So how about if the first time you ever drove into Manhattan, it was in a big pickup truck with an 1,810-pound pumpkin in the back? If you read this quick and turn on “Live With Regis and Kelly,” you can see the Wisconsin couple with … the world’s largest pumpkin, circa 2010 growing season. Mary Divine of the PiPress reports the proud papa saying, “ ‘Oh, my God! Driving a three-quarter-ton pickup truck with an 1,800-pound pumpkin in the back through downtown Manhattan was insane,’ Chris Stevens said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. ‘I have never been in New York in my life, and I have never seen traffic like this. Rush hour here makes rush hour in the Twin Cities look like rush hour in New Richmond.’ His behemoth pumpkin weighed in at 1,810-1/2 pounds Oct. 9 at the Stillwater Harvest Fest, shattering the previous world record of 1,725 pounds.”
In a move that will not make some people in their readership area happy — and annoy hundreds of others from outstate pouring money into the campaign of Michele Bachmann — the editorial board of ECM Publications, owner of several 6th District papers, endorsed Tarryl Clark for Congress. Said the endorsement: “As editors from ECM newspapers that serve the Sixth District converged as an editorial endorsement panel to screen candidates in this election, we had hoped that [Ms. Bachmann] would grant an interview to assist the panel in its deliberation. Repeated attempts in late August and throughout September to schedule an interview were not successful. That was disappointing and the panel had no choice but to move on. We understand that Rep. Bachmann has been part of the House minority, Still, in the four years that she has served in Congress she has authored only one piece of legislation that became law. Still worse, she has not supported important construction projects in St. Cloud and Stillwater — projects of great value in this district.” What? “Construction projects”? Who cares about “construction projects” when our “freedoms” are under socialist siege?
The top story from MPR is that its latest pledge drive has only days more to run! Sorry. Just kidding, Mr. Kling. It does pick up an AP story on the curious case of Peter Erlinder, the William Mitchell professor who had an eventful run-in with Rwandan authorities last spring. “Martin Ngoga [Rwanda’s top prosecutor] says Peter Erlinder will be charged with denying Rwanda’s genocide. Erlinder, a law professor at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, was arrested in May and was granted bail in June. Ngoga made his remarks in Arusha, Tanzania, where the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is based.” And the chances of Erlinder returning to Rwanda are what, you’d say?
PoliGraph, MPR’s veracity-checking service on politicians’ statements (not just their nutty ads) says Tom Horner is correct when he says only Alaska and Minnesota have declined federal health care money. Writes Catharine Richert: “The new health care law requires most people to have health insurance by 2014. But because some people don’t have insurance through their jobs — and some people don’t have jobs at all — the bill also requires that states set up so-called health insurance exchanges, virtual marketplaces where consumers and small businesses can shop for policies. The idea is to make health insurance pricing more competitive. If the state fails to set up the exchange, the federal Department of Health and Human Services will run the operation. Indeed, the health care bill has become a political flashpoint in Minnesota. In August, Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued an executive order barring state departments and agencies from applying for funding associated with the new law because he says it’s an intrusion on states’ rights. The executive order includes federal grants meant to help states get the exchanges off the ground. … Horner’s correct that Minnesota and Alaska are the only two states that have not applied for grants to help establish health insurance exchanges.”
Nov. 13. That’s the date set for the wrap party for the four-year $288 million Crosstown Commons project. The Strib story by Paul Walsh says: “The Saturday ceremony, stretching from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., will be held at Pearl Park, just to the north and east of the project. ‘The reason for Pearl Park is because it is close to where the project began on the Diamond Lake Road bridge [over 35W],’ said MnDOT spokesman Kevin Walker. ‘It was the first thing we did was tear the bridge down in May 2007.’ The work is wrapping up on budget and about two weeks earlier than scheduled, thanks to recent favorable weather.” So get out there and be the first on your block to get gridlocked on new, fresh concrete.
Mr. Favre did not look, uh, comfortable, uh, answering, uh, questions, (gulp), about, his, uh, “sexting” problems. The grizzled local sportswriter corps may have given the Babe Ruth of football a pass until the story got “out there.” But by gum, they are on it now. Here’s some video from the Strib’s Vikings site.
The AP story on the Favre press conference has a couple of good quotes. Like Favre saying, “”I look old, gray and weary, with crows feeding on me and that stuff.” And his pal, kicker Ryan Longwell, commenting: “ ‘I can tell by looking at him. I can tell by what he’s talking about and his words and what he’s feeling,’ Longwell said, adding, ‘I think Brett’s in a really good place right now. If anybody can compartmentalize over the years, he’s certainly one that can do it with the best of them.’ ” In other words, he feels good in the compartment.
Meanwhile, the New York Daily News says the object of Favre’s alleged affections, Jenn Sterger, has hired a big-time attorney. Says their story: “Sterger’s spokesman, Phil Reese, said in a statement that Sterger’s decision to hire [former federal prosecutor Joseph] Conway’s firm, LaRusso & Conway, came ‘after much deliberation.’ ‘We have in fact been retained to advise her and pursue any potential remedies she might have,’ Conway told the Daily News, declining to say more about the potential legal minefield that Favre, the Jets and the NFL are now in. Favre’s refusal to discuss the Sterger incident in any way could reflect the possible legal jeopardy he could face if he goes on record revealing any facts about what happened.” I think I know of one sideline reporter (and her attorneys) who will soon be walking into a sweeeeet windfall.
Every man has his breaking point, even a 69 year-old judge. Abby Simons has a story in the Strib of Judge Jack Nordby snapping at a court watchdog group usually armed with identifying red clipboards. The group WATCH has a special interest in the adjudication of domestic and sexual abuse issues, which Nordby was hearing last December, until … ‘Nordby tore into the organization, comparing their tactics to the hand signals gang members use to intimidate court witnesses, according to an 11-page court transcript. He called the red clipboard ‘an ingenious device,’ which says, principally to the judge but to others as well: ‘We are watching you. We do not trust you.’ Now, in a formal complaint made public Wednesday, the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards accuses Nordby of misconduct for publicly airing his disdain for WATCH in his courtroom.” If you’re thinking, “That guy needs to hire Joe Friedberg,” you’d be dead on.
Did you catch Tim and Mary Pawlenty’s sit-down with Pat Robertson’s “700 Club”? Fascinating stuff. Andy Birkey at The Minnesota Independent watched, so you didn’t have to. “Asked who he would sit down to dinner with living or dead, Pawlenty picked Jesus Christ. ‘We need to understand that our relationship with God is extremely important and how we order ourselves in a moral society is extremely important,’ Mary Pawlenty told David Brody of the 700 Club. ‘It is no small matter to suggest that traditional marriage ought to be redefined. Traditional marriage is incredibly important to who we are as a society, to the family, to how we raise our children so while Tim has correctly indicated that the most important issues right now are jobs and the economy, as importantly is the focus on our families.’ ”
Mr. Brody’s blog contains more clips and his reactions to chatting with the Pawlentys, including this: “I’ve been with [the governor] a number of times and the one thing that always shines through is that he comes across as a regular guy. He’s not the slick politician looking to have cocktails at the next fundraiser. Believe me, he’s done his share of fundraisers but Pawlenty is the type of guy who would rather lace up the skates and go play some hockey with the boys. Put it this way: If Pawlenty runs for President (and there’s every indication he will) the biggest thing going for him will be his humble, blue collar, working class family roots. He not only has the life story of being a regular guy, he has the authenticity that goes with it.”
Brian Lambert blogs at TheSameRowdyCrowd.