GOP’s David Hann: No ‘Obamacare’ legislation until after the election

Putting health care reform into effect in Minnesota will be getting a serious push … and plenty of resistance. Tom Scheck of MPR writes: “Minnesota and the other states are responsible for delivering a large part of the health insurance coverage created under the law. The first piece, an expansion of Medicaid, was initially delayed by former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. But [Gov. Mark] Dayton, a Democrat, put it in place in early 2011. … The other cornerstone of the federal law is a state-based health insurance exchange. … Expecting the court to reject the law, the Republican majority in the Legislature balked at providing ideas for an exchange and argued the governor cannot create the exchange without legislative input. … Republican Sen. David Hann, chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, is willing to wait a few more months. Like many other Republicans nationally, Hann of Eden Prairie, hopes Republicans will win the White House, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House in November. Hann said he won’t offer any legislation to create an exchange until he sees the outcome of the election.” And that’s how the Constitution meant for it to happen.

Really? A “third downtown”? In Brooklyn Park? Maria Elena Baca of the Strib reports: “VIPs in hard hats signaled the start of a Target corporate expansion that will bring about 3,000 jobs to Brooklyn Park. Beyond that, city officials hope the project will fuel their efforts to transform 1,500 acres in the undeveloped north end into a ‘third downtown.’ Target, based in Minneapolis, already has a large presence in Brooklyn Park. With Thursday’s groundbreaking for two additional eight-story buildings, the city is announcing that the north end is open for business, said Community Development Director Jason Aarsvold. Brooklyn Park has high aspirations: Officials aim to attract a bevy of multistory corporate buildings and industrial projects along Hwy. 610 and at the end of the proposed Bottineau Transitway.” A real “downtown” will inevitably need its own stadium, right?

Not … what you’d call a clean getaway. Paul Walsh of the Strib writes: “A suspected thief with police in pursuit slammed an SUV into a Blaine home early Friday and was killed, authorities said. The crash happened shortly after 2:30 a.m. at a home in the 10400 block of Terrace Road, police said. The identity of the 31-year-old man has yet to be released. According to police: A caller to 911 said she saw a man looking through several cars near 107th Avenue and Presidents Drive NE. She reported seeing the man get in an SUV and drive away. … Moments later, an officer saw a cloud of dust and smoke ahead. The SUV had crashed into the house. Two people in the home were upstairs and awakened by the crash. They were helped by police from the house and were uninjured. ‘I was in shock,’ homeowner Jeff Salmi told KMSP-TV, Channel 9. ‘I thought it was a bad dream or a nightmare.’ ” Ditto, the thief.

At The Huffington Post (via the AP), Jeff Baenen tells readers about Minnesota’s Drive-a-Tank operation: “A business named Drive-a-Tank offers drivers the chance to pilot surplus military tanks and other armored vehicles around an old limestone quarry and smash junk cars like an action movie hero. The ride is loud, grinding, hot and dirty – ideal for satisfying one’s inner Rambo. ‘It was awesome. I mean, controlling that machine, it’s incredible,’ said Jacob Ostling, 19, of New Canaan, Conn., among the customers who took a turn under the turret on a recent Saturday and flattened a car in an explosion of glass. Owner Tony Borglum, a construction and heavy equipment contractor, opened the tank park three years ago after seeing similar attractions during a visit to England. He said he knew it would fit nicely into American culture — a more visceral version of what millions of guys are doing in video games anyway.”

The Glean“Dracula” was drying out in Duluth. Christa Lawler of the News Tribune says: “The Minnesota Ballet was maybe the hardest-hit local arts organization, with an estimated 90 percent of sets and backdrops affected by last week’s flood. On Thursday, the ballet was tending to its most recent original production, “Dracula,” by spreading out warped, molded and otherwise damaged pieces from the set in the lot adjacent to a storage space on Winter Street in Superior. ‘I’m just going through emotional upheavals,’ said artistic director Robert Gardner. The ballet’s storage area at US Bank in West Duluth was shin-deep with water after the flood. The space was cleared out and damaged drops were hung to dry over the stage at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.” Soggy wooden stakes ain’t gonna cut it.

“Unprecedented” is being used again to describe the sediment from the flood now in Lake Superior. The AP reports: “Hundreds of tons of material fouled the lake miles out from river mouths. Boaters have reported entire trees floating in the lake, and satellite photos show a ring of brown around the Twin Ports, the near North Shore and up the South Shore to Chequamegon Bay. The erosion spill may be unprecedented, said Erik Brown, acting director of the Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota Duluth. And the muddy mix isn’t just at the top of Lake Superior, Brown said. ‘We had people out on the water taking samples, and it was the same right down to the bottom at 100 feet deep … They were recording essentially zero light penetration from the top to the bottom’.”

Saturday marks the end of the Heating Degree Season. (So the play-offs must start, I’m guessing?) At MPR, Paul Huttner writes: “The Minnesota State Climatology Office noted this week as the annual Heating Degree Day (HDD) season (July 1 to June 30) comes to an end, that 2011-2012 brought a new record low number for HDD with only 5852. The previous record low value was 6611 recorded in 2005-2006. HDD are calculated using the mean daily temperature when it falls below a base of 65 degrees F. Thus on a day with a mean daily temperature value (maximum + minimum/2) of 50 F, the HDD value would be 15. These are accumulated daily as an index for energy use to heat homes and commercial buildings.
I further crunched some numbers for comparison.
5852 — new record low HDD for the past year
25% savings in home heating costs vs. average
( 7823 HDD in 121 years of HDD records)
36% savings vs. the coldest year (9082 HDD) on record in 1903-’04.

Bottom line? The last 12 months have been the warmest on record for Minnesota.” Proof of the “climate hoax” only grows.

In a parking ramp? The PiPress story on the woman found stabbed to death in a Minneapolis ramp last week says: “Authorities say a woman found dead in a downtown Minneapolis parking ramp last weekend had fatally stabbed herself. The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office on Thursday … identified the woman as Kimberly Bernice Peterson, 45.”

Slow and modest … but growth. The McClatchey papers report: “Minnesota exporters managed to deliver growth in the first quarter, but barely, as slowing economies in Asia and a European debt crisis put pressure on sales. The state’s exports reached a first-quarter record of $4.9 billion, but it represented just 2 percent growth from the same period a year ago and a sluggish pace of growth compared to last year’s pace. The state’s export growth compares to a 9 percent pace in U.S. exports for the same quarter. In Minnesota, manufacturing represented the largest share of exports during the quarter, ringing up $4.5 billion in sales.”

Your Second Amendment freedoms at work … Chao Xiong of the Strib writes: “Young women in Minnesota are being pressured to buy guns for criminals in exchange for cash — a trend rarely seen across the country, authorities said on Thursday. Women younger than 30 are being recruited by men ineligible to buy guns because of their criminal records, said Bernard Zapor, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ St. Paul division. ‘It’s an anomaly for us,’ Zapor said, adding that there are no concrete numbers on the trend. In most cases the women know the men. They’re handed cash to buy a gun that is immediately turned over to the ex-felon, an exchange called a ‘straw purchase.’ Sometimes, they aren’t paid at all. … Gun activity in Minnesota also is unusual for other reasons: Many of the guns used in street violence are legally purchased in the state, and criminals tend to keep guns used in crimes. Guns are used in a crime an average of two to three years after their legal purchase, Zapor said.” Get Darrell Issa on this ASAP.

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Comments (16)

  1. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 06/29/2012 - 02:51 pm.

    Are you serious?

    “Your Second Amendment freedoms at work…”

    Illegal purchases of guns for criminal purposes has nothing to do with the lawful exercise of rights under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, Mr. Lambert. Do you really believe what you write, or are you just baiting people?

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 06/29/2012 - 03:51 pm.

      Well, Neal, in Arizona that was exactly what “Fast and Furious” was about:


      ……..It was nearly impossible in Arizona to bring a case against a straw purchaser. The federal prosecutors there did not consider the purchase of a huge volume of guns, or their handoff to a third party, sufficient evidence to seize them. A buyer who certified that the guns were for himself, then handed them off minutes later, hadn’t necessarily lied and was free to change his mind. Even if a suspect bought 10 guns that were recovered days later at a Mexican crime scene, this didn’t mean the initial purchase had been illegal. ….

      ………For prosecutors, straw-purchasing cases were hard to prove and unrewarding to prosecute, with minimal penalties attached. In December 2010, five U.S. Attorneys along the Southwest border, including Burke in Arizona, wrote to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, asking that penalties for straw purchasing be increased. The commission did increase the recommended jail time by a few months. But because the straw purchasers, by definition, have no criminal record and there is no firearms-trafficking statute that would allow prosecutors to charge them with conspiracy as a group, the penalties remain low.

      Prosecutors repeatedly rebuffed Voth’s requests. After examining one suspect’s garbage, agents learned he was on food stamps yet had plunked down more than $300,000 for 476 firearms in six months. Voth asked if the ATF could arrest him for fraudulently accepting public assistance when he was spending such huge sums. Prosecutor Hurley said no. In another instance, a young jobless suspect paid more than $10,000 for a 50-caliber tripod-mounted sniper rifle. According to Voth, Hurley told the agents they lacked proof that he hadn’t bought the gun for himself……

      (end quote)

      I suspect you should take up the issue of straw purchases with the NRA that has successfully suppressed every attempt to address the issue. The NRA has made the sub-rosa sheltering of straw purchasers another constitutional battleground.

      • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/01/2012 - 09:06 pm.

        That’s “federal prosecutors” not “NRA prosecutors”.

        Mr. Rovick quoted:

        “The federal prosecutors there did not consider the purchase of a huge volume of guns, or their handoff to a third party, sufficient evidence to seize them. A buyer who certified that the guns were for himself, then handed them off minutes later, hadn’t necessarily lied and was free to change his mind. Even if a suspect bought 10 guns that were recovered days later at a Mexican crime scene, this didn’t mean the initial purchase had been illegal.”

        It appears to be a dereliction of duty – or complete absence of common sense – on the part of federal prosecutors.

        • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/02/2012 - 09:07 am.

          The question is “Who is standing the way of effective and punitive “straw purchase” laws?

          It’s the NRA, in their never-ending quest to prevent any sort of gun regulations.

          The prosecutors, in no way, can win a case where they have to prove an all but invisible intent to turn over the guns to criminals at the time of purchase. And if they win, it’s a relatively minor penalty for the buyer, who, by definition, has no prior record.

          Thank the NRA for that.

          Who do you think has been beating the “Fast and Furious” drum for years now? The NRA.

          Who has never pushed for higher penalties for “straw purchasers”? The NRA.

          • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/02/2012 - 09:51 pm.

            Straw purchases are already illegal.

            “It shall be unlawful…for any person in connection with the acquisition or attempted acquisition of any firearm or ammunition from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, knowingly to make any false or fictitious oral or written statement or to furnish or exhibit any false, fictitious, or misrepresented identification, intended or likely to deceive such importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of such firearm or ammunition under the provisions of this chapter…”[1]

            [1] Title 18, Section 922(a)(6), United States Code.

    • Submitted by Pete Barrett on 06/29/2012 - 05:21 pm.

      Reel ’em In

      I guess he caught one…

  2. Submitted by Mark Stromseth on 06/29/2012 - 03:41 pm.

    The Circle of Illogic

    Neal, your apparent belief that the Second Amendment says something other than what it actually says no doubt stems from your existence in an alternate universe, where up is down and black is white. You seem to believe the NRA moutpiece when they tell you over and over again that you have a right to keep a gun or as many guns as you like, and even carry a concealed weapon on you, just in case those terrible bad guys have one. You can save the day and shoot them before they shoot you!

    In fact, the Second Amendment as written does not give you any of those rights. The fact that you, the NRA, right wing politicians, and the right wing of the Supreme Court want to ignore the plain text of that amendment makes no difference. It says:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    In other words, if the US or an individual state was under attack or an imminent threat of attack, the people have the right to keep and bear arms to defend themselves and the State or country against such an attack. In no way does that give you or anyone else the right to buy guns for recreation, much less buy lots of them, including assault weapons that have no legitimate purpose for any individual. That’s how guns end up in the hands of criminals and then get used to kill large numbers of people quickly.

    The fact that Darrell Issa and his ilk are trying to scapegoat others for the results of their own party’s political machinations over the years regarding the “Fast and Furious” debacle is evidence that neither he nor any of them have a clue as to the consequences of their actions. And the fact that their entire “investigation” has blown up in their face is even more evidence.

    • Submitted by Ameer Hashw on 06/30/2012 - 09:32 am.

      “Nowhere else in the Constitution does a “right” attributed to “the people” refer to anything other than an individual right. What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention “the people,” the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset. This contrasts markedly with the phrase “the militia” in the prefatory clause. As we will describe below, the “militia” in colonial America consisted of a subset of “the people”— those who were male, able bodied, and within a certain age range. Reading the Second Amendment as protecting only the right to “keep and bear Arms” in an organized militia therefore fits poorly with the operative clause’s description of the holder of that right as “the people””


  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/29/2012 - 04:33 pm.

    I’m pretty sure…

    that the “Dont offer legislation until after the election” subsection is contained somewhere in the “Walk out of Congress in a huff when you don’t like what is being voted on” clause of the “Run away to another state and hide until after the legislative session is over to keep the vote from happening” amendment.

    Glad to help; I’m a helper.

    • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 06/30/2012 - 08:38 am.

      Rather silly

      for Hann to make the boast that there will be no Obama care legislation introduced until after the election.

      Is the legislature in session?

      And of course Mr. Swift’s usual gibes are meaningless. These clauses and amendments of which he speaks – in what document are they to be found?

      The reactions of Republicans, or at least the right wing, have been almost comical. Days before the Supreme Court decision they were crowing that Obama would be schooled on the Constitution. It did not turn out that way. Take the medicine.

      Time to get to work and make the Affordable Care Act function for all Americans? As the New York Times pointed out, this decision is going to be very difficult to turn back. Will “ObamaCare” – actually RomneyCare – become yet another Rowe v Wade for the right wing of the Republican party?

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 07/02/2012 - 02:38 pm.

        Another helper!

        “These clauses and amendments of which he speaks – in what document are they to be found?”

        When Prof Gleason trips over a clue, he sweeps it up so no one else gets hurt.

  4. Submitted by Tim Droogsma on 06/30/2012 - 04:39 am.

    Not just snarky, but stupid as well

    Lambert’s feeble attempt to be clever with the little “that’s how the constitution meant for it to happen” shows a real ignorance of the legislative process.

    Brian may not know this, but the Minnesota Legislature is adjourned, sine die, and CANNOT meet until after the next election unless called into special session by the governor. Even if Sen. Hann WANTED to offer legislation to create an exchange (which, thank goodness, he doesn’t), it couldn’t be introduced until next year.

    Unless Lambert’s position is that Gov. Dayton needs to call a special session to establish a health insurance exchange that, by law, doesn’t have to be in place until January 1, 2014, his comment makes no sense at all. Waiting until after the election IS “how the constitution meant for it to happen.”

    Fortunately we have people like Sen. Hann who know more about the Constitution and the law than snarky little journalists do.

  5. Submitted by Kelly Guncheon on 06/30/2012 - 09:07 am.

    Who’s Hann representing?

    Health care exchanges will benefit small businesses, provide real marketplace competition amongst health insurers, and ultimately lower costs. How can Hann oppose them? His intransigence seems to be for the sake of ideology, or perhaps it’s just because he’s a sore loser.

  6. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 07/01/2012 - 09:06 pm.

    Well, at least our energy costs are going down

    We’ll save money on heating costs, our growing season is longer, more boaters are out on Lake Minnetonka, we’ll spend less on snow removal. The only thing I haven’t figured out is how Duluth is having more 2 plus inch rainfuls per year, yet the Lake Superior water level (until last week) has been steadlily decreasing by large amounts for years.

    • Submitted by Dan Landherr on 07/03/2012 - 09:14 am.

      More evaporation when it is hotter

      If there is open water for a longer period of time you will see more evaporation on Lake Superior. An extra rainfall or two isn’t enough to compensate.

  7. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/02/2012 - 09:45 am.

    At least he’s Consistent….

    Look, Hann’s just a Republican who’s saying “I’m not gonna do anything”. How’s that any different from what he and his fellow Republicans did all of last session?

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