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Nasty storm outbreak rips North Minneapolis, area

MORNING EDITION

It could have been worse — and it was in southern Missouri — but the metro area got hit hard Sunday, particularly North Minneapolis. Everyone rushed to offer tornado/storm afternoon and evening coverage. The Strib said: “[Mayor R.T.] Rybak and City Council Member Barbara Johnson got an aerial view from a helicopter. The mayor described the damage as ‘widespread and significant.’ City officials said at least 100 homes were damaged, some of them totaled. Power at one point was out to about 22,000 Xcel Energy customers across the metro area. The lack of electricity twice forced movement of the emergency command center, which ended up just across the Minneapolis border in Fridley. Gas leaks were reported in several places, forcing people from their homes, Rybak said. ... The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said one person died from the storm near 37th and Fremont Avenues N. Rybak said the person killed was in a car. Officials had no other details about the fatality.”


Here’s a link to the Strib’s reader-submitted photos.

Here’s chopper footage from KARE-TV.

Here’s a YouTube video of a funnel over Forest Lake, via Paul Douglas’ site.

With the GOP majority holding the vote on their anti-gay marriage bill over the weekend, some of the most immediate heat was avoided. Among the coverage you may not have read is this from David Bailey of Reuters: “Democrats questioned the drive for the constitutional amendment with the state budget still unresolved. They also said they were concerned it would lead to a divisive political campaign over the next 18 months to the election. ‘Millions and millions of dollars will be poured into this state on both sides and the pain and agony that I have witnessed in this chamber this evening will be all over Minnesota,’ Democratic Representative Kerry Gauthier said. Republican Representative John Kriesel, who was severely wounded in the Iraq war, said the amendment did not represent the state and country he fought. ‘If there was a 'hell no' button right here, I would press it, that would be the one I'd press,’ Kriesel said. ‘But unfortunately I just have 'nay' and that's the one I am going to press.' "

The guffaw-inducing move of the weekend was the decision by House Speaker Kurt Zellers to scrub any official reference to the “invocation” offered by unabashedly anti-gay minister and talk radio host Bradlee Dean last Friday. As reported by Baird Helgeson of the Strib: “Democrats on Saturday wanted to know why the Journal of the House, the historical record of the day's legislative work, had no mention of pastor Bradlee Dean offering the prayer. Dean had said that Jesus Christ is the ‘head of the denomination ... as every president up until 2008 has acknowledged.’ ‘I am not trying to make this a difficult thing, but I think it's important to have this civic discussion,’ said DFL Rep. Terry Morrow, who questioned the omission of Dean's name on the House floor. Republican Speaker Kurt Zellers, who took the unusual step of publicly apologizing to House members Friday after the prayer, said the omission wasn't out of line because no quorum was present when Dean spoke. Dean's prayer caused such an uproar that Republicans restarted the session and had the Rev. Grady St. Dennis, the House chaplain, give a new prayer. The official House journal lists St. Dennis as offering the Friday prayer.”

Here is video from Fox9 of Dean’s “prayer”.

It’s been a foregone conclusion for so long that it hardly qualified as news that we have reached D-day, end-of-session, without a resolution to the budget impasse. Rachel Stassen-Berger files for the Strib on a Sunday meeting, saying: “With just one day left in this year's regular session, lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton met behind closed door to negotiate a two-year budget agreement. After an hour-long afternoon meeting, they were no closer to saving the state from special session and possible shutdown than they were months ago. ’We don't have anything breaking,’ Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said after the hour-long meeting. ‘Whenever we are meeting, whenever we are face to face, that's good for all of us,’ said House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove. ‘We are going to be working through the night tonight, through the night tomorrow night. However long  we have to be here. If it is 24-7. We've all got a change and clothes and our toothbrush.’ Despite that availability, it is a near certainty lawmakers will go back to their districts Monday with a budget uncompleted. ... Late Saturday night, lawmakers did complete what had been a signature GOP issue — getting a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage on the 2012 election ballot. When asked about it Sunday, Zellers, who decided it was time to vote on the contentious issue, appeared to waive the issue away. ‘We said we were going to do all the things after the budget was presented to the governor. The budget was presented,’ Zeller said. ‘We have a lot of other things. That's behind us now. We're talking about the budget. ... The votes are behind us. That's Monday morning quarterbacking.’ " Does that sound like a guy filled with pride of ownership?

Good piece by Bob Shaw in the PiPress looking at aging demographics in certain east metro suburbs: “The median age in Minnesota increased two years to 37 from 2000 to 2010, the census says. But the population in many cities aged far more. Gem Lake is aging faster than any other metro-area city. In the east metro, other fast-aging cities are Lakeland Shores, where the median age increased nine years; Oak Park Heights, North Oaks and Mahtomedi, eight years; and Pine Springs, seven years. Lilydale, population 618, has the oldest median age in the metro area by far at 63. Other east metro old-age contenders are North Oaks, with a median age of 53; and Pine Springs, Marine on St. Croix and Gem Lake, all at 50. The children are elsewhere. Columbia Heights' two-year drop in the median age is the most in the metro area. St. Paul and Hampton have median ages of 31; and Farmington, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale and St. Francis, 32.”

I’d be interested in Lori Sturdevant’s reader correspondence today after what was for her and the Strib an almost unqualified cry of support for Gov. Dayton’s position in the budget stand-off. She writes: “Dayton is trying to avert GOP-backed spending cuts for higher education, health care, transit and the rest. In his view, those things are essential ingredients for prosperity. He said about as much in an interview last week: "We've never been a low-tax state. Our success has been a balance, with responsible use of our resources to create a world-class education system, a highway system, a public transit system ... ‘Now it's as if employees of businesses don't matter to these folks,’ he said of his GOP sparring partners. ‘They care about the owners. But they don't recognize that the owners can't get very far without good, productive employees who can get to work, and are healthy, and who are well-educated and whose kids are being well-educated.’ Dayton's latest offer to the Legislature (at this writing) asks the top 2 percent of the state's earners — and no one else — to pay higher income taxes to fix the state budget.”

The Bradlee Dean “prayer” whetted the fangs of local liberal bloggers. Jeff Fecke, who writes Blog of the Moderate Left, isn’t buying the GOP’s “unawares” of Dean’s point of view. He notes Dean’s proximity to Michele Bachmann, Tom Emmer, Mary Kiffmeyer and the deep end of the GOP’s Christian evangelical constituency. He says: “[M]ore fun for those of us who aren’t Republicans, Zellers’ necessary and forceful denunciation of Dean has itself been denounced by Dean, who said, ‘If Speaker Zellers does not stand for the Constitution, our veterans, the Founding Forefathers, and the Christian God to whom he swears by an oath to uphold these very things, then I would say Mr. Zellers is not fit to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Minnesota.’ That’s the problem for the GOP and for Zellers. Because Dean is not without influence. And while they had no choice but to go after Dean, there is also no doubt that this will anger conservative Christians in the Republican Party — a group that makes up a huge bloc of caucus-goers and foot-soldiers. But that’s the problem with trying to embrace a bigot without being seen embracing him. You can run from him all you want. But you can’t hide from that choice, or from the consequences.”

Avidor at the DumpBachmann blog has over-the-weekend audio of Dean complaining of his treatment by the GOP: “Bradlee goes on to say he was scheduled to give the prayer a month ago, but he kept getting ‘pushed off.’ Bradlee also says he was welcomed by legislators, some who had been on his show before he gave the prayer (list of people who have been on the Bradlee Bunch show HERE). Bradlee complains that Michele Bachmann, Mary Kiffmeyer and Tom Emmer were unfairly dragged into the controversy. Bradlee also suggests Rep. Leidegger [Ernie Leidiger] was lying when he claimed he didn't know about Bradlee Dean's extremist views (the legislator had apparently viewed a screening of Bradlee's movie 'My War' which has been sponsored by MN Tea Partiers).”

Nothing on the radar by way of local conservatives defending him, or saying much at all about the incident.

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Comments (10)

I remember in the old days there were entire sets of "Kremlin watchers" who would analyze official photographs and see who had been airbrushed out of the picture.

Is it surprising that the official record of the prayer was scrubbed? With a party that proudly claims to "make its own reality"?

Was the Zeller apology also erased?

Here's a puzzle for the self-righteous right, what if the rapture actually did happen at 6 pm on Saturday, but no-one made the cut? After all, consider the phrase, "he who is without sin, cast the first stone..."

Regarding Bradlee Dean, Kurt Zellers, et al: could it be that the GOP are exhibiting the signs of brain atrophy that is indicative among people of minority religions?

Like it or not, the GOP and their so-called "Christian Conservative" members are a minority, albeit a noisy one. But embracing our diversity won out over their bigotry and hatred a long time ago.

They're just digging their own grave, but they don't realize it yet.

Bradlee Dean could not have bought the amount of free publicity he has received.

The "conservatives" currently dominating the Minnesota legislature are rapidly ensuring that this year's legislative session will be their Waterloo, or, perhaps more accurately, their "bridge too far."

At a time when the citizens of Minnesota actually support gay marriage by a strong majority (in recent surveys), the dysfonic Republicans are trying to enshrine their own biases and bigotry in the state constitution...

so that, as future generations of Christians and non-Christians alike become more informed and more open-minded (as they are), it will be more difficult to have state law reflect that intellectual/emotional/spiritual growth in the state's population,...

growth toward greater awareness and greater openness to the ACTUAL Gospel of Jesus Christ under the guidance and inspiration of the Spirit (rather than the massively warped version of faith their dysfunctions require them to cling to)

In their steadfast refusal to raise state taxes on the wealthiest citizens of the state, even though those folks pay less, by percentage of income than the middle class, they are making Governor Dayton out to be a (deservedly) heroic figure.

In his very public offer to meet them halfway in their attempt to correct the $5+ Billion deficit left behind by Gov. Pawlenty, and their absolutely dysfonic refusal to agree to such a compromise and the likely state government shut down that they will force,...

As the result of their need to maintain the support of the dysfons who dominate the Republican Party leadership throughout the state, the Republicans are faced with a lose-lose choice: Continue on their current path and make sure the public refuses to re-elect them, or do what the public wants and lose their party endorsements.

The gay marriage issue will crystalize all of this. The public has wised up to Republican lies after the Pawlenty years, and will not fall for the usual carefully-veiled Republican B.S.

Their anti-gay amendment will not pass and, by the time the election roles around, everything "Republican" will smell so rank and vile to the general public that a Democratically-dominated legislature will be elected which will repeal the current law which prohibits gay marriage as well.

Forever after, we will remember this biennial legislative session as the political equivalent of the rare blooming of the "corpse flower" in the wild.

I'm not as optimistic as Greg about the public wising up to the Republicans. As far as taxes and a shut down go, this was obviously coming since the day after the election. These representatives speak for many: greedy people with jobs that resent taxes and governmetn, bigots, religious nuts, people who get news only from Fox news and places like that.

My guess/impression is that the Dean thing was set up by people who knew better. They put on the phony appology to cover up after he went off-script. How could they not know what he stood for. They are just embarrassed by the Obama slam, but they wanted all their bigotted followers to get the coded message of support by putting him on the floor.

Dean knows as much about the founding fathers and the constitution as Bachmann does. Many of them, including Jeffereson I believe, were Deists, not Trinitarians. I'm sure his knowledge of the constitution is as deep as his knowledge of the founding fathers' beliefs.

I would like to see a credulity test for running for public office. If you believe in the literal truth of the Book of Revelation, then you are unfit for office. There is very little difference in the people who thought the rapture would happen this weekend and many Republicans now in office. The only difference is that Bachmann and the guys who invited Dean's prayer and the rest of them just don't have a fixed date in mind for the event. Unfortunately I'm afraid the rapture may happen and maybe another election before this Minnesota house and senate agree to tax the rich enough to balance the budget.

Interestingly, and not quite acknowledged by the haters in the media and here, Dean made ZERO reference to the gay marriage issue during his prayer.

He did however, note that up until 2008, all US Presidents HAD acknowledged that "Jesus" (Christianity) was our country's religion of choice.

The left's resulting flagellation and "outrage" is of course within expected spectrums.

BD (#5) ...."Jesus" (Christianity) was our country's religion of choice"...

Could you point out ANY official US document where "Jesus" is named? How many official US documents can you find where "Christian" is named? There are more with "God" in them and on printed on coins and bills, but no "Christian" or "Jesus".

Jesus and Christian many be the denomination of choice of the majority of citizens, but it is not the official religion.

Please provide a citation for ANY president naming Christianity as our country's religion of choice.

Get a grip. At least make an effort to know what you are talking about.

So BD, when Republican house speaker Kurt Zellars said this:

"I am offended at the presence of Bradlee Dean on the floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives. I denounce him, his actions and his words. He does not represent my values or the values of this state."

does that make him one of the haters?

Thanks BD, I had no idea that, up until 2008, all US Presidents had been such idiots on the topic.

@Neal,

Neither BD nor Bradlee Dean were actually saying that Christianity was the official national religion.

What BD was referring to was the point in Bradlee's speech where he claims (correctly, more or less) that all presidents have followed some form of the Christian religion, up until 2008 (the incorrect part of the claim, as Obama obviously and clearly identifies himself as a Christian). The quote from the Bradlee speech:

"'I know this is a non-denominational prayer in this chamber, it's not about the Baptists, it's not about the Catholics alone, or the Lutherans or the Wesleyans or the Presbyterians or Evangelicals but rather the head of the denomination, and his name is Jesus -- as every president up until 2008 has acknowledged, and we pray it in Jesus' name,' Dean said."

I don't think that BD was actually saying that he thought Dean was correct in suggesting that Obama was not Christian (not that that should matter, blah blah, et cetera), only that that was the only blatantly offensive part of the speech. By all the liberal hand-wringing, you would think that Dean had suggested, on the house floor, that all homosexuals are pedophiles and should be jailed (and I say that as a liberal who is offended by Bradlee in his track-suited, ponytailed, bigoted entirety).

No, he didn't say that on the house floor, but he has said that elsewhere, including on his radio show. Which makes his presence (anywhere, really, but particularly on the house floor) the profoundly offensive part of this whole episode.