On MPR’s “Morning Edition” show today, Ted Mondale predicted that the Vikings will still be playing in the Metrodome in 2013. Tim Nelson reports: “Mondale said he thinks a clause in their contract will force them to extend their lease by a year, because of the storm that damaged the dome and forced the team out last year. But he also said that it is unlikely a move or a new stadium will take them from the dome before 2014. ‘What will really happen is that we’ll be discussing a renewal of the lease for 2012, probably 2013,’ Mondale said. ‘You know, with the Twins, the commission did a number of one-year contracts while they were working to get their new stadium, and I see a similar situation here. This is not a hostile situation, we are working cooperatively together, and this is something that’s not going to reach that proportion at all.’ “
The goal is “border to border” broadband and cellphone access in Minnesota. To that end, Gov. Dayton has appointed yet another task force. The Duluth News Tribune story says: “[T]he Governor’s Task Force on Broadband is charged with developing policies to promote the expansion of broadband access in Minnesota. Dayton’s stated goal is “border-to-border” high-speed Internet and cell-phone access throughout Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, which houses the state’s Broadband Development Office, will work with the task force. ‘For the short- and long-term success of our economy, every school, business, and consumer in Minnesota must have affordable, high-speed access to information and the online marketplace,’ Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a news release. ‘That is what the work of this Task Force is all about.’ ”
Today in Bachmannia: Our Gal may have coined a phrase today. In a speech, she seems to have referred to Mitt Romney, and possibly other GOP rivals, as “frugal socialists.” Russell Goldman at ABC News writes: “President Obama’s policies will strip the United States of its sovereignty and slyly slip the country into socialism, GOP contender Rep. Michele Bachmann said Monday to a group of conservative activists. In a speech titled ‘Core of Conviction,’ which is also the title of Bachmann’s new book, scheduled for release Nov. 21, Bachmann found ways to work in the phrase, or something similar to it, no less than five times. … Bachmann also pointed a finger at fellow Republicans [who] believed government had a responsibility to provide health care. ‘But sadly, far too many Republicans aspire to be frugal socialists. The reason President Obama and some Republicans can get behind socialized medicine is because they share the same core political philosophy about the purpose of government,’ she said.”
The latest fat coaching pay-out at the U of M may be heading to the state Supreme Court. Paul Walsh’s Strib story says: “The University of Minnesota said Monday that it will appeal a state Appeals Court ruling that upheld a $1 million award to would-be assistant men’s basketball coach Jimmy Williams for a rescinded job offer. ‘[The] judgment against Coach [Tubby] Smith and the university, if allowed to stand, has the potential to harm the university now and in the future,’ said University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg in a statement released by the school. Rotenberg said he intends to file the appeal with the state Supreme Court ‘in the next several days.’ At the time of the ruling, Rotenberg said multiple assertions are up for debate, including why Williams would quit his job at Oklahoma State after being told the job at the U was in doubt.”
Three big Minnesota energy plants have achieved the status of “high priority violator.” MPR’s Stephanie Hemphill says: “Most of Minnesota’s biggest air polluters are complying with the federal Clean Air Act, according to data gathered by National Public Radio and the Center for Public Integrity. The organizations looked at 49 Minnesota facilities that rank highest in terms of emitting pollutants that could pose a health risk to people living nearby and found only three that show up on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of ‘high priority violators.’ The Flint Hills Refinery in Rosemount is among the three. “The refinery processes crude oil from Canada, producing gasoline, diesel, propane, butane and jet fuel. It also manufactures asphalt, heating fuels and sulfur for fertilizer. The refinery was given ‘high priority violator’ status going back to at least the fourth quarter of 2008, according to EPA data. But Bob Beresford, compliance coordinator for air quality at the MPCA, said the issues have been resolved even though Flint Hills has not been officially removed from the ‘high priority violator’ list.”
The Austin Daily Herald editorializes on Jesse Ventura’s complaint about the federal courts dismissing his suit against the Transportation Security Administration. “It is a pity that former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura never learned that there are times when dialing the rhetoric back a notch actually accomplishes more. As Minnesota’s chief executive, Ventura’s good ideas were often lost amidst the noise of the governor’s outsized personality. Now long removed from office, Ventura is still sabotaging his own good points with an excess of angry words. That is unfortunate, because Ventura was on to something last week. … In saying that, Ventura put his finger squarely on what is wrong with an inflated federal security apparatus that feeds Americans’ fears about safety. It’s too bad that, once again, his good idea won’t get the respect it deserves.”
Best Buy is in the news again today with several moves to protect its bottom line. Tom Webb at the PiPress writes that:
* “It will spend $1.3 billion to acquire full ownership of the Best Buy Mobile stores in the U.S. and Canada. Profits from that fast-growing part of Best Buy’s business were, until now, split between Best Buy and a European joint-venture partner, Carphone Warehouse.
* It will close its 11 big-box Best Buy locations in the United Kingdom, as it continues a strategic retreat from its aggressive plans for overseas expansion. Earlier, the company said it would close its Best Buy big-box stores in Turkey and China.
* It will focus its European efforts on the existing 2,500 small-format stores of its European partner, Carphone Warehouse. Many of those stores will soon be renamed, “Wireless World.”
*It is buying MindShift Technologies for $167 million, as it further ramps up its services to small and mid-sized business.”
Over at Bluestem Prairie, Sally Jo Sorensen is fascinated with the impact of former New Jersey Gov. (and former Goldman Sachs exec) Jon Corzine’s now-bankrupt MF Global trading company on Minnesota farmers: “A reader suggested that Bluestem look into what the impact of the meltdown of MF Global might be on Minnesota’s rural economy. I haven’t come up with a definitive answer to this question, but perhaps the business press will look into it. Here’s what I’ve found so far. Apparently the mega-brokerage not only made a losing bet on European bonds. Client funds are also still missing, the Wall Street Journal reports today. Hundreds of millions. What does this have to do with farmers and grain elevators? Unfortunately, too much. MF Global not only traded in dubious European bond debt, but in the grain industry as well. MF Global Inc. is a now-suspended clearing member of the MGEX (the Minneapolis Grain Exchange). The MGEX home page announces the suspension of the firm’s trading and clearing privileges, and the transfer of customer accounts to other firms. At the Progressive Farmer’s Market Matters blog, DTN Markets editor Linda Smith writes in Another Financial Meltdown: MF Global is/was one of the world’s biggest brokers for commodities and listed derivatives, providing access to more than 70 exchanges globally as well as over-the-counter products.”