Minneapolis and Cleveland have been red-lined from contention for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Politico reports: “[I]nsiders in the selection process believe it has come down to a choice between St. Louis and Charlotte, N.C., with the other two finalist cities, Minneapolis and Cleveland, all but out of the running. All four have pluses and minuses when it comes to the logistical and political considerations that factor into the pick for a convention locale. But the party seems to be leaning against Minneapolis largely because Republicans held their 2008 convention in St. Paul. And while Ohio has battleground state allure, Cleveland’s convention facilities are seen as subpar; the Nov. 2 defeat of Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland further hurt the city’s chances.”
Gov. Pawlenty tells the editorial board of the Duluth News Tribune that he wishes he had run for re-election. He says: “If I would have known then what I know now, given what I’ve been through and hoped to accomplish, but that [the DFL-controlled Legislature] blocked. But you can’t predict the future. And of course, I made my decision after the 2008 election when President Obama and the Democrats swept everything. I looked at that and [decided against] having to go over there and ram heads with [DFL Sen. Larry] Pogemiller and [DFL Rep. Margaret Anderson] Kelliher and their like. [There was a] high probability of that. Hindsight is 20/20.”
The News Tribune asks, rhetorically: “Isn’t Pawlenty leaving with a $6.1 billion budget shortfall? Not really, in the eyes of the governor. ‘Our budgeting system is busted,’ he said. ‘It’s based not on the revenue that’s available but on projected spending increases, how much we think we’re going to spend. The $6.1 billion shortfall is actually part of a spending increase from the state’s present.’ ” A lot of the time all that really matters are the lenses over your eyes.
In a linked editorial piece, titled “Our View: How Did Pawlenty Help the Northland,” the News Tribune concludes by … printing, without comment or qualification, a list of accomplishments handed them by … the Governor’s office. One can only be reminded of the odd manner the paper, managed by Forum Communications in Fargo, now makes endorsements. Here’s MinnPost’s David Brauer on that angle.
Oh, so the Vikings “have concerns” about playing in the Metrodome, do they? You could knock me over with a VIP box pass. The PiPress’ Bob Sansevere finds Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley saying, “This is Minnesota. It snows. We’re a hearty bunch. We deal with it. Some people would say, ‘Well, a couple of shingles come off the roof, you don’t build a new barn.’ Well, the roof collapsed (at the Metrodome). We have concerns about the safety of the facility going forward. We’ll deal with that after the game, as well as we’ll deal with the financial and economic impacts of what happened.’ Asked if he was intimating a scenario that would keep the Vikings from playing at the Metrodome in 2011, Bagley said, ‘No, I’m saying we have concerns about the safety and viability of that structure going forward. We’ll deal with that in the near future.’ “
All those earnest trend stories about bullying leading to suicide among kids may need a re-think based on research the Anoka School District did into deaths up there. MPR’s Tom Weber reports: “District leaders say they’re doing everything they can to help students who might be suicidal, but also say the district has no evidence that bullying caused those suicides. District officials didn’t conduct a formal investigation into the student suicides, but to figure out why six students took their own lives, they had a series of conversations among district officials, as well as with parents and others who knew the students. The district’s conclusion calls into question a statement that’s been repeated often: that bullying caused some of these students to take their own lives.”
The Blaine guy who set off on an elaborate vendetta to ruin the reputation of his neighbors, by sending out child pornography via their Internet address and threatening politicians like Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar has pleaded guilty. Dave Hanners, writes in the PiPress, “Barry Ardolf’s plea interrupted a trial before U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank, who accepted the plea. Ardolf, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated identity theft and single counts each of unauthorized access to a protected computer, possession and transmission of child pornography, and making threats to the vice president.” The guy had an impressive computer command center. Authorities grabbed “16 computers, ‘probably 50’ hard drives, more than 100 CDs and five to 10 thumb drives. One computer tower had five hard drives with 2 terabytes of storage capacity … In lay terms, that’s enough storage space to hold one-fifth of the Library of Congress, or to store all the X-ray films of two large hospitals.”
TCF Bank field is good to go for Monday’s Vikings’ game, reports Paul Walsh for the Strib, “ The University said nearly 30,000 cubic yards of snow have been cleared so far in two days of shoveling by the temporary hires and anticipate the final cleanup push will wrap up Friday. ‘Shoveling in temperatures that never got out of the teens, workers have cleared nearly all the snow from the stadium’s seating bowl, an amazing accomplishment considering the task at hand,’ Athletics Department spokesman Andy Seeley said in a statement. Seeley said the school, the Vikings and the National Football League salute the shovelers, adding, ‘We could not have pulled off this incredible feat without them.’ “
Economist Ed Lotterman, in the PiPress, mulls the heavily traded number of a $9 million loss in economic activity from last week’s blizzard. He says: “What economists call ‘exogenous shocks,’ seemingly random events from outside the economic system like earthquakes and wars, do have national or even global effects on output, incomes or the stability of financial systems. For example, some economists argue that having to pay for losses from the San Francisco earthquake forced insurance companies to sell stocks and bonds, contributing to the severe panic of 1907. But when you hear anyone attributing large costs to something as mundane as a big snowstorm, take it with a grain of salt. Yes, the immediate and local effect may sound large. But short-term or local effects usually are offset somewhere else or at some later date. The overall impact on society as a whole often is negligible.” Basically, the cash that might have been spent one day in one is simply spent another day in another way.
You might want to rummage through the bins in the basement for your old — I mean “vintage” — rock concert T-shirts. Jen Boyles at City Pages has a piece on the eye-popping prices some of those things are going for on eBay. She writes, “Hardcore music purists might say it’s lame to wear a concert tee from a show you didn’t attend, but there’s really no debate if you can get your grubby little mitts on one that’s five decades old and a part of music history. There’s really only one rule when it comes to such wearable art in all its musty splendor, which is that you should actually enjoy the band whose name is fanned across your chest. No one likes an [bleep] in an ‘ironic’ Spice Girls world tour tee. (Motto to live by, really.)”
A sample of the prices: A Beatles “butcher cover” T-shirt, circa 1966 — $20,000. “The seller on this item says she got it from someone who claimed it was given to him by John Lennon himself, which totally reminds me of that time I got a hairless cat from the Dalai Lama because he saw my tweet about having allergies. No big deal.”
So … my “I Slept with the Band: Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Des Moines ’63” has to be worth $25K.