Today in Bachmannia: If she were politicaly dead, she wouldn’t be on “Face the Nation”, right? Our Gal showed fire on the Sunday talk show, calling Newt Gingrich “The King of K Street.” A post by CBS News says: “Bachmann continued an ongoing offensive against Newt Gingrich Sunday, hammering her presidential competitor for being a ‘consummate establishment insider,’ and targeting his history brokering influence on behalf of Freddie Mac and others. ‘He’s the ‘King of K Street,’ Bachmann said of Gingrich … ‘For a person who’s been influence peddling for over 30 years in Washington, D.C. — to think that Newt Gingrich is somehow an outsider, when he is the consummate establishment insider’ … The Minnesota congresswoman also presented herself as the only candidate who has taken on President Obama and been ‘tested by fire in the lion’s den.’ ‘Barack Obama knows me in Washington, D.C., because I’ve taken him on. I’ve been on the tip of the spear fighting him on ‘Obamacare,’ on cap-and-trade, on issue after issue,’ she said. ‘There’s a clear distinction in the candidates. I’m the proven candidate who has been tested by fire in the lion’s den of Washington, D.C.’ ” Has she spent enough time in D.C. lately to mix her metaphors like that?
The Strib’s Janet Moore takes the latest look at what comes next for the 122 acres that the St. Paul Ford plant sits on: “What’s next for the signature 122-acre property, just beyond the bluffs of the Mississippi River? The answer in part depends on the extent of the environmental cleanup, which won’t be known until mid-2012. A tough economy also conspires to slow redevelopment of what will likely be a multimillion-dollar, years-long project of enormous complexity in one of the Twin Cities’ most-desirable neighborhoods. And there’s no consensus just yet on what the site — one of the last substantial tracts of land left for development in the Twin Cities — should become. That, too, depends on the extent of the site’s pollution.”
The Strib also adds its voice to those upset with the Obama administration’s decision to prohibit over-the-counter sales of the so-called “morning after” pill: “With an election year around the corner, the move could be a concession to the anti-abortion, anti-birth control crowd. Whatever their reasons, it’s disappointing to see an administration that promised to “return science to its rightful place” go so far afield from that pledge. Obama has said he would base his choices on evidence, not politics, and that he would listen to experts in technology, health and science. That approach was touted as a dramatic change from his predecessor, who regularly ignored research on everything from climate change to public health. In this case, the Obama administration disregarded FDA studies that found the Plan B pill to be safe and effective when sold over-the-counter to all females. Multiple studies agreed, concluding that young people were not more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior when they have unrestricted access to contraception.” I doubt Obama is counting on a landslide of pro-life, single-issue voters.
Catharine Richert, MPR’s PolitiGraph fact-checker, gives GOP Rep. Steve “The Draz” Drazkowski a “Misleading” for his claim that the country’s best-performing states, economically speaking, had enforced male-female only marriages. Says Richert: “Those who argue that banning same-sex marriage will be bad for the economy are wrong, he wrote in a November 21, 2011, opinion piece. ‘To the contrary, the facts show that states with a marriage protection amendment are our top performing economic states,’ he wrote. ‘For example, eight of the top 10 ‘best states for business’ according to a survey of 556 CEO’s by Chief Executive Magazine have a state marriage amendment in their constitution’. … Chief Executive Magazine Editor JP Donlon said that Drazkowski is wrong to link a ban on same-sex marriage to economic performance. ‘We neither looked or thought about such a correlation because it doesn’t have a bearing on a state’s performance one way or another,’ Donlon said. Rather, the survey asked the CEOs questions about taxes and regulatory issues, quality of workers and living environment in each state. It’s also useful to look at other rankings. For example, Forbes Magazine released its list in November, and it includes Iowa, where same-sex marriage is allowed. A recent study conducted by the Williams Institute found that legal same-sex marriage boosted the wedding and tourism industries in Iowa by upwards of $13 million.”
The Minneapolis impound lot story has echoes in St. Paul. Matt McKinney and Jane Friedmann of the Strib report: “The city of St. Paul has kept nearly a quarter-million dollars from impound lot auctions this year that should have gone to vehicle owners, city records show. The city’s practice of keeping all auction proceeds is outlined in Mayor Chris Coleman’s 2010 annual financial report, despite a state law and a city ordinance that says a chunk of it belongs to the people who failed to pick up their towed cars within 15 days. The amount from this year’s auctions that could be claimed by vehicle owners stands at $237,462 and counting, according to city records. It’s the largest haul in the past three years, a period during which the city generated some $515,497 in surplus auction proceeds.”
Ol’ Sooch served up another one Sunday in the PiPress. Sticker-shocked by property tax bills, Joe is most angry … about … the waste of money he sees going on all around him: “The other evening, the St. Paul City Council chambers were packed with residents who have awakened. They have awakened to the canard of “shifting tax burdens.” We are being sold the idea that, well, certainly your property taxes have increased because the Legislature cut back, or eliminated entirely, local government aid. I have never bought that one. For my city or county politicians to tell me that my property taxes are going up because the state has cut off funding the city relied on to continue its profligate ways is tantamount to a kid on a playground telling the other kids that his parents have shut down his allowance but that he found one of their credit cards and he intends to keep spending. The credit card they use is your house. We shouldn’t be buying it. It was your money in the first place, not the state’s, that was returning to the cities so that the cities could magnanimously tell you they found a way to hold down your property taxes. Utter nonsense.” Run that business with the kid and the credit card by me again, Joe.
Related … condo associations (as in not your city government), are having a hard time keeping up with repairs and such amid declining values. Mary Jane Smetanka at the Strib writes: “Empty units, foreclosures and residents who are frustrated that association dues are increasing even as home values sag have put associations and the residents they serve at loggerheads. In Hopkins, residents have sued the state’s largest homeowners association, charging mismanagement. In Eden Prairie, a man fought his association for the right to have birdhouses. Some cash-strapped homeowners have simply stopped paying their association dues. Add the emotion connected to home — the sanctuary, the castle, the biggest investment most people ever make — and confrontations can get serious. Some associations have hired off-duty police to provide security at meetings or sought restraining orders to keep residents away from board members.”
No word if this will keep him in the lineup … but Joe Mauer is getting married. The PiPress story by Charley “Shooter” Walters says: “Mauer, perhaps Minnesota’s most eligible bachelor, on Saturday became engaged to fellow Cretin-Derham Hall graduate Maddie Bisanz. Mauer, 28, the Minnesota Twins catcher, proposed to Bisanz, a St. Paul nurse, in Sanibel, Fla. ‘A place that is special to both of us,’ Mauer said Sunday from Florida. ‘We couldn’t be happier, and we’re both really excited.’ No wedding date has been set. The couple has been friends for about seven years and has been dating for about 1-1/2 years. ‘I was hoping for a yes and she said yes,’ Mauer said when he proposed. ‘I’m getting to marry my best friend.’ “
Up at the Grand Forks Herald, veteran sportswriter Ryan Bakken takes his shot at persuading Vikings fans to become “shareholders” in their favorite team: “Green Bay is the only publicly owned NFL team. It has sold almost 5 million shares to more than 100,000 stockholders. And it’s currently selling another 250,000 shares to finance a $143 million improvement of Lambeau Field. In the first two days, it sold 185,000 shares at $250 apiece. Given the team’s success, you may think this is a wise investment. It would be, except the shares are worthless other than for bragging rights about being an ‘owner’ of the world champions. That’s because the stock never increases in value and dividends are never awarded. All profits are reinvested in the team; there’s no billionaire owner taking his cut to finance a jet with mink seat covers. Even though it’s a worthless piece of paper, the stock certificate means bragging rights, which have high value in our brash society. Besides, ownership means they honestly can use the word ‘we’ when talking about the team. They honestly can wear team jerseys with their last names on the back.”