Book-touring Pawlenty in Big Apple, on ‘The View’
Ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty is in New York for his book tour. Jason Hoppin of the PiPress reports on his stop in with Whoopi Goldberg and the gals on “The View”: “The tour gets underway at a tenuous moment in American politics, with the nation mourning the critical shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as part of a mass rampage outside an Arizona grocery store that killed six. Much speculation has focused on whether overheated political rhetoric played a role in accused shooter Jared Lee Loughner’s motives. ‘As we sit here on ‘The View’ today there is no evidence that this deranged person acted because of some particular set of comments or experience with the media or politician,’ Pawlenty said during the segment. ‘That being said, our country, all of us, each of us, individually and collectively, can benefit from a more thoughtful and civil debate.’ ” I wonder if he’ll do his “take a nine-iron” shtick again at CPAC next month?
The New York Times’ Michael Shear does a video interview with Pawlenty: “[The f]ormer governor of Minnesota, said Tuesday that the Arizona shooting on Saturday should not be used as an excuse to stifle ‘passion or energy’ in the country’s political discourse or to increase restrictions on the availability of guns.”
And: “The 25-minute interview gave Mr. Pawlenty the opportunity to criticize Mr. Obama and to contrast himself with his likely Republican rivals — many of whom are governors or former governors with similar positions on issues like taxes, gun control, entitlements and education. ‘The real question,’ Mr. Pawlenty said, is ‘who, really, based on their life story, who really, based on their record, has demonstrated that kind of fortitude? Not just to talk about it. Not just to flap their jaw. Not just to offer failed amendments. To get it done.’ Without saying so directly, he suggested that he is that person. And he strongly hinted that as president he would not be afraid to force a government shutdown to get his way, much like he did during one of his budget battles with the Democratic legislature in Minnesota. ‘Sometimes I wonder if I had run the shutdown a little longer if I could have gotten a different outcome,’ Mr. Pawlenty said, noting that he looks back with regret on the compromises he made.” I don’t think he has to worry about being remembered for compromises.
For The Christian Science Monitor’s “Brody File,” Pawlenty trotted out his religious chops: “If the nation turns its back on God or pushes Him out of the equation, we’re going to be a much poorer nation for it.”
The Washington Post’s Republican-friendly blogger, Jennifer Rubin, is running the first of her two-part phone interview with Pawlenty. She writes: “On potential budget cuts, he argued that we need to give those risking their lives ‘every tool and resource’ needed to ‘do their very best.’ He cautioned: ‘As we move into a period of austerity, we need to use priority budgeting, like I did as governor. We need to rank what we do. Some things may not be cut or may get even more money. In Minnesota, we put veterans at the top of the list and they were exempted from cuts, in some cases got more.’ He said, however, that he doesn’t think the Pentagon should be exempt from scrutiny. ‘The Pentagon should be reviewed for inefficiencies and streamlined. But this is not an area for scrimping or cutting corners.’ “
Paging the Gosselins, Kardashians and “Real Housewives.” Paul Walsh of the Strib writes: “The Durst quads of Buffalo are getting their own reality TV series. Lifetime’s ‘Quad Squad’ will follow 17-year-old sisters Calli, Kendra, Megan and Sarah Durst during their senior year at Buffalo High School. Shooting of the show began in October. The first of eight-one hour episodes airs Feb. 9 (one day before their 18th birthday) at 8 p.m. CST. The network said the show will ‘document the fun and pressures associated with each quadruplet’s experience juggling adolescence, including boys, school, homework, sports, gossip and what lies ahead for them, their older brother, Travis, and their single mother, Naomi.’ ”
Dan Olson at MPR says that despite Ford’s plans to hire back 7,000 workers … it is still going to close the Ranger plant in St. Paul: “Cecille Bedor, St. Paul’s city planning and economic development director, said as far as she knows Ford has not changed its plan to close the plant by late fall of this year. ‘Ford now only operates multi-platform plants which allows them obviously to have more flexibility in changing the types of vehicles they manufacture at certain plants based on what’s going on in terms of sales,’ Bedor said.
The for-profit college system, already taking hits for leaving students with extraordinary debt loads, is now watching stock values tank. Steve Alexander of the Strib writes: “Capella Education shares plummeted nearly 20 percent Monday as the entire for-profit education industry declined over concerns that pending restrictions on the use of government educational funds were causing enrollments to decline. Capella posted the second-largest decline on the NASDAQ, just behind competitor Strayer Education Inc. Capella stock closed at $53.94, down $13.24. Strayer Education Inc. stock fell nearly 23 percent Monday on the news of weak enrollment numbers for the winter term.” He adds: “[T]he average for-profit school gets 84 percent of its revenue from federally subsidized loans and grants, and many schools max out at the federal limit of 90 percent. In 2009, Capella got about 78 percent of its revenue from federally subsidized loans and grants. It won’t disclose the 2010 number until it reports fourth-quarter earnings.” Talk about an umbilical to taxpayers’ pockets.
With the Brett Favre and the Vikings out of the picture, it looks like the U of M basketball team is going to hog the “boys behaving badly” spotlight. The AP reports: “Minnesota star forward Trevor Mbakwe was arrested and jailed on Monday night for allegedly violating a harassment restraining order obtained by a former girlfriend. Police said Mbakwe was booked into Ramsey County Jail on misdemeanor charges after he posted a message on a St. Paul woman’s Facebook page. The woman had previously filed a restraining order against Mbakwe in Dakota County, and reported the contact to police.”
PiPressers Mara Gottfried and Marciella Miranda write: “The two-year restraining order bars Mbakwe from going to the woman’s Eagan residence, her employment at a St. Paul restaurant, the American Red Cross Twin Cities Area Chapter in Minneapolis and St. Catherine University in St. Paul, the petition stated. Trevor Mbakwe was arrested and taken to jail Monday night after violating a Harassment Restraining Order. … The order does not explain why the Red Cross and college are included.”
Eamonn Brennan of ESPN follows up, writing: “Minnesota’s streak of unwieldy personnel problems, which has devastated Tubby Smith’s otherwise-promising last two seasons in Minneapolis, remains alive and well. Last year, before Minnesota made its late push and got into the NCAA tournament, the Gophers suffered one of the worst personnel-problem years in recent history. The issues were varied and widespread: Highly touted recruit Royce White faced a host of disciplinary issues, made a YouTube video announcing his retirement, eventually rejoined the team, and then left it, all without playing a single minute for Tubby Smith. Crucial point guard Al Nolen was academically ineligible for much of the season. Mbakwe himself was suspended for the entire year thanks to his role in an ongoing felony battery charge stemming from his days at Miami-Dade Community College.” Even I’m thinking there’s something in the water up here.
Eric Roper at the Strib covers a Minnesota House committee passing “a bill Tuesday morning that would lift the state’s nearly two decade-old ban on building nuclear power plants. The 10-6 vote followed almost two hours of testimony and debate from nuclear and environmental groups. Several DFL lawmakers expressed concern about the potential costs for ratepayers and storage of nuclear waste.”
John Brewer of the PiPress writes about a St. Paul institution: “Baker Brian Anderson said he’s just running out of pep — that’s why he’s selling Tschida Bakery, the Rice Street institution where generations of North Enders have feasted on baked goods like poppy seed coffee cake, German rye bread and chocolate-iced cake doughnuts. Anderson, 68, bought the shop in 1978, almost 50 years after the place originally opened. He said business has dropped off in the past few years, and the long hours — 9 p.m. to about 4 or 5 a.m. — have left him beat. ‘You got all that diet stuff going on on TV and whatnot, you lose a lot of business, and the older people have died off. It’s not as good anymore,’ he said recently.” Hey, I’ll take a dozen doughnuts. Zero trans fat, gluten-free and skim milk, of course.