Thursday found Gov. Tim Pawlenty in San Diego addressing the Republican National Committee, doing his best to sound like a man who can bring down President Obama in the next election. For instance, as the Associate Press’ Michael R. Blood reports in the Star Tribune, he has a rather ingenious idea for how to attract new voters into the dwindling ranks of the Republican Party: Try and grab a few Democrats. How? The party should show “respect of those who don’t agree with us,” Blood quotes Pawlenty as saying. “Let’s make sure that we welcome others who are not yet Republicans.”
Lest you think Pawlenty might be arguing for a kinder, gentler Republican party — well, that’s not precisely what Pawlenty is arguing. Instead, the governor and presidential hopeful seems invoking the specter of Ronald Reagan, whose era Republicans now seem to treat with the dewy reverence of a time when a saint walked the Earth; Pawlenty seems to be hoping for a repeat of the phenomenon of the Reagan Democrat, and fears that conservative-leaning Democrats and independents might be put off by some of the GOP’s less-inclusive rhetoric. This sort of stumping also helps bolster Pawleny’s image as, in Blood’s word’s, “a heartland politician able to win votes from across party lines, while firmly anchored to the Ronald Reagan tradition.”
But Pawlenty’s call for a more inclusive dialogue did not preclude him from getting his digs in at Obama, who, after all, would be his competitor in a presidential run. If there is one thing you can count on Tim Pawlenty to place front and center in his speeches, it is an almost pathological fear of government spending, and Obama’s health care plan gives Pawlenty an appealing target. FOX gives us the quote: “This is a scheme that would make Bernie Madoff blush … It ain’t gonna work.”
The DFL responded with a pithy statement and an accidentally obscene link. The Associated Press offers us the content of their criticism — specifically, “Tim Pawlenty is a perfect example of why Republicans are no longer relevant as a Party.” The AP also informs us of a link included in the statement, which went to the news media, and mistakenly brought up a profane YouTube video. What was in the video? Here’s the AP’s description: “The YouTube video, titled ‘Chinese Grandma Learns English,’ was of a young man tricking his grandmother into saying several obscene words as part of a counterproductive English lesson.” Hey! Here’s the video! The video is not safe for work, obviously.
The DFL doesn’t seem to be the only ones who are flummoxed by the Internet. As Minnesota Independent’s Chris Steller explains, local bloggers have filed an complaint against Michele Bachmann for what they purport to be ethics violations on her website. The specifics of the complaint can be found on this PDF, and a fuller explanation can be found in this post on MnPublius, written by Aaron Landry, who helped file the complaint. The crux of it is that Bachmann has been using email and her website to promote outside organizations, including an auto dealer association that donated money to Bachmann and a partisan political site.
We’re good enough: FOX9 reports that Outside Online magazine has ranked Minneapolis the eighth best city to live in. The magazine sums up the Minneapolis experience with these words: “it’s anything but dreary.” In related news, locals rank Outside Online high in their list of magazines they have never heard of.
Now is not a good time to be Denny Hecker. As though it is not enough of a headache to be going through bankruptcy proceedings, especially without a driver’s license, which was recently suspended as a result of Hecker running into a light pole, now federal agencies have returned to Hecker’s St. Louis Park headquarters. What now? According to the Pioneer Press’s Nicole Garrison-Sprenger, it was the FBI, and they were looking for “evidence of money laundering, conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud.” Additionally, according to WCCO’s Esme Murphy, “Among the allegations the FBI is looking into is that Hecker forged documents in order to obtain millions in loans.” If ever there was a time a car dealer needed a pair of $30,000 guard dogs to hug, it is now.
Curtis Gilbert of MPR runs down some of the new laws that take effect Aug. 1, including a resolution that asks that a federal law be struck down. Specifically, Minnesota has asked Congress to repeal an 1863 law expelling the Dakota from Minnesota, which is still on the books.
Maybe the law should simply be changed to expel suspicious pieces of pizza. There aren’t many, but, according to the Pioneer Press’s The Usual Suspects blog, there is at least one: A 43-year-old man called the police on a partially eaten slice of pizza left near a fence, which the man felt was meant to harass him. One would assume there must be something notable about this slice of pizza; one would be wrong. From the PiPress: “The officer noted it was a regular cheese pizza, traditional hand tossed crust, with pepperoni topping.”
Fans of cricket, your time has come, as detailed in a story by Jim Bickal on Minnesota Public Radio: “The Minnesota Cricket Association is hosting one of the nation’s most important tournaments, the Western Conference Championship.” As to why Minnesotans might be interested in a British game that vaguely resembles baseball, but with nearly incomprehensible rules? Well, we have to try and enjoy something, as we seem to be getting mighty cyncial about baseball, as evidenced by this column by LaVelle E. Neal III in the Star Tribune, which can be summed up by its subhed: “The Twins have often said in recent years how they have attempted to improve the roster at the July 31 trade deadline. But history indicates that they often fail to do so.”