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Michele Bachmann not a big factor in GOP debate


OK, it was the sort of crowd that cheered enthusiastically when the moderator mentioned that the state of Texas has executed 234 people. Still, the post-GOP debate vibe last night seemed to be that Our Favorite Congresswoman is yesterday’s news. The New York Times story by Jeff Zeleny and Adam Nagourney makes only passing mention of Ms. Bachmann.

John McCormick and Julie Hirschfield Davis of Bloomberg write: “Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who had been gaining in the polls, now is seeking to halt what the surveys show has been a loss of support to Perry, particularly among the Tea Party voters who are her strongest constituency. She won the Iowa Straw Poll on Aug. 13, and in the wake of her victory former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty ended his candidacy. Perry officially announced his campaign in South Carolina on the day of the straw poll and has overshadowed Bachmann ever since. In the debate, she mostly stuck to reiterating her views, offering herself as a candidate with the ‘core conviction’ of shrinking government spending.”

At USA Today, William M. Welch and Jackie Kucinich say: “They all promised to eliminate the health care bill signed by President Obama last year, although Bachmann said Romney’s claim to wipe out the bill through executive orders was unrealistic. Bachmann, who announced she was running for president during a debate in New Hampshire, played a secondary role Wednesday, as Romney and Perry took center stage. The debate came just days after Bachmann’s top two campaign aides quit.”

Prior to the debate, James Oliphant of the Los Angeles Times was saying: “[I]t might be Michele Bachmann who has the most to prove. For weeks, Bachmann and her camp have watched as Perry has swallowed up media coverage and vaulted to the front of the presidential pack. And he has done so by stealing much of Bachmann’s thunder. It was less than a month ago that Bachmann prevailed in the Ames Straw Poll, and then appeared on all of the Sunday morning talk shows the following day in a victory lap. Her political star appeared to be in its ascension. But there are signs now that that may have been when it was at its apex. Polls show that religious conservatives and ‘tea-party’ activists, the kinds of voters that are crucial to Bachmann’s success in states such as Iowa and South Carolina, are turning Perry’s way. She has also been hampered by some perhaps ill-timed remarks about Hurricane Irene and the defection of two senior campaign aides, including campaign chieftain Ed Rollins. For Bachmann, bashing President Obama and his agenda may no longer be enough. Her mission at the Reagan Library on Wednesday will be to first stop the bleeding.”  

Tom Hauser of KSTP-TV reminds his viewers that a felony charge in the Senser hit-and-run case is entirely likely: “In 1996, the Minnesota Legislature made it an automatic felony charge for the driver of a vehicle who leaves the scene of a fatal hit-and-run. It was intended to eliminate motivation for anyone to leave the scene of a crash if they have something to hide, like alcohol impairment, no insurance or no driver’s license. The penalty is up to 3 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. The law change was sparked by the death of an Eagan man who was struck in a hit-and-run while walking with his wife. The driver in that case wasn’t arrested for five days and only served four months in jail with work release privileges. Prosecutors couldn’t prove he was intoxicated so they weren’t able to charge him with criminal vehicular homicide or another felony with a harsher penalty.”

“Fracking” has been getting a lot of bad pub lately. It didn’t help down in Goodhue County. Elizabeth Baier of MPR reports: “Goodhue County commissioners unanimously approved a proposal Tuesday night that will temporarily block a controversial kind of sand mining in the southeastern Minnesota county. About 200 people filled a public hearing room in Red Wing for a meeting that lasted nearly three hours and included public comments from 20 people in support of the moratorium. No one spoke in opposition.” Not even the frackers themselves?

The AP says four investigators are working on the recent dead-baby-in-the-Mississippi case: “Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand says 4 of his investigators are working the case, with help from an agent from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).  Brand says the Sheriff’s Department has received more than 15 tip calls regarding the case that his investigators are following up on. ‘We owe it to that infant to do the best job we can,’ Brand told KARE 11. He calls what happened to the little girl ‘just disgusting.’ “

A $2 million fraud will get you five years … James Walsh of the Strib says: “The architect of a scheme to defraud Minnesotans out of nearly $2 million was sentenced to five years in federal prison Wednesday. Pamela Dellis, a former auditor for the Minnesota Department of Revenue, said a gambling addiction caused her to concoct a scheme that involved creating more than 200 phony state tax refunds. Dellis enlisted her sister and niece to help with the fraud that lasted nearly five years.”

Mike Hughlett’s Strib story says 107 SuperValu/Cub gas stations are being sold, a chunk of them to Holiday: “Holiday Stationstores will buy the Cub fuel centers and operate them under its own brand. Bloomington-based Holiday is also buying two of Supervalu’s fuel centers in North Dakota and five more in Montana. The fuel outlet sale is the latest attempt by Eden Prairie-based Supervalu to focus on its core businesses. Over the past year, the struggling food mass merchandiser has also sold off its logistics operation, an insurance agency and a small California-based upscale grocery chain.”

The protest against the Keystone XL pipeline gets an airing from one of those involved. In a Strib commentary, Kevin Charles Redmon explains: “Refining a barrel of crude oil from tar sands produces more greenhouse gases than any other petrol source (how much more depends on whose numbers you trust) and, in terms of well-to-wheel emissions, tar sands do more to ensure that we’ll lose the battle against global climate change than does oil from Venezuela, Nigeria or anywhere in the Middle East. With atmospheric levels of carbon already well past the point to which life on Earth is adapted, NASA scientist James Hansen recently wrote that ‘if tar sands are thrown into the mix it is essentially game over.’ Journalist and protest organizer Bill McKibben called them ‘the biggest carbon bomb on the planet.’ “

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by William Pappas on 09/08/2011 - 07:05 am.

    The reason “frackers” are not worried about the moratorium on “sand mining” in Goodhue County is that when the time comes they will simply buy the votes to get it changed. Fracking will continue until there is an environmental disaster or the polution to ground water is too lethal to ignore. When the lawsuits pile up and liability is assigned corporate mining companies will have long ago dissolved into bankruptcy and the public will once again subsidize their mess. This is simply more public give away to corporations that is really an endless subsidy. With that in mind, how can we support that these same corporations pay no corporate tax at all? Are we afraid they will take their fracking to Malaysia? The republican mania for responsiblity and accountability seems to end at the individual and not extend to corporations. Interesting that Citizens United treats corporations as people but conservatives want to treat them as “special” people that don’t need to pay taxes.

  2. Submitted by William Souder on 09/08/2011 - 08:28 am.

    The swoon of the Michele Bachmann campaign was predictable. Once the professional handlers scrubbed away her loony exterior there was nothing left. Michele Bachmann minus the crazy may not even exist. Of course this doesn’t make her the worst candidate of the season…that honor can never be taken away from (yawn) Tim Pawlenty, who was handed his walking papers by Bachmann and Ron Paul (Ron Paul!) in Iowa a few weeks ago.

    All in all, not a good turn on the national stage for Minnesota politicians.

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 09/08/2011 - 08:40 am.

    I don’t know why anyone would be surprised that Bachmann is tanking now. The straw poll is irrelevant, and she couldn’t win a state wide race let alone a nation wide race. The question is, will run as an independent of some kind and split the Republican vote?

  4. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 09/08/2011 - 10:02 am.

    #3 Paul, your last question can only be answered by Marcus and/or Jesus.

  5. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 09/08/2011 - 10:10 am.

    For the sake of the planet, the BEST thing that could happen with the Canadian tar sands oil production is for the entire toxic mess to be shut down.

    It’s already an environmental disaster for the region in which it’s located. Although production of useable oil from the tar sands employs a fair number of people, the cost to the citizens of Canada, of cleaning up after the tar sands have been depleted will FAR outweigh any benefit that current levels of employment are creating.

    No doubt, as has so often been the case here in the US, when the time to clean up the environmental disaster they’ve created comes, the companies involved will simply vanish into bankruptcy, their massive profits and the massive compensation paid their executives having long since vanished into off shore bank accounts, with the citizens of Canada left to pay the bill.

    It’s like an old trick played by rich frat boys (just for fun) in which they invite a less wealthy “pledge” (mark?) out to dinner at an expensive restaurant, then take off and leave that pledge to pay for everyone else’s meal or answer to the staff of that restaurant if they can’t afford to pay.

    Never having had to worry about having enough money, it never even enters their minds what they’re actually doing to their victim(s). They think they’re just having fun and getting a free meal.

  6. Submitted by John N. Finn on 09/08/2011 - 10:42 am.

    Frac sand loading into rail cars is underway now in Winona. I believe it’s a relatively small scale facility prior to a planned larger operation. I’m not aware of any new sand mining yet. The trucks are hauling from an existing pit at the edge of town.

    BTW: Would frac sand be included in the mineral rights that land owners usually don’t own?

  7. Submitted by James Hamilton on 09/08/2011 - 12:34 pm.

    Re: Hit-and-run.

    “In 1996, the Minnesota Legislature made it an automatic felony charge for the driver of a vehicle who leaves the scene of a fatal hit-and-run. It was intended to eliminate motivation for anyone to leave the scene of a crash if they have something to hide, like alcohol impairment, no insurance or no driver’s license.”

    Of course, the success of the law lies in the public knowing that there’s no percentage in fleeing. I’d venture to say that the general public has no idea what the law is in this regard, as is the case with most of our laws.

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