Saturday, May 19, 2012

Republican National Committeeman Jeff Johnson's Speech at 2012 Minnesota Republican Conference

Jeff Johnson gave an absolutely great speech emphasizing unity and working for common goals and benefits at the 2012 Minnesota Republican State Convention in Saint Cloud on Saturday May 19, 2012.  It is a speech that faces, proclaims, and celebrates the normalcy of the political process, its nature and its workings. If you think this is new, then I suggest you read the articles published (Federalist and Anti-Federalists, crossing between political parties) as our country was striving to form our Constitution, to disabuse yourself of such silly notions.  The managing of "factions" and the true forming of consensus amongst the people of differing thought.  Between the "traditional" and the "Ron Paul" activists there is almost certainly a far higher degree of agreement about core issues than seems evident in the heat of debate of passionate people.  A quote attributed to Ben Franklin makes the perfect summary: "We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately", and our principles will end up on "the ash heap of history".

This speech appeared especially problematic to a writer from the Star Tribune who it would appear added his own emphasis and feeling [or may I say, exaggerations], since the very positive message and tone of this speech was not very evident from that report.
Republican activists and libertarian-leaning Ron Paul supporters have spent two tense days at the state GOP convention wrestling with complex feelings about one another.
In a speech to 2,000 GOP activists,  finally took on what has at times been a seething anger between the two factions.
Seething … really?  I have passionate discussions about these issues almost daily with my Ron Paul friends, and seething anger really seems wholly inappropriate.  Did I mention … they are friends!  And that is really the message from Jeff's speech.

So to really see the wonderful nature of Jeff's speech, here is the video and the real/complete text of it.  The difference of those few words "paraphrased" from those really spoken makes a rather large and profound difference to tone and content.

The complete speech was:

Thanks Pat, and you know Pat kind of covered the substance of the RNC, and I would agree with everything she said. We really have seen a turn around, we're trying to keep our eye's on that, thats part of our job.  Its not just to trust that everything will go well, but to make sure its continuing to go well.  So we will do that.

I want to just talk about something else for a minute or two, because I find it a little ironic that we are the Republican party, and everybody up here, who has spoken, while I've been here at least, has kind of avoided the big old elephant in the room. Which is the tension that we're kind of seeing between the Ron Paul folks and the non-Ron Paul folks.  And I just want to touch on that. And see how many people I can make mad in the next couple of minutes before I run for re-election.  There is a tension, its a real tension.  Its not perceived.  Its what your all talking, its what we're all talking about, its what the Star Tribune writes a story about practically every day. There's a tension there, its real.  But'cha know what, it's not new, and its OK.  We always have tensions in this party [Ed: and anywhere politics exists, be it business, academia, or actual politics], we always have disagreements about what we should be focussing on, and which candidates we should be supporting, or maybe even some serious disagreements about the substance of actual issues.  We always have rules fights.  In fact our rules fight yesterday was one of the mildest I've seen in a while. [laughter] We always have disagreements about who we should endorse for important offices.  And as I look back to past endorsing conventions, yesterdays was probably LESS intense than a lot of them we have seen in the past. So its not new.  But it is real.  And I know that it is really bothering some people, kind of on both sides of that issue. So I want to say something to both the Ron Paul lovers in the room, and the Ron Paul haters in the room. And there's a whole bunch of us, I would argue most of us, are somewhere in between those two groups.  But there's a big chunk from both groups.  So to the Ron Paul lovers in the group, the one's who are here because of Ron Paul, you … [cheers] … wait till you hear what I have to say.  You know what the chatter is.  You know what the talk is.  You know there's a lot of anger. Some of the anger is from people who have been sitting in your seats for twenty or thirty years, doing hard work, and aren't here this year.  Because your here this year instead.  And so you've got to understand that anger, and you've got to appreciate that anger.  And the chatter is, fair or not, I think most of you have heard it, "they don't care about the Republican Party, they're going to lose interest, they're going to disappear, they're going to let someone else do the work, and some of them aren't even going to vote for Republicans".  That's what the chatter is out there.  And it might not be fair, but a lot of people are saying that.  And if that makes you mad, if that perception makes you mad, and I think it should, cause it would make me mad … then make sure it doesn't happen.  Don't disappear, don't let some one else do the work [cheers] don't loose interest. [cheering]  And, let me just add one thing, and I think its fair to say that if we're all part of the Republican Party, then we all need to vote for Republicans in November, period. [cheering, and shouting]  Now … let me make the other half of the room mad at me.  For the Ron Paul haters in the room, and that's a strong term, but its out there.  The folks who really just want to purge the party of the Ron Paul people, the folks that I've heard to say, I've heard say: "why can't it just be like it was 6 or 8 years ago.  My advice to you is …  get over it! [cheers and yells]  I am a ... I'm a strong ... I'm a strong believer in politics, business, whatever it is, that there's no such thing as standing still.  If you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards.  If we don't grow, we die as a party.  [cheers and yells]  And so I … I look at a lot of the new folks that I'm seeing here, the new Ron Paul folks and I see their enthusiasm, I see their passion, I see their ridiculous ability to organize, [hoots] and their work ethic, and I say thank God they're here and we should open, welcome them with our open arms, and we should help them succeed.  Because that's how we are going to grow as a party. [cheers] So… now that I have drawn multiple new opponents to my RNC race in a few hours, let me just finish with this.  I coach youth football, and the theme every year that I have coached to these boys has been the same. And that is "finish the job".  You haven't tackled some one when you have your arms around them, you've tackled them when you've driven them into the ground [Ed: well that analogy ought to get the Strib folks hackles up]  And yesterday, yesterday and today I think we've had a great convention.  I really do.  I think this has been a very positive convention. [cheers] But you know what, the easy part is now done, and now its time for us to finish the job. And we need all of us to finish job.  And I'm confident we can do it because there are two things that every one in this room agrees upon.  And I'd bet my kids college fund that every single solitary alternate and delegate in this room can agree on these two things.  We need to can Barack Obama, and fire Amy Klobuchar. And we need to do it together! [standing ovation, cheering]  Thank you very much.

Pat Anderson speaking at the 2012 Minnesota Republican State Convention

The reports from National Committee Representatives, Pat Anderson and Jeff Johnson, address the state of the Republican National Committee (RNC).

Pat Anderson described the turn-around that has occurred since last year, and the GOP's ability to campaign against the vast Obama machine this November.
"I want to give a very brief RNC update, along with Jeff, last month you might have seen we raised over $40 million dollars at the RNC.  Incredible numbers. And the RNC has been record, having record breaking fund raising.  Its been dramatic, dramatic turn around in the last year and a half.  As you know we came out of the 2010 election cycle under the previous leadership at the RNC with huge, I think $20 million dollars, $24 million in the hole at the RNC. And in a year and a half we have not only made that up but we have significant cash on hand, and we are absolutely ready to take on Barack Obama!  We also plan to out do, out do the Democrats this year in terms of social media.  And you can see, you can go online, you can sign up for all the twitter feeds, everything is going to be integrated.  And I think Republicans in 2012 are going to be the party of social media and the web.  We are going to out do the Democrats.  You know, our campaign officially kicks off with Tampa at the end of August. But we are already on the ground and moving, and it looks like we have a presidential nominee folks, and we're going to rally behind that person.  We're going to start going after Obama heavily, because we have got to take back, we have got to take back this country.  And we're going to do it now, and we're going to win in November.  So Jeff and I are here as representatives.  I've been elected to serve on the platform committee for the RNC.  So we will have a loud voice here folks from Minnesota.  A loud voice in our National Platform.  I think that is very, very important for the grass roots of this party.  So I'm pleased that we're going to do that.  And I'm going to turn it over to Jeff.  Thank you very much."

Chris Fields speaking at 2012 Minnesota Republican Convention

Chris Fields is running in Congressional District 5 against Keith Ellison.  He spoke for 5 minutes at the 2012 Minnesota Republican Convention.  Here is his speech in video and text.  He is a dynamic Marine and makes great sense.

Ladies and gentlemen, Minneapolis and the 5th Congressional District is home to wonderful people and wonderful Fortune 500 companies.  We are also the home of the largest achievement gap in education between black and white students in the entire country.  We are also home to the largest unemployment gap between blacks and whites in the entire country.  And here's why I need you to care, because failed policies, bad leadership,  are making our district and in fact our state a National embarrassment.  I am the endorsed republican challenger to Keith Maurice Ellison, and I will take the fifth back.  My name is Chris Fields, I'm a 21 year combat veteran of the United States Marine Corp.  Look, I'll be the first to tell folks, I was not born and raised in Minnesota.  I was born and raised in the south Bronx.  Born to a fifteen year old welfare Mother, who had three kids before she was twenty.  And for that reason, I am very unapologetic about being pro-life. I know first hand what failed policies do to the most vulnerable amongst us.  I have personally felt the sting and shame of walking in and out of welfare offices and using foods stamps.  Those experiences left me with a deep desire to work, earn, and achieve, and I have achieved. But because I have achieved, that's why I am standing before you.  But that's not my purpose.  My purpose is so that I can help everyone achieve.  They tell me that winning back the 5th is going to be tough.  But I stand here fully prepared because I know what it takes to win tough battles.  Growing up dirt poor in New York City, that's tough.  Fighting in Iraq, that's tough.  We can win in the fifth.  And in order to win I need every single delegate and alternate, and republican, and independent, and conservative democrat in this state to get involved so we can take it back.  I'll give you a couple of ways you can get involved, friend us, like our Facebook page.  That's not tough.  Follow us on Twitter. That's not tough.  Send a letter to the editor. That's not tough.  Buy a T-Shirt, we take credit cards, its really not that tough.  Send in 10 bucks, tell your friends about this race.  This one will be one for ages. Because while Keith has run around, talking with all of his special interest buddies about how the earth has a fever, and we can't drill for oil because of that.  And while he's doing all those things, I will be focussed on the fifth congressional district, and Minneapolis, and I'm going to build together a coalition that is ready to bring in a new era of leadership.  And he will try those old stale techniques of trying to divide people and tell them that 2012 is about choosing between left and right.  I will unite the people and remind them this is about choosing what's right.  And let me tell you, what's right is a full and complete audit of the Fed.  What's right is ending the war in Afghanistan. What's right is standing up for America.  What's right is standing up for single Mom's and single Dad's.  What's right is standing up for students and standing up for the middle class, and standing up for our seniors and our veterans.  What's right is when the entire GOP decides to fight in Minneapolis and the Fifth Congressional district so we can give ourselves a chance to win state wide races.  That's whats right.  And whats right is fighting in Minneapolis so we can keep Keith Ellison's million dollar fund raising machine out of your district.  And finally, when the doubters and nay-sayers come, they look at me and they say Hey Chris Fields, who do you think you are Allen West?  My answer would be this, No, because frankly I'm better looking.  And when they come up to me and they say do you really think you can win in the fifth?  Do you really think you can beat Keith Ellison, your not even from here.  Well I will stare at them with the steely eyed look of a Marine and give them two words … "You Betcha"!  Thank you and God Bless You, God Bless the United States of America."

Tony Hernandez Speech at 2012 Minnesota Republican Convention

Tony Hernandez spoke for 5 minutes at the 2012 Minnesota Republican State Convention.  He addressed immigration and economic issues in his contest with Betty McCollum for the Fourth Congressional District (MNCD4) in Minnesota.

Tony says that he and his bride Leona believe that marriage is a mission, and can think of no better way to start their family together than to fight to restore constitutional principles to America, to fight for limited government, reduce spending, cap the National Debt (he knows they already owe approximately $277,000  between them now for National Debt), a right to life, culture of family.  That's what they are going to fight for in Washington DC.

Tony addressed immigration and the economy.  Many people have called him Latino-American, Hispanic-American, or a Mexican-American.  He rejects this, he is an American! Period!  He is a patriot.
"But we must remember nobody in the history of this world  has done more to build the American Dream than the immigrants who built this country.  Those who held onto that dream and passed it to their children.  We are all proof, right here in this room, of the American Dream.  We are all immigrants who are here because of that dream and the United States of America.  President Obama has set many records in the past four years.  He has amassed the largest debt the history of world has ever seen.  There are more people on food stamps than ever before.  And he has deported more immigrants than any other US President in history. This tragic trifecta is an avalanche of errors that threatens to destroy the American Dream, the fabric of our country.  The net immigration from Mexico has reached zero. This means that for every person coming into this country another person was leaving. Its not because our boarders are stronger!  Its because this administration, along with Betty McCollum, their solution to immigration has been to make the economic environment so caustic that it doesn't even support life any more, and we need to change that. This is not about citizenship, this is not about amnesty, this is about creating an easier path to legal immigration.  To build a base of consumers, home owners, contributors, entrepreneurs, to be as it always has been, that the foundation of America's greatness and prosperity has been in the hard work and blood, sweat and tears of the immigrant.  This nation must return to what it once was capturing the imagination of our worlds youth, the worlds greatest visionaries risk takers and entrepreneurs.  We must restore the American values by unraveling Obama's, McCollums, and Klobuchars's government failure.  And legal immigration must be a part of that.  The American Dream is on the shoulder of all of us, the immigrants, we must all rise from the ashes of this administration.  To once again amaze the world and capture its imagination.  Not with how far we have fallen, but where we will go."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Klobamanomics vs Econ 101 A New Teacher's in Town

The Senate has not passed a budget in three plus years since Obama became president.  That form of "Klobamanomics" (Bills description) will meet real world Econ 101 with Kurt Bill's endorsement at the 2012 MInnesota Republican Convention.  No more rubber stamping of Obama's failing economic policies that exist with Amy Klobuchar (and Betty McCollum…).

Kurt Bills won the endorsement in two ballots, with a strong swell of support from the Ron Paul enthusiasts.
Ballot 1Ballot 2
Kurt Bills11351353
Pete Hegseth450316
Doc Severson501439
Harold Shudley35---

Kurt Bills Speech seeking endorsement at the convention center in Saint Cloud

Kurt Bills acceptance of the endorsement for US Senate at the 2012 Republican Convention

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Oakdale MN Economic Development Commission Jobs Report Presentation

Rachel Vilsack, Coordinator of Special Projects, Labor Market Information Office, gave a semi-annual presentation on Labor data, at the Oakdale Minnesota, Economic Development Commission meeting on Wednesday 5/9/2012.  The presentation focused on Minnesota vs the US labor rates and gave some specific information about the City of Oakdale employment picture.  The presentation was a very good summary of the effects of the recession and the status of the job recovery. One I believe you will find very watchable and informative. The Oakdale specific information is a unique view into the economy of our community, one I don't think you can readily find in such a nice presentation.

Highlights were:

Total employment statistics had peaked at nearly 2.8 million jobs in Feb 2008.  We subsequently lost 154,000 or 5.5% in Minnesota, and US lost at 6.4%.  Feb 2010 was our minimum/trough, and we have regained about 79,000 as of March 2012  If we maintain adding jobs at the current rate, about 2700 jobs per month, we will regain our pre-recession peak in May of 2014.  The charts and statistics show that Minnesota, and as Rachel relates, in fact most of the midwestern states, were less affected than the nation as a whole.  Not that that makes any of those affected feel any less pain as they became one of the statistics, and hopefully part of the in progress recovery.

As employment has increased, the average weekly hours and wages have begun returning, and we should regain the 2008 level in just a couple of months (from May 2012).  Also average earnings have improved by $1.15/hour bringing it to $24.57 per hour.

Oakdale  (employers located in Oakdale, MN) Third Quarter statistics are:
Establishments516585 580
Jobs 6902 7251 8197
Total Wages (millions)$69 $71 $90
Ave Weekly Wage $773 $760$848

Oakdale Minnesota Industry Trends
Largest employing industries 3Q 2011
SectorJobs in 3Q 2011Change from 3Q 2009
to 3Q2011
Retail1369( (17%)
Accommodation and food services1106 (14%)
Manufacturing828 (10%)- 128
Finance and insurance810 (10%)+ 369
Health care and social assistance558 (7%)+ 91
Administrative and Support+ 320
Educational services- 58
Arts and Entertainment- 41

Unemployment rates for Minnesota peaked at 8.5% while US peaked at 10.2%.  Declines in the unemployment rate can also be seen as the result of fewer people actively seeking employment and dropping out of the labor market.  This can be due to many reasons, the recent recession as well as long term demographic trends of retiring baby boomers.  The number of people who have not been able to find employment for well over a year also continues to swell.  Many people are continuing to find challenges in their personal economic situation.  Rachel further discusses some more of the participation rate in the video.  [Note: I plan on making that a subject for a later discussion.]

At the peak in 2009 there were 8 jobs seekers per job vacancy.  That number has fallen to about 3 job seekers per opening at the end of 2011.

Minnesota industry projections, 2010 to 2020 show the largest new job growth areas to be in Construction +42.3% (37,103 jobs) and Education and Health Services +32.1% (142,776), with manufacturing only gaining +4.9% (14,198). Recovery from steep job losses in the recession will likely boost job growth in Minnesota during this decade.  Slowing as baby boomer retirements peak and the number of people entering the labor force slows considerably. Replacement workers to fill vacancies (retirements, or leaving profession) will be 670,000.  I have a great video of a presentation done by the Minnesota Economist and Demographer that is a very good introduction of the topic of "The Boomer Tsunami" demographics and the economy.

In summary, we are in a protracted recovery period that still has a way go to return to where we were pre-recession.  The good news is that the recovery, anemic though it might be, is in progress.  The difficulty lies in the job market makeup (kinds of jobs) and the job increase versus (or keeping apace with) population growth.