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June 29, 2005

This and that

• I'm sorry if you don't care about stuff like this, but I am just fascinated by the potential partial shutdown of state government looming this Thursday. Of course, I am interested in it from a stadium standpoint (are they going to tackle that next?), but I am also interested in it because I am a state employee. Fortunately they have already passed a higher education bill, but my heart goes out to the other state employees that are about to be laid off. Dean Johnson seems to be promising that a deal will be reached in time, but I'm not so sure.

Consider this: the DFL has taken it's tax increase for the wealthiest Minnesotans off the table. They realize Pawlenty will never go for that. However, they are also demanding that the Republicans forget about any "racino" at Canterbury Park saying that the votes just aren't there in the Senate or the House. At the same time they are demanding that there be increases in money for education, LGA, and health care. Where does this money come from?

The Strib reported that the Republicans are still touting the racino idea:

House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, and Senate Minority Leader Dick Day, R-Owatonna, defended the racino proposal as the most painless way to raise revenue.

"It's voluntary. ... It creates jobs rather than kills jobs," Sviggum said. "If you raise an income tax, if you raise a statewide property tax ... a business tax, you kill jobs."

Interesting. While I am not in favor of new, state run casinos in the downtown area(s), I'm not so sure I have much opposition for expanded gambling at Canterbury Park. It is definitely voluntary, and (gasp!) we already have gambling there. The Republicans say it could raise up to $218 million per year.

So, again, how does the DFL propose to pay for the increases they are demanding if not through their tax increase proposal or a racino? According to the Pioneer Press:

Johnson said they might be able to plug the revenue gap with "corporate avoidance taxes" on foreign operating corporations, statewide property taxes and small fee increases. DFLers have already accepted Pawlenty's proposed 75 cents-a-pack cigarette "fee" hike.

Plugging the revenue gap on the "corporate avoidance taxes" may help diminish any potential deficit, but I didn't think it could actually raise revenue in the short term. Anyone have any more information? And it pains me to read that my property taxes could go up. But I am intrigued by "small fee increases." What form would these things take? A fee on haircuts? A fee on horse shoes? What other "fees" could do the trick?

Anyway, they've got two days to find more revenue. Personally, I'm now thinking they'll be able to do it, but it won't be pretty. Where is this money going to come from?

• I like the T-Wolves pick of Rashad McCants. He's a proven winner, he's got a chip on his shoulder, and he is brimming with confidence. A year under KG's wing will be really good for him. I expect him to prove to be a very good lottery pick.

• "Fix You" by Coldplay is a very, very good song. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen.

• I've been thinking more about Pink Floyd's reunion for Live 8 and it dawned on me that they are probably only going to play 3-4 songs. My question is, then, what songs should they play? What songs will they play? Here is my list of the songs I hope and think they should play:

  1. "Another Brick on the Wall Part II" -- Duh.
  2. "Comfortably Numb" -- Really, this song is the perfect combo of Waters and Gilmour and a perfect way to celebrate their reuniting.
  3. "Wish You Were Here" -- Few songs in all of rock music are as beautiful as this one.
  4. "Time" -- I don't think they'll play this one, but I think they should. In fact, they could open their set with the clocks which could symbolize the fact that it is "time" to start playing and recording music together again.

That is all I got for now. Have a good one!

Posted by snackeru at June 29, 2005 9:32 AM | Politics

Comments

You have to know that the Floyd will throw something obscure out there, like "Astronomy Domine" or "One of These Days." I think "Wish You Were Here" is a no-brainer, perhaps even more so than "Another Brick in the Wall Part Two." I agree with you that "Comfortably Numb" is a great combination of Gilmour and Waters; any idea what time they are playing? I definitely want to watch, but I have not been able to find out when.

Any thoughts on U2? I would "Pride" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" would be good, considering what the songs are about, as well as what the concert is about. And of course you realize that we are less than three months away from U2 at Target Center!!

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at June 29, 2005 10:01 AM

3-4 songs? How about Dogs, Sheep, and Pigs?

Posted by: SBG at June 29, 2005 10:11 AM

Excellent idea, COD. I really like that.

Posted by: SBG at June 29, 2005 10:45 AM

I like the idea, too, COD. Do any other states already have this kind of tax, or would Minnesota be setting a precedent?

And if Pink Floyd plays Dogs, Sheep, and Pigs there would be rioting (not to mention they would last too long). But they would be appropriate given their subject matter.

What should U2 play? I agree with you Curt that Pride and Streets would be appropriate, but you know they are going to stick in Vertigo or something else from the new album. I doubt they'll play their set from the first Live Aid which was just Sunday Bloody Sunday and Bad. Bad ran to 13 minutes! Apparently Bono was so upset with his performance he almost quit the band. That performance of Bad is now considered the highlight of the entire Live Aid concert.

Posted by: Shane at June 29, 2005 11:09 AM

Shane: No, and it would never fly. The drug manf would go crazy with having a tax on their drugs which is why I threw in the stadium endorsements as an appeasement. Pigs will fly at a Pink Floyd concert before this would ever happen.

But I consider tobacco a drug and a lifestyle choice. That has a tax. Why not lifestyle prescription drugs? I should send it off to my guy Jeff "All I Want to Be is Governor" Johnson.

Posted by: Brian Maas at June 29, 2005 11:26 AM

Nice Floyd songs, SBG. I'm holding out for "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast."

:)

Posted by: bjhess at June 29, 2005 4:00 PM

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