#400 – Dick Bernard: Day 12 of the Minnesota Shutdown; Day 21 to Default in Washington D.C. Whazzup in Minnesota?

One of the e-mails in my in-box on return from the family reunion in Iowa was this, from someone I’ve known for many years, who lives in a state far away from Minnesota: “I see the belt tightening as a positive but think I might not be in the majority…did you blog on this yet?? I was listening to Pawlenty this morning, more impressed with him than Bachmann.
To this, I responded as follows: “Pawlenty is a very major cause of the current Minnesota problem.
I had noticed that, in next door neighbor Iowa, the local Dubuque paper had no coverage (at least none I could find) of the Minnesota situation. Unique as we are, we aren’t on Iowa’s interest radar, apparently.
At coffee this morning, a good friend was commenting about his fairly new neighbor, who has been laid off by the state due to the shutdown. Later in the morning came an out of office reply from someone on a family list of mine: “Due to the shutdown of state government, I am away from work indefinitely. I will return to work when the Legislative funding for the continued operation of the Minnesota Department of _________ is enacted into law. For more information, please monitor news reports or see our website at www._____.state.mn.us.” I don’t know this individual personally, so I didn’t know who she worked for, until the e-mail.
These are the stories, one by one. So goes ‘death by a thousand cuts’…one neighbor, one relative, one working here, one there. That is what the shutdown looks like.
Overnight came this online newspaper article about the “non-essential” State Historical Society library by my good friend and former work colleague Judy Berglund, outlining another one of the cuts due to the inability to settle the issues. I’ve used the History Center Library many times over the years. I’m a dues paying member of the History Center, but it’s still closed.
Of course, these days of message control, it is not hard to assess blame, and assess it convincingly.
But it is hard to find credible sources of information…that are accepted as credible.
In the same in-box with three days worth of e-mails came this editorial from the Winona MN newspaper. Winona is a Mississippi River small city, and I drove by it both coming and going to Dubuque. I don’t know the papers political slant, or that of Winona itself. The fact that it was written locally did impress me. Not only do they get what’s going on, but they’re willing to take a stand on it, publicly, in their town.
Then, yesterday afternoon came a new video from the Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton. It was apparently just freshly released as it had only 100 views. Here is the video, about three minutes and worth watching, especially if not from Minnesota. Dayton comes from wealth: think Dayton’s Department Stores, later Dayton-Hudson; later Marshall-Fields, then Macy’s too, and Target stores. Depending on point of view, he’s ridiculed; or as a highly principled and committed Governor. I subscribe to the latter view of our Governor.
I don’t know where this will all end up.
What I do know from a long career in negotiations is that “compromise” does not mean that one side must cave in. One side demanding and refusing to budge, is not compromise.
I hope Gov. Dayton sticks with important principles for us all.

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