Well, we needed something to distract us from how bad the Vikings are on the field. Gov. Dayton is talking Nov. 21 for a special session on the stadium. The Reuters story, by David Bailey, says: “The governor met Monday with Republican leaders who control the state Senate and House and has meetings this week with NFL leaders and the Vikings owners. Afterward, House Speaker Kurt Zellers said Minnesota was in tough economic times and a funding solution could not be a tax on a certain group of people, activity or product. ‘The state of Minnesota writing out a check for $300 million, I don’t think you have heard anyone saying that is a good idea,, Zellers said.”
Kevin Seifert of ESPN writes: “Dayton said Monday he will call the session by Nov. 21 and conclude it by Nov. 23, provided there is enough progress in negotiations to give the bill a reasonable chance to pass. That gives a polarized set of state leaders about five weeks to assess the Vikings’ proposal, including its site (currently in suburban Arden Hills) and required public contribution (currently about $650 million). … For the first time, it’s possible to envision a specific path toward approval: Five intense weeks of negotiations followed by a pre-Thanksgiving 2011 vote. No one knows whether that will happen, and Monday’s announcement could ultimately be an exercise in shifting political responsibility from the governor’s office to his Republican counterparts. Perhaps this work in the fall will merely set the table for a vote in the regular 2012 spring session.”
Tim Nelson of MPR adds this bit: “Republican legislative leaders said they won’t support any stadium bill that raises state taxes. They also want Dayton to guarantee that some Democrats vote for a stadium before they put up any Republican votes.” They need some DFLers to help them say, “No taxes ever, for anything … ever”?
The decision by Minnesota’s Catholic bishops to go whole hog in opposition to gay marriage has the gay blogs afire. At LezGetReal (“A Gay Girl’s View on the World”), Bridgette P. LaVictoire says: “At what point does the Roman Catholic Church want to admit that they want this nation to be just like Spain was under General Francisco Franco? That they want a theocratically tinged dictatorship so bad that they are popping [erections] over it? These people will push their views and their ideas and they will do so using lies, slander, innuendo and hate. They will have blood on their hands as their words will be like a thousand cuts bleeding some poor lesbian or gay youth into thinking that being lesbian or gay is wrong, evil and monstrous. They want desperately to believe that they are in the right, but when you surround the Truth with a bodyguard of lies, all you show is that your truth is worth less than the cost of the paper it was printed on.”
Another consequence of global warming? The AP reports: “The Department of Natural Resources reports rare whooping cranes have been sighted in Rice and Le Sueur counties in south-central Minnesota. DNR regional nongame wildlife specialist Lisa Gelvin-Innvaer calls the reports ‘exciting’ since so few whooping cranes exist in the wild. Gelvin-Innvaer says the whooping crane is a critically imperiled North American species. In 1940, there were only 16 whooping cranes left in the world. The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership started a new flock in Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin and trained the birds to migrate along their normal route between Wisconsin and coastal Florida.”
You caught the story of 11-year-old Lucas Kramer enrolling at the U of M? The Daily Mail picks up the tale, saying: “Lucas said that he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life yet, but he may just respond to a higher calling. ‘I’m thinking about maybe being a priest, researcher or a scientist,’ Kramer said. He added: ‘It’s just the one thing that I guess is really important in all I do is just try to do what God would want me to do always.’ ”
But it’s The National Review’s Nathan Harden who, noting young Lucas’s gift, writes: “I recently discovered that, at my local elementary school, only 20 percent of fourth graders score at a ‘proficient’ level in mathematics on state tests. Yet, as measured by those same tests, this is one of the best schools in the city! Imagine how low the scores are at the ‘bad’ schools. If you haven’t watched the documentary Waiting for ‘Superman,’ do it. Another I recommend is The Learning, which is available online for free. Did you know that some of our nation’s worst school districts are importing teachers from overseas to do a job that, apparently, no American teachers are willing to do?”
Today in Bachmannia: Since you no doubt dialed in to Our Favorite Congresswoman’s “tele-conference” with … Donald Trump, you don’t need anyone to tell you what went down last night. But for everyone else, Josh Lederman of The Hill, reports: “Trump’s comments and others he made before the town hall called attention to the awkward nature of the event, where Trump’s purpose was unclear and his support for Bachmann vague. Bachmann prefaced the town hall, where supporters listened in by telephone, by noting that Trump was not endorsing Bachmann by participating in the call. ‘He is on the call because he’s admired, he’s respected. He’s known all over the world as a man who understands the economy,’ she said. … [Trump] took a critical, populist stance on the finance industry that most Republican candidates have been reluctant to take. ‘The banks have not behaved properly,’ Trump said. ‘The only ones they loan the money to are very, very solid, strong people who don’t need the money.’ Put in the position of affirming Trump’s statement or correcting it, Bachmann pivoted to her call for Democratic legislation affecting healthcare and financial regulations.”
From a couple of days back, Ed Kohler at the local blog, The Deets, goes after PiPress sports columnist Tom Powers for arguing that a new Vikings stadium is “inevitable”: “It’s already idiotic to for the public to borrow $650,000,000, and make debt payments on that money for 30 years. Based on the demands the NFL is putting on cities with stadiums younger than the property you probably live in, it’s darn likely that they will demand even more from the public in the future. But, unlike Powers, that is in no way a justification for giving an NFL team what they are demanding today. It’s already a bad deal. For people opposed to the stadium today, arguing that it would cost more in the future is irrelevant. Taking a stupid idea and making it twice as stupid doesn’t justify the original idea.
[Said Powers] Right or wrong has nothing to do with it. Sometimes, you just have to hold your nose and swallow.
NO. YOU. DON’T. Right or wrong has everything to do with it. Socializing costs while privatizing profits for the NFL is not something we should want or need to do. The market is perfectly capable of deciding whether Minnesota is a worthy NFL market without public subsidies. If the NFL can’t survive without receiving $650 millions of dollars from a state with only 5.2 million people, it sounds like the NFL needs to figure out how to change their business model rather than demand welfare ransoms.”