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.’ “