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.