Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Quick Hits Volume: CXV

-Remember that CNBC post which indicated Minnesota was 2015's top state for business? Well when something doesn't pass the proverbial smell test, there's a reason. My Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague King Banaian laid it out.

..(I)f you dig into the data not all is well. The ranking consists of scores on 10 categories. Minnesota ranks second in education (up from 12th in 2014) and 13th in workforce – things like productivity and training programs as well as union membership and right-to-work laws – with Minnesota rising 17 places in the second category. But it is still 35th in the cost of doing business, 32nd in cost of living, and fell 8 places to 23rd in ‘business friendliness’ and 12 places in access to capital.

So what kind of cockamamie criteria would vault Minnesota to the top in such a category? One indicator is simply how well said state markets itself as a place to do business. Huh.

Well, hype is one thing. But actual statistics would seem to trump a good marketing campaign.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its most recent Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, the higher-quality but time-delayed job statistics that go deep into the state and county level.

The numbers, now available through the first quarter of 2014, paint a less promising picture of job growth in Minnesota last year than we've been seeing in the monthly job numbers.

According to the new data, which everyone agrees is more reliable than the monthly numbers, Minnesota ranked 41st in the nation in private sector job growth from March 2013 to March 2014, with a growth rate of 0.8 percent.

That ranks last in the Midwest. Behind Michigan, behind Iowa, behind Illinois, and, unfortunately, behind Wisconsin.

Amazing how growth of public sector jobs never seems to suffer to that same degree, eh?

- I'm not sure if this was meant to troll Christians, but I saw the following Tweet Sunday evening:

If you so desire, click the link in the above Tweet to read the post that delves into Jesus's sexual orientation.

To me, the answer to the author's inquiry is quite succinct: No. Jesus was without sin.

- The number of GOP presidential candidates reached double digits some time ago, yet one high-profile candidate rumored to be getting in had yet to declare.....until Monday.

Scott Walker vowed Monday to fight for America's interests abroad and for his conservative policies in Washington, launching a 2016 Republican presidential bid by highlighting his clashes with labor unions as his campaign taunted his Democratic critics.

The 47-year-old second-term governor embraced his "fighter" reputation as he formally declared his candidacy in an evening speech, his family at his side, and protesters gathered just outside the convention hall.

"We are running to serve as your president of the United States of America," Walker declared.

"Americans deserve a president who will fight and win for them," he said. "You see, it doesn't matter if you're from a big city, a suburb or a small town, I will fight and win for you. Healthy or sick, born or unborn, I will fight and win for you."

I've made no secret of how much I like the Wisconsin governor, especially when I see the needed reforms happening in the state just to our east. Walker certainly is battle tested, having won three statewide elections (including a 2012 recall) in four years. He's also young and has executive experience, which (as we know all too well given the ineptitude of the White House's current occupant) is preferable to a candidate with merely legislative experience.

Where I see Walker being vulnerable is in the area of foreign policy which, amazingly enough, has suddenly become a critical issue in the eyes of the left and media (PTR). But there's plenty of time to hone that message. Walker also continues to vehemently declare his opposition to same-sex marriage, at one point floating an idea of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution declaring individual states having a right to decide the issue. Sorry Gov. Walker, but that's a political loser, especially in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision which granted the right for same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states.

Regardless, it's going to be fun watching leftists froth over the next several months. Rarely have I seen an elected official who can conjure up such utter lunacy among libs.

I think the GOP field is officially at 15 candidates. Can we stop there, please?


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