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What? Gov. Tim Pawlenty supported Sharia law?

AFTERNOON EDITION

With Tim Pawlenty struggling to shore up his support with the GOP’s fringe-iest elements over “lapses” like supporting cap and trade and implicitly recognizing climate change, news that he supported Sharia law probably isn’t going to play too well. Consider the source if you will, but Adam Serwer at the very liberal American Prospect writes: “There's nothing sinister about the growth of Sharia-compliant finance. It is just capitalism at work, an emerging market in which firms are meeting demand for a particular kind of product. But a decision by one 2012 Republican hopeful, Tim Pawlenty, may come back to haunt him in the GOP presidential primary, where any association with Sharia-compliant finance could be toxic. In 2004, then-Gov. Pawlenty urged the Minnesota Housing Financing Agency to partner with local groups and businesses in an effort to increase minority homeownership in the state. That partnership became the Emerging Markets Homeowners Initiative. At the time, Minnesota's minority homeownership rate of 42 percent was slightly behind the national average, and part of the reason was that Minnesota's relatively large Muslim population was unable to purchase homes. ... Pawlenty hasn't shied away from throwing red meat to the conservative base. He's told his share of birther jokes and even argued in favor of reinstating discrimination against gays and lesbians serving in the military. Thus far, he's avoided indulging in growing conservative enmity toward Muslims, but because of his own perfectly defensible efforts to expand homeownership in Minnesota, he may be vulnerable to such attacks from other candidates.” Home loans?! Talk about pandering to Muslim radicals!  


The wind energy business hasn’t exploded like many thought it would after the last oil price spike, but Ehren Goossens of Bloomberg is reporting another large project for the Upper Midwest: “The $157 million Bison 2 wind project in central North Dakota will use 35, 3-megawatt turbines made by Siemens, Minnesota Power said in a statement. Financial terms of the contract weren’t disclosed. Siemens expects to deliver the first turbines in August 2012, and the wind farm may go into commercial service by the end of 2012, the Erlangen, Germany-based company said. Minnesota Power, of Duluth ... is already using direct drive turbines from Siemens at its Bison 1 project near Center, North Dakota. The manufacturer says the technology uses fewer parts than conventional, geared turbines, which makes them easier to maintain and increases output.”

The truest prediction about Michele Bachmann’s presidential candidacy is that it is pure gold for the media. The New York Times’ Michael D. Shear blogs this morning: “[W]ho would benefit from Ms. Bachmann’s candidacy? And who would be hurt by it? Here’s a quick rundown: Tim Pawlenty: The former governor of Minnesota is banking on a good showing in Iowa (a neighboring state) to help catapult him into serious contention and to convince donors that he’s the good bet to win the White House. Despite being from the same state, Ms. Bachmann does not share a fund-raising base with Mr. Pawlenty, who will appeal to the more traditional, establishment crowd. But if she ends up as the surprise winner in Iowa, much like Mike Huckabee was in 2008, she could easily upset Mr. Pawlenty’s carefully laid plans. ... The Establishment: It’s no secret that establishment Republicans don’t like Ms. Bachmann very much. They have not given her the committee assignments that she wants. Like the Tea Party candidates who were opposed by Washington Republicans during the 2010 midterm elections, she’s an outsider of sorts. So if she runs — and does well — she could become an even bigger thorn in their sides.

Conservative columnist Debra J. Saunders blogs at the San Francisco Chronicle’s site, saying: “Bachmann has been on cable news a lot this week as she visits Iowa and announces that she may run for president in 2012. Does she have a shot? Gallup puts her in sixth place, ahead of my present top choice, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. But I think she has a much lower ceiling on support. Her act is getting stale. First she says something basically inaccurate. Say, she says Lexington and Concord are in New Hampshire. Or that the founding fathers ‘worked tirelessly to end slavery.’ The gaffes get her on TV. She then complains the liberal media pick on her. The corner of the GOP base that loves a victim comes to her defense. Repeat cycle.” Ms. Saunders sounds dismayed at the prospect.

MPR’s Mark Zedechlik posts a short item about Bachmann built arounds her (latest) appearance on FoxNews, last night: “Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., told Fox News Thursday evening her recent trips to early primary states are moving her a ‘step closer’ to making a decision about running for president next year. Bachmann said she has not yet made up her mind but is giving the possibility of a White House bid ‘serious consideration.’ Bachmann also talked about what her strengths would be as a candidate. ‘I think what I bring to the table is the fact that I'm a fighter. I'm authentic. I'm the same person when I campaign as I am when I'm elected to public office,’ Bachmann said.” And you know, on that last point, I’ve never doubted her.

Target may need some counseling in PR 101. Our favorite local discount empire is going to trial today against a gay group in San Diego. The AP is reporting:,  “Target Corp. is suing a San Diego pro-gay marriage group to get it to stop canvassing outside its San Diego County stores, alleging its activists are driving away customers. Rights advocates say the trial between Target and Canvass For A Cause that begins Friday could further strain relations with the gay and lesbian community after controversy over its $150,000 donation to a business group backing a Minnesota Republican candidate opposed to gay marriage. Minnesota-based Target insists it remains committed to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its lawsuit has nothing to do with the political agenda of the organization. ‘Our legal action was in no way related to the cause of the organization and was done so to be consistent with our long-standing policy of providing a distraction-free shopping experience by not permitting solicitors at our stores,’ the company said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.”

The private prison industry is taking heat. Kevin Giles of the Strib reports: “In an apparent reversal from practice under Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration, the state's new corrections commissioner prefers that prison inmates remain under public management. Some legislators also question the purpose of opening private prisons, and the union that represents 1,900 correctional officers condemns the legislation as a union-busting effort. ... Private prisons find no favor with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 5 (AFSCME). ‘We are concerned that private prisons for profit have become a nasty business,’ said Eliot Seide, the union's executive director. ‘They're trying to make a profit out of human incarceration. That's a throwback to the Middle Ages.' " If our prisons are “Middle Ages,” what would you call Texas'?

Call it solidarity, of a sort. The Society of Professional Journalists is rallying to the support of Johnny Northside, the blogger nailed with a $60,000 fine in a libel suit. Says Abby Simons in the Strib: “SPJ attorneys argue that the 100-year-old organization representing print and broadcast journalists has a public interest in the case because the jury's verdict suggests that journalists or anyone else could be held liable for truthful statements they post online. Such a standard ‘could impair the free flow of information and vigorous debate on public issues,’ the organization argued. The organization has a ‘significant continuing interest in ensuring that Minnesota courts at every level do not apply such a rule,’ the brief said. The jury's verdict noted that although Hoff truthfully blogged that Moore was linked to a fraudulent mortgage in the city's North Side, the blog post interfered with Moore's employment at the University of Minnesota.”

Well, if the Vikings do take their toys and go home … or to LA, or Vegas or Biloxi … their replacements are already signed. Jessica Lussenhop writes in City Pages: “Lingerie Football League is here. ‘We truly understand the sheer amount of people that are sport fanatics in the greater Twin Cities area,’ says league founder Mitchell Mortaza. ‘We would be foolish not to place a franchise there.’ The league got its start in 2009. Teams play 7-on-7 full contact football, and players wear, yes, naught but garters and lingerie under their shoulder pads. The women also wear clear-front helmets so fans can see their pretty, pretty faces. ... Shockingly, Mortaza's brainchild has generated plenty of controversy. In addition to fielding the obvious charge that the sport degrades women (leaked player contracts include an "accidental nudity" clause) some players have complained that their medical costs aren't covered.”  But then if these teams ever strike, the picket lines will be a lot more interesting.

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Comments (9)

I thought this was supposed to be a place for people on a low Bachmann diet.

If Target keeps shooting itself in the foot in regards to its formerly faithful moderate-to-liberal-customer base (all the people who have tried to avoid Walmart for a wide variety of very good reasons) and considering they can't begin to out "Walmart" the Waltons,...

I can't help but wonder what kind of prostheses are available for a corporation that has completely shot its own feet out of existence.

What's the economic equivalent of the Mayo Clinic?

Or will target just end up being "private equitied" or "hedge funded" out of existence in the end because their high-ideology, low customer I.Q.-management was determined to carry out it's own political agenda even at the risk of driving the majority of their customers right out the door?

The benefits of a "better business climate" won't amount to much if your customers won't (or can no longer afford to) walk in the door, will they?

Which conservatives said an association with Sharia compliant finance is toxic? As long as the program doesn't use taxpayer money and doesn't force non-Muslims to submit to Sharia law, who cares? It sounds to me as if leftists are hoping, and that's all it is - hope, this association will hurt Pawlenty.

Hopefully none of the Siemens turbines have the rotor and blades fall off like the Suzlon one (also in North Dakota) did a couple of weeks ago. One accident in the energy business and no one wants you anymore...

Rosalind - The anti-Sharia finance has made it to Fox News - The favorite new source for the old wing nuts that make up the Republican primary voters.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,451416,00.html

If it's been on FOX, Iowa Republican activists are aware of the issue.

I worked for Target's store operations organization for nearly a decade. The no solicitation policy is consistently applied and has no exceptions. At one point they let the Salvation Army bellringers operate out in front of their stores, but they stopped that about 6-7 years ago.

It's the same reason why you don't see vending machines in front of a Target store, or Girl Scouts selling cookies. They want their guests (to use Target parlance for customers) to be focused on shopping, and shopping alone, when they enter and leave the store.

I can promise you that if an anti-gay marriage group started canvassing at the same store in San Diego, they'd get the boot. And if that group persisted, Target would sue them, too.

The Minnesota legislature is requiring Minn Power to get to 25% wind, a pipe dream.
Minnesota Power’s first big wind venture is a $180 million wind farm called Bison 1, with 31 turbines and an 83-megawatt capacity. Adding this to Minnesota Power’s 25-megawatt Taconite Ridge wind farm gives Minnesota Power 108 megawatts of wind.
But that number has to be adjusted for the amount of time erratic winds actually produce power. This is called capacity factor. Wind turns itself on and off, tending toward off in summer when demand is highest on sultry, windless, summer days.
In the U.S. in 2009, wind produced 70 billion kilowatt hours at a 26 percent capacity factor, providing 1.75 percent of the nation’s total electrical power. At a generous 30 percent capacity factor, Minnesota Power’s effective wind power will be at about 33 megawatts in 2011. Minnesota Power’s total generating capacity is 1,700 megawatts, which can be adjusted for the 65 percent capacity factor of coal and biomass to 1,100 megawatts.
That puts Minnesota Power at 3 percent wind, just one-fifth of the way toward raising its renewable capacity from 10 percent to 25 percent. Given the cost of Bison 1, plus the expense of transmission lines from North Dakota to Duluth, an investment in the $1 billion range to meet the state statute is likely.
Bison 2 will be a similar boondoggle.

If I understand Sharia law correctly, one can not charge interest while loans are a matter of honor.

If so, it would be equally appealing to other borrowers.

And if so, I can't imagine any private company that would lend without getting anything but the principal back. It would have to involve public money to work in this country wouldn't it?

Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota, has ended a program he once encouraged. The program was meant to increase home ownership among minority groups. The loan program only provided three home loans between being set up by the Minnesota state housing agency and getting shut down by the governor. Pawlenty cited religious freedom as the reason for shutting down this Sharia-compliant mortgage program. The majority of people still had to find huge personal loans to buy a home.