain and sleet.
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News Day: NPR fear-mongering / Walgreens stiffing seniors / Michelle Minute / MN Job Watch / Around the world / more

Somali teens and NPR fear-mongering In more of the irresponsible fear-mongering that has characterized National Public Radio’s reporting on missing Somali youth, this morning’s Morning Edition story by Dina Temple Raston repeated unsubstantiated and discredited allegations that the youth will return to the U.S. to commit acts of terrorism here — and said that at least four have returned to Minneapolis and that “Now it looks like they’ve gone underground.” The damage done by such sensationalist characterizations is not balanced by the report’s admissions that “The FBI doesn’t think they are dangerous,” and that “going underground” may mean that parents are keeping the young men home and safe. Just to add the emphasis that NPR lacks, let me repeat: “The FBI doesn’t think they are dangerous.”

The report goes on to discuss secret grand jury investigations, and doesn’t let the secrecy of grand jury proceedings deter speculation about what they might be focusing on. NOTE: In contrast to National Public Radio, Minnesota Public Radio has covered the on-going story without sensationalism.
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News Day: MN unemployment up to 8.1% / Liberian countdown / Best AIG advice / Civil rights in Minneapolis / more

UPDATED: Minnesota’s unemployment hit 8.1 percent in February, matching the national rate, as the state shed 13,300 jobs during the month, according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development. January’s MN unemployment rate was 7.6 percent (NOT including “discouraged” workers, who have given up looking for full-time jobs, or those who are involuntarily working part-time because they can’t find full-time work.)

Nationwide, new unemployment insurance benefit claims last week were down to “only” 594,121, a decrease of 58,515 from the previous week. For a little perspective — there were 335,917 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008, and the total number of people claiming state unemployment insurance benefits was 6,332,272, up from 3,297,238 in 2008. Full federal report here.
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News Day: Bachmann again / Dirty coal, clean wind / From CCC to Americorps / Budget battles / MN Job Watch / Sara Jane, AIG, more

Bachmann earmarks: Yes, you did! “I have not taken earmarks in the last three years that I’ve been in Congress, because the system is so corrupt.”

But, reports MnIndy, “government watchdog groups say she has requested them—seven, to be precise, totaling $3,767,600, since she was elected to the U.S. House.
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News Day: RNC court puzzles / One in ten MPS kids homeless? / Battle of the budgets / AIG awful / FMLN wins in El Salvador / more

RNC court puzzles In Minneapolis, the scheduled appearance of government informant Andrew Clark Darst (“Panda”) on criminal charges including burglary and assault from a January episode, didn’t happen. The Minnesota Independent reports: “Apparently owing to scheduling conflicts for attorneys involved in the case, the legal matter was dealt with in an impromptu hearing earlier in the day.” The upshot: no jury trial, meaning no public testimony. Instead, in a highly unusual arrangement, Darst agreed that a judge will decide whether or not he is guilty based on written court records. The ruling is scheduled for next Monday.
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News Day: Un-real tax values / MN Stimulus /Closed U /Jail bust, not break /CIA torture /Pakistan protests /more

Un-real estate tax values So you paid $155,000 for your house just two months ago — and now the tax man says it is worth $189,000? That’s the story for one south Minneapolis homeowner, reports the Strib, and homeowners throughout the metro area are girding to do battle over assessed valuations this spring. Though home values have fallen swiftly, the taxable values set by metro-area tax authorities have not. All seven metro counties predict declines in assessed valuation of two to ten percent, although the average home sales price has fallen by one-third since September 2007. Tax assessors say the problem is the lag time in estimating values. They expect an avalanche of appeals from assessed valuations this year.

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News Day: Following the (Governor’s) money / Liberian plea / EFCA job creation / Legislature looks at hijabs, foreclosures / more

Following the money for T-Paw staff The Governor’s staff is paid by money from other state agencies, reports Mark Brunswick in the Strib. The office takes money to pay for $30,000 of senior policy adviser Josh Gackle’s $72,000 annual salary from the Ag Department, PCA, DNR and at least four other agencies. The accounting practice shifts money from other state agencies to pay for parts of at least five other T-Paw aides, reducing his office budget.

[Governor Pawlenty] has said he will reduce his office budget by $360,000 a year, or 5.1 percent, and he points out that his office is planning for 38 full-time equivalent positions for the next two budget years while previous administrations had 55 positions at their peak.

The arrangements that pay for Gackle and the other staffers will continue to help make this apparent frugality possible. So-called interagency agreements reduced the governor’s office budget by more than $700,000 last year, about 19 percent.

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News Day: Unemployment / Bad news for bus riders / Nick speaks! / Pigs flying? / Viking stadium / Outrage of the day / Wonk alert / more

Unemployment up even more than expected national unemployment figures jumped to 8.1%, even more than expected, rising half a percent in the last month, with the economy shedding 651,000 jobs. Rates for blacks (13.4 percent) and Hispanics (10.9 percent) continue higher than the average, while the jobless rate for teen-agers continues at a whopping 21.6 percent.
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News Day: More on MN deficit and recession

March 4: Back to school / MN Job Watch / TCF and TARP / TOP SECRET no longer / Sudan, Afghanistan, Mexico and more

Budget deficit: Day 2 In the aftermath of the revelation that the economic stimulus will keep the red ink from rising higher, lawmakers and the governor are back to sparring over how to make up the $4.6 billion deficit. A trio of MPR reports gives context: State Finance Commissioner Tom Hanson warned that the long-term problem will get worse, with a $5.1 billion deficit forecast for 2012-13, and that the economic stimulus is a one-time rescue that does not solve the structural problem.
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News Day: Feds rescue MN budget deficit

March 3: More news — Coleman asks for new election / Cut, cut, cut / Medicare paying off insurance companies / City Council putting brakes on Central Corridor plans? / Lock ’em up / MN Job Watch

MN budget deficit: better news MPR reports that the budget projections due out later this morning will show good news for Minnesotans, with federal stimulus money riding to the rescue. Without the federal aid, the two-year deficit was projected to grow to $6.4 billion, but with the aid, it will shrink to $4.57 billion (from the previously-projected $4.8 billion.) That’s about the only good news, with unemployment up, tax revenues down, and the Guv stlll insisting on balancing the budget by slashing LGA and other state expenditures and refusing to consider tax increases.
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