Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate

LensCrafters to Bachmann: Leave us out of it

MORNING EDITION

LensCrafters to Bachmann: Leave us out of it

Today in Bachmannia:  Our favorite congresswoman is catching flack from … LensCrafters. CNN’s Rebecca Stewart writes: “The possible GOP presidential candidate supported her belief that Planned Parenthood should lose its government funding by telling a crowd in Iowa on Monday, ‘The executive director of Planned Parenthood in Illinois said they want to become the LensCrafter of big abortion in Illinois.’ And it’s not the first time Bachmann made the comparison. She made the same claim as early as September of 2008 and has stated that the comparison first came from a Planned Parenthood director in Illinois. But what Steve Trombley, CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois, actually said is different than Bachmann’s interpretation. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in June 2008, he stated, ‘I like to think of Planned Parenthood as the LensCrafters of family planning,’ while speaking of making family planning services more accessible. Bachmann has been substituting the phrase ‘big abortion’ with ‘family planning,’ but the eye care company has asked that she leave them out of her scuffle altogether. LensCrafters hit back at Bachmann Tuesday, telling Roll Call, ‘She’s using our name without our knowledge or permission.’ Julie Maslov, communications director for Luxottica Retail, the parent company for LensCrafters, said the company contacted Bachmann’s office Tuesday and asked that she stop making the comparison.” OK. So how about … “the Wal-Mart of big abortion”? “The Menards?” “Home Depot?”

I should have added this one Wednesday. It is Steve Kornacki of Salon discussing why the GOP establishment likes what Michele Bachmann is doing to Sarah Palin: “Bachmann is not the international celebrity that Palin is, but within the conservative activist community, she’s a rock star. All of this, ironically enough, makes her very useful to the Palin-phobic Republican establishment. No, they don’t think that Bachmann has some magic November formula that Palin lacks. Give them truth serum, and rest assured that most bottom line-oriented Republicans will admit that Bachmann would be general election poison for their party in a national election. (In fact, some of them don’t even require truth serum; note the dismissive attitude toward a Bachmann run exhibited by California Rep. David Dreier in a recent Politico interview.) But that’s the beauty of a Bachmann candidacy: Nobody seriously believes she has a chance to win the GOP nomination. The establishment has seen candidacies like hers before, fringe ideologues with devoted followings — and clear ceilings on their support. The best-case scenario for Bachmann is that she somehow tops a splintered field in Iowa’s caucuses (where cultural conservatives hold disproportionate sway) … the GOP establishment has high confidence that it can contain a Bachmann candidacy, if need be.”

Full repeal of Minnesota’s no-fault auto insurance law is going to have to wait a bit longer. Mike Kaszuba of the Strib reports: “The state’s no-fault insurance law, passed in the 1970s as the approach gained in popularity, requires motorists to have insurance that covers anyone injured in an accident without regard to fault. Anyone injured in an accident, the law states, has a right to ‘basic economic loss benefits.’ Currently, that includes a minimum of $40,000 for losses from injury — $20,000 for medical expenses, and another $20,000 for losses of income, replacement services, funeral expenses and survivor’s economic loss. [Deputy Senate Majority Leader Geoff] Michel said Colorado saw a 27 percent drop in premiums after eliminating no-fault insurance in 2004, but he acknowledged that Minnesota ranked 28th among states in terms of auto insurance premium costs. Sen. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley, the committee’s chair, said that anecdotal evidence suggested that there was no proof that no-fault insurance led to more lawsuits.”

The “white guilt” conference attended by area teachers and pilloried by the Strib’s Katherine Kersten last weekend has found an audience in Britain. The Daily Mail story there says: “Although the website explicitly states it is not designed to attack or degrade ‘white folks,’ right-wing commentators have condemned it as a ‘white guilt’ festival and a waste of money. On its website, it explains the conference ‘examines challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offers solutions and team-building strategies to work toward a more equitable world.’ It describes white privilege as being able to ‘assume that most of the people you or your children study in history classes and textbooks will be of the same race, gender, or sexual orientation as you are’. … According to the conference programme, this year’s speakers include Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, an expert on capitalism and imperialism who spent time in revolutionary Cuba, and Ruth King, ‘a recognised authority on emotional wisdom.’ Speaking to Sean Hannity on Fox, Niger Innis, national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), said: ‘It’s absurd, it’s disgusting, it’s outrageous and it’s a mis-education of our children … ‘In Minnesota the African-American graduation rate is one of the worst in the U.S., and they can’t think of anything better to do than to mis-educate and to create a phenomenon of victimisation?’ ”

The actual layoffs, predicted in February, are coming down on Boston Scientific. Christopher Snowbeck of the PiPress writes: “Following sluggish results for 2010, Boston Scientific said in February that it had launched a ‘zero-based budgeting program,’ which [Chief Executive Ray] Elliott said would bring more discipline to ‘head count expense management.’ ‘We need to examine our expense base from scratch,’ Elliott said in February. Tim Nelson, an analyst in Minneapolis with Nuveen Asset Management, said he heard rumors the current cuts would hit about 400 to 500 jobs. ‘This is an effort to try and improve the earnings profile of the entire business,’ Nelson said. Job cuts in the struggling heart device business have been a theme not just at Boston Scientific but at Fridley-based Medtronic, which in February announced plans to cut 2,000 jobs worldwide. Analysts said workers at Medtronic’s heart rhythm device division in Mounds View are receiving word of layoffs this week.” He didn’t really say, “head count expense management,” did he?

It’s getting old in Oslo. Minn. For the third straight year, the little town has been reduced to an island in the Red River sea. The Reuters story says: “The last road to Oslo closed Tuesday night, leaving a boat ride of at least two miles the only option for residents to reach the banks of the Red River in North Dakota or Minnesota for at least the next week. ‘It will be a long haul here,’ [Mayor Scott] Kosmatka said in a telephone interview. ‘By the end of the week I am assuming that people are going to get stir crazy.’ ” Not a bad set-up for a B-grade horror movie, though.

With Donald Trump pretty well owning the “birther” end of the GOP base, Tim Pawlenty appears to be doubling down on a full-scale budget brawl. FoxNews is saying: “Pawlenty, the Former Minnesota Governor who is also exploring a GOP 2012 presidential bid, has come out against the budget deal negotiated late last week between House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama. ‘The more we learn about the budget deal the worse it looks,’ said Pawlenty in a statement released after President Obama’s speech on Wednesday afternoon. Pawlenty not only criticized the speech, calling it ‘window dressing,’ but the likely presidential candidate went a step further, encouraging Congressional Republicans to vote against the agreement, ‘it should be rejected. America deserves better.’ ” Took the words out of my mouth.

It was no surprise that Gov. Mark Dayton went over to a forum at Metro State in St. Paul and heard everyone tell him to protect education spending. Jeff Baenen’s AP story says: “Members of the panel, which represented everyone from students and teachers to lawmakers and college administrators, spoke about the need to keep higher education in Minnesota accessible and of high quality. Some people in the audience carried signs reading ‘YEE-HAW! Minnesota: Falling behind Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas in higher education funding’ and ‘Invest in the future.’ … University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks called the House and Senate budgets ‘a race to the bottom’ and ‘a recipe to cut economic growth in Minnesota.’ ‘This is about jobs,’ Bruininks said. He pointed to a consultant’s report that concluded that every dollar invested in the university by the state generates $13.20 in the statewide economy.”

Spot, at the often emphatically liberal Cucking Stool blog, goes after Sen. Amy Klobuchar and her penchant for “Small Ball.” He writes: “If you don’t remember much about AKlo’s legislative record, other than something about swimming pools and suckling babes in airplanes, you’re not alone.” He quotes a Kevin Diaz Strib story:

But when it is suggested that she has little to show for herself, Klobuchar thinks fast, saying, ‘Nuh uh. I told the President to appoint the Catfood Commission.’ Klobuchar, now in her fifth year in the Senate, recoils at the suggestion that she’s playing small ball to get along in Washington. She points to her role as one of 14 senators who pushed the Obama administration for a bipartisan fiscal commission to tackle the nation’s deficit woes.

“Really, she said that. I couldn’t make that up. But there you have it, boys and girls: DFL Senator Amy Klobuchar’s signature achievement.” Rrrreeeoooooowww.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by will lynott on 04/14/2011 - 08:08 am.

    Amy Klobuchar, while not an Iron Ranger is an Iron Range Democrat. (Her dad was born and raised in Ely but moved to Plymouth to write for the Strib). We used to know them as “union Democrats” and, sometimes, “Reagan Democrats.” That said, she usually votes the right way on issues. She’s no Paul Wellstone, but we could do a lot worse.

  2. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 04/14/2011 - 08:38 am.

    For those of us who prefer our Dems to sway more moderate than be flaming liberals, we love the job Amy’s doing. And you don’t have to be a publicity seeking goofball, just do the job you were sent to do. Thanks Amy.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 04/14/2011 - 09:00 am.

    At a time when the predominantly wealthy-owned main stream media, staffed as it is with wealthy-enough-to-want-to-protect-big-money-folks-such-as-themselves commentators, tends to attack any idea, no matter how important or how necessary-to-the-well-being-of-our-nation-and-our-nation’s-citizens it might be if it seems as if it might cost them a penny,…

    It is not only wise but necessary for liberals such as Senator Amy Klobuchar to keep their heads down.

    Unless and until we, the citizens of the nation, take the actions necessary to counter the “Citizens United” decision (by law, or, more likely, by a constitutional amendment time limiting and requiring only very limited public support of campaigns for national political office, with no other spending of any kind allowed),…

    We are likely to see any attempt to return to adequately funding the federal government portrayed in the media, by all their favorite “conservative” commentators and guests as a “tax increase,” with NO differentiation made that the tax increases would primarily if not exclusively be paid for by those who have benefited so richly from the deregulation and restructuring of the national economy,…

    A restructuring which has very carefully been designed to “redistribute” our nation’s wealth from those at the middle and the bottom to those at the top to the point that those top folks now have income far, far above what has ever been the case throughout the history of the United States while, at the same time, having their taxes continuously lowered since the days of Ronnie Raygun’s “voodoo economics.”

    It is, of course, the reductions in income for the average poor and middle class citizens of our nation, reductions made inevitable under “free market” conditions (as currently practiced), together with the massive tax cuts for the rich, cuts which reduced the taxes on “capital gains” (the ways they primarily make their income) to a non-progressive “flat tax” percentage far below the lowest tax percentages paid by people who actually WORK for a living…

    That are responsible for our current deficit.

    Because of the ways Minnesota’s tax system relies only on adjustments to federal “taxable income,” these same changes have resulted in the wealthy citizens of our own state having far smaller state tax liabilities than they had prior to the Reagan-era (and subsequent) tax cuts aimed primarily at the wealthy through capital gains and estate tax cuts,…

    The deficit in our own state is the result of the same national factors.

    It is because of these carefully-arranged-but-largely-invisible-to-the-general-public tax policy changes, that we have deficits;…

    deficits which were and are part of the plan to allow the wealthy to pay far less in taxes than they have in the past when our nation was far more prosperous (prosperity which the higher taxes on the wealthy clearly helped to foster and create).

    We have a deficit because the wealthy have carefully arranged for us to have it.

    We do NOT have a spending problem.

    We have a too-small REVENUE problem arranged for and resulting from the refusal of the wealthy to support the governments on which their enterprises so depend.

    Perhaps its time we stopped sacrificing our own lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren at the feet of those with the most…

    First, because they are doing everything in their power to prevent anyone else from joining them at the top and from allowing to be born any newer and more efficient businesses, especially alternate energy businesses that might compete with their own enterprises,

    –and–

    Second, because no matter how much we give them, even if we destroy our state and the entire nation, they will NEVER be satisfied, they will ALWAYS demand more, since their psychological dysfunctions make it impossible for them to ever feel as if they have “enough.”

    Their promises of prosperity for the rest of us if we only allow them to get rich enough have long since been proven false.

    It is long since time we stopped listening to their lies and returned to what has worked so well for us in the past: As Paul Wellstone so eloquently put it, “We all do better when we ALL to better.”

    We do not have a

  4. Submitted by Cecil North on 04/14/2011 - 10:33 am.

    Ms. Bachmann’s purposeful misquoting of Trombley tells us everything we need to know about her:

    * She is perfectly comfortable twisting words and deceiving her audience if it benefits her.

    * Her ideological hatred of PP is so great that she is willing to demolish an organization that provides a broad variety of affordable family planning and womens’ health services (and for which, in many areas, there is no alternative source), and doesn’t care how she does it.

    * But, she is so concerned about offending LensCrafters (apparently because it is a business, not a person) that she immediately backs down at LensCrafters’ first request.

    Such a courageous person she is!

  5. Submitted by chris snyder on 04/14/2011 - 10:35 am.

    I like Michele mostly because she’s bumping Palin (stale, playing “will I won’t I” too long, boring, chicken to face general public, low self-esteem, cuts down/name-calls other Republicans to elevate herself, etc). There’s not much difference between their ideas, but Palin is all mouth and no action.

Leave a Reply