Archive - January 2014




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Monday Morning Quarterback – 1/27/2014

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: January 28th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Award Winning Grassroots and Issue Advocacy Campaigns Slow Jam the News: Mitt Romney shows a little personality that was lacking in his campaign for President, when he joined Late Night host Jimmy Fallon to "Slow Jam" the news.  (watch) Purple Stained Lips Buzzfeed has an amusing list of the 25 signs you drink too much wine.  (read) 10 Things MN Do In the Cold Others Find Ridiculous: Since it is -26  again today, I thought this was appropriate.  Here is a list of 10 things (with photos) of things we Minnesotans do in the cold. (look) The Campaign Trail Recent News and Notes from the Campaign Trail... Zellers Raises $403,000 in 2013 from over 4,000 donors:  The Zellers Campaign announced the impressive fundraising totals in a press release late last week.  Read the entire release (here). MnSure Is Failing: State Senator and rumored candidate for Governor Karin Housley wrote a scathing Op-Ed in the Pioneer Press on Sunday.  In the piece she asks some tough but fair questions of Governor Dayton and the DFL controlled Legislature: "Why are there not any insurance professionals or IT experts sitting on the seven member board overseeing MNsure? Why does this board get to choose which companies are able to sell insurance through the marketplace? How will this be funded now that enrollment is down, proving it will lose money every year? Who is ultimately in charge of MNsure? Why has the cost of health insurance gone up for most people when we were told it would go down? How many previously uninsured people are now covered under MNSure?.." (read)  Can Facebook Predict the Winners of the 2014 Elections? Politico Magazine has a fascinating article on social media activity being a predictive model for election results.  "In a post-election analysis in Politico, wereported that eight out of nine toss-up Senate races were won by the candidate with the more engaged Facebook fan base. And in the 2012 House elections, 20 of the 33 most competitive races across the country were won by the candidate with a measurable Facebook fan engagement advantage..."  While more research needs to be done the initially findings are remarkable.  So how does your favorite 2014 candidate fare? (read)
Sunday Show Round Up: Did you miss some of the  Sunday political shows?  Here is a way to see what you missed in just 90 seconds(watch) Worth A Read A few of my favorite articles, commentaries and posts... Commentary: Our Real Problem is the Demise of the 2 Parent Family: An interesting commentary piece in the Star Tribune over the weekend looked at the demise of the 2 parent family and the effects that has on our economy, poverty rate and more.  A brief quote:  "in 1960, more than 76 percent of African-American babies and nearly 97 percent of white babies were born to married couples. Today, the figures are 30 percent for blacks and 70 percent for whites.  Combined with the rise of divorce, that means that roughly one in four American children now lives in a single-parent home, more than twice the percentage in supposedly libertine nations like Sweden and France. About a third of American children live apart from their fathers..." (read) A Real Life Conference Call: This is a must watch video for anyone that has had to endure a conference call.  Very creative, funny and true.(watch) Obama Team Plans New Blueprint after Failed 2013: The Washington Post has a detailed piece outlining Obama's new strategy.  It is a good read about the inside of the Obama White House and how they lay out a grand strategy. (read) By The Numbers: A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers: 12% The percentage of election spending spent on social media in 2012.  A 616% increase over 2008. 63% The number of Americans that do not have confidence in the President to make decisions for the country's future.(read) -20 The temperature as we publish this weeks MMQ.  Another day off for the kids. 128,000,000 The number of active Facebook users in the US.  They spend an average of 114 billion minutes a month on the site. 15879.11 The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week.  Down nearly 400 points since last Monday. GROW: Please share The MMQ via email, Facebook and Twitter

Monday Morning Quarterback – 1/20/2014

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: January 28th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Award Winning Grassroots and Issue Advocacy Campaigns Baby He Was Born to Run: Soon to be Tonight Show hose Jimmy Fallon and The Boss, Bruce Springsteen poke a little fun at Governor Christie on Late Night.  (watch) Pot is all the Buzz: While the issue of legalizing marijuana will certainly be debated again this year (Governor Dayton said he would sign the bill), former Minnesota news reporter Randi Kaye's report on the subject in Colorado has gone viral on the internet.  The issue is during a live report on CNN and Anderson Cooper asked if she was "high".  You can judge for yourself in this must watch video.  (watch) 52 Places to Go in 2014: This is really an awesome list for those that plan to do nothing but travel in 2014 (better get started).  It is also a cool list even if you are just planing one trip either domestic or international.  There a few destinations in the article to add to the bucket list as well. (enjoy) The Campaign Trail Recent News and Notes from the Campaign Trail... How Legislative Resumes Change Over Time: The Star Tribune has a really interesting commentary piece that breaks down the "resumes" of legislatures of the past and today.  When you look into the backgrounds of the current legislature it is not surprising it is hard to find common ground.  Hopefully the candidate recruiters from both parties will take a look at this: "There wasn’t a single full-time “legislator” in either caucus in 1969. Today, the DFL has 10 and the GOP five. What about the “F” and the “L” in DFL? In 1969, the liberal caucus included 12 farmers and 14 laborers or tradesmen, together making up 37 percent of the total. The current crop of DFLers is almost bereft of FLers. Only four laborers and two farmers (5 percent) can be counted among its members. Today’s Republicans can muster four farmers — a far cry from the conservatives’ 32 in 1969..." (more) GOP Uphill Battle for 270: I know we still need to get to the 2014 mid-term elections, but the battle for the White House in 2016 has already begun.  Here is a good story on why, no matter the candidate Republicans face an uphill battle.  Here is the take away: "Adding together the states that voted Republican or Democratic in at least four of the six elections gave Democrats 281 electoral votes and Republicans 219. Only two states — Colorado and Florida, with a total of 38 electoral votes — were won three times for each party in those six elections..."  Obviously things can change, but starting that far in the hole means the GOP has a lot of work to do between now and 2016. (read) Jokes: Here is the best of this week's late night politico jokes.  Pretty funny. (watch) Sunday Show Round Up: Did you miss some of the  Sunday political shows?  Here is a way to see what you missed in just 90 seconds(watch) Worth A Read A few of my favorite articles, commentaries and posts... Urban Streets Named for MLK Still Struggle: From the Associated Press: "The urban decay along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in St. Louis can be found in other major American cities, from Houston and Milwaukee to the nation's capital...Nearly three decades into the observance of Monday's federal holiday, the continuing decline of the most visible symbols of King's work has White and others calling for a renewed commitment to the more than 900 streets nationwide named in the Atlanta native's honor. The effort centers in St. Louis, where the small nonprofit is working to reclaim MLK roadways as a source of pride and inspiration, not disappointment over a dream derailed. A 1981 News Report: I had to share this TV news report from 1981 about how the computer would change the way newspapers are delivered.  The really interesting thing is how far ahead of the game newspapers were 30 years ago and how much catching up they still have to do.  This is worth 2 minutes of your day. (watch)  Can TIME predict your Politics: TIME Magazine recently published a short quiz that uses questions about your values and lifestyle to predict your politics.  It is very interesting.  Find out how accurate you think it is by taking the quiz (here). Deflated: In case you missed it, over the weekend the Metrodome roof was deflated for the final time.  Here is a pretty cool time lapse video from both inside and out. (watch) By The Numbers: A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers: 3 The total number of lawyers in the GOP House and Senate Combined.  In 1969 that number was 38. 35 The number of minutes it took to deflate the Metrodome roof. 16458.56 The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week. Up just slightly for the week. GROW: Please share The MMQ via email, Facebook and Twitter.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 1/13/2014

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: January 28th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Award Winning Grassroots and Issue Advocacy Campaigns 40 Maps that Will Help You Make Sense of the World: This list of 40 maps is really interesting and eye opening.  You are guaranteed to learn something by reading this. (maps) Breaking: Lawsuit Halts Bond Sale for Vikings Stadium, May Delay Construction: The saga continues.  This time 3 Minneapolis residents filed a lawsuit that halted the sale of the bonds.  (more) Husbands Can't Do Anything Right: This list of 24 reasons husbands can't be trusted to do anything right had both Keri and I laughing out loud.(laugh) How 'bout a Beer?: Minneapolis and St. Paul can each claim home to one of America's top 100 beer bars.  Congrats to The Happy Gnome in St. Paul and The Republic in Minneapolis.(read complete list) The Campaign Trail Recent News and Notes from the Campaign Trail... Mark Dayton Faces Obstacles in Campaign for Second Term: The Pioneer Press takes a look at the many challenges Dayton faces as he tries to do something he has never done before: win a second term. Author Bill Salisbury sites Dayton's sinking approval ratings, depressed Democratic voter turnout in non-presidential elections and his embarace of Obamacare among the challenges Dayton will need to over come.  And that does not even include a crowded field of quality Republican candidates ready to take his place.  (read) Money Money Money: Several candidates released fundraising numbers this week.  GOP Candidate for Governor Dave Thompson announced he had raised just over $120,000 so far(read).  Another GOP candidate Jeff Johnson said he had raised $240,000. (read)   And US Senate Candidate Mike McFadden announced an impressive, $2.2 Million since May with $1.7 cash on hand. (read) Sunday Show Round Up: Did you miss some of the  Sunday political shows?  Here is a way to see what you missed in just 90 seconds(watch) Worth A Read A few of my favorite articles, commentaries and posts... A $63 Million Building for 44 Senators? This is one of the best articles I have read on the new $90 million Senate office building.  Joe Soucherey's solution to the office building is brilliant: "Better yet, in another example of the only kind of development in St.Paul being public development, the Port Authority is going to buy the empty Macy's building for $3 million, or about 6 bucks per square foot. I guess that means it will be torn down and then more public funding will create God knows what, maybe a couple of new nail salons.  Put the 39 displaced state senators in Macy's. If they need "a sweeping curve of glass'' they could knock out a few bricks upstairs and the senators could stare at the Capitol. They could use light rail, which we also cannot afford, to run back and forth to the Capitol..."  If only it were that easy. (read)  Public Affairs Trends: Data For the public affairs professionals this is a great read on current trends including a move towards more data driven campaigns.  I have seen the trend first hand, which is why my company started partnering with a "big data" firm a year ago and we continually look for new ways to innovate.  The technology is amazing and changing the scope of our business: "The availability and innovative use of data is transforming public affairs. Polling is not enough anymore. Big data approaches to building broad-based coalition and grassroots support is the new requirement of successful efforts. Public affairs has become more about how we apply insight-driven marketing to plan, make decisions, recruit supporters, and optimize campaigns..." (read) Surprise Walmart Health Plan is Cheaper and Offers More Coverage than Obamacare: This is an interesting read on 2 levels.  First, Walmart has been unfairly maligned for the benefits or lack there of they offer to employees, this article shows just how generous the benefits are for employees. Secondly, it showcases the continued challenges for Obamacare.  In just one example "JAMA found the unsubsidized premium for a nonsmoking couple age 60 can cost $1,365 per month versus the Walmart cost of about $134 for the same couple...." (read) Best Movies: What is the best movie set in your state?  This map will tell you. Can you guess which movie they have for Minnesota? (map) By The Numbers: A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers: 7 The numbers of times Tom Brady has been in the AFC Championship game in his 12 year career.  Yes he is there more th 13, 381 The number of McDonalds in the US. Japan has the second most with 3,598, which when you think about the size of Japan that means there are a lot of McDonalds. 58 The temperature difference between when I wrote the MMQ last week and this week. 16437.05 The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week. Down just slightly for the second straight week. GROW: Please share The MMQ via email, Facebook and Twitter.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 1/6/2014

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: January 28th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Award Winning Grassroots and Issue Advocacy Campaigns Welcome Back: Judging by the high volume of "out of office" email replies I received in the passed couple weeks it sounds like many of you enjoyed an extended holiday to end the year.  All I can say is welcome back to reality: it is -20 degrees. Successful v Unsuccessful: As we all dive into our New Year's Resolutions, I thought this chart was particularly timely.  It compares habits of successful and unsuccessful people. (look) Not Wimps: There has been a lot of talk about how "wimpy" many Minnesotans have become when it comes to cold weather.  Well I disagree.  You think you would find anywhere else in the world where people would surf in -13 degrees?  Well it happened in MN this weekend. (watch) Bundle Up: Getting three boys out the door the last few days looked a lot like this...(watch) The Campaign Trail Recent News and Notes from the Campaign Trail... Steven Segal: Lawman turns Governor? I guess if Jessie Ventura can become Governor of Minnesota then Arizona could elect actor Steven Segal as their next Governor.  The actor hinted that he will run.(read) R.T. Rybak has heart attack: In case you missed it, over the weekend R.T. Rybak had a heart attack after an 8 mile cross country ski.  Thankfully the former Minneapolis Mayor ran into some friends that recognized the signs of a heart attack and got him medical attention.  (read) Sunday Show Round Up: Did you miss some of the  Sunday political shows?  Here is a way to see what you missed in just 90 seconds(watch) Worth A Read A few of my favorite articles, commentaries and posts... The Unlobbyists-Is relationship lobbying dead? The New York Times has a interesting article on the decline of the traditional lobbyist: "Looking to future sources of new revenue, Eskew has concluded that “ ‘relationship lobbying’ is dead, or at least not where the growth will be.” The traditional lobbyist, he argues, is no longer the éminence grise of days past but instead has been reduced to serving as a conduit for campaign contributions from corporate and trade association PACs to candidates..." Do you agree? (Read) Minnesota on Cusp of Losing Political Clout: via Star Tribune: "The election gurus atRealClearPolitics.com are studying the national population shifts and projecting Minnesota to be on the losing end of the reapportionment sweepstakes that follow every decennial population count..." (read) By The Numbers: A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers: 15 Days The numbers of days President Obama and his family vacationed in Hawaii.  They returned Sunday. 0 That was how much time San Francisco kicked a game winning field to beat the Packers in the 1st round of the NFL playoffs. -26 The predicted temperature at 8am today. 85 The number of hours we will be below zero.  The record is 186 straight hours.  We are not close. 16469.99 The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week. Down just slightly since last week. GROW: Please share The MMQ via email, Facebook and Twitter.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 12/23/2013

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: January 28th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Award Winning Grassroots and Issue Advocacy Campaigns Top Holiday Movies: Here are some clips from some of the best holiday classics.  If you still need to get in the holiday spirit or if you want to see all the highlights of some of your favorites in a 5 minute montage this is for you.  (Watch) The Inn Keeper? I shared this last year as well.  John Piper of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, shares his powerful poem about the Inn Keeper from that historic night in Bethlehem. This is a wonderful piece to watch and share this holiday season.  (Watch) Fun Facts About Reindeer: Reindeer are featured on Christmas cards and in movies worldwide this time of year, galloping across the sky with Santa's sleigh in tow...Here are a few fun facts about the Reindeer you may not have known. (Read) The Campaign Trail Recent News and Notes from the Campaign Trail... Who Are The Campaigners in America: If you have ever worked on a campaign or wonder who does, this article is a must read.  The New Organizing Institute has an article that breaks down campaign workers by party, race and gender.  They even tell you which party, Republican or Democrat pays more. (Read) An Annual Chronical Of Stupid Government Spending: Via Bloomberg News: "Once a year, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-TX) plays Murray Blum, the boring accountant in the movie who uses basic common sense to cut the federal budget as a favor to his friend, a presidential impersonator, played by Kevin Kline. He needs to find $650 million to keep a homeless shelter open. Murray shows him that the money can readily be found in wasteful and unquestioned government programs such as one that absurdly aims to make Americans feel better about their cars..."  Here a couple of my favorites: " Our irrational tax code allows brothels in Nevada to take $17.5 million in exemptions for such necessities as breast implants. Pole workers of a different sort — — those tending to electrical and other wires — — got a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to put on the PowerUp project, a 90-minute dance that will feature “bucket trucks, cranes and field trucks, plus a set of 25 utility poles,” all set before a live audience...Then there’s the Army’s $297 million “mega-blimp,” or Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, which was intended for Afghanistan but made only one trip: a short flight over New Jersey. As spending headed toward $300 million, the military sold it to a private contractor at the fire-sale price of $301,000. Even as the National Guard is being cut by 8,000 troops, $10 million was spent on Superman movie tie-ins..." (Read More) The Sunday Talk Show Highlights: Politico's Sunday Show recap in 90 seconds.  Perfect way to catch up on what you missed from all the Sunday political talk shows. (watch) Worth A Read A few of my favorite articles, commentaries and posts... How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk: How you talk may say a lot about where you are from.  We native Minnesotan's certainly understand that.  The New York Times has a great quiz that compares your personal dialect to the rest of the country to pinpoint where you are from.  Face it if you are reading this at work you should have plenty of time today to complete this quiz.  You are probably one of the few in the office. (Quiz) Balanced Approach Needed for Minimum Wage: Dan MacElroy's Commentary in the Duluth News Tribune on the Restaurant Industry balanced approach to the minimum wage: "Our restaurant industry would be dramatically impacted by a minimum-wage increase that doesn’t account for tips... 72 percent of minimum-wage earners work in eating and drinking establishments.  The good news is that the vast majority of those workers also earn tips — meaning their pay is well above the base minimum wage... Restaurant owners and operators want to maintain and grow these good-paying jobs. But a minimum-wage hike that makes it more difficult for restaurants to operate would mean fewer hours for servers, more restaurants transitioning to counter service or orders placed through iPads and increased prices. It also would mean fewer job opportunities for young people; the majority of minimum-wage earners in Minnesota are between ages 15 and 19.  The restaurant industry is working with state legislators from both parties on a proposal to help protect good-paying restaurant jobs and our ability to keep table-service restaurants viable.  (more) By The Numbers: A look at polls, attitudes and other interesting numbers: $914,000 The amount of money the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded for the "study of romance." $1,102 The average paycheck for a campaign worker in the US. 6 Miles Reindeer can't walk too far without answering the call of nature. In fact, they are unable to walk and pee at the same time, so they have to take a bathroom break roughly every 6 miles..  $11,026,900 Value of the most expensive Christmas tree, displayed in the UAE palace in 2010. 16221.14 The Dow Jones Industrial Average to start the week.  That is up nearly 500 points since last week.  Use those earning to finish Christmas shopping! GROW: Please share The MMQ via email, Facebook and Twitter.
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