As we’ve been told, “Corporations are people, my friend.” Our Guy T-Paw can tell you first hand how many people he’s met in corporate boardrooms. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib says: “Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has joined the boards of seven corporations in the past year and become senior adviser to a California investment firm, opening a new, private-sector chapter in his life that could leave vice presidential vetters with lots of new questions. As the time for Mitt Romney to pick a running mate approaches, those charged with scrutinizing every detail of contenders’ lives are expected to look closely at public and private activities. Pawlenty declined an interview for this story and many companies declined to offer specifics, but close attention from the campaign is unavoidable.” Wait a minute. Are you telling me the GOP is going to vet the VP choice this year?
Opponents of the inaugural wolf hunt are making their case for canceling the forthcoming season. Matt Sepic at MPR writes: “[T]he wolf population is still vulnerable and the DNR is moving too fast, said Maureen Hackett of the group Howling for Wolves. Hackett says the wolf population may not have rebounded as much as some people think. ‘We fear that the wolf population may be more prone to coming down with the diseases that they’re already exposed to under the stress of a hunt,’ Hackett said. ‘We think there’s the possibility that they could be pushed toward more livestock and human conflict and then also die.’ “
Frankly, I hadn’t worried much about Ultimate Fighting producers getting their fair cut. But the Strib’s Dan Browning reports: “The bar owners had better be certain that they paid promoters the hefty fee required to show the event. Business owners from Bethel to Rochester have learned the hard way that showing closed-circuit mixed martial arts contests, boxing matches and other sporting events without paying the proper fees can be costly. In the past two years, distributors and sponsors of these events have filed nearly three dozen federal lawsuits in Minnesota against taverns, restaurants and their owners, seeking damages in excess of $140,000 a pop. While it costs about $50 to order a UFC event on pay-per-view in a private residence, it costs bars, restaurants and other commercial establishments $750 to $1,500, depending on their size.” You know what we used to call Ultimate Fighting? A bar fight.
Our Favorite Congresswoman was asked again about Keith Ellison and radical Muslim ties. Conrad Wilson at MPR says: “Bachmann on Thursday did not answer directly a question from reporters whether she believes Ellison is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood — a claim she made during a radio interview last month. ‘As a member of Congress who sits on the intelligence committee, my main concern is the safety, security and sovereignty of the American people. And that’s my concern,’ Bachmann said. ‘My concern is about terrorism. I am not concerned about anyone’s religion. It has absolutely nothing to do with that, that’s completely misunderstood. My concern is about terrorism first and foremost.’ … Bachmann pledged to work with Gov. Mark Dayton and the rest of the Congressional delegation to bring jobs back to the community. ‘We want to get the jobs back,’ she said. ‘Even preceding that, it is more important the transition between the people who currently lost jobs and how they’re going to be taken care of. And it appears that we’ve got that cushion kind of managed between unemployment benefits between their positions. So, that’s good news. But that’s only short term. That’s not long term.’ ” And we know how she feels about long-term socialized benefits.
It’s subtle. But that is a waterspout out in Duluth Harbor. Paul Huttner of MPR posts a photo a woman took of the rare event: “The waterspout extends from the base of a thundershower over the lake near Duluth. The weather pattern Thursday favored so-called ‘cold air funnels’ and this may have been a cold air funnel that ‘touched down’ on the lake. The center or ‘vorticity max’ of a small low pressure system swirled just off Duluth Thursday.”
Sen. Mike Parry — notorious lately for his “pill popping” comments — was actually working Thursday morning. And it wasn’t pretty. Mike Mullen of Politics in Minnesota reports on Parry chairing a hearing: “After a question from Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, Parry interrupted to ask a couple more of his own. When Parry’s questions were answered, Rep. Leon Lillie, DFL-North St. Paul, complained that Parry kept interjecting his own questions and remarks into exchanges between testifiers and other legislators on the panel, asking if that was common procedure in the Senate.
‘When you’re chair, it is,’ Parry said flatly. ‘So all’s good and fair in love and war, and the Senate’? Lillie asked. ‘I guess that’s what it is,’ Parry said. ‘It’s probably a blessing you’re down to your last three meetings,’ Lillie said, drawing another laugh from the gallery. ‘I figure you’ll milk this for three days of per diem perhaps.’ A moment later, Parry banged the gavel and called a recess, pausing briefly to shoot a glare Lillie’s way.” And then he grabbed for his antacids …
In a Strib piece, Colleen Stoxen notes that Minnesota leads the country in accepting Medicaid patients: “A survey of doctors who refuse to accept new patients on Medicaid, the government health program for low-income people, finds that Minnesota’s refusal rate is 50th lowest among the states and District of Columbia. Put another way, 96.3 percent of Minnesota docs say they will take new patients on Medicaid, called Medical Assistance in Minnesota. The national average is 69.4 percent. Many doctors refuse to take new patients on the program because they are paid far less than they typically get for older patients on Medicaid or those covered by private insurance. New Jersey has the fewest doctors who take Medicaid patients, at 40.4 percent.”
The Duluth TV news director who rather, shall we say, “inartfully” described an intoxicated Indian man on his lawn as one of the “animals” that wander through … has resigned. Mike Creger of the News Tribune says: “Fox 21 general manager Jackie Bruenjes issued a statement Monday night saying she accepted Jason Vincent’s resignation. ‘Jason has elected to take a new job assignment,’ she said. Attempts by the News Tribune to reach Vincent and Bruenjes were unsuccessful. It wasn’t clear whether Vincent resigned from his position or if he also left the company, Red River Broadcast Co., based in Fargo, N.D. ‘We wish Jason the best,’ Bruenjes wrote in the last line of a three-sentence statement.” Was that a “summary election” on Vincent’s part?
Reacting to David Brauer’s report here at MinnPost on the latest radio ratings, “chad” at the conservative Fraters Libertas site writes: “My key takeaway:
As of July, The Current claims 2 percent of total Twin Cities radio listeners, down from the low 4s a year ago. MPR News is at 3.9 percent, after posting 5s or better most of the past three years.
So our two local PUBLIC radio stations, which are partially funded by taxpayer dollars, are now being tuned in by less than six percent of said listening public? Remind me again why in these tough economic times, we should continue subsidizing these stations so that the likes of Atomizer have the privilege of hearing Sleater-Kinney while driving to work?” I wonder how upset “chad” is about the carried interest deduction?