Archive - October 2013




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Monday Morning Quarterback – 10/28/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: October 28th, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

The Rouen Group: Award Winning Grassroots and Issue Advocacy Campaigns R.I.P Lou Reed:  American musician and song writer Lou Reed died Sunday at the age of 71.  He was a favorite of mine growing up.  Here are a couple of my favorites (Walk on the Wild Side) and Sweet Jane) 19 Foods Minnesota Does Better Than Anyone Else: Last week I posted an article that was pretty negative on MN cuisine, but this week I provide some redemtion.  Although doing Lutefisk better than anyone else still does not make it good. (read) Our Landfills are Filled with Food: An interesting article from the Star Tribune, about "sell by dates" and food waste: "discarded food to be the largest single contributor to the nation’s landfills and costing Americans money, according to a recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic. The average family of four that spends about $632 to $1,252 per month on groceries is throwing away about $112 to $190 each month on outdated food and restaurant leftovers, researchers concluded..." (More) The Campaign Trail Recent News and Notes from the Campaign Trail... Competitive Primaries Ahead for MN GOP: The Star Tribune looks ahead at the likely potential of competitive primaries for the GOP candidates for Governor and US Senate. (Read) A Big Endorsement: Governor Chris Christie scored a "big" endorsement when Shaquille O'Neal did this ad for his re-election campaign (watch). SNL is Back: The opening of Saturday Night Live had a humorous look at the healthcare.gov website roll out. (Watch) Worth A Read A few of my favorite articles, commentaries and posts... Wellstone's Revenge: How Democrats Took Their State Back This is a must read article for anyone interested in Minnesota politics.  It is a detailed analysis of just how the DFL built a coalition of stakeholders that worked together to create a majority party in MN. (Read) W. Virginia's Road to Red: Just as Minnesota has turned blue (read the article above) West Virginia has moved from blue to red.  The Washington Post has an interesting look at why this has happened. (Read) More People Receive Government Benefits Than Work Full-Time: "Americans who were recipients of means-tested government benefits in 2011 outnumbered year-round full-time workers, according to data released this month by the Census Bureau. They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines..." (read) GQ: Everyone Should Have a Tailor That Knows Them By Name: This article from GQ, written by Minnesotan and friend David Coggins lays out the case for good tailoring: "A maître d', a mechanic, a fly fishing guide, even a ticket broker—these are the names of men you should have in your arsenal. They connect you to your interests then help you improve them; they're enablers in the best sense. You choose the clothes, but the tailor is the translator—the last set of hands that touches the thread before you wear them.  It's best if those hands are trusted..." (More) Of course you can always stop by The Foursome Clothing Store for on-site tailoring from their head tailor who has over 40 years of experience... By The Numbers: A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers: 1960 The last time the Gophers beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers in football, until Saturday. $700,000,000 According to Bloomberg News the Twins are the 19th most valuable franchise in baseball at $700 million. 1-6 The Vikings record after another loss on national television. 15570.28 The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week.  Up over 170 points since last week. Please share the MMQ on Facebook, Email and Twitter.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 10/21/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: October 21st, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

The Rouen Group: Award Winning Grassroots and Issue Advocacy Campaigns The Great American Menu:  This is a really fun article.  Minnesota does not fare well, but that is because Iowa stole the corn-dog: "What are the United States' best regional foodstuffs? Its worst? These are the questions that bedevil the mind of man—but no longer! For here, we have ranked them... (read) From Tasty to Healthy: If you read the article above you are probably craving some of the delicious items, but to curb the cravings here are 9 foods you should never eat, many of which make the above items good.  There are a few surprises of things I thought were in the healthy category...(Read)  Slang Words from the 1920's We Should Use Again: Don't take any wooden nickles while on the giggle water.  And if you are half seas over don't pull a Daniel Boone.  Find out what those many and many other great terms from the 1920's. (here) The Campaign Trail Recent News and Notes from the Campaign Trail... Cam Winton Mayor of Minneapolis: Is it far fetched to think that an Independent candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis can win?  I think not. Cam has done an excellent job of simplifying his message and connecting with voters across party lines on issue important to them like education, city services and public safety.  Take a minute to read this profile of him in the Star Tribune (here) and if you want to learn more, join me and other Minneapolis business and professional leaders for an event for Cam Winton on Friday October 25th.  For details call or email me. Incumbents Enjoy Big Lead in MN Congressional Races: Here is an update on the recently released fundraising numbers in MN's Congressional races.  Two interesting notes, Tom Emmer continues to lead all challengers in the open 6th District and Stewart Mills running against Rick Nolan in the 8th District was one of only a handful of challengers around the country to out raise an incumbent.  Get to know Stewart Mills. (read) The Shut Down is Over, Who are the Winners and Losers: A good recap of the shut down and who are the perceived winners and losers...(Read) The Best of the Shut Down Jokes: The Washington Post collected a video montage of some of the best jokes by the late night talk show hosts.(watch) Worth A Read A few of my favorite articles, commentaries and posts... If the sailing is smooth, it’s due to the actions of past legislatures, not the one from 2013. MN Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of Public Affairs Bill Blazer, writes a very good opinion piece examining business attitudes toward the current legislature as well as looking at who really deserves the credit for the recent uptick in the Minnesota economy.(read) A Switch From Defending the Teachers Union to Pushing For Reform: This article from MinnPost made the rounds on social media over the weekend.  The interesting thing is that both Republicans and Democrats were sharing the article.  Hopefully that means there can be some agreement on reforms:  "I regret it took me 10 or more years to realize that actually a big part of the problem isnot that too many poor brown people don’t care enough about their own kids. It’s that too many white middle-class people like me don’t care enough about those same kids.  Because poor brown people did not design our current school system. They don’t sit on the school board or on the union or district negotiating teams or in the state Legislature. In Minneapolis, white middle-class DFLers are sitting in nearly all those seats. And if the system that our tribe created and enabled looks like a modern version of Jim Crow, our political tribe needs to change it..." (More) 5 Epic Battles Ahead for the 113th Congress: Now that phase one of the shut down is over the Congress is back to tackle some major issues including immigration, Affordable Care Act and of course the Budget.  Here is a good summary of those issues and a few other issues to watch.  (Read) By The Numbers: A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers: 78% Of business owners and managers say politicians may understand the basics of running a business but don’t understand how government can get in the way of a business being successful. 38% Of Americans that do not want to see their member of Congress re-elected.  The highest percentage wanting to get rid of their own member in more than two decades of Pew polling. 20-17 Nice road victory for Gopher football over Northwestern. 15399.67 The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week.  Up nearly 160 points since last week. Please share the MMQ on Facebook, Email and Twitter.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 10/14/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: October 14th, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback  

The Rouen Group: Award Winning Grassroots and Issue Advocacy Campaigns Is Bread Just Bland Cake?:  Jim Gaffigan is one of the funniest comedians around and a must follow on Twitter.  Here is an amusing list of his recent tweets on food. (read, even if you don't have twitter) The Shutdown in 2 Word Clouds: Via Washington Post: What’s the one word (or handful of words) that you would use to describe how Republicans have handled themselves during the showdown shutdown? What about President Obama? (Look) 10 Steps to Better Writing: This is insightful and should be shared with the communications people on your team or in your office. (Read) A Tribute To Senator Rod Grams Rod Grams was a great man. I was proud to work for him, grateful to know him and sad he is gone. A Letter Says it All: Dave Chura, who knew Rod better than most, recently sent this letter to Senator Grams.  Dave, thanks for sharing this letter with the rest of us.  It captures everything I want to say about Rod only better than I ever could: "Rod- I want to thank you for taking a chance on me back in 1994. I am not sure you’ll remember it, but I showed up at St. Thomas and ambushed you before an event requesting the chance to work on your campaign. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into and between signing thousands of delegate letters, the convention battle for endorsement, election night victory and your time in the Senate – it was a great ride! There are many things I admire about you and that I believe set you apart from most politicians. For starters, you have a deep rudder that guides your position on issues and as a staffer, I could be confident knowing where you stood and representing you. It was never about gamesmanship, but advocating for what you believed was the right thing to do. You have always been about doing something, not being someone. That’s not too common in today’s political environment. I may be biased, but I think most people that rave about the member they worked for do so because they have some type of an awestruck obsession with an ill-placed celebrity status elected officials often have. You’re different. I never felt like the personal staff for some celebrity. Hell, I remember someone telling me I better go pull up the car because we were running late. That would have been a challenge given the keys were in your pocket and I did more riding than driving when we traveled together! I always felt I was a part of a team working to accomplish great things. As the team leader, you believed and cared about us. I remember you stopping by our desks on Monday mornings before your headed to DC and inquiring about what we had planned for the week – not work stuff, what we had going on in our lives. It wasn’t just a pleasantry – when you came back on Friday you would follow-up with us asking us how the fishing was, who won the soccer game or how that date went. You knew us, our families, attended our weddings and visited us in our homes. If I needed to talk to you about something there wasn’t some bureaucratic process to go through, I could openly discuss them with you as we traveled the state. I am not sure the DC staff always appreciated that access, but knowing I could talk directly to you about issues I was hearing while representing you in the state was refreshing. You are a humble and private person and I respect that. It may have been a challenge some days as a staffer trying to get you to work a crowd in a café because you didn’t want to interrupt someone’s Saturdaybreakfast and conversation, but I understood it. Your words last night - "I always feel my last breath here is my first breath in heaven, and I'm very comfortable with that."- were powerful and moving. At Pat Johnson’s funeral the following was noted in the funeral bulletin and was from a little book of devotions by Peter Marshall who was the Chaplin of the Senate many years ago. “Speak to me, that I may hear Thee giving me courage for hard times and strength for difficult places; giving me determination for challenging tasks. I ask of Thee no easy way, but just Thy grace that is sufficient for every need, so that no matter how hard the way, how challenging the hour, how dark the sky, I may be enabled to overcome. In thy strength, who has overcome the world, I make this prayer.” I pray your family can find some comfort in your strength and devotion. You have accomplished a lot and have much to be proud of. Your faith and dignity are inspiring. Again, thank you for taking a chance on me – those years played an important role in shaping who I am today, but mostly, thanks for being my friend." MN Delegation Euligize Senator Grams: (Watch) Rod Grams: A Quiet, Principled Voice For the People: Rod Grams staffer Peter Hong published a great tribute to Rod Grams in the Star Tribune. (Read) Great Rod Grams Videos: Thanks to Kent Kaiser and his research team for putting together a great video archive including ads, interview and more. (watch) Worth A Read A few of my favorite articles, commentaries and posts... Justice Antonin Scalia Amazing Interview:
If you haven't already read the amazing interview with Justice Antonin Scalia in New York magazine you should.  It has been described as the best interview of a Washington figure this year.  Here is just a taste of Justice Scalia talking about why he doesn't attend the State of the Union: "When was the last time you went to one?
 Oh, my goodness, I expect fifteen years. But I’m not the only one who didn’t go. John Paul Stevens never went, Bill Rehnquist never went during his later years. Because it is a childish spectacle. And we are trucked in just to give some dignity to the occasion. I mean, there are all these punch lines, and one side jumps up —­ Hooray! And they all cheer, and then another punch line, and the others stand up, Hooray! It is juvenile! And we have to sit there like bumps on a log. We can clap if somebody says, “The United States is the greatest country in the world.” Yay! But anything else, we have to look to the chief justice. Gee, is the chief gonna clap? It didn’t used to be that bad..." (Read)
Why Can't GOP Attract A list Celebs?: On the week when Sen. Franken cancelled a campaign fundraising concert featuring mega star Paul Simon, The Blaze publishes an article about the GOPs problems attracting more "A-listers."  Quoting John Ondrasik, the singer-songwriter of the band Five for Fighting, "I’ve been very frustrated with the outreach from the RNC, I’ve said this before. I mean, I could tell you horror stories about how they try to use the few of us – and you know, there are a few of us in Hollywood, some actors, some musicians, who would support the cause – but our side, or the RNC, has no clue about the culture war. It’s frankly embarrassing, and there’s a reason a lot of us don’t put ourselves out there because we end up getting burned..." (More) By The Numbers: A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers: 73.9% The percentage of Americans that think the country is headed in the wrong direction. $29,000,000 The state of Minnesota's shortfall for tobacco tax revenues since July 1. 35-Something A Lot Less The score of the Vikings embarrassing loss to the Carolina Panthers. There record is now 1-4. 15237.11 The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week.  Down nearly 160 points since last week, despite the shutdown.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 10/7/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: October 7th, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Grassroots Advocacy, Data Driven Communications, Public Affairs Consulting Prince is Back: It is a dream of mine to get out to one of Prince's famed late night shows at Paisley Park, all reports from Saturday's show say it would have been worth it. The The rumor is more shows are planned for next weekend. We will see. (Read) Coffee v Beer: Which Makes you More Creative?: Thanks to Blois Olson for posting this in his @moringtake this week.  It is a cool graphic illustrating the difference in brain function if you are drinking coffee or beer.  It doesn't mention what happens if you drink a Surly Coffee Bender though. (Look) Vikings Get A New QB: The MN Vikings signed former Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman to a one year deal. Expect Freeman to start for the Vikings. (Read) Great Opportunity: Minnesota's Bush Foundation is seeking candidates for fellowships worth up to $100,000.  If you or someone you know is interested please check out one of the remaining online information sessions (here). Campaign Update Latest news from the Trail: Brodkorb Opens Up About His Legal Battles with the Senate: In an interview with KSTP, former GOP staffer Michael Brodkorb opens up about his recently settled legal battles with the Minnesota Senate. (Watch) Speaker Boehner on Shutdown: On ABC This Week House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday flatly refused to schedule votes for full government funding or to raise the debt ceiling without concessions from Democrats, asserting that the House couldn’t and shouldn’t take either step without addressing problems with the new health care law and the nation’s debt crisis. (Watch) Meet 30 of the Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates: Still don't know who to vote for in the Minneapolis Mayoral race? The Star Tribune has a great Q and A with 30 of the 35 candidates that have filed for office.(Read) Worth A Read A few of my favorite articles, commentaries and posts... MN Child Hops a Plane to Vegas Without A Ticket:
A 9 year boy was able to make it through security and on to a flight with out a ticket.  This is a pretty amazing and scary story. (read)
How Do We Improve Education? We Need to go Old School: An inspiring story from the Wall Street Journal:  "I was stunned by the outpouring for the gruff old teacher we knew as Mr. K. But I was equally struck by the success of his former students. Some were musicians, but most had distinguished themselves in other fields, like law, academia and medicine. Research tells us that there is a positive correlation between music education and academic achievement. But that alone didn't explain the belated surge of gratitude for a teacher who basically tortured us through adolescence..." (More) What are the Hot Spots in Minneapolis?: The New York Times takes a look at "Minnesota Nice" in the nightlife of Minneapolis.  It is always fun to see some of these great spots get national recognition.  Anyone up for a trip to the CC Club? (Read) Children Need Two Attentive Parents: The Star Tribune has a thought provoking piece that looks at the importance of two parent households in a child's educational performance.  "The overall unmarried parenting rate in Minnesota is about 34 percent. But among non-immigrant African-Americans becoming mothers for the first time, it is 88 percent. Among all women with any college, the rate is only 15 percent. These rates matter..." (More) By The Numbers: A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers: $241,080 The cost in 2012 dollars to raise a child to age 18 (not including college tuition). (Read) $2500 Average Seat License Fee for the new Vikings Stadium. 2 Hours 13 Minutes 12 Seconds The time it took Nicholas Arciniaga, 30, of Orange County, CA to run 26.2 miles and win the Twin Cities Marathon.  Annie Bersagel won the women's race in 2:30:52. 49 Minutes 2 Seconds The winning time for the ten mile race. 15072.58 The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week.  Down nearly 200 points again.
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