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Kline doesn't rule out race against Franken

It wouldn’t be as much fun as Our Favorite Congresswoman, but he’ll do. The AP says: “Rep. John Kline isn’t ruling out a run for U.S. Senate next year but says his decision won’t come until this summer. The senior Republican in Minnesota’s congressional delegation is among those mentioned as potential rivals to Democratic Sen. Al Franken, who will be up for a second term in 2014. Kline was asked about his interest in running for Senate while at Minnesota’s Capitol on Monday. He gave an indirect response and then offered his timetable. A Senate bid would end his House career because the two seats are on the ballot at the same time.” You have to assume he can count on the full support of the for-profit college industry.

Speaking of … Eerily quiet since November, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (or someone writing in her name) pens a commentary for the Strib on Big Gummint doing something about Alzheimer's research: “[F]ar too often in the larger health care debate, the discourse focuses heavily on insurance, and not enough on health.  Health insurance is not a synonym for health. Insurance, while necessary, is focused on financial, not medical, challenges. No amount of health insurance is going to give doctors the ability to help you if you show up at the hospital with Alzheimer’s or other kinds of at-present incurable diseases. The main driver of health care costs is illness, and the most effective way to make illness cheaper is by prevention and cures. … America has always been a land of big thinkers, and if the president means what he says about medical research as a tool to improve our physical and fiscal health, I will be happy to work with him.” Can you imagine the president’s delight at hearing this?

Generally speaking, we Minnesotans are less white than in years gone by and a lot more geezerly. John Croman of KARE-TV says: “[N]early one in five people in the state are persons of color now, or 17 percent. That's a category that includes persons who listed themselves in the last federal census as black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American Indian or belonging to multiple ethnic groups. That diversity is more pronounced in younger age brackets. Minnesota's only half as diverse as the United States as a whole, which has 36 percent persons of color. But the 17 percent figure is significant, when one considers only two percent of the Minnesota's population was comprised of ethnic minorities in 1960. … 85,000 Minnesotans will join [the]  65-plus category during this decade, and 335,000 will go into that column during the 2020s.”

More gun hearings … this time by the Senate. Megan Boldt of the PiPress writes: “Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, said he wants to begin work on proposals that will keep guns out of the hands of people that shouldn't have them and have broad consensus among both law enforcement and the general public. Latz chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will take up the proposals on Thursday and Friday. … Gun law changes in Minnesota seemingly have the best chance in years to pass with DFLers now in control of the Legislature and with DFLer Mark Dayton serving as governor.”

PiPress sports columnist Bob Sansevere talks stadium  with Vikings VP Lester Bagley:
BS: Has revenue related to personal seat licenses been straightened out? (In November, Gov. Mark Dayton said he opposed seat license fees, a feature the Vikings' favor.)
LB: No. We're working on that. Given the $477 million (the Vikings are contributing), we believe a stadium builders' license is allowed. We believe they are viable in this market and likely will be included as part of the ultimate finance package.
BS: Why are you calling it a stadium builders' license and not a personal seat license?
LB: Other teams, such as the Steelers, refer to them as that. They have used it as part of their financing. About half of the NFL stadiums have used some form of a stadium builders' license.
BS: So the Vikings' $477 million contribution would include fees from a stadium builders' license?
LB: Correct.”

At least he’s been paddling in the right direction … Bob Montgomery of the Tampa Bay Times writes: “Daniel Alvarez woke up Thursday on a spoil island south of the Belleair Causeway and folded the tarp under which he had slept through pouring rain the night before. The clouds had parted for the morning sun, but he knew there would be storms ahead, so he wanted to get an early start. He pulled his black hat down on his forehead and tucked the tarp into his 17-foot yellow sea kayak, the vessel that carried him here from Northwest Angle, Minn., the northernmost point in the lower 48, a journey of more than 3,000 miles. He appeared healthy and unbelievably happy for a 31-year-old man who had been on a mostly solitary journey through the heart of America for eight long months, since June 11, when he shoved off for the southernmost point, Key West.” He should be at the Half Shell Raw Bar by St. Patty’s Day.

The GleanThis one is like the female version of “Goodfellas.” The AP reports: “A Minnesota woman shot her mother's girlfriend in the head in 2007 in Wisconsin, according to criminal complaints filed Monday. Kandi Siveny, 34, of St. Paul, Minn. was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, party to a crime and solicitation of substantial battery in the death of 30-year-old Lara Plamann in Outagamie County. Her mother, 53-year-old Dianna Siveny of Appleton, Wis., faces the same charges. A third woman, Rosie Campbell, 38, of St. Paul was also charged with first-degree intentional homicide. …[according to charges] the three plotted the shooting beforehand and the Sivenys planned to pay Campbell to shoot Plamann. Originally, Campbell was going to shoot Plamann, but Campbell told authorities she ‘chickened out’ when they were in the car outside of the house. At that point, Kandi Siveny took the gun and said, ‘I'll just do it,’ the complaint said.”

An objective news organization with a mission … The Strib editorializes against the business-to-business tax proposal: “Minnesota can balance the state budget and improve vital public services without socking its service-based businesses with an extraordinary new tax burden. That's the Editorial Board's conclusion from a deep dive into state government balance sheets in the days since Gov. Mark Dayton's State of the State address. … It would expand the sales tax in a way that would sorely burden businesses that sell services to other Minnesota businesses — legal, engineering, accounting, advertising, computing and more. (And, yes, the Star Tribune would be among them.)” And since we buy ink by the train car …

And a bit more on Comcast’s “drip, drip, drip” pricing increases … Julio Ojeda-Zapata at the PiPress reports: “A Comcast plan to charge $2 a month for a device it has long provided for free has created confusion and controversy among Twin Cities customers and municipal officials. The digital terminal adapter, or DTA, is designed for viewers who plug the cable directly into their TVs instead of using full-featured cable-TV boxes. These users typically receive only the basic channels, generally also available for free through a rooftop or TV-top antenna. Comcast will begin charging the fee in mid-March. And while two bucks might not seem like a lot, some city officials question whether some customers are being told they need the device when they do not and whether Comcast legally can charge the fee in the first place.” Always bet on Comcast’s lawyers in these matters.

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Comments (7)

John Kline

I am looking forward to Mr. Kline explaining why he felt the need to co-author and attempt to pass, "forcible rape legislation" with Paul Ryan? Just what we need, another elected official trying to punish rape victims!

Drip, drip, drip

I'm not a television enthusiast, and when I arrived in Minneapolis, I figured the relative flatness of most of the city would allow me to dispense with Comcast altogether and just use an antenna for my minimal TV-watching. Alas, even after purchasing two different antennas, my television screen remained discernible-picture-free. Even in much-less-flat metro Denver, I got better TV reception with "rabbit-ears" than I got here with an actual antenna.

Accordingly, I signed up for the most basic cable available, so basic that I'm among those who have never seen a "full-featured cable box." The monthly bill has gone up gradually – as it has everywhere I've had Comcast cable, and on my desk is the form letter from Comcast about a digital device I'll need as they're "upgrading the network." I can't speak for others, but "up to three" of these digital devices are being offered by Comcast at no charge, so I can't think of a reason (other than the philosophical argument of abandoning television altogether) not to get them. I'm sure I'll pay for it down the road in some fashion.

did you try a powered antenna

even living near shoreview, I found I needed one of those. But I did pretty well with it.

Bachmann

You actually have to read the commentary. About 2/3 down you find out that it's been big government, bureaucrats, and trial lawyers that have stood in the way of basic research. Who knew?

For example:

"Unfortunately, after decades of overregulation and egregiously predatory tort litigation, the “pipeline” of new drugs has substantially dried up. So while we must keep our high ethical standards intact, we need a rigorous overhaul of the way we conduct research and develop new medicines, including reforming the Food and Drug Administration and shielding good-faith investments while still protecting the legitimate claims of medical victims."

Just another trojan horse.

No chance Kline, or even Paulsen,

will run against Franken.

Both have nice, safe, seats and would undoubtedly lose to Mr. Franken.

But the free publicity for Kline and Paulsen is simply too much to resist as their political advisors have no doubt pointed out.

Why they wanted me to run for Senator, but I really want to represent you, my constituents in the nth district!

A sacrificial lamb is needed. The GOP could do a lot worse than Pete Hegseth. Besides, he can bring a large amount of outside money to the table. As the GOP has discovered, the Paulbots are good at talk.

Money? Not so much.

Kline would be nominally stronger than our Michele statewide

but I agree with Mr. Gleason that it's very unlikely to happen. For one thing, it's unlikely that Kline could mount a statewide campaign without scheduling debates and some truly public events -- which he has been loathe to do in the past. Kline, like so many of his Republican compatriots take great pains to appear in front of friendly crowds who don't ask any uncomfotable questions.

coat tails

Franken can't ride on Obama's coat tails this time around so it won't be so easy. He will have to stand on his own, and he doesn't have the gravitas that Kline has.