The Uncomfortable Truth About Daycare

And the Opportunity We Have in Minnesota

In the Summer 2016 issue of National Affairs, Carrie Lukas and Steven E. Rhoads challenge the conventional wisdom that babies and young children derive no benefit from being cared for full time by mothers.  Even when mothers return to work during the first year of their child’s life, it may “confer both advantages and disadvantages and that for the average non-Hispanic white child, those effects balance each other.”

In their article, The Uncomfortable Truth about Daycare , Lukas and Rhoads point out that the reality is more complicated.  They cite a 2010 study that that found that when mothers went back to work made a difference.  It also mattered whether mothers worked full time or part time.  The study found that, irrespective of quality or type of care, time in child-care in the first 54 months (4 1/2 years) of life was predictive of more risk taking behavior and impulsivity.

The authors also discuss research conducted following a major child-care policy change instituted in Quebec. 

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Working While Republican, Part 2 - Few at Universities

In our article last week about Working While Republican (Click here to read) , we pointed out the lack of legal workplace protection for outside-of-work political speech and activity. But how real is the career risk?

If your workplace is a University, the risk to your career is evident in some recently publicized statistics and hiring practices. As reported by National Review in April 2016 “Yes Universities Discriminate Against Conservatives”

“According to data compiled by the Higher Education Research Institute, only 12% of university faculty identify as politically right of center, and these are mainly professors in schools of engineering and other professional schools. Only 5% of professors in the humanities and social-science departments so identify. A comprehensive study by James Lindgren of Northwestern University Law School shows that in a country fairly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, only 13% of law professors identify as Republican. And a recent study by Jonathan Haidt of New York University showed that 96% of social psychologists identify as left of center, 3.7% as centrist/moderate and only 0.03% as right of center.”

And a May 2016 NY Times editorial headlined “Confessions of Liberal Intolerance”
included some specific examples and countered with this:

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Working While Republican - Part 1 - The Risks

Is it time for a law protecting private-sector employees from discrimination based on political affiliation or political activity outside the workplace?  Or is that an exercise in futility?

A group I worked with uncovered a surprising fact during a discussion of mandatory health insurance at an informal lunch with former team mates,  after I retired a few years ago.  All but one of us were Republicans!  And they’d all thought that I (a lifelong conservative) was not.

In a metropolitan area that’s heavily Democrat-leaning, how do people decide whether it’s work-safe to be openly Republican?  There is no law in Minnesota (nor in 46 other states) prohibiting private-sector employment discrimination based on political affiliation or activities. 


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Monday June 27 Council Vote - Organized Trash Charter

Will Bloomington City Council Reject Certified Petitions?

The charter amendment petition requiring a citizen vote on Organized Trash will be a topic of discussion at a Bloomington City Council meeting on Monday evening, June 27 (tonight!), as the last item on the agenda.    Based on the agenda item title “Accept City Clerk's Certificate of Sufficiency but Rejecting Petition for Charter Amendment as Manifestly Unconstitutional” it is expected the council will move once again to reject the citizens' petition.  The agenda item is not open for public comment.

You have the opportunity to be present when the petition is discussed by the City Attorney, the Mayor and the City Council.  If you believe it is important to stand up for the rights granted to the citizens by the Bloomington charter, be a witness.  The proposed Charter Amendment is not a vote on the pluses or minuses of Organized Trash Collection.  It is a request that it be put to a vote of the people of Bloomington.

The meeting starts at 7 PM.  This link at the city website connects to the agenda and also live-streaming of the meeting.  

Continue on to read more about the issue, the petition, and the importance of the Monday evening Council meeting. 

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Future of the Republican Party

Keith_Downey.jpgKeith Downey’s positive message on the Future of the Republican Party was published in the Star Tribune Opinion section June 15.  It was lengthy, and perhaps you only skimmed the last sentences so we’ve repeated some of those below.  This is a message we can use as we talk with neighbors and friends this election season.  You can read the full article at the Star Tribune site HERE.

But this election is not just about big government, bad deals, open borders, leading from behind and debt — those are symptoms of a broader decay in our institutions and in the personal virtue necessary to sustain a civil society.

We also need America to be decent again.

Republicans share the tried-and-true ethic of everyday folks — family and faith, enterprise and hard work, loving our neighbor and giving back.

Simply put, we care.

The party of Lincoln believes every Minnesotan is invaluable, and we trust Minnesotans — not more government — for our future.

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Trash Petitions Submitted to Bloomington Charter Commission

The Bloomington Charter Commission met in special session on Thursday, June 9.  The Commission had only one item on its agenda – to acknowledge the receipt of a petition signed by 2,500 Bloomington residents.  The petition had more than enough signatures to put an amendment to the city charter on the ballot this fall.

The petition asked that the City’s Charter be amended to read:  “Unless first approved by a majority of the voters in a state general election, the City shall not replace the competitive market in solid waste collection with a system in which solid waste services are provided by government-chosen collectors or in government-designated districts.”

Before the Charter Commission adjourned, the Commission voted unanimously to acknowledge the petition and forward it to the city for verification of signatures.

Bloomington officials have had two earlier opportunities to respond to the concerns of a significant segment of Bloomington residents.  Both times, they have chosen to ignore those concerns by either finding flaws with the referendum petition or arguing that state statues preempted an initiative petition.  They continued to publish assurances that Organized Collection would begin this fall.

The petitioners are simply saying that Bloomington residents should have the right to vote, up or down, the imposition of Organized Trash Collection.  A government action that denies residents the right to choose their own vendors, to assemble on their own to negotiate with those vendors, and that constrains competition by dictating exclusive zones where each vendor can operate certainly cries out for a vote.  It is to the credit of the Charter Commission that it rightly chose to recognize the significance of the petition and voted to pass it on to the city. 

Gov Dayton Vetoes Tax Relief for MN Middle Class

Gov. Dayton has vetoed the bipartisan tax bill.   He created another St Paul Stand-off that didn’t need to happen.  The Governor is citing a wording error in the bill’s language as justification for playing politics.


The bill contained middle class tax cuts, property tax relief for small businesses and farmers, and some tax incentives that will diversify the Iron Range’s economy.  At $259 million, it represented less than a third of the projected 2016 budget surplus, but it would have delivered on a Republican promise to turn a portion of that surplus into tax relief for Minnesotans.  It was a bill that passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support in the House and Senate. It passed in the House 123-10. It passed in the Senate 55-12.  Republicans certainly “worked across the aisle” to get very worthwhile results.

So worthwhile that Gov Dayton is now using the tax bill as a bargaining chip.  He is bargaining that Republicans will agree to more spending and possibly higher taxes to secure his agreement to call a special session on the bonding bill.

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Melisa Franzen Wants More Taxes For Transportation

Senator Melisa Franzen Disguises Taxes as “New Sources of Funding”

Is Melisa Franzen a wolf in sheep’s clothing?  In a recent newsletter to constituents, Senator Franzen (D) described her approach for funding the transportation bill as “a comprehensive, long-term approach that increases NEW DEDICATED FUNDING” (emphasis ours). In other words, she’s supporting a LONG-TERM TAX INCREASE.  But why not just say that?  Why use terms that disguise the truth?

 Of course, given her proclivity for supporting fiscally irresponsible tax and spend policies, it’s not surprising that she’d advocate for a tax increase. But why is she not being more straightforward and honest with her constituents?

Perhaps Senator Franzen isn’t proud of the policies she supports.  Or perhaps she just wants to pull the wool over our eyes.  We Minnesotans pride ourselves in being reasonably well-educated and fiscally literate.  We know that a tax by any other name is still a tax, and if taxes need to be raised we’d like to be presented with them honestly.

Fortunately, we have the opportunity to vote this year to send a more honest representative to St. Paul.  We can vote for Mike Lehman for State Senator.  He is fiscally responsible.  He tells it like it is, using straightforward terms.  He will be a welcome replacement for Melisa Franzen, who apparently doesn’t mind trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

Franzen’s deceptive language is a consistent pattern.  Read on for more Franzen twists of truth.

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It’s a Question of Priorities: Edina School Spending Decisions

The Edina school district has been forced to reveal the true priorities underlying the $124.9 million referendum that it foisted on the public last May.  You may recall that the school district sold the 2015 referendum, in part, as being about school safety and critically needed school security improvements.   The district’s sales pitch focused on school safety and school security improvements precisely because the district knew that child safety sells. 

Growing_Safety.jpgThe district sent its spokespeople out throughout Edina to convince us that our aging elementary schools were falling apart and that our children’s safety was at risk at schools that were designed at a simpler, and presumably safer, time.  To address this fact, the district promised that one priority was to improve security at all of the elementary schools.  Their plan was to renovate each of the elementary schools to allow for a single point of entry, funneling all visitors past the office.  

Coming on the heels of well-publicized school shootings, the district’s rhetoric was well designed to sow the maximum level of anxiety among Edina parents and citizens.  Although only a tiny fraction of the referendum spending, just $7.9 million, was actually earmarked for security improvements, the taxpayers bought the district’s sales pitch.

We now have learned that building fancy new athletic fields are far more important to the school district than our children’s safety, belying the district’s sales jargon. 

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Voting: Duty, Choice or Something Else?

forest.jpgHenry Rymer has written a thoughtful piece that asks you to consider the impact of local candidates when deciding whether to vote this year.  

CLICK HERE to read it on "Max for House",  Max Rymer's campaign website. 

Be sure to look around while you're there!  



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