Feds say ‘no’ to homeowner aid for flood victims

The feds have said “no,” and our state folks are not pleased. Peter Passi of the Duluth News Tribune reports: “Minnesota state officials said Wednesday they will appeal the federal government’s decision that private property owners in the Northland, collectively, don’t have enough flood damage to require federal assistance. W. Craig Engate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told Gov. Mark Dayton in a letter that damage to dwellings from the flooding that began June 19 ‘was not of such severity and magnitude as to warrant the implementation of individual assistance.’ Duluth Mayor Don Ness strongly disagreed. … teams surveyed more than 1,100 homes and found, based on FEMA classifications, 17 destroyed, 154 with major damage, 419 with minor damage and 479 others at least affected by the floods.”

At MPR, Tim Nelson and Conrad Wilson add: “Even if the state is successful in its appeal, few people would likely qualify for the assistance, according to Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook. He represents parts of the region impacted by the flooding. ‘Most home owners would’ve been offered a loan that they would’ve had to pay back,’ Bakk said. ‘As far as grant money going for individuals, there’s a very small number of people that probably would’ve qualified for that.’ ”

The big dogs are getting involved in the American Crystal Sugar lockout. Dan Gunderson of MPR says: “A national union leader says he plans to turn up the heat on American Crystal Sugar over the lockout of 1,300 union workers. AFL- CIO President Richard Trumka said the union is stepping in to escalate the one-year-old lockout by American Crystal Sugar. ‘We pledge to coordinate and support the efforts to highlight American Crystal Sugar’s total disregard for its employees and to make them a poster child for corporate greed and profit over employees,’ Trumka said. He said the union will bring additional resources to the labor dispute and attempt to pressure American Crystal to return to the bargaining table.”

The “repressed memory” strategy didn’t cut it. Doug Glass of the AP reports: “The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday, July 25, tossed out a clergy abuse lawsuit by a man whose case rested on a repressed memory claim, siding with a lower court’s ruling that repressed memory is an unproven theory. James Keenan sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, claiming that as a teenager he was sexually abused four times in 1980 or 1981 by Thomas Adamson, a priest since defrocked. … Keenan brought his claim in 2006, well outside the state’s six-year statute of limitations, but argued that it should be allowed because he repressed memories of the abuse. A district court rejected that claim, but the state Court of Appeals revived it last year.”

There are some things you don’t mess with, and a man’s parking spot is one of them. Maricella Miranda of the PiPress says: “A Farmington man has been accused of attacking a man and threatening him with a butcher knife over a parking spot at an apartment complex. Robert Scott Meyer, 18, was charged in Dakota County District Court with felony second-degree assault and a lesser charge of fourth-degree criminal damage to property in connection with the July 13 incident, according to a criminal complaint filed last week. … the man who was attacked honked his horn because Meyer’s vehicle was parked in his assigned parking spot at the complex on 220th Street West in Farmington. [Andrew] Jensen, who lived there, brought the knife to Meyer in the parking lot. Meyer chased the man for about a block, trying to stab him.”

The company that built Minneapolis’ troubled Sabo bridge is getting cut out of work for the Southwest Light Rail link. At the Strib, Pat Doyle says: “In a move that could end up costing millions of dollars, the agency overseeing the future Southwest Corridor light-rail line on Wednesday scrapped plans to award a major contract to a firm linked to the troubled Sabo bridge. The Metropolitan Council carved up a $94 million engineering contract rather than give all the work to its first choice, URS Corp., which has come under scrutiny for its role in designing the bike and pedestrian bridge that was suddenly shut for repairs earlier this year. But there was unusual public dissension among council members, with one worrying that the new plan could cause delays, adding $20 million to the cost of the project.”

Newt to the defense! Maggie Haberman at Politico covers (yet another) Newt Gingrich talk show appearance: “Newt Gingrich, appearing with Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen on POLITICO Live’s Driving the Day this morning, defended Rep. Michele Bachmann for asking questions about the Muslim Brotherhood — and declined to hit his former presidential rival for raising questions about Hillary Rodham Clinton aide Huma Abedin. ‘There weren’t allegations, there was a question,’ Gingrich told VandeHei and Allen, adding, ‘the question ought to be asked across the board’ about the Muslim Brotherhood’s relationship with and goals in the U.S. are. When it was pointed out to him that other Republicans, such as Sen. John McCain and House Speaker John Boehner, have hit Bachmann for a form of a witch hunt, he said, “I think those folks are wrong … what is it they’re afraid of learning?”

At the conservative Town Hall site, Cal Thomas writes: “Like the ghosts of Shakespeare’s Banquo or Dickens’ Jacob Marley, the specter of the late commie-hunting congressman from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, will always be with us. It is summoned up today, by some on the left, who use it as a tool to thwart legitimate questions about people and ideologies that seek to destroy America.  According to many commentators, the McCarthy spirit has inhabited Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). … Sen. John McCain says Abedin is ‘a dedicated American.’ Even if he is correct, the larger issue is being obscured. Many in government and the media don’t want to face the possibility that infiltration is a tactic of Islamic extremists who repeatedly say they want to destroy not only Israel but the ‘Great Satan’ America. Such objectives should be taken seriously, given their violent history.” Don’t you get the feeling old Cal is itching to strap on the ammo belts and go at ’em?

The son only a mother could love will do a year in the work house. Kevin Duchschere of the Strib says: “An Eagan man will serve a year in the county workhouse and pay restitution of $111,000 for emptying his mother’s retirement nest egg of hundreds of thousands of dollars, a case that brought to life the growing financial abuse of seniors. Ward Allen Knutson, 47, was taken into custody Wednesday after being sentenced by Hennepin District Judge Kerry Meyer, who said she decided against prison time for Knutson to give him every chance to pay back what he owes to his mother and to get psychological help for his gambling and other issues. But Meyer also put Knutson on probation for 20 years, an unusually long time, and ruled that if he violates any of several conditions he would go to prison for 42 months.”

In a Strib commentary, Myron Orfield and William McGeveran swat down interpretations that suggest the secretary of state has no role in titling ballot measures: “Supporters of two state constitutional amendments up for a vote this November object to the ballot titles that Secretary of State Mark Richie has chosen. They’ve sued to overturn them. At the same time, Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, declared that Ritchie had ‘thrown the Constitution and established case law out the window to serve his political interests’ (‘Ritchie’s rewording is out of bounds,’ July 19). Actually, our state’s Constitution does provide quite a clear answer in this dispute — but it’s not the answer amendment supporters want to hear. … A Minnesota law, first enacted in 1919, says, ‘The secretary of state shall provide an appropriate title’ for every question on the ballot. (Notice that’s ‘shall,’ not ‘may’ — and that it’s ‘appropriate,’ not ‘whatever the proposal’s boosters prefer.’)”

Comments (21)

  1. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 07/26/2012 - 07:18 am.

    Oiling the squeaky wheel I do wonder?

    Possibly Neighborhood Block Grant funds could be used for residential flood damage for home owners so affected?

    Hopefully FEMA funds will not be used for eating establishments in Canal Park who already were ‘rewarded’ indirectly,by pr funds from the city to benefit; rather compensate bad press as initially claimed, slowing down tourism in the city thus affecting business for some hotels and one publicized restaurant where many eating establishments reside on the waterfront?

    Duluth would be wise to check the fairness and foibles of government funds used to restore a greater flood issue, Minot North Dakota where a year later many problems are yet to be solved?

    The residents of Thomson… there is a greater tragedy. Plus small pockets of Duluth’s residential which do not affect tourism but do destroy the homes of so many…essentially without pr funds to publicize their particular plight and now, no helping hand from FEMA?

  2. Submitted by Tim Walker on 07/26/2012 - 07:47 am.

    Yes, ol’ Cal IS itching to strap on the ammo belts

    Don’t you get the feeling old Cal is itching to strap on the ammo belts and go at ’em?

    Yep.

    After all, Cal encouraged the U.S. to drop atomic bombs on Iraq in the ’90-’91 Persian Gulf War.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 07/26/2012 - 07:50 am.

    Let’s Face It

    Many of our “conservative” friends who have lately wanted to use the constitution and the courts to overturn laws simply because they don’t like those laws,…

    and to amend the Constitution so that future generations will have their lives forever limited by the current “conservative” generation’s take on reality,…

    are not exactly constitutional (nor legal) scholars.

    The truth is, our “conservative” friends’ tend not to base their beliefs on a clear and thoughtful approach to the Bible, the constitution, nor even economics.

    Rather, they form their beliefs based on what they NEED to be true, then search for proof that they’re right in what they believe while attacking/ignoring/dismissing any and all verses of the Bible, segments of the constitution, and actual people who point out and provide evidence that they might be incorrect or, at the least, misguided in their beliefs, perspectives, and approaches to discovering what’s true.

    Constitutional amendments were not designed to chisel the past into political granite, but to incorporate newer and more adequate understanding of the nature of humans and human society in ways that could not have been foreseen by the founders.

    Once the current crop of backward-looking amendments are defeated, I can only hope future attempts at amendment look toward the future, rather than trying to make the past permanent.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 07/26/2012 - 09:31 am.

    With fewer than 200

    homes destroyed or having sustained major damage, I’d think that we in Minnesota can provide adequate support on our own. How much and in what form is open for discussion.

    The larger lesson here is that we all should assess the possibility that our homes might be hit by flooding and take appropriate steps to address those risks, whether they be federal flood insurance or landscaping changes. Flood insurance premium quotations are available online at many sites and at no cost.

  5. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/26/2012 - 09:35 am.

    Gingrich is right

    All Bachmann said was that an investigation should be conducted. What are they afraid of learning?

    Huma Abedin’s mother is a leader of the Muslim Sisterhood. Not “was,” IS.

    How did she get a security clearance high enough to be working as the direct aid to the Secretary of State? That seems rather bizarre.

    I held a Top Secret security clearance when I worked with crypto as part of my job as a submarine navigator. I can guarantee you that if a member of my immediate family was a leader of a group considered to be a terrorist organization, I would have been denied a clearance.

    So let’s do that investigation and let the chips fall where they may. A reasonable man would question anyone’s motives who would oppose such an investigation.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 07/26/2012 - 11:43 am.

      “…a group considered to be a terrorist organization…”

      The Muslim Brotherhood is not on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, nor the Muslim Sisterhood, either.

      I know you’ll be thrilled that this fact in the very first step in the investigation is so clear and easy to come by, and I know from your comments above that you’re not afraid of learning. You know, being “A reasonable man” and all.

      • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/26/2012 - 04:19 pm.

        “…a group considered to be a terrorist organization…”

        “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine.”

        Article Two, The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement, 1988.

        I know you’ll be thrilled, Mr. Titterud, that this fact in the very first step in the investigation is so clear and easy to come by, and I know from your comments above that you’re not afraid of learning. You know, being “A reasonable man” and all.

        • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 07/26/2012 - 06:18 pm.

          Strange comment – the Islamic Resistance Movement is also not

          …in the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations.

          So – what is your point ??

          • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/27/2012 - 06:43 am.

            My point is

            the Islamic Resistance Movement is on the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

            http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm

            • Submitted by Pat Berg on 07/27/2012 - 09:07 am.

              And your original quote . . . .

              read “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine.”

              Which would mean that the Islamic Resistance Movement is a SUBSET (or perhaps an intersecting set – you do remember your high school geometry, I hope) of the Muslim Brotherhood. What applies to the Islamic Resistance Movement cannot be said to apply to the Muslim Brotherhood as a whole. Which is why attempting to indict the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization based on the classification of the Islamic Resistance Movement is an invalid statement.

              • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/29/2012 - 10:44 pm.

                Two points

                – Ikhwan as a designated terrorist organization listed as such by the United States
                – Ikhwan as a jihadist organization that engages in or sponsors terrorist activities, though not listed as a designated terrorist organization.

                As noted from their Covenant, the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of the Ikhwan. They are one of the same.

                • Submitted by Pat Berg on 07/30/2012 - 04:35 pm.

                  Um . . . . . no

                  I looked through the list on your previous link. It does not show either of your spellings (“Ikwan”, “Ikhwan”), Nor does it show “Muslim Brotherhood” or “Moslem Brotherhood”.

                  And again, please review your high school geometry. The fact that the Islamic Resistance Movement apparently exists as a subset of the Muslim Brotherhood does not mean that what applies to the Islamic Resistance Movement (the subset) can be automatically applied to the Muslim Brotherhood (the entire set) as a whole. They are not “one of the same”.

                  You need more than specious claims to make your case.

                  • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/30/2012 - 10:15 pm.

                    Hamas Covenent, Article 2

                    “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It is characterised by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgement, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam.”

                    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 07/31/2012 - 07:52 am.

                      Has anyone ever explained to you . . . . .

                      that repeating the same words over and over and over and over and over again is not a particularly effective way of making a persuasive argument?

            • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 07/27/2012 - 12:43 pm.

              So it’s HAMAS you’re talking about !! Why not just say so ??

              Even the Israelis refer to it by its common name. Haven’t heard anyone refer to HAMAS by this moniker in a very, very long time.

              So you’re equating the Muslim Brotherhood with HAMAS, by innuendo. Are you REALLY saying that the Muslim Brotherhood, as it exists in Egypt, and HAMAS are of one body – subscribe to the same beliefs and methods, plan together, act together ?? Because if so, this is broadly misleading.

              I know it is popular, particularly amongst conservatives, to regard ALL actual or claimed instantiations of the Muslim Brotherhood, as composing a monolithic enterprise across all international boundaries. But this is only a popular opinion, not a fact.

              This subject matter careens off-course as you resort to remote associations to support a direct accusation through innuendo. HAMAS is really an entire subject matter, all to itself. And it’s a subject only tangentially related to the Muslim Brotherhood.

              It seems your bottom line is that the Muslim Brotherhood and HAMAS are joined at the hip, and therefore I guess that in any other case where you can assert some kind of link – really, ANY kind of link – it would be sufficient grounds to support all manner of accusations.

              In fact, to many within your community of belief, the mere appendage of the term “Muslim” is enough to arouse suspicion. You know, put ’em on the watch list, launch surveillance activities, monitor all their communications, keep an eye on ’em.

              It would hardly matter if the people targetted are completely innocent of the aspersions cast upon them.

              • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/29/2012 - 10:17 pm.

                Hamas Covenent, Article 2

                “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It is characterised by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgement, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam.”

  6. Submitted by Chris McGreevy on 07/26/2012 - 12:04 pm.

    Corrections

    Allow me to correct some of the factual inaccuracies in your comment:

    Bachmann did not only call for an investigation. She alleged “it appears that there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood. It appears that there are individuals who are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood who have positions, very sensitive positions, in our Department of Justice, our Department of Homeland Security, potentially even in the National Intelligence Agency.” That’s a very serious allegation she’s made and has yet to provide any proof.

    Do you really think we should allow Rep. Bachmann, whose loyalty is so strong she accepted Swiss citizenship, to second guess the security apparatus that issues security clearances?

    The U.S. govt. does not consider the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist organization. So any links to that organization are not automatice links to terrorism.

    When it comes to questioning motives, I think we all know Bachmann’s game: 1) make outlandish statements, 2) write fundraising letters playing the victim of the liberal media, 3) profit. Does anyone think she is being sincere?

    She seems to have gone too far this time. My guess is that shortly after the election she will be shuffled off the intelligence committee.

    • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/30/2012 - 08:32 am.

      Hamas Covenent, Article 2

      “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It is characterised by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgement, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam.”

  7. Submitted by Rob Davis on 07/26/2012 - 01:30 pm.

    Finally, some helpful information!

    For all the Strib’s coverage of this issue, this is the first time I’ve read this information:

    >>A Minnesota law, first enacted in 1919, says, ‘The secretary of state shall provide an appropriate title’ for every question on the ballot. (Notice that’s ‘shall,’ not ‘may’ — and that it’s ‘appropriate,’ not ‘whatever the proposal’s boosters prefer.’)”

    “Regurgitation journalism” (e.g. he said this, she said this) seems to lead to useless opinions and conversations. The text of the law in question helps greatly in this discussion.

    *Thank you*

    If the proposal’s boosters wanted the title written a certain way, they should have changed the 1919 law first. They had control of the state senate and house and almost certainly could have done so.

  8. Submitted by Tim Droogsma on 07/26/2012 - 01:58 pm.

    This is scary!

    The scariest thing in this column is FEMA turning down help for Duluth. If a DFL governor and two DFL senators can’t get a Democrat president to give money to a DFL-controlled city in an election year, then the federal government must REALLY be running out of money.

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