Klobuchar, Franken vote to repeal Defense of Marriage Act

AFTERNOON EDITION

Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken both voted to repeal much of the Defense of Marriage Act. Brett Neely’s MPR story says: “The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would repeal much of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. That law prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions. The legislation cleared the committee on partisan lines with only Democrats supporting the measure and Republicans unanimous in their opposition. … The only immediate effect is political: Democrats can show part of their liberal base of backers that they strongly support equality in federal benefits for gay couples. … DFL Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken both sit on the committee and supported the bill.The bill now heads to the floor of the Senate, where Republicans have vowed to filibuster it. It would need 60 votes in the 100-member Senate, and sponsors acknowledged the votes aren’t there. The measure would have no chance in the House, controlled by conservative Republicans.

The Rochester Post-Bulletin sees a new attitude among voters in Tuesday’s elections: “But there’s no denying that Minnesota public schools and the students who attend them came out as the clear winners when the votes were tallied Tuesday evening. In southeastern Minnesota, 14 of 15 school districts saw their referendum questions approved, with only Cannon Falls falling short. Statewide, 90 districts passed at least one operating levy question, while 24 districts saw their levy requests denied — a success rate of nearly 80 percent.  Of the 58 districts that sought renewal of existing levies, 57 were successful. … If there is an overall message to be gleaned from results like these, it’s that regardless of the economy, Minnesotans — at least those who are concerned enough to vote — still value and appreciate the public school system. Sure, the skeptics have a lot to say about supposed inefficiency and lack of accountability in our schools, but when push comes to shove, voters still believe in their local schools. Furthermore, we suspect that this summer’s accounting tomfoolery in St. Paul, which will force some school districts to borrow money just to make payroll, made it hard for voters to say ‘No,’ especially when all they were asked to do was maintain their schools’ local funding.”

It’s a different story up in Duluth. Jana Hollingsworth of the News Tribune writes: “If Duluth’s school levy vote had been held only in eastern Duluth, the first question would have passed handily. Voters in the higher-income neighborhoods of Duluth’s eastern end generally supported the first request, which would have given the district an additional $2.93 million. But central and western Duluth residents soundly defeated the first question, as well as the second and third. … Lawrence Lee of Lakeside said he struggled with the school levy issue. ‘I have mixed emotions about the state of our schools. My daughter is in a classroom with 42 students and not enough desks or textbooks. That’s in a brand-new high school,’ he said. ‘Part of me wants to just throw more money at the problem, but I want that money to be used wisely.’ “

Marcus Michalik of the Twin Cities subsidiary of The Onion wonders if just our close proximity to the Kardashian family is harming our reputation: “The Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries divorce media cycle has practically cannibalized itself at this point, but here we are, a little over a week later (though it feels like an eternity), and suddenly we have to worry about how the whole cultural embarrassment is going to screw up Minnesota’s tourism and reputation. KSTP had a segment on last night’s newscast that questioned whether or not Kardashian and her monotone sisters’ comments about our states’ frigid temperatures and supposedly “yee-haw” residents will affect the way the rest of the country and Kim’s 11 million Twitter followers will view Minnesota. … it’s hard not to be amused by how defensive we Minnesotans get about our nationwide reputation. Pointing out that we’re not all characters from Fargo is one thing, but how upset can we get about Joy Behar saying Kim would ‘freeze her ass off if she moved to Minnesota’?” That thing would take a lot of freezing.

Today in Bachmannia:  Our Gal and every other GOP candidate had to play supporting character to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s epic brain freeze in last night’s debate. But Bachmann whipped up the base prior to going on stage. Michael Duffelmeyer of the Iowa Independent reports: “Bachmann (R-Minn.) says Michigan’s economic woes are rooted in socialist policies, and she blames labor unions, taxes and regulations for the tough economic climate in the state. Bachmann made the comments on the Steve Deace Show in Iowa before the Nov. 9 debate in the Wolverine State. Deace had asked Bachmann about the ‘pro-active, positive solution that is the alternative to socialism’ in Michigan. ‘It’s the fruition of all of the policies of the left which really have their origin in socialism,’ Bachmann said of Michigan’s struggling economy. ‘If there’s anything we should have learned by now it’s that socialism doesn’t work and it’s principles don’t work.’ She also attacked other GOP presidential candidates for supporting the auto bailout, calling it the latest example of socialism in the state and saying ‘you won’t find any surprises with me.’ ‘You will find in me a core conviction,’ she said, providing a nod to the title of her new book.” The big question is, does her campaign still have the cash on hand to buy enough copies of the book to call it “a best-seller”?

At The Daily Beast, Lois Romano looks at Our Favorite Congresswoman and writes: “Bachmann did little tonight to resurrect her drifting campaign, delivering a passable performance with the same tired sound bites. And she’s running out of time. She recycled her new favorite attack line, accusing President Obama of taking direction from ‘Gen. Axelrod in Chicago,’ referring to political adviser David Axelrod. Someone should tell the congresswoman that most Americans have no idea what she’s talking about. Although she has been stepping up her attacks on her opponents in recent days, Bachmann inexplicably continues to go after President Obama at these events, instead of trying to distinguish herself from her competitors. Apropos of nothing, in the middle of this debate on the economy, she called for a fence to be erected on the southern border to keep out immigrants.” Instead of, you know, a fence on Minnesota’s eastern border.

Minnesota is second to last in terms of federal spending per capita. Says Larry Bivins of the St. Cloud Times: “Already ranked near the bottom among states in per capita spending by the federal government, Minnesota dipped even further in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.The federal government spent $44.3 billion in the Gopher State in 2010, only a negligible increase over the previous year’s total. The 2010 spending total amounts to $8,366 per person, dropping the state from 47th in per capita spending in 2009 to 49th. Only Nevada was lower, with the government spending $7,321 per person in that state. … ‘The federal government spends less per capita in Minnesota than most other states for several reasons,’ said John Pollard, a spokesman for Minnesota Management and Budget. ‘We do not have as many senior citizens as several other states, we receive less Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement than other states, we have a smaller number of federal employees than many other states, and the state does not have a high concentration of military personnel, military bases or military contractors.’ ”

It was an off-year out in the the fields. The AP reports: “New production and yield estimates for Minnesota’s major crops show declines from last year’s record harvests, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday. The USDA projected Minnesota’s corn production at 1.22 billion bushels, down 5 percent from last year. The average corn yield is forecast at 160 bushels per acre, down 17 bushels from last year. Both production and yields set state records in 2010. Soybean production was forecast at 280 million bushels, down 15 percent from a record 2010, partly because farmers shifted acres from soybeans to corn to take advantage of better prices. Soybean average yields are projected at 40 bushels per acre, down five bushels from last year. Last year’s growing weather was just about perfect across Minnesota. But this growing season got off to a cold, wet start that delayed planting. The weather turned dry in late summer, followed by an early frost in some areas.”

Have you heard that Newt Gingrich is the “Bubble du jour” of a certain segment of the GOP culturati? Steven Hayward at Power Line writes: “Newt has hit his stride, and was consistently the most impressive and forceful person on the stage — and forceful without saying a negative word about any of the other candidates.  (Oh yeah, and Perry flubbed his lines badly.  Again.)  My favorite moment was when Newt responded to a typically tendentious question from Maria Bartiromo, CNBC’s chief anchor-skank, who asked Newt with a palpable sarcastic tone what aspect of the economy he thought the media was misreporting.  Newt grinned and got off the best line of the night: ‘Ah, a moment of humor disguised as a question.’ ”

Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 11/10/2011 - 04:02 pm.

    Wow, I knew that goofball Franken was an anti-Christian, but I figured Amy wouldn’t want to harm her nice-girl image with the good folks back home. Tsk tsk, Amy. This will haunt you.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/10/2011 - 04:32 pm.

    “…anti-Christian…?” No religion deserves endorsement according to the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment. As a matter of fact, Article 1 of Minnesota’s Constitution has something to say about this, as well…

    Sec. 16. FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE; NO PREFERENCE TO BE GIVEN TO ANY RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT OR MODE OF WORSHIP. The enumeration of rights in this constitution shall not deny or impair others retained by and inherent in the people. The right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any man be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any religious or ecclesiastical ministry, against his consent; nor shall any control of or interference with the rights of conscience be permitted, or any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state, nor shall any money be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious societies or religious or theological seminaries.

    Sec. 17. RELIGIOUS TESTS AND PROPERTY QUALIFICATIONS PROHIBITED. No religious test or amount of property shall be required as a qualification for any office of public trust in the state. No religious test or amount of property shall be required as a qualification of any voter at any election in this state; nor shall any person be rendered incompetent to give evidence in any court of law or equity in consequence of his opinion upon the subject of religion.

    Mr. Tester may be in favor of theocracy, but those darn founders didn’t like it much.

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/10/2011 - 05:09 pm.

    The Republican in me wants to support A-Klo & Porno-Frank’s symbolic vote; defining standards of decency should be a local decision.

    As leftists from places like LA, SF and NYC prove, some prefer no standards at all and it’s nice to have a place for them to carry on without bothering the rest of us.

    But the common sense fiscal conservative in me reminds the Republican that if you give a leftist an inch, he’ll fill it with a wad of taxpayer cash. The fed can’t pay for the benefits it’s on the hook for right now…we really don’t need to be lifting rocks looking for new beneficiaries.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 11/10/2011 - 05:11 pm.

    I saw nothing in the MPR story to support the view that either Franken or Klobuchar is “anti-Christian”, though I can understand how those who believe that Christianity requires that heterosexuals and homosexuals be treated differently might be confused on that point.

    If I lived in a world in which intellectual consistency was expected, I’d expect at least 10thers to stand up for the proposition that the federal government has no business involving itself in state affairs, i.e., who’s entitled to be married to whom. The constitutionality of anti-gay marriage laws aside, any poltical conservative, “Constitutional” or otherwise, should support repeal of federal laws which have no Constitutional anchor, explicit or otherwise. If a state says it’s OK for two people to marry, the federal government has no business imposing laws to the contrary.

    BTW, #1, I’d be careful about using the term “anti-Christian” in reference to a Jewish politician, whether you intend the implication or not. You might be branded an anti-Semite.

  5. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/10/2011 - 05:24 pm.

    Alas, so MANY “conservatives” are SO ignorant of the Bible, which includes an evolution of “marriage” all its own.

    From bigamy, polygamy, important figures fathering children with their maidservants, to Solmon’s massive numbers of wives and concubines, without a word of disapproval for any of them.

    How anyone with any knowledge of the history of our religious ancestors contained in the Bible can claim that there is one, single, “Biblical image of marriage,” is beyond me.

    In first Century Judea there were very serious prohibitions against adultery based on the the Ten Commandments and the Levitical code, but Jesus himself interrupted the carrying out of such a death sentence shaming those who were about to stone to death a woman caught in adultery by forcing them to realize that they, themselves, were sinners, equally deserving of death (by their own rules).

    So, in the end, neither Senator Franken, nor Senator Klobuchar, can be said to be “antiChristian,” although many who will criticize them for this vote could be said to be ignorant of their own Bible.

    Of course anyone has the right to express disdain for the idea that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry, just don’t claim that your opinion is based on your own strict adherence to the Bible (unless, of course, you faithfully follow the dietary rules of “kosher” and assiduously avoid participating in the lending of money at interest, among countless other long-since-ignored articles of the Levitical code).

  6. Submitted by Mark Stromseth on 11/10/2011 - 05:25 pm.

    Lawrence Lee of Lakeside said […]”My daughter is in a classroom with 42 students and not enough desks or textbooks. That’s in a brand-new high school,’ he said. ‘Part of me wants to just throw more money at the problem, but I want that money to be used wisely.”

    So having enough money to buy textbooks for every student and have student to teacher ratios of 25:1 is throwing good money after bad? If he’s against his kids having the needed textbooks and reasonable class sizes, then I guess he’s against his kids learning anything at all. Plenty of money to be saved that way.

    […]”how upset can we get about Joy Behar saying Kim would ‘freeze her ass off if she moved to Minnesota?”

    Not very. Kimmy could use to lose a whole lot of that behind. If she lived here, she could sit outside in -40° weather and freeze the fat in her rear end to get rid of it. Or she could do it the lazy way and go to a cosmetic treatment center and pay to have the fat frozen and discarded through the body’s natural processes. But little Kimmy K would never deign to live in a place that isn’t as vapid and self-absorbed as Hollywood.

  7. Submitted by Ann Richards on 11/10/2011 - 05:33 pm.

    Mr Tester has nothing to say so he has to resort to name calling.Senator Franken is anti-Christian (ha!) and Sen Klobacher gets treated just like Republicans treat smart women: they dismiss them and demonize them.

  8. Submitted by Jeff Klein on 11/10/2011 - 05:42 pm.

    After decades of deteriorating school funding, it’s absurd that people have been tricked into this crap about “we can’t throw money at the problem, we need some clever solution”. It’s really this simple: we’ve been taking money away for years. Result? “My daughter is in a classroom with 42 students and not enough desks or textbooks.” I’m told money can be exchanged for goods and services, like, well, books and teachers.

  9. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 11/10/2011 - 07:05 pm.

    I think that it is entirely possible to support equality in federal benefits while not repealing DOMA, but a voting block is a voting block.

    If we can get the new bridge by Stillwater we might increase our take of federal dollars, no help though from our two Twin City Representatives…

    Ms. Bachmann probably “goes after” President Obama since he would be her opponent in a general election. When she fails to get the nomination, she may gain from being the one to continue to focus on the present administration’s failings.

  10. Submitted by Colin Dunn on 11/10/2011 - 09:01 pm.

    Don’t feed the troll!

  11. Submitted by B Maginnis on 11/11/2011 - 11:50 am.

    Ann Richards: “..and Sen Klobacher gets treated just like Republicans treat smart women: they dismiss them and demonize them.”

    Oh, dear Ann. Can you please reflect for a moment on what your fellow libs do to conservative, ATTRACTIVE, smart women?

    Because it’s breathtaking in it’s viciousness, ferocity and pure hate.

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