Gov. Dayton needs a Plan B. Tim Pugmire at MPR checks out the Guv’s options after a judge stopped the planned vote on unionizing day care providers: “In a statement, Dayton said he respects the court’s decision, and that he plans to meet with the Attorney General Lori Swanson to consider the administration’s next step. …Two labor unions, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union, have been trying to organize child care providers for several years. Jennifer Munt, a spokeswoman for AFSCME Council 5, said working with the Dayton administration offered providers the kind of support they could never expect from Republican lawmakers. ‘Folks, if we took unionization to the Legislature, we all know what the verdict would be on that’, Munt said. ‘What we’re trying to do is make sure that the people who do the work have a voice in the decisions that affect them and the families that they serve.’ Union concerns about the GOP Legislature appear well-founded. ‘There’s no way that we’re going to unionize day care providers in the state,’ said state Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie.” … Who deserves points for bluntness.
It appears Republicans everywhere have forgotten Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment. Tom Scheck of MPR follows up on the weekend’s excitement within the state GOP: “Michael Brodkorb, who left his post as deputy chairman in October to help run a congressional campaign, said party activists should focus on electing candidates who can win in November. ‘If we’re shortsighted and only focus on electing ideological purists that can’t win the general election, we’re not serving our party,’ he said. ‘At the end of the day, we need to win elections. And ultimately nominating the Bill Buckner of Republican politics was probably not, in retrospect, the smartest idea.’ Brodkorb was referring to Tom Emmer, the Republican nominee for governor in 2010. Brodkorb, who blames Emmer and his staff for the party’s financial problems, said Emmer’s campaign made it difficult for the party to raise money. He also said the recount in the governor’s race added to the party’s financial problems.” Is there an irony limit to someone like Brodkorb complaining about “ideological purists”?
Do not procrastinate on state park camping reservations. Dennis Lien of the PiPress reports: “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Monday the parks reservation system will be unavailable from Dec. 27 until Feb. 29 while it’s being transferred to a different private vendor and being upgraded. ‘We anticipate it will be a much more user-friendly system,’ said Patricia Arndt, DNR parks and trails division outreach manager. ‘We anticipate the public will like this much more than it has in the past. We want to take the time to build it right.’ ”
Shades of the satanic cult frenzy of the late ’80s/early ’90s. David Hanners of the PiPress covers the Mendota Heights woman who “… claims the head of an eating disorder clinic in Missouri used hypnosis to plant disturbing memories in her head so he could continue treating her and bill her insurer. Among the memories Lisa Marie Nasseff claims were planted: That she had been a member of a St. Paul satanic cult that sacrificed an infant and ate its flesh, that she had been sexually abused and that she possessed as many as 20 distinct personalities. Nasseff, 41, has worked in public relations and now lives in Mendota Heights. Last month, she filed a malpractice suit against Castlewood Treatment Center of St. Louis, along with its clinical co-director, Mark Schwartz, alleging that none of the troubling memories Schwartz claimed to have recovered under hypnosis were true. … Nasseff’s suit alleges Schwartz hypnotized her ‘at a time when she was under the influence of various psychotropic medications,’ and that during the sessions, he ‘directly caused or contributed to cause the creation, reinforcement, or increase in plaintiff’s mind, of false memories.’ Those false memories included that she had suffered physical and sexual abuse, that she’d been raped several times, that she’d suffered satanic ritual abuse and that she was a member of a satanic cult in St. Paul that ‘perpetuated various criminal and horrific acts of abuse.’ “
The Utne Reader’s Minnesota pedigree will soon be entirely gone. Tad Vezner of the PiPress says: “The Twin Cities-based Utne Reader will be moving to Kansas, though none of its current staff will be going with it. The alternative magazine’s seven editorial staff members heard in mid-November that the publication’s owner, Ogden Publications, wants to consolidate the bimonthly’s offices with those of its other eight magazines — all in Topeka, Kan. The Utne Reader is the only magazine property owned by Ogden that’s not located in Topeka. The Utne Reader’s editor in chief, David Schimke, said Monday that none of the current staff wanted to move —though he estimated the publication likely wouldn’t have had room for all of them anyway.”
The Strib picks up Alexandra Petri’s Washington Post commentary on Our Favorite Congresswoman’s most recent gobsmacker (at least I think its her most recent): “[She said] in a response to another student: ‘Every American citizen has the right to avail themselves to marriage, but they have to follow what the laws are. And the laws are you marry a person of the opposite sex.’ Cue the sound of a thousand heads hitting a thousand desks. I’m glad Bachmann wasn’t there for history. ‘Why can’t Rosa Parks sit at the front of the bus’? ‘She can sit,, Bachmann would say. ‘She can sit at the back of the bus.’ I’m glad she isn’t my waiter. ‘Is there a vegetarian option’? ‘The vegetarian option is steak,’ Bachmann would say, not blinking an eye. ‘Is there a way for people in wheelchairs to access the sixth floor’? ‘There’s a way. They can take the stairs,’ Bachmann would say. … As Bachmann would say, ‘We allow you to express different beliefs. You can express different beliefs that agree with us.’ I’m glad she’s here to keep things straight.”
(The Real) Today in Bachmannia: Jerry McGlothlin runs a speakers bureau that places guests on radio shows hosted by guys like Rush limbaugh and Michael Savage. On the (far, far) right World Net Daily site, he does some biblical interpretation that bodes well for Our Gal: “The book of Judges, in Chapters 4 and 5, explains an eerily similar pattern to today’s political and economic state of America. Ancient Israel had fallen on tough times. They had rejected Yahweh God and embraced the ways of the world. They were surrounded by their enemies, and their men didn’t have the moral fortitude to do what was necessary to survive. Enter Deborah, a prophetess, a righteous judge and a “Mother in Israel” (read: Rep. Bachmann with five biological children and 23 foster kids). … Today, in our quest for a moral champion, we have witnessed a long line of conservative men who had their shot and failed. Rick Perry entered both barrels blazing, but floundered. Herman Cain went from frontrunner to a perceived moral failure. While Ron Paul is a professing pro-life Christian, he refuses to end abortion, and being of the “libertarian” denomination, he leaves important moral matters like abortion and drug use to individual states to decide. The problem is that as long as there is a single state that allows abortion, people will cross state lines to get what they want. Robotic Romney with never so much as a hair out of place, has double trouble being from two problematic denominations to Christians: 1) He’s a Mormon and 2) he’s a liberal. And with Cain quitting amidst suspicions of moral failure, how will Newt Gingrich survive the public scrutiny over cheating on his first wife and marrying his mistress, only to cheat on her and marry again? And alas, Huntsman is a younger version of Bob Dole. That leaves Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann. And while Santorum stands for the right issues, he has proven to be shaky in the heat of battle, inexplicably backing a string of liberals, including the infamous liberal Republican Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania instead of staunch conservative Pat Toomey. Bottom line: The only man left standing is a woman. Her name is Michele Bachman [sic], and she’s set for a second surge.”
Two of the brighter members of the state Legislature, both sadly out of office, offer a Strib commentary on a couple of tiiiiny details preventing the state from opening a casino just because they feel like it. DFLer Gene Merriam and the GOP’s Dennis Ozment write: “Tribal casinos exist in Minnesota and throughout the country because of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which was passed by Congress in 1988 and supersedes state gambling prohibitions. An 18-page opinion issued by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office in March 2005 concludes that a state-run casino does not fall under the definition of the state lottery as understood and approved by voters and ‘that the operation of slot machines, roulette wheels or craps by the State would violate Article XIII, Section 5 of the Minnesota Constitution.’ The opinion further states that in order to pursue creation of any state-run casino, the governor and Legislature should ‘first seek approval of a constitutional amendment from the voters.’ There is another constitutional problem with these proposals. The only possible way for these proposals to be considered legal is to conclude that they are authorized under the constitutional provision creating the state lottery. This is the opposite of the conclusion in the attorney general’s opinion.”
Minnesota’s most prominent conservative bloggers are oddly quiet about the party’s exciting weekend. But at Shot in the Dark, Mitch Berg takes a run at it: “[I]f you look at the [state party’s] budget today, it’s hard to tell where the money went, or who we even owe money to. And it’s causing quite a bit of dissent within the party; at last weekend’s Central Committee meeting, the budget — which normally gets rubber-stamped without a lot of thought by a room full of delegates that just want to get out of there — was tabled until a meeting in the near future. And that is going to be a donnybrook, as new Deputy and Acting Chair Kelly Fenton and the remains of Sutton’s Executive Committee face a Central Committee that is laced with dissenters who are looking for solid answers. And the media just loves it; as the Party airs three years of dirty laundry in public and monday-morning-quarterbacks the 2010 election cycle. (Anyone seeing the wisdom of the DFL’s approach — not really being a party at all — yet? All of this happens in private, in the offices of non-profits that answer only to themselves and their hand-picked boards, with not an iota of elected scrutiny). The media — which is, now and always, in the bag for the DFL — is going to love this. And yet the GOP — which, for all its faults, is the only actual transparent political party in this state (if only because nobody, but nobody, cares about the Independence Party) — is going to have to get through some of this BS to go forward.” … But just “some” of it.