Politico ranks Minnesota tied for best state

In the midst of a Minnesota winter, it’s nice to know you’re number one.

The national political publication Politico ranked Minnesota the best state of the union to live in Tuesday. Well, actually, they ranked two states at #1: The Gopher State and the Granite State, New Hampshire.

Last year, Politico ranked Minnesota the second-best state, behind New Hampshire. Minnesota edged upward this year based on improvements in employment, infant mortality and the obesity rate this year, the publication stated. Mississippi ranked last for the second year in a row (a slot which had previously earned the publication a letter of dissent from Mississippi’s governor).

The rankings are based on 14 separate criteria (note: weather isn’t one of them), including:

— per capita income (Minnesota is 7th, at $30,913)

— lowest unemployment (8th, at 3.7 percent)

— percent above poverty level (9th, at 89.5 percent)

— home ownership (2nd, at 72.5 percent)

— percent of high school graduates (2nd, at 92.1 percent)

— life expectancy (2nd, at 81.1)

— (fewest) infant deaths per 1000 births (5th, at 4.49)

— percent of obese residents (5th, at 22 percent)

— average 8th grade math score (4th, at 295)

— average 8th grade reading score (10th, at 271)

— GINI index (income inequality) (11th, at .45)

— lowest violent crime rate per 100,000 (9th, at 223.2)

— percent employed in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) jobs (13th, at 6.1 percent)

— “wellbeing” score: 4th, at 69.7

Unreal. Progressives already blaming conservatives for Amtrak crash

Well that didn’t take long. Mere minutes after a train derailed in Philadelphia, progressives in the MSM and on Twitter were already making it political by blaming conservatives.

From Twitchy:

But that’s not all. Even Politico got in on the action:

From Politico:

An Amtrak train from D.C. to New York City derailed Tuesday night in Philadelphia, killing at least five people and injuring dozens — on the eve of a House markup of a bill that would slash the passenger rail service’s budget.

…Nutter said the cause of the crash was still unknown. Amtrak said 238 passengers and five crew members were on board during the crash, which The New York Times said occurred around 9:45 p.m.

…The accident comes on the eve of a House Appropriations markup for a fiscal 2016 bill that funds, among other things, Amtrak. The version approved earlier by an appropriations subcommittee contains language that would slash Amtrak’s funding to $1.13 billion, less than the roughly $1.4 billion it typically receives annually.

Democrats had already been expected to take a run at boosting the bill’s funding for Amtrak, but the debate at Wednesday’s markup is sure to take on more urgency in light of the crash, pictures of which posted to Twitter show mangled train car debris strewn across a darkened field.

Read the Rest

So, admittedly, no one knows what caused the crash but they’re pretty sure the evil GOP was behind it. Personally, I blame Ted Cruz. Sheesh.

But isn’t that always the way it goes? If government does something good, progs say “See how awesome government is?” and if it totally screws something up, they say “It’s because of the draconian cuts by the evil, stupid Republicans.” Seriously. “Lack of funding” will always be the left’s argument when something with government goes wrong (they’re doing it right now with Baltimore). Never mind that we’re $18.2 trillion in debt! We need more funding!

Umm…here’s a question: Why is the freaking federal government involved in a railroad at all? Why didn’t Republicans propose to cut its funding by 100%?

“Shall we talk about your not-so-secret boyfriend?”

“Sure,” Erik says, aiming for breezy. “Why not? Things are going good, you know, aside from the whole gossip bullshit.”

“Uh huh.”

“I told him I cared about him this morning and he didn’t say anything back.”

Emma wrinkles her nose. “Ouch. Well, he probably doesn’t realize what an emotionally-constipated child you are yet. Give it time.”

“I’m not emotionally constipated—”

“Please.” She says, rolling her eyes. “Be serious, Erik.”

From Politico by cygnaut. You really need to read this if you don’t know it already. Reeeeally!

This fanfiction was pure gold and Erik and Emma were so fun to read, I couldn’t get enough of them. Also, everytime I read this passage I almost end up on the floor because I can’t stop laughing. Emotionally-constipated Erik will forever remain in my heart.

POLITICO: Net neutrality emails raise suspicions

Tony Romm at POLITICO has the scoop on a flurry of anti-net neutrality emails from constituents targeting members of Congress that might not be from constituents at all:

A majority of emails to lawmakers purporting to be from average constituents who oppose the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules “do not appear to have a valid in-district address,” according to the company that manages the technology for some House members.

The emails have identical wording to those organized by a group called American Commitment, which is led by Phil Kerpen, a former top aide at the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity.

On Monday, American Commitment boasted that it helped direct more than 1.6 million messages earlier this month from more than half a million voters to members of the House and Senate. Some of the notes encouraged lawmakers to defund the FCC’s new rules requiring Internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally.

The flood of email traffic seemed to raise some lawmakers’ eyebrows, including Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California, whose office soon determined some of the messages had come from constituents who didn’t recall sending them. And she pointed to a memo sent to members’ staff last week by Lockheed Martin, which manages the technology behind some lawmakers’ “contact me” Web pages. Lockheed said it had “some concerns regarding the messages,” including the fact that “a vast majority of the emails do not appear to have a valid in-district address.” In some cases, Lockheed also questioned the “legitimacy of the email address contact associated with the incoming message[s].”

“The idea that an outside group could use consumer data to impersonate constituents suggests an attempt to hijack the important feedback members of Congress need to truly represent their districts,” Speier said in a statement, without naming a culprit.

Read the full article on Politico HERE.

I don’t consider these guys conservatives. I think the party is going in an isolationist trend. It’s appealing to the lowest common denominator in many ways. And this whole threat of defunding the government, to me, is not conservative at all … Maybe we do live in different worlds. These guys from the Ted Cruz wing live in their own echo chamber.
—  Rep. Peter King, R-NY, via Politico