There are several roundups of reaction to President Obama’s jobs speech last night. At the Minnesota Independent, Andy Birkey’s includes a couple of chunks from Our Favorite Congresswoman’s “news conference”: “Bachmann offered her plan to create jobs: 1) Repatriate American business dollars earned from overseas, 2) Massively cut spending and the size of government, 3) Repeal Obamacare, which is the government takeover of America’s healthcare system, 4) Cut taxes, including corporate taxes, 5) Repeal Dodd-Frank, 6) Repeal job killing regulations, 7) Increase exports by finalizing free trade agreements, 8) Spur new investment in America, inspire innovation, 9) Provide job creating energy solutions, including decreased regulations on developing new energy supplies from our abundant domestic energy resources.” Now that is what I call “fresh and bold”!
But overall, Ms. Bachmann had a tough time attracting live attention last night. At The Hill, Josh Lederman writes: “[T]elevision networks didn’t carry Bachmann’s response live, and CNN played just a few sentences of it during a roundup of Republican responses to the president’s proposal. Timing and competing news events outside of Bachmann’s control also worked against her. Bachmann’s remarks — at 8:30 p.m. — came almost 45 minutes after the end of Obama’s speech, unlike the official response the opposing party gives to the State of the Union speech, which follows almost immediately after. By the time Bachmann took to the podium, many viewers had switched to the opening game of the NFL season.” Damned Packers …
Also from The Hill, Molly K. Hooper notes that even Bachmann’s GOP colleagues were derisive of her play for the cameras: “There was no official Republican response to the president’s speech, but earlier in the day Bachmann scheduled a press conference to respond on her own. The move did not sit well with some other House Republicans who accused her of ‘show boating.’ The lawmakers, who requested anonymity, told The Hill that the GOP presidential nominee hopeful scheduled the conference in ‘panic’ after her performance at the GOP presidential debate Wednesday night in California. ‘This is just show boating theater that she’s doing. I doubt very many people will watch. What do we need, another speech?’ one lawmaker told The Hill, noting that the NFL season opener would be under way by the time Bachmann held her 8:30 p.m. EDT news conference. An image of the NFL opener popped up on one of the TV screens in the press room as Bachmann gave her news conference. Another high-ranking GOP lawmaker said ‘it’s clearly a desperate attempt to become relevant again. Three weeks, she’s lost her momentum, she’s lost her campaign team, and last night, she was about as close to irrelevant in the debate as I’ve ever seen.’ ” I do believe all that is a violation of the GOP’s 11th commandment.
Oh, and the AP’s Brian Bakst and Thomas Beaumont are saying that Our Gal will be focusing heavily … very heavily … on Iowa from now until the caucuses this winter: “Republican observers viewed the moves as a reaction to Bachmann’s fade in polls. She has slipped to the low single digits in national polls and now trails Perry in Iowa surveys. The staff shake-up provides Bachmann with an opportunity to shed the image of an over-managed celebrity. Some Iowa Republicans recently criticized Bachmann for staying on her campaign bus during a county GOP dinner while Perry was speaking. The episode fed a budding narrative that Bachmann pays more attention to stagecraft than mingling with activists, something that doesn’t sit well with Iowans used to politicians doing retail campaigning. ‘Her campaign has to drop this rock-star motif,’ said Judd Saul, an undecided Iowa Republican who attended the event last month. ‘She won the straw poll but needs to dig in, shake our hands, get to know us.’ Other would-be backers have grown frustrated by what they view as a sound-bite campaign. Retired nurse Ellen Harward, a Myrtle Beach Republican, was attracted to Bachmann after seeing her at a late June rally. But by this week, Harward had not decided whether she would back her in the South Carolina primary, the first Southern contest. ‘She’s starting to sound like a broken record,’ Harward said.” What do you mean, “starting”?
Tom Scheck of MPR says St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman’s communications guy is going to lead the fight against the gay marriage referendum. “Minnesotans United For all Families has announced that it has hired Richard Carlbom to direct the group’s efforts to defeat the constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. Carlbom currently serves as Communications Director for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. He was also campaign manager for DFL Rep. Tim Walz in 2010. Carlbom was also the Mayor of St. Joseph from 2005-2007. Carlbom’s experience stumping for votes in rural Minnesota played a factor in his hiring.”
The attention now being paid to synthetic drugs has some basis in reality. Paul Walsh of the Strib reports: “After police caught him with more than 4 ounces of marijuana in his parents’ home in December, Alex Winterhalter swapped drugs and started smoking synthetic pot. According to his friends, Winterhalter figured it was the best way to keep getting high — without getting in trouble again. Winterhalter, 22, apparently paid for that mistake with his life. On April 26, the police were called to Winterhalter’s home in Maple Grove again. They found him in the basement, bleeding from a single gunshot to the head. Police initially suspected suicide. But after a four-month investigation, police recently concluded that the shooting was an accident, brought on from an ‘altered state of mind caused by chemicals,’ according to a report made public last week.”
The feds have given UMD $400,000 to spread the word about invasive sea critters. Says John Myers at the Duluth News Tribune: “The University of Minnesota Duluth-based Sea Grant program now has an extra $400,000 to hammer home the message. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave Minnesota Sea Grant the money as part of the 2011 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding approved by Congress and President Obama. The Sea Grant money is earmarked to slow the rate at which people spread invasive species through everyday activities like fishing, boating or tossing an unwanted pet fish into a pond. The new money is on top of $1.55 million Sea Grant received from the Great Lakes initiative last year. Between billboards, trading cards, key chains, booths at county fairs and fishing shows, presentations to teachers and lake associations and much more, the effort is expected to reach 7 million ‘exposures,’ or sets of eyeballs, through 2013.” What will Ron Paul think?
Ratcheting it up a bit from mere disgruntled home mortgagees, John Welbes of the PiPress reports on bigger fish joining forces to go after Wells Fargo: “A new group of plaintiffs is taking Wells Fargo Bank to court over its securities lending program — the same investment vehicle that cost the bank $30 million following a jury trial in St. Paul last year. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, St. John’s University Endowment and seven other plaintiffs filed suit last week against Wells Fargo, arguing that Minnesota’s largest bank mismanaged their money. Their claims echo the civil lawsuit that led to a seven-week trial last summer. And a third case — a class-action lawsuit also filed in Minnesota — could end up representing more than 200 client firms and funds that put money into Wells Fargo’s securities lending program. That lawsuit is still working toward certification as a class action, and a hearing is set for early next year, said Carolyn Anderson, an attorney for the plaintiffs.”
Do you know what men are for? Shoveling snow. And if you’re a woman who doesn’t have a Significant Shoveler, good luck renting in Wisconsin. Chris Hubbuch of the LaCrosse Tribune reports: “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has accused a West Salem landlord of violating the Fair Housing Act for refusing to rent to a single mother because she didn’t have a man ‘to shovel the snow.’ According to the charge against Dovenberg Investments, the unnamed woman answered an Internet ad in October 2010 for a two-bedroom home on a cattle farm in the Irish Coulee area. When asked how many people would be living there, she answered just herself and her child. Darlene Dovenberg said she wouldn’t rent to the woman because she didn’t have a man to help, according to the charge. Dovenberg later rented the house to two men.” Both came with blocks of foam cheese on their heads, I’m guessing.