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ASCH: The Scientifically Ignorant Drive GMO Debate

The following article was originally at the American Council on Science and Health. How can you identify a scientifically ignorant person? Ask him if he's concerned about the health effects of GMOs. If the answer is yes, you've identified somebody who probably couldn't pass an 8th grade science test. Too harsh? Not according to Pew, which just released the results of a survey that showed that 49% of Americans said GMOs are bad for your health. Here's the truly jaw-dropping finding (emphasis added): The survey finds a 10-percentage-point increase in the share of adults who say foods with GM ingredients are worse for one's health from...

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Is Minnesota introducing taxation without representation?

Under the proposed Minnesota Health Plan, eight people would be appointed to the new Minnesota Health Board by regional health boards. These eight would then appoint another seven people. Together, these fifteen people would have the power to tax you to pay for this plan. And you wouldn't able to vote them out of office. Isn't that taxation without representation? ...

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Orr “Mines” the Theater of Public Policy for Laughs

Last night, Policy Fellow Isaac Orr appeared at the Theater of Public Policy held at Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. The Theater, run by Tane Danger, has a policy purpose and fun format; it take on issues of public policy, invites opposing experts to discuss the topic and then "improv" actors have some fun with what they learned about the issue. Think Dudley Riggs doing public policy. The issue last night was mining in northern Minnesota, specifically the PolyMet copper nickel mine now under consideration. Isaac Orr, who co-authored the Center's report "Unearthing Prosperity: How Environmentally Responsible Mining Will Boost Minnesota's Economy"...

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More Birds Are Getting Drunk This Year, MN Town Advises Residents

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The northeastern Minnesota town of Gilbert is alerting residents that birds may be a bit more “tipsy” than normal this time of year. According to Gilbert police, its received numerous reports of what look to be drunk birds “flying into windows, cars and acting confused.” Police say the reason behind this is the fact that certain berries in the area have fermented earlier than usual due to an early frost. That, plus the fact that many birds have yet to migrate south, means more birds are feeling the effects than in past years. Also, younger birds’ livers cannot handle the fermented...

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Minnesota Keeps Shutting Down Inexpensive Power Plants: Why Not Expensive Renewable Energy Centers? 

In recent years, Minnesota has retired some of the most efficient power plants in the state, including Black Dog, High Bridge, Riverside, Taconite Harbor, Syl Laskin, and Hoot Lake – all of which provided electricity for under $35 per MWh, according to data collected from the United States Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC).  By closing these plants, Minnesota is shutting down power plants that can produce a lot of affordable electricity and replacing them with incredibly inefficient power plants that are far more expensive. ...

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Did you know September 17 is Constitution Day? Celebrate by Meeting Mark Janus and Rebecca Friedrichs

Constitution Day is an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution. It is observed on September 17, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate this year than telling every public employee you know about the Janus case. You can learn all about it by celebrating the Janus victory next week with Mark Janus and Rebecca Friedrichs, the brave public employees who demanded that the Supreme Court restore their full First Amendment rights. ...

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The Onion Nails It, Publishes Its Own Anonymous OP-ED

The New York Times recently published an anonymous op-ed, supposedly by a senior Trump Administration official. The Onion also had two people close to the President write to them under the condition of anonymity.  Please see their piece below: Today, The Onion is making an unusual editorial decision, and we want to explain why. As turmoil continues to increase within the Trump White House, this essay offers an invaluable high-level perspective into the administration’s inner workings. Due to the sensitive nature of this op-ed, revealing the identities of the writers could jeopardize their positions in the administration. We believe, however, that any issues with the...

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“Get Ready for Sticker Shock on California’s Last-Minute Clean Energy Proposals” – Even California Reconsiders Costly Energy Mandates

The following is a Viewpoint from Barry Moline, the executive director of the California Municipal Utilities Association. This article originally appeared in Utility Dive:  It's a good time for Californians to hang on to their wallets. With one more day to go in the state's legislative session, lawmakers are considering many proposals that will raise consumers' electric bills significantly. There's no shortage of well-intentioned ideas designed to advance renewable energy, but unfortunately, they would commit Californians to resource decisions for the next 10 years and limit investment in lower-cost technologies. One would, for instance, expand California's electricity grid to include other states (AB...

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