Today in Bachmannia: After last night’s FoxNews/Google debate, Our Favorite Congresswoman is in an even more precarious situation. At Politico, Molly Ball writes: “Bachmann barely merited a mention in the post-debate analysis, from a post-debate focus group on Fox News to the ever-roiling debate-about-the-debate on Twitter. At one point mid-debate, conservative pundit Michelle Malkin tweeted, ‘Is Michele Bachmann still there?’ The onetime victor of the Ames straw poll was scarcely more of a factor than Rick Santorum, Herman Cain or even Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor new to the debate stage.” …. “scarcely more” … than Rick Santorum? Now THAT is cold, man.
Trip Gabriel at The New York Times looks at Our Gal’s money problems: “Mrs. Bachmann’s difficulties are also of her own making, campaign insiders said, including her inability, so far, to be taken seriously by big-money Republican donors, especially in light of some high-profile stumbles on the campaign trail. And, these insiders said, Mrs. Bachmann resists even making calls to members of the party establishment to ask for contributions. ‘When you raise small-donor money, you go on Fox and say something more or less outrageous and that’s what people contribute to,’ said Ed Rollins, who stepped aside recently as Mrs. Bachmann’s campaign manager, citing ill health. ‘You throw a hand grenade, and people respond.’ But to attract big donors, which Mrs. Bachmann needs, ‘you’ve got to be a serious candidate with serious solutions,’ Mr. Rollins added. ‘That’s a challenge.’ ” Live by the hand-grenade, wither by the hand-grenade.
Oh, and a shocker … Ms. Bachmann had nothing to say as the deadline to produce someone who had suffered mental retardation because of the HPV vaccine expired. Kristofer Husted of NPR writes: “The high noon deadline for bioethicist Arthur Caplan’s $10,000 challenge to Rep. Michele Bachmann has come and gone without a peep from the Republican presidential hopeful. But damage from her statement linking the HPV vaccine with mental retardation has already been done, Caplan says. As [I] reported last week, bioethicist Steven Miles first ponied up $1,000 to call Bachmann’s bluff. Caplan, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, then raised the ante with $10,000 out of his own pocket. He asked Bachmann to produce a real person who has suffered mental retardation by the HPV vaccine. If she could do it, Caplan offered to donate the ten grand to Bachmann’s charity of choice. If she failed, he suggested that Bachmann donate the same amount to a charity of his choice. No one from the Bachmann camp ever contacted Caplan accepting the challenge, according to the bioethicist.” But I’m certain that like O.J., she’ll continue to search for that person …
The mere word “union” is now so inflammatory that it reliably guarantees conflict and anger-induction amid certain sectors of the population. Hence, the GOP is continuing to ramp up outrage over unionizing day-care providers. Today, MPR’s Tom Scheck reports: “Some state lawmakers continue to raise questions over whether Gov. Mark Dayton has the authority to use an executive order to allow private, in-home day care providers to vote on forming a union. Dayton hasn’t said whether he’ll actually issue the executive order. But that didn’t stop Republicans in the Minnesota Senate from holding a three-hour hearing on the matter on Thursday that featured impassioned testimony from supporters and opponents of the possible union vote. It also prompted the threat of legal action from one lawmaker. Day care provider Sharon O’Boyle of St. Paul Park said she and other union supporters want a union in order to have a stronger voice when it comes to streamlining government oversight of day care facilities. O’Boyle also said she wants a stronger voice advocating for higher day care reimbursements from the state.”
The Strib’s Jim Ragsdale writes: “Supporters said unionization would offer providers a greater voice in licensing and subsidy debates. Foes say a union model does not work for home-based workers who negotiate rates with parents. ‘I advocate for myself,’ said Heather Falk of Carleton County, who opposes unionization. ‘We are a different kind of business … and we will require a different kind of union,’ said union supporter Lisa Thompson of St. Paul. Co-chair Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said he doubts the governor has the authority to authorize an election among providers. If Dayton did so, Hann said, ‘I would consider that an unlawful act.’ “
Eric Kaler was inaugurated Thursday as the U of M’s new president. Meanwhile, MnSCU’s new leader, Steven Rosenstone met with the Rochester Post-Bulletin’s editorial board, which then writes: “When we asked the money question, Rosenstone didn’t give the Legislature a free pass. He asserted that if Minnesota wants MnSCU to help produce the work force of the future, it can’t continue to cut funding for higher education. ‘There have been more then 240 programs that have been eliminated in the past three years,’ he said. ‘There are big consequences from those cuts. But the reality is that if I come in and say, ‘We’re going to work on a plan that would increase our funding by 20 percent over the next two bienniums,’ people would think I just landed from Mars.’ In other words, he’s realistic. His focus throughout the interview was on things he and MnSCU can actually control — including spending.”
Frederick Melo of the PiPress looks again at the city of Minneapolis’ demand “to be made whole” on the $30 million it has poured into the Metrodome: “An analysis prepared in 2009 for the Metropolitan Sports Commission by accounting consultants RSM McGladrey sums up the city of Minneapolis’ dome-related contributions as $30.5 million. The report found that from 1979 to 1984, $15.8 million in revenue was generated by a 3 percent tax on liquor sales and hotel/motel accommodations. The tax was lowered to 2 percent in 1984. From 1983 to 1993, an additional $5.8 million was generated by three city-owned parking ramps. To this day, the city also dedicates $75,000 in annual revenues from city parking meters, totaling $4.9 million. Minneapolis spent an additional $4 million to reroute sewer and water lines and streets to accommodate Metrodome construction. … Meanwhile, the mayor maintains that the city hasn’t gotten all that much back, relatively speaking. The report states that the Metrodome has generated more than $319 million in public tax revenue over the years, but Minneapolis has pocketed only $14.4 million, or 4.5 percent of it.”
Since my idea of fashion pretty much revolves around whatever sort of fits at Costco and REI, I have no idea what this Missoni business is all about. But it is still going on, says Thomas Lee at the Strib. “Initially criticized by analysts and out-of-luck shoppers for not carrying enough Missoni products, Target Corp. now faces a different public relations headache: The Minneapolis-based retailer is having trouble processing orders and delivering items to consumers who managed to get through online.Target officials say they are working hard to fix the problems, but declined to discuss specifics. Meanwhile, Missoni missteps, chronicled in detail by customers on social media, continue to attract national media attention 10 days after the story first broke. In some cases, customers say, Target has canceled orders even though it already charged people’s credit cards. Others say they received tracking numbers from Target, but UPS has no record of them. One Facebook user created a page that calls Missoni ‘the BP Oil Spill of Fashion.’ “
Finally, for some insight into modern conservative “savvy”, John Hinderaker of Power Line turns a post on last night’s GOP debate over to “a long time reader,” who says: “For me, that winner is Herman Cain. While I can’t vouch for its accuracy, Cain’s explanation of why he likely would not have survived his bout with cancer under Obamacare was probably the best answer of the evening by any candidate. But his other answers were spot on, as well. And “9-9-9” is starting to grow on me. Rick Santorum turned in the second best performance, I thought. Once again, he mixed it up very effectively – this time with Rick Perry on immigration and Jon Huntsman on Iraq. I also loved the way he worked Ronald Reagan into his explanation of how he would get America moving again. To date, Santorum has combined the ability to articulate conservative principles and to provide solid analysis (as these debates go) of specific issues better than anyone in the field. I understand that he hasn’t come close to catching fire, and probably won’t. But if I had the opportunity to vote in a straw poll, Santorum would probably be my choice. Michele Bachmann debated well, once again. At this point, though, she is probably no more than a spoiler. Indeed, the better she debates the more ground she seems to lose. Bachmann also continues to play fast-and-loose with the facts.” This guy isn’t saying that “facts” matter, is he?