Jeremy Herb of the Strib picks up on T-Paw’s interview with the Miami Herald. Says Herb: “Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s position on climate change has now shifted from ‘one of the most important issues of our time’ to questioning whether humans have had any effect on climate change at all. In a wide-ranging interview with the Miami Herald, Pawlenty said that ‘the weight of the evidence is that most of it, maybe all of it, is because of natural causes. But to the extent there is some element of human behavior causing some of it — that’s what the scientific debate is about.’ It wasn’t too long ago that Pawlenty took a much more muscular approach to climate change. Shortly into his second term as governor, the Minnesota Republican made a big push for clean energy.” You gotta love T-Paw, he keeps moving.
Over at The American Spectator, Paul Chesser observes T-Paw’s latest pirouette and says: “I’ve been tough (I think) in challenging former Minnesota Gov. (and now presidential candidate) Tim Pawlenty about his past support for cap-and-trade and policies to constrain carbon dioxide emissions. In December 2009, when he first started visiting New Hampshire, he was still talking like CO2 was pollution, and still failed to remove his state from the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Accord. … So now he doubts the mirage of ‘scientific consensus,’ seems to understand the climate realist perspective, and challenges the stupidity of overhauling the economy to address the dubious ‘problem.’ That’s a lot of progress, and now it seems there’s some consistency in his views.” I love the part where the “climate realists” apparently doubt “CO2 [is] pollution.”
Apropos of the news recently that the conservative ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is involved in a process that presents corporate-written legislation to willing legislators all across the country, Jon Collins of the Minnesota Independent reports: “Two Minnesota lawmakers are attending a conference hosted by a controversial corporate nonprofit that critics say allows corporations unrestricted access to state lawmakers, as well as the ability to draft bills without public disclosure. State Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake) is the state co-chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Minnesota. She and state Rep. Ron Shimanski (R-Silver Lake) are attending the six day conference in New Orleans. Kiffmeyer told the Minnesota Independent that it’s mostly an opportunity to meet and learn from other state legislators across the country. But critics say that the organization is more like a corporate ‘bill mill,’ which allows corporations to write legislation that is then funneled to state capitols across the country without the public knowing that companies that would benefit had a hand in writing the bills.”
Another mortgage scam … busted. Wendy Lee of the Strib writes: “The Minnesota Department of Commerce has accused an Eden Prairie company of defrauding about 200 homeowners on loan modification services. The state alleges that Modify My Loan US charged homeowners advance fees of $2,000 to $2,950 for loan modification services and did not give promised refunds when service wasn’t provided. In total, the department said, Modify My Loan fraudulently charged the homeowners $362,203 in fees.”
The bankruptcy of Home Valu continues to ripple through vendors and contractors. The Strib’s David Phelps says: “Vendors, suppliers, contractors and others who did business with the home-decorating firm in the three months before it dived into Chapter 7 bankruptcy will likely have to return sizable portions of disbursements they received to the trustee overseeing and liquidating the Home Valu estate. … Home Valu and its predecessor company, Plywood Minnesota, were run for decades by former U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz and his family until they were forced into liquidation early last year by suppliers who hadn’t been fully paid. Because Home Valu was insolvent in the months leading up to its forced bankruptcy, the trustee has the right to recoup any payments the company made in those final three months to satisfy other creditors in the bankruptcy proceeding, according to bankruptcy law.”
We are so proud. One of our own is climbing the charts for the most Awkward Family Photo in America. Says Amy Nelson in the PiPress: “Never underestimate the power of KFC bucket-hats and matching tube socks. That’s the lesson a St. Paul man learned recently after he submitted a family portrait to the Awkward Family Photos website for an awkward family vacations photo contest. Among the thousands of entries, Derek Larson’s image was chosen as a Top 20 finalist and is currently in second place in online votes. The grand prize is $15,000 and a two-week trip to Hawaii. The public can vote for their favorite photo through Tuesday.” Here’s a link.
Under the heading of “Just So You Know,” LA is moving toward OK-ing that $1.5 billion football stadium. Says Neil de Mause on the blog Field of Schemes: “AEG’s $1.5 billion plan for an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles cleared its first hurdle yesterday, as the city council’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Downtown Stadium and Convention Center voted 4-0 to recommend approval of the city’s memorandum of understanding with AEG. … In the NFL, where local TV and ticket revenue is a drop in the bucket compared to the national TV contract, playing in a big market like Los Angeles isn’t a huge advantage for an owner. (This is in part why L.A. lost its two teams in the first place to smaller markets in St. Louis and Oakland.) A new stadium is a draw — but only because of the new revenue streams it would create, and in an AEG stadium, much of that would be dedicated to paying off the stadium costs. In the end, then, the question will be whether an AEG stadium can be lucrative enough to pay for itself and generate extra cash for both its owner and an NFL franchise. It’s certainly possible — it did work in New Jersey for the Giants and Jets, on more or less the same model (mostly private funding, leavened with tax kickbacks). But just because L.A. gets a new stadium deal is no guarantee that it’ll get a new team.”
Keith Ellison gets his hands slapped by MPR’s PoliGraph judges. Writes Catharine Richert: “ ‘This is the first time in the history of the United States that a debt ceiling increase, which is a routine thing, has been linked to deficit cuts, right — and budget cuts,’ he said. ‘This is the first time.’ Several lawmakers, including Ellison, have repeated this claim. And they’re all wrong. … 1985: As part of a $175 billion debt limit increase, Congress first approved the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act. While there were no specific spending cuts outlined in the legislation, the language set deficit reduction targets. Across-the-board cuts were built into the bill to keep the deficit from exceeding those targets — much like the triggers in the most recent debt deal. 1997: Former President Bill Clinton struck a deal with congressional Republicans to cut a net of $122 billion in mandatory spending over five years and raise the debt limit to $5.95 trillion from $5.5 trillion as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.”