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Wally the Beer Man gets a celebrity ‘beertender’ gig

MORNING EDITION ALSO: Dayton jettisons Pawlenty-era rules; new meaning for “no new taxes”; Palin-Bachmann “catfight”; 202 “architects” at work; “Spot” the blogger rips Strib editorial; Voter ID musings; and more.
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MORNING EDITION

Freshly acquitted Wally the Beer Man McNeil will NOT be back at Target Field. He’s got a better gig. A celebrity gig. The Strib’s Michael Rand writes: “We talked to Wally a short while ago by telephone, and he confirmed that he won’t be selling at the ballpark this year. Instead, he’s ‘moving on to a new adventure,’ in his words — working as a ‘celebrity beertender’ at nearby Sneaky Pete’s before and after every Twins home game. ‘When it’s 95 degrees out, I know it’s air-conditioned,’ Wally said of his new beer-selling spot. ‘No hard feelings. I’m just 76 years old. Maybe it’s time to slow down?’ “

Gov. Mark Dayton has had enough of a couple Pawlenty-era immigration-related arrangements. Sasha Aslanian of MPR reports: “Dayton has dropped a controversial check of work eligibility for state employees and large vendors doing business with the state. In 2008, Gov. Tim Pawlenty ordered the names of all new hires be run through a Department of Homeland Security database. The program known as E-Verify checks work eligibility in the United States. Vendors doing more than $50,000 worth of business with the state were also affected. A Dayton administration memo said while the state will continue to comply with federal immigration laws in its hiring, ‘the E-Verify process has been inefficient and yielded negligible results.’ In 2009, the state severed its contract with a Texas company hired to do the E-Verify checks after private employee data was found online. A Republican bill at the Capitol would renew the E-Verify requirement. Dayton also let lapse Pawlenty directives requiring state law enforcement to cooperate with federal authorities to enforce immigration laws.

“No new taxes” means no new taxes even if you can persuade your constituents to accept them. That’s the gist of a Tim Pugmire story on the MPR site. “The Minnesota Senate has voted against giving cities an easier path to raise local sales taxes by a half cent. A provision in the Republican-backed tax bill would have allowed cities or groups of cities to impose a sales tax for specific projects without going to the Legislature, if local voters approved. But during the floor debate on the tax bill Monday, senators voted overwhelmingly to remove the provision.”

A possible Michele Bachmann v. Sarah Palin face-off gets Andrew Belonsky thinking on the “Death and Taxes” website. He writes: “The most glaring comparison, though, is also the most simple: Palin and Bachmann are both women, and a race between them fits perfectly into our nation’s catfight-loving culture. From celebrities to politicians, high-powered women are constantly pitted against one another. Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston’s supposed feud, an updated version of ‘Elizabeth Taylor versus Debbie Reynolds,’ has sold millions of tabloids, and news anchors Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric were made out to be bitter enemies back in 2009, when Sawyer took Charlie Gibson’s seat at ‘ABC Evening News,’ thus becoming the second woman in the nightly time slot. And ‘Dynasty’ surely wouldn’t have endured for nine seasons had it not been for their innumerable girl-on-girl altercations. There does appear to be evidence that women share a uniquely competitive relationship with one another. Author Susan Shapiro Barash, author of ‘Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth About Women and Rivalry,’ notes, ‘More than 90 percent of women of different social strata claim that envy and jealousy toward other women colors their lives,’ and ‘80 percent of women say they have encountered jealousy in other females since they were in grade school.’ ” Sarah Palin as Joan Collins. Why haven’t I thought of that?

Funny guest commentary from retired government employee Fred Grimm of Frederic, Wis., in the Strib this morning. Comparing state government to a house that suffers reconstruction at the hands of “201 architects” every year, he writes: “Imagine that every year 201 architects and one master architect (the governor) come together to make repairs and to update the house as deemed necessary. They break up into committees and sometimes even form subcommittees to redesign the house. To envision the workings of these committees, think now of the famous parable of six blind men describing an elephant, each of them touching only one part of the animal. The first man touches the side of the elephant and declares it to be a wall. The second man grabs the tusks and declares it to be a spear. The third holds the trunk and declares it to be a snake. The fourth man’s hands touch the knee, and he declares it to be a tree. The fifth chances to touch the ear and deems it to be a fan. The last man seizes the tail and decides it is a rope.”

“Spot” on “The Cucking Stool” blog rips into Strib editorial pager writer Doug Tice (at least he thinks it’s Tice) for Monday’s editorial … the second of two about shoring up education, neither of which offered any coherent ideas on revenue: “Doug Tice’s cramped and boney fingers are all over the editorial in the Strib this morning. Rather than rehash the rehash of the original Strib editorial hash (if you parse that carefully, boys and girls, you will see that it does make sense), I am going to pick out a single sentence. Research shows that next to family and home environment, effective teaching is the most important factor in helping students learn — especially disadvantaged students. And four out of five dentists chew Dentyne gum. It is to laugh. In other words, after you have enough to eat, a place to sleep, parents who love and support you, have time to read to you and don’t abuse you, and you don’t live someplace in such grinding poverty that you don’t know what to do when you hear gunshots, well then, teachers are important. So, says Doug (or whoever the author really is; my money is on Tice, however), let’s beat up the teachers to close the achievement gap.”

If you thought Joe Soucheray was in a foul mood over the weekend, wait until he gets a load of Snelling Avenue today. Frederick Melo of the PiPress reports: “As of [Monday], Snelling Avenue will be reduced to a single lane in each direction just north of Interstate 94 in St. Paul, between Spruce Tree Avenue and Sherburne Avenue, for underground utility work. Traffic will be shifted to the east side of the road. Beginning the week of April 11, traffic will be shifted to the west side of Snelling Avenue north of the interstate, with one lane in each direction. In the same area, University Avenue will be limited to one lane in each direction. In St. Paul, the major University Avenue construction zone begins near Highway 280. The south side of the avenue is currently closed to traffic from Emerald Street to Aldine Street, with drivers shifted to the north side of the road.” Just stay home, Joe.

Here’s good news for Tim Pawlenty. The St.Petersburg Times Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact site, which has been so, um, harsh on Michele Bachmann (or is it vice versa?) calls one of T-Paw’s favorite lines “Mostly True.” “In his book Courage to Stand: An American Story, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty — a potential Republican presidential contender in 2012 — addresses a wide range of policy topics. One of those is the national debt. ‘Every child born today,’ Pawlenty wrote, ‘inherits a $30,000 share in a national debt that stands at more than $13 trillion.’ … But there’s a catch. … On Jan. 1, 2011, gross federal debt stood at just over $14 trillion, which works out to $45,433 for every American. … both of the figures Pawlenty used have a basis in reality, but they do not relate to each other the way he suggested. If Pawlenty wants to stick with the $30,000-per-person figure, he should have said that debt stands at more than $9 trillion. Alternately, if he prefers to stick with the “more than $13 trillion” debt figure, he should say that the amount of debt per person exceeds $45,000. Since both of his numbers are right — just measuring different things — we’ll give him some leeway and rate his statement Mostly True.

Andy Post, Minnesota Democrats Exposed’s do-everything guy, is worked up about an obstacle to the Voter ID (i.e., voter fraud) bill kicking around the Legislature. The best part of his piece is the pejorative tone he applies to certain key buzzwords: “The St. Louis County Board of Commissioners will hear a motion at its Tuesday meeting to support a resolution in disagreement with pending Voter ID legislation in St. Paul. The bills moving through the House and Senate to require an ID when voting have been falsely attacked by those in positions of authority in an effort to bring them down, including a blown out cost estimate meant to make the law look far more expensive than it actually would cost. The move, sponsored by sitting DFL Commissioner (and community organizer) Steve O’Neil, is already part of the monthly meeting agenda … O’Neil, originally from Chicago, has been collaborating with interest groups such as the League of Women Voters on this issue. The resolution makes a few of the traditionally flawed and illogical arguments against the common sense idea.” The resolution is attached.