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Brett's, Mankato, MN

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 23:17

Robby Virus posted a photo:

Ghost sign for Brett's Department Store in Mankato, Minnesota. Brett’s department store was one of downtown’s largest and most popular during its long lifetime, from 1868-1991. Opened as George E. Brett Inc. in 1868 by its namesake, who had come to Minnesota in 1863 from Maine, the store was located on the corner of South Front and Jackson Streets. In 1893 R. D. Hubbard sold the Northeast corner of the street to Brett for $11,000 and its new location was 329 South Front Street.

In the 1910s and 1920s, the store expanded. Brett’s purchased the entire three-story building they rented. Between 1893, when Brett’s occupied the first floor of the northeast corner of the building at Front and Jackson Streets, and 1915, when they purchased the building, Brett’s expanded onto the other two floors in the building. In 1926, the store added basement departments in both their Mankato and Albert Lea stores.

Brett’s was a family-run for the duration of the store’s life. George Brett opened the store in 1868, and handed it over to his son Edward in 1915. The store then passed to Brett Taylor, Edward Brett’s nephew, in 1958. His son, Brett Taylor Jr., became the president of Brett’s in 1971 and he ran the store until 1990, when his son, Scott Taylor took over the company. A Brett or a Taylor could always be found around the Mankato store.

In 1991, Brett’s changed its name from Brett’s Department Store to Brett’s Specialty Store. The specialty store dropped several departments that did not have good sales, such as housewares and home products, as Taylor prepared the store for the 1990s.

The 1991 holiday season was hard on the store, and they did not make a profit. A couple of things combined to negatively affect the store’s sales: the United States was going through a recession, and River Hills Mall had opened in Mankato. Unlike other Front Street stores, Brett’s chose not move there due to the high cost of rent. The River Hills Mall led to a shift in the shopping center of Mankato. Soon after the Mankato and New Ulm stores closed, Brett’s also closed its Owatonna store. Shortly before the Owatonna store closed, Taylor announced that all the Brett’s stores were going to close. Taylor, in an announcement about the closing stated, “We’re losing money.”

Categories: Minnesnota

Brett's, Mankato, MN

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 23:17

Robby Virus posted a photo:

Ghost sign for Brett's Department Store in Mankato, Minnesota. Brett’s department store was one of downtown’s largest and most popular during its long lifetime, from 1868-1991. Opened as George E. Brett Inc. in 1868 by its namesake, who had come to Minnesota in 1863 from Maine, the store was located on the corner of South Front and Jackson Streets. In 1893 R. D. Hubbard sold the Northeast corner of the street to Brett for $11,000 and its new location was 329 South Front Street.

In the 1910s and 1920s, the store expanded. Brett’s purchased the entire three-story building they rented. Between 1893, when Brett’s occupied the first floor of the northeast corner of the building at Front and Jackson Streets, and 1915, when they purchased the building, Brett’s expanded onto the other two floors in the building. In 1926, the store added basement departments in both their Mankato and Albert Lea stores.

Brett’s was a family-run for the duration of the store’s life. George Brett opened the store in 1868, and handed it over to his son Edward in 1915. The store then passed to Brett Taylor, Edward Brett’s nephew, in 1958. His son, Brett Taylor Jr., became the president of Brett’s in 1971 and he ran the store until 1990, when his son, Scott Taylor took over the company. A Brett or a Taylor could always be found around the Mankato store.

In 1991, Brett’s changed its name from Brett’s Department Store to Brett’s Specialty Store. The specialty store dropped several departments that did not have good sales, such as housewares and home products, as Taylor prepared the store for the 1990s.

The 1991 holiday season was hard on the store, and they did not make a profit. A couple of things combined to negatively affect the store’s sales: the United States was going through a recession, and River Hills Mall had opened in Mankato. Unlike other Front Street stores, Brett’s chose not move there due to the high cost of rent. The River Hills Mall led to a shift in the shopping center of Mankato. Soon after the Mankato and New Ulm stores closed, Brett’s also closed its Owatonna store. Shortly before the Owatonna store closed, Taylor announced that all the Brett’s stores were going to close. Taylor, in an announcement about the closing stated, “We’re losing money.”

Categories: Minnesnota

Brett's, Mankato, MN

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 23:17

Robby Virus posted a photo:

Ghost sign for Brett's Department Store in Mankato, Minnesota. Brett’s department store was one of downtown’s largest and most popular during its long lifetime, from 1868-1991. Opened as George E. Brett Inc. in 1868 by its namesake, who had come to Minnesota in 1863 from Maine, the store was located on the corner of South Front and Jackson Streets. In 1893 R. D. Hubbard sold the Northeast corner of the street to Brett for $11,000 and its new location was 329 South Front Street.

In the 1910s and 1920s, the store expanded. Brett’s purchased the entire three-story building they rented. Between 1893, when Brett’s occupied the first floor of the northeast corner of the building at Front and Jackson Streets, and 1915, when they purchased the building, Brett’s expanded onto the other two floors in the building. In 1926, the store added basement departments in both their Mankato and Albert Lea stores.

Brett’s was a family-run for the duration of the store’s life. George Brett opened the store in 1868, and handed it over to his son Edward in 1915. The store then passed to Brett Taylor, Edward Brett’s nephew, in 1958. His son, Brett Taylor Jr., became the president of Brett’s in 1971 and he ran the store until 1990, when his son, Scott Taylor took over the company. A Brett or a Taylor could always be found around the Mankato store.

In 1991, Brett’s changed its name from Brett’s Department Store to Brett’s Specialty Store. The specialty store dropped several departments that did not have good sales, such as housewares and home products, as Taylor prepared the store for the 1990s.

The 1991 holiday season was hard on the store, and they did not make a profit. A couple of things combined to negatively affect the store’s sales: the United States was going through a recession, and River Hills Mall had opened in Mankato. Unlike other Front Street stores, Brett’s chose not move there due to the high cost of rent. The River Hills Mall led to a shift in the shopping center of Mankato. Soon after the Mankato and New Ulm stores closed, Brett’s also closed its Owatonna store. Shortly before the Owatonna store closed, Taylor announced that all the Brett’s stores were going to close. Taylor, in an announcement about the closing stated, “We’re losing money.”

Categories: Minnesnota

Masonic Temple, Mankato, MN

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 23:17

Robby Virus posted a photo:

Masonic Temple, 309 South 2nd Street, Mankato, Minnesota. This Lodge has been in Mankato for over 150 years.

Categories: Minnesnota

Masonic Temple, Mankato, MN

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 23:17

Robby Virus posted a photo:

Masonic Temple, 309 South 2nd Street, Mankato, Minnesota. This Lodge has been in Mankato for over 150 years.

Categories: Minnesnota

Masonic Temple, Mankato, MN

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 23:17

Robby Virus posted a photo:

Masonic Temple, 309 South 2nd Street, Mankato, Minnesota. This Lodge has been in Mankato for over 150 years.

Categories: Minnesnota

Masonic Temple, Mankato, MN

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 23:17

Robby Virus posted a photo:

Masonic Temple, 309 South 2nd Street, Mankato, Minnesota. This Lodge has been in Mankato for over 150 years.

Categories: Minnesnota

The Andres, Mankato, MN

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 23:17

Robby Virus posted a photo:

Building in Mankato, Minnesota labeled "The Andres". Not sure what this building was/is.

Categories: Minnesnota

K Street is a 1-Party State: DC Corruption is a Feature, not a Bug

Informed Comment - Thu, 2016-06-30 23:16

By Thomas Frank | (Tomdispatch.com) | – –

Although it’s difficult to remember those days eight years ago when Democrats seemed to represent something idealistic and hopeful and brave, let’s take a moment and try to recall the stand Barack Obama once took against lobbyists. Those were the days when the nation was learning that George W. Bush’s Washington was, essentially, just a big playground for those lobbyists and that every government operation had been opened to the power of money. Righteous disgust filled the air. “Special interests” were much denounced. And a certain inspiring senator from Illinois promised that, should he be elected president, his administration would contain no lobbyists at all. The revolving door between government and K Street, he assured us, would turn no more.

Instead, the nation got a lesson in all the other ways that “special interests” can get what they want — like simple class solidarity between the Ivy Leaguers who advise the president and the Ivy Leaguers who sell derivative securities to unsuspecting foreigners. As that inspiring young president filled his administration with Wall Street personnel, we learned that the revolving door still works, even if the people passing through it aren’t registered lobbyists.

But whatever became of lobbying itself, which once seemed to exemplify everything wrong with Washington, D.C.? Perhaps it won’t surprise you to learn that lobbying remains one of the nation’s persistently prosperous industries, and that, since 2011, it has been the focus of Influence, one of the daily email newsletters published by Politico, that great chronicler of the Obama years. Influence was to be, as its very first edition declared, “the must-read crib sheet for Washington’s influence class,” with news of developments on K Street done up in tones of sycophantic smugness. For my money, it is one of the quintessential journalistic artifacts of our time: the constantly unfolding tale of power-for-hire, told always with a discreet sympathy for the man on top.

Capitalizing on Influence

It is true that Americans are more cynical about Washington than ever. To gripe that “the system is rigged” is to utter the catchphrase of the year. But to read Influence every afternoon is to understand how little difference such attitudes make here in the nation’s capital. With each installment, the reader encounters a cast of contented and well-groomed knowledge workers, the sort of people for whom there are never enough suburban mansions or craft cocktails. One imagines them living together in a happy community of favors-for-hire where everyone knows everyone else, the restaurant greeters smile, the senators lie down with the contractors, and the sun shines brilliantly every day. This community’s labors in the influence trade have made the economy of the Washington metro area the envy of the world.

The newsletter describes every squeaking turn of the revolving door with a certain admiration. Influence is where you can read about all the smart former assistants to prominent members of Congress and the new K Street jobs they’ve landed. There are short but meaningful hiring notices — like the recent one announcing that the blue-ribbon lobby firm K&L Gates has snagged its fourth former congressional “member.” There are accounts of prizes that lobbyists give to one another and of rooftop parties for clients and ritual roll calls of Ivy League degrees to be acknowledged and respected. And wherever you look at Influence, it seems like people associated with this or that Podesta can be found registering new clients, holding fundraisers, and “bundling” cash for Hillary Clinton.

As with other entries in the Politico family of tip-sheets, Influence is itself sponsored from time to time — for one exciting week this month, by the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH), which announced to the newsletter’s readers that, for the last 50 years, the FAH “has had a seat at the table.” Appropriately enough for a publication whose beat is venality, Influence also took care to report on the FAH’s 50th anniversary party, thrown in an important room in the Capitol building, and carefully listed the many similarly important people who attended: the important lobbyists, the important members of Congress, and Nancy-Ann DeParle, the Obama administration’s important former healthcare czar and one of this city’s all-time revolving-door champions.

Describing parties like this is a standard theme in Influence, since the influence trade is by nature a happy one, a flattering one, a business eager to serve you up a bracing Negroni and encourage you to gorge yourself on fancy hors d’oeuvres. And so the newsletter tells us about the city’s many sponsored revelries — who gives them, who attends them, the establishment where the transaction takes place, and whose legislative agenda is advanced by the resulting exchange of booze and bonhomie.

The regular reader of Influence knows, for example, about the big reception scheduled to be hosted by Squire Patton Boggs, one of the most storied names in the influence-for-hire trade, at a certain office in Cleveland during the Republican Convention… about how current and former personnel of the Department of Homeland Security recently enjoyed a gathering thrown for them by a prestigious law firm… about a group called “PAC Pals” and the long list of staffers and lobbying types who attended their recent revelry… about how the Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the gang got together at a much-talked-about bar to sip artisanal cocktails.

There’s a poignant note to the story of former Congressional representative Melissa Bean — once the toast of New Democrats everywhere, now the “Midwest chair of JPMorgan” — who recently returned to D.C. to get together with her old staff. They had also moved on to boldface jobs in lobbying, television, and elsewhere. And there’s a note of the fabulous to the story of the Democratic member who has announced plans to throw a fundraiser at a Beyoncé concert. (“A pair of tickets go for $3,500 for PACs,” Influence notes.)

Bittersweet is the flavor of the recent story about the closing of Johnny’s Half Shell, a Capitol Hill restaurant renowned for the countless fundraisers it has hosted over the years. On hearing the news of the restaurant’s imminent demise, Influence gave over its pixels to tales from Johnny’s glory days. One reader fondly recounted a tale in which Occupy protesters supposedly interrupted a Johnny’s fundraiser being enjoyed by Senator Lindsey Graham and a bunch of defense contractors. In classic D.C.-style, the story was meant to underscore the stouthearted stoicism of the men of power who reportedly did not flinch at the menacing antics of the lowly ones.

A Blissful Community of Money

Influence is typically written in an abbreviated, matter-of-fact style, but its brief items speak volumes about the realities of American politics. There is, for example, little here about the high-profile battle over how transgender Americans are to be granted access to public restrooms. However, the adventures of dark money in our capital are breathlessly recounted, as the eternal drama of plutocracy plays itself out and mysterious moneymen try to pass their desires off as bona fide democratic demands.

“A group claiming to lobby on behalf of ordinary citizens against large insurance companies is in fact orchestrated by the hospital industry itself,” begins a typical item. The regular reader also knows about the many hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by unknown parties to stop Puerto Rican debt relief and about the mysterious group that has blown vast sums to assail the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) but whose protesters, when questioned outside a CFPB hearing, reportedly admitted that they were “day laborers paid to be there.”

You will have noticed, reader, the curiously bipartisan nature of the items mentioned here. But it really shouldn’t surprise you. After all, for this part of Washington, the only real ideology around is based on money — how much and how quickly you get paid.

Money is divine in this industry, and perhaps that is why Influence is fascinated with libertarianism, a fringe free-market faith which (thanks to its popularity among America’s hard-working billionaires) is massively over-represented in Washington. Readers of Influence know about the Competitive Enterprise Institute and its “Night in Casablanca” party, about the R Street Institute’s “Alice in Wonderland” party, about how former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli came to sign up with FreedomWorks, and how certain libertarians have flown from their former perches in the vast, subsidized free-market coop to the fashionable new Niskanen Center.

There are also plenty of small-bore lobbying embarrassments to report on, as when a currently serving congressional representative sent a mean note to a former senator who is now an official at the American Motorcyclist Association. Or that time two expert witnesses gave “nearly identical written statements” when testifying on Capitol Hill. Oops!

But what most impresses the regular reader of Influence is the brazenness of it all. To say that the people described here appear to feel no shame in the contracting-out of the democratic process is to miss the point. Their doings are a matter of pride, with all the important names gathering at some overpriced eatery to toast one another and get their picture taken and advance some initiative that will always, of course, turn out to be good for money and terrible for everyone else.

This is not an industry, Influence’s upbeat and name-dropping style suggests. It is a community — a community of corruption, perhaps, but a community nevertheless: happy, prosperous, and joyously oblivious to the plight of the country once known as the land of the middle class.

Thomas Frank is the author of Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

Copyright 2016 Thomas Frank

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: Read today’s piece and then get your hands on Thomas Frank’s new book, Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?  It’s the political must-read of this season if you want to know where liberalism went in the last two and a half decades.  The next TomDispatch post will be on Tuesday, July 5th.  Tom]

I’m no stranger to shakedowns. I’ve experienced them, in one form or another, from Asia to Africa.

——

Related video added by Juan Cole:

Lawrence Lessig on Institutional Corruption—Congress: The Paradigm Case

Categories: IraqWire, Leftward Blogs

After the Storm~

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 23:00

vahidss9 posted a photo:

Last week, I camped out with a bunch of friends on top of a cliff, overlooking Lake Superior. We had the perfect view of the lake and the light house. This shot was taken after a nasty storm which created a bit of a mess in the area. Thankfully, our tent stayed put with only a tiny bit of leak.
We were out of our campsite for most of that day and got back after the storm passed, just in time to make this shot! Colors were just incredible!

Have a great Friday everyone...

Categories: Minnesnota

Father re-creates his kids' sexy selfies in the most ridiculous dad way

BoingBoing - Thu, 2016-06-30 22:46

“So my daughter has been posting sexy selfies of herself and instead of telling her to stop, well, I thought of something better,” a dad from Washington state wrote on Instagram.

Cassie Martin’s dad Burr re-created one of Cassie's photos, presented the images side by side, and posted the double image on Instagram. A meme was born.

(more…)

Categories: Crunknet

Jay Cooke State Park

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 22:28

NVJ posted a photo:

Categories: Minnesnota

Jay Cooke State Park

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 22:28

NVJ posted a photo:

Categories: Minnesnota

Jay Cooke State Park

Minnesota Flickr - Thu, 2016-06-30 22:28

NVJ posted a photo:

Categories: Minnesnota

Libertarian party presidential ad

BoingBoing - Thu, 2016-06-30 22:27

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld hit small-l progressive talking points harder than big-L Libertarian ones in their campaign ad, which is nice. As a Briton and freshly-minted U.S. citizen voting for the first time, this is strangely exciting! But something about it—perhaps Bill grunting "Come onnnn!"—makes me feel like a virgin being cajoled into a threesome I may not enjoy.

Categories: Crunknet
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