Today in Bachmannia: There may be issues here related to how the question was phrased and what the general public understands … but there is support for Our Favorite Congresswoman on the matter of HP vaccinations. At The Atlantic, Matthew Cooper writes: “A firm majority of voters — 57 percent — oppose the Texas policy that made the injections mandatory unless a parent or legal guardian requested that they not receive them. The requirement has been vigorously defended by Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, who is battling Bachmann for the Republican presidential nomination; he has said he would err on “the side of life” in the fight against the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Bachmann has suggested that the vaccine causes mental retardation, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contends there’s no evidence of that. The results of the survey appear in the latest installment of the United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. Those surveyed denounced the Texas policy of requiring girls entering the sixth grade to receive vaccinations against the disease.”
And you heard that Our Gal agrees that President Obama should be impeached, right? Also via the Atlantic, “ With a well-established track record for raising eyebrows on the stump, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota on Tuesday said she thinks President Obama should be impeached. After visiting a coffee shop in this small Iowa town, Bachmann was asked by a man in the crowd, ‘When will we impeach him and get him out of the way?’ The candidate replied, ‘Well, I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you, I agree, I agree. Some people are really upset.’ Then she moved on to the next well wisher. Campaign spokesperson Alice Stewart said later, ‘She was not saying that she agrees that Obama should be impeached. She agreed with the man on what they were talking about before — that people are frustrated.’ Bachmann’s impeachment comments came after she gave her standard stump speech at Uncle Nancy’s coffee shop, a popular stop for presidential candidates courting voters in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. About 60 people turned out to hear Bachmann.”
A bit more on the person — a woman — of extraordinary interest to police database users. Brady Gervais and Elizabeth Mohr at the PiPress write: “More details emerged Tuesday in the probe of about 100 employees at law enforcement agencies in Minnesota who accessed one woman’s driver’s license data more than 400 times. The person who suspected her data was inappropriately accessed is not a public figure, said Andy Skoogman, a Department of Public Safety spokesman. He wouldn’t identify her because she’s a potential ‘victim of a crime.’ He also declined to say how the woman became suspicious.” … A “potential … ‘victim of a crime’?”
The Mankato Free Press offers an editorial on the controversy over the state setting up health insurance exchanges: “There appears to be uncertainty of whether he would need approval of the Republican-controlled Minnesota Legislature. That could be difficult. While there are some Republicans who support Minnesota’s leading efforts at creating an exchange, others are adamantly opposed to any plans that involve the federal heath care reform law. Groups such as the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce support Minnesota taking the lead to design an exchange. Vice President of Government Affairs Tom Hesse told Minnesota Public Radio that ‘the idea of an exchange should be a good thing that everybody can support.’ ”
I’m not entirely sure how the objection to this will be framed, but it is inevitable. The Obama administration has announced plans to speed up permitting for 2,300 miles of upgraded powerlines in 12 states, including Minnesota. Matthew Daly at The Huffington Post writes, “The projects are:
• A 500 kilovolt (kV), 300-mile transmission line proposed by Idaho Power in Oregon and Idaho.
• 1,150 miles of high-voltage lines across Wyoming and Idaho.
• A 210-mile, 500 kV line near Salem, Ore.
• Two 500 kV transmission lines in Arizona and New Mexico.
• A 700-mile, 600 kV transmission line in Wyoming, Utah and Nevada. The project is intended to help develop new wind projects in Wyoming.
• A 345 kV transmission line in Minnesota and Wisconsin.”
At The Minnesota Independent, Andy Birkey adds to a Paul Demko/Politics in Minnesota interview with Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference. Says Birkey: “The director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference claimed Friday that a failure to pass the constitutional same-sex marriage ban in 2012 would lead to a dangerous precedent where bisexuals would be free to marry one person of each gender; bisexuals say he’s got it wrong. In an interview with Politics in Minnesota, Jason Adkins, the executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Catholic church, spoke about his organization’s role in the Minnesota for Marriage coalition … ‘When you’re talking about marriage and changing the definition of marriage, you’re not creating a separate institution called same-sex marriage. You’re in fact redefining marriage for everyone.’ Adkins added that legalizing marriage for same-sex couples would create a slippery slope. ‘There’s little reason why you’d limit it to two people at all. What if a bisexual wants a partner of each kind, a man and a woman? Are you leaving that group out’?” And what if either of them had a pet turtle? Then what?
Another taconite plant up on The Range? John Myers at the Duluth News Tribune reports: “Magnetation Inc. on Tuesday sealed a $297 million deal with Ohio-based steelmaker AK Steel to expand operations on the Iron Range, including a potential new taconite production plant in Itasca County. Under the joint venture, Magnetation Inc., based in Nashwauk, will own 50.1 percent of a new company, called Magnetation LLC, with AK Steel owning 49.9 percent. Magnetation employs about 100 people on the Range. The partnership could boost that anywhere from 200 to 400 people, said Matt Lehtinen, Magnetation Inc.’s vice president. Magnetation has a relatively small iron ore concentrate plant in operation in Keewatin that makes high-grade concentrate from waste products left by old natural ore mines.”
This guy needs some no-zipper pants and a belt. Brady Gervais of the PiPress writes: “A 27-year-old man who pleaded guilty last week to misdemeanor indecent exposure in Ramsey County District Court was arrested Tuesday in a St. Paul liquor store parking lot for masturbating while smoking crack, according to a police report. St. Paul police responded around 7:30 p.m. to a report at Big Top Liquor, 1574 University Ave., of a man masturbating with his pants around his ankles and smoking crack. Police arrested Marcus Julian Minor, of St. Paul, for lewd behavior, consuming alcohol in public and possession of drug paraphernalia.”
Classy. From Pamela Powers at the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram: “A 55-year-old Eau Claire woman is accused of stealing a ring from the hand of the deceased at a visitation at a Menomonie funeral home in August. Patricia A. Woodford is charged with felony theft from a corpse. She could face up to a $25,000 fine and 10 years in prison. … Patricia Scott told a Menomonie police investigator the incident occurred during a funeral home visitation for her mother, Gladys Patton, on Aug. 18. Family members noticed during the final family viewing that a ring that had been on Patton’s finger was missing. The family tried to have the ring returned anonymously without success. A witness who had been at the visitation told police Woodford had made remarks about wanting the ring, noting that it was a waste for the ring to be buried. The witness saw Woodford approach the body, and when she returned to a seat, Woodford acted suspicious. When the witness asked Woodford if she had taken the ring, Woodford smirked and did not respond.” Good thing she didn’t take a fancy to Gladys’ dress.
The once-tallest building in Minneapolis is going to be converted into apartments. Says Jim Buchta at the Strib: “After months of speculation, Village Green Properties said it bought the historic First National Soo Line building along the edge of the downtown financial district and plans to convert it into apartments. The 19-story building at 105 5th Street South was the tallest building in Minneapolis when it was built in 1914. Since then it’s been used as offices with restaurants on the skyway level. Local investors had planned to convert the building — a particularly lovely high-rise with Second Renaissance details — into a hotel, but the Great Recession put the kibosh on those plans. Village Green is mum about the details of its plans, but expect something interesting.”