Minnesota's State Fair -- 12 days for fun-filled excitement -- has begun on the fairgrounds in Falcon Heights. This fair is big. In fact, the fair's own media guide totals more than 100 pages. You can follow the State Fair on Twitter @mnstatefair, on Instagram @mnstatefair or Facebook. You can get a pork chop on stick, a corn on the cob on a stick or a picture of Sid Hartman on a stick. You can people-watch at the fair. In 2012, there were 1,788,512 people who attended, which is a lot to watch. You can even be a people judge if you want.
The "Made In America" effort got a new friend this week when ad guru Alex Bogusky issued a new video championing the cause. Bogusky, an ad agency legend, has created a video urging folks to just buy more American-made products, according to a USA Today report. He is hoping his video goes viral on the Internet. Introduced Tuesday, Bogusky's video asks U.S. consumers to just buy one additional American-made item in every 20 purchases. He claims this simple act could result in 1 million jobs in America.
There are positive signs in the real estate market across west central Minnesota and the rest of the state. The number of foreclosures is continuing to decline across the state, according to the Minnesota Homeownership Center. Housing demand is beginning to stabilize or increase housing values, which helps improve home equity levels. The organization reported that there were only 6,795 foreclosure sales during the first half of this year, a decline of 29 percent compared to the same period in 2012. These foreclosure levels are at the lowest since 2006.
From The Associated Press An excerpt from recent Minnesota editorials. On MNsure plan heads in right direction: As Minnesota embarks on its plan to open the state health insurance exchange Oct. 1, public buy-in will be key to its success and that buy-in will be driven by the quantity and quality of information the public is able to acquire. So the recent push to offer information on health insurance plans slated to be offered on the state's insurance exchange a month or so earlier than planned stands as a step in the right direction.
By Susan Estrich These days, almost every political conversation ends up with a little Hillary at the end. Catnip. The gift we give ourselves. It would make absolutely no sense for Hillary Clinton to decide today whether she will or will not run for president. So the only sensible stance to take is that it's not impossible or, if you prefer, it certainly is possible, which is to say they flirt and we fan it.
Atmosphere of unconstitutionality By George Will WASHINGTON — Barack Obama's increasingly grandiose claims for presidential power are inversely proportional to his shriveling presidency. Desperation fuels arrogance as, barely 200 days into the 1,462 days of his second term, his pantry of excuses for failure is bare, his domestic agenda is nonexistent and his foreign policy of empty rhetorical deadlines and redlines is floundering. And at last week's news conference he offered inconvenience as a justification for illegality.
Unearned blessings By E.J. Dionne WASHINGTON — In thinking about inequality, we tend to focus on practical remedies such as raising minimum wages or supplementing the incomes of the working poor. We have far more trouble affecting that ineffable thing we call luck. You do not get to choose your parents or where you are born, and no government program can guarantee that you'll benefit from acts of kindness and generosity that you do nothing to earn.
A constitutional cure for what ails us By Cal Thomas When I studied the U.S. Constitution in school, I learned that for a bill to become law it first had to be introduced in either the House or the Senate. Today, a cynic might say for a bill to become law a member of Congress must first be introduced to a lobbyist. Much of government's dysfunction, cost and overreach can be traced to the abandonment of the constitutional boundaries the Founders put in place for the purpose of controlling the lust for power.
A ruling last week in a long-pending lawsuit against the Wilf family on a New Jersey real estate deal has raised concerns on the proposed Viking stadium project. A judge last week ruled that the Wilf family in a real estate partnership dealing was guilty of committing fraud, breach of contract and violation of New Jersey's civil racketeering statute. The Wilf family said the court ruling would not impact their ownership of the Vikings or endanger the new stadium's financing package.
After more than three decades of mandatory minimum sentencing, the U.S. Justice Department has now proposed easing that get-tough policy on non-violent drug offenders and to allowing prosecutors more latitude...