We may have to start calling him “T-Talon.” Our guy Tim Pawlenty is going full-hawk in an attempt to position himself among the GOP’s cast of leprechauns. Writes Jeremy Herb in the Strib: “Appearing at the Council on Foreign Relations, Pawlenty said Obama failed with a ‘timid, slow’ response to the Arab Spring and warned his own party should not be ‘appealing to isolationist sentiments.’ ‘America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment and withdrawal,’ Pawlenty said. ‘It does not need a second one.’ Trailing in the single digits in polls and trying to turn the corner after a subpar debate performance in New Hampshire, Pawlenty is seeking to distance himself from front-runner Mitt Romney and rival Jon Huntsman, both of whom favor a quick drawdown of troops in Afghanistan.”
MPR’s Brett Neely was also on hand. He writes: “In addition the foreign policy speech, Pawlenty’s trip to New York included at least one high-dollar fundraising event hosted by real estate developers and bankers. The fundraiser comes as the June 30 deadline approaches to close the books on this quarter’s fundraising. Pawlenty’s campaign has reportedly struggled to gain traction with donors.” He can always argue that combat is good business for big banks.
The Power Line boys, who deeply admire Pawlenty, especially in Full Talon mode, ate it up. John Hinderaker writes: “Barack Obama is more distrustful of American power than any president since Jimmy Carter. At the same time, weariness with foreign policy has infected many Republicans, too. Ron Paul is only the most extreme (and consistent) example. Today Tim Pawlenty delivered a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in which he attempted to stake out a position as the inheritor of Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy mantle. It was a good speech that grappled honestly with difficult issues.” What are the chances T-Talon would invade Grenada? Or maybe Turks and Caicos?
Dennis Anderson, the Strib’s outdoors guru, says fishing licenses are flying off the shelves in advance of The Shutdown: “Last week, the DNR said that sales of fishing and similar licenses won’t occur during a state shutdown and advised anglers worried about the possibility of a shutdown to buy licenses by the end of business Thursday. Since that announcement, fishing license sales have outpaced those from a year ago during the same period. Example: On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, license sales were almost exactly what they were a year ago on the same two days. On Friday, sales jumped significantly, from about 6,000 in 2010 to about 11,000. The increased pace continued Saturday, from about 9,000 license sales to 13,000, and on Sunday-Monday, when sales rose from 9,000 to 16,000.” To paraphrase Mr. T, “I pity the fish.”
A post by the Association of Collection and Credit Professionals says: “If a shutdown takes place, collection agencies will not be able to obtain, renew, or update a collection agency license and agencies will not be able to register collectors with the state of Minnesota.” In other words if you’re six months behind on the payments on your truck but really need a new ATV for bear huntin’ season, bust your move on Saturday.
As far as The Shutdown itself, Don Davis of the Forum papers is saying: “Most Capitol observers other than top budget negotiators, who have taken a pledge not to talk about negotiations, appear to expect a shutdown. Negotiators have looked gloomy when leaving talks the past few days. Koch and House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said they think if an agreement is reached today, Dayton can call a special legislative session for Thursday, when many of the remaining budget bills can be passed. However, Koch said, ‘you may have to do some temporary funding’ in the more complex areas, such as a bill funding things like health-care programs for the poor, elderly and disabled. Dayton, the only person who can call legislators back to work, said he would call a special session only if there is an overall budget agreement, not to pass bills funding just parts of state government.”
Briana Bierschbach at Politics in Minnesota writes: “There will be no shortage of protests at the state Capitol in the coming days, as GOP legislative leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton remain at an impasse on the $5 billion budget deficit and face an end-of-the week government shutdown deadline. Mostly union and left-leaning groups are lining up rally and parade permits that will likely span late into the evening on Thursday, as they try to put pressure on both sides to make a deal. Mental health advocates will kick off activities Tuesday evening on the Capitol steps, where they will sport glow sticks and signs to urge the governor and legislators to support mental health funding. Progressive group Take Action Minnesota will be collecting petitions calling for more revenue, and plan to deliver them to legislators on Wednesday. Most of the action will happen on Thursday in St. Paul, a day before state government could shut down absent a budget deal. … A new group, US Uncut Minnesota, is also planning an afternoon parade starting on Kellogg Boulevard and Wabasha Street that will eventually lead to the Capitol lawn and join other shutdown rallies. The group also plans to ‘deliver hundreds of pink slips to GOP legislators who are still collecting pay for not doing their jobs, which is to provide health and safety for all Minnesotans.’ ”
KSTP’s Tom Hauser blogs on Tuesday’s lack of progress: “[W]hile a budget deal is unlikely Wednesday, you’ll want to keep your eye on Ramsey County Court. Judge Kathleen Gearin is likely to issue a ruling soon that will clarify who will make decisions about which critical government services will continue to operate if there’s a shutdown. Last week she criticized both sides for engaging in a ‘game of chicken’ over the budget. She might be the one left to pick up the pieces after the two sides collide in a shutdown Thursday night at midnight.”
Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s choking Justice story is proving to have real legs. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story by Patrick Marley and Emma Roller says: “Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley asked Justice David Prosser to seek therapy to manage his anger two days after she says he put his hands around her neck, but he declined to do so, according to sources familiar with the situation. The request came June 15, when all the justices met with Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs to discuss the June 13 altercation between Prosser and Bradley. At least some of Prosser’s fellow conservatives on the court said it would be ridiculous for him to take such courses, the sources said. … James Sample, a professor at Hofstra Law School in New York who has been monitoring Wisconsin’s Supreme Court in recent years as special-interest money has intensified in high-court races, said violence among judges is rare, especially for state high courts. ‘There have been appellate courts that have been notoriously fractious … but nothing like this,’ Sample said. ‘This is the body that is supposed to resolve disputes like this, not create disputes like this.’ The most recent conflict is a blemish on the court’s normally esteemed reputation, he said. ‘Wisconsin’s Supreme Court for decades has been perceived nationally to be one of the premier state supreme courts in the country,’ Sample said. ‘Wisconsin’s court has gone from being this national model to a national punch line.’ “