Our Guy T-Paw had his moment, Baird Helgeson of the Strib writes: “In his most high-profile speech before a nationwide audience, a feisty Tim Pawlenty told thousands of cheering Republicans on Wednesday they were celebrating at ‘Barack Obama’s retirement party.’ The former Minnesota governor took some of the harshest jabs at President Obama at the Republican National Convention, saying: ‘Like a big tattoo, it seemed cool when you were young,’ the former Minnesota governor said. Later on, ‘that decision doesn’t look so good, and you wonder: what was I thinking? But the worst part is you’re still going to have to explain it to your kids.’ Pawlenty has emerged as one of the most devoted surrogates for Romney.”
At The Washington Post, Ed O’Keefe writes: “Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) had quite a few jabs at President Obama in his prepared remarks, but his delivery appeared to fall flat in the hall. … Few in the room laughed or seemed to be listening. Other zingers also fell short: ‘The president takes more vacations than that guy on the Bizarre Foods show.’ (Apparently it airs on the Travel Channel.) ‘I’ll give Barack Obama credit for creating jobs these last four years for golf caddies.’ ” Thank you. Thank you. I’ll be here all week.
Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy reports on his interview with T-Paw: “The biggest looming question about how a President Mitt Romney would steer the American ship of state is whether he would favor the realist tendencies of the Republican Party establishment or the neoconservative leanings of its younger generation. Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, mooted by some as a possible secretary of state in a Romney administration, told The Cable in an exclusive interview Wednesday that Romney won’t choose either side and would rather chart his own foreign-policy vision based on his core beliefs about how the world works and what American’s role should be in it. ‘I would put him in the Mitt Romney school,’ Pawlenty when asked to which school of foreign policy the former governor adheres. … He is among a few names rumored to be in contention for the job of secretary of state in a future Romney administration, along with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass.” Sorry. That was my jaw hitting the desk.
At The National Review, Carrie Severino comments on this week’s Supreme Court decision here in Minnesota: “[T]he Minnesota Supreme Court released opinions in several high-profile cases related to two important constitutional amendments, one establishing the definition of marriage and the other relating to a new voter-ID requirement. The court was divided in its opinions, with the four justices appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty (David Stras, Barry Anderson, Christopher Dietzen, and Chief Justice Lorie Gildea) forming the majority. … In both cases, the majority relied heavily on relevant texts and the original meaning of those texts, precedent, and fidelity to the concept that judges play an important and structurally defined role with respect to the actions of the other branches of government. Governor Pawlenty’s campaign for the Oval Office was short-lived, but, as these cases demonstrate, his impact on the Minnesota Supreme Court will not be.”
Keep it in the family … Emily Gurnon of the PiPress says: “A White Bear Township family — the parents and two grown sons — have been charged in a homegrown marijuana operation. One son told police the family decided to grow their own pot after the economy slipped, and they could no longer afford to buy it. … deputies found a marijuana-growing operation in the basement. They seized 16 marijuana plants, 17 small marijuana plants and ‘various other packages containing suspected marijuana throughout the residence.’ They also found suspected psilocybin mushrooms from a bedroom, as well as grow lights, fertilizer and potting soil ‘from the grow operation.’ ” Did they confiscate the Doritos, too?
Hamline grad student Taylor Brorby pops up in The Huffington Post talking about schools and he GOP’s marriage amendment: “It is a risky move for an educational institution to take a political stand. When taking into account students, faculty, staff, and administrators, not to mention donors capable of giving or withholding several thousand dollars, if not millions of dollars. it makes sense that many colleges do not explicitly label themselves as “liberal” or “conservative.” This past week, though, Augsburg College became the second Minnesota institution to openly oppose a freedom-limiting constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. Augsburg College, a private Minneapolis liberal arts college associated with the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), took a bold stand. It joins the ranks of six Minnesota synods of the ELCA in opposing the marriage amendment. But Augsburg College and Capella University, an online institution, are the only two schools in Minnesota to voice their views on the marriage amendment. Undoubtedly the dozens of other Minnesota schools have students in attendance who are allies in or a part of the LGBT community, and those schools’ silence on the issue is deafening.”
More disturbing news from the Security Hospital in St. Peter. Madeline Baran of MPR writes: “Employee injuries at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, the state’s largest facility for the mentally ill and dangerous, increased sharply this year as the number of permanent psychiatrists dropped from six to one and security practices have put counselors into closer contact with patients. The number of employee injuries caused by violent patients so far this year has already surpassed the number for all of 2011. As of July 30, the Minnesota Security Hospital recorded 40 employee injuries caused by patient assaults or restraints serious enough to require a report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”
At MPR, Stephanie Hemphill explains the crunch taconite plants will be feeling if air pollution standards go into effect: “Minnesota’s taconite companies face a major environmental challenge in November when the federal government decides whether to require significant reduction in air pollution that causes haze in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park. These regulations have been a long time coming, and the decision isn’t clear yet. It all goes back to the 1977 amendments to the Clean Air Act. Congress directed the Environmental Protection Agency to cut the pollution that plagues supposedly pristine areas such as national parks, and caused haze that degrades the environment and contributes to human health problems. The three special areas in and around Minnesota — the Boundary Waters, Voyageurs National Park, and Isle Royale National Park — are polluted by emissions from around the world and across the country.”
Also at MPR, Laura Yuen reports on a Macalester professor who is a candidate for president … of Somalia: “Ahmed Samatar has been thinking about Somalia for more than 35 years, ever since he left the country to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in his 20s. A leading scholar on Somalia, he’s written five books and dozens of articles about the affairs of his homeland, often with a critical eye toward its government. After spending so much time thinking, Samatar has decided to act, leaving the ivory tower for an unusual assignment: He’s running for president. Samatar has taken a sabbatical to play a part in a new era as Somalia lays the groundwork for what many hope will be a lasting stable government.”
Not that there’s a lot of mystery about how the 1 percent live, but Ruth Conniff, writing for the Madison-based Isthmus, takes in a Tommy Thompson fundraiser in Tampa … on a yacht: “As the Wisconsin delegation got fired up for Paul Ryan’s big convention speech on Wednesday night, Tommy Thompson held a fundraiser on the StarShip yacht moored at a dock near the Tampa convention center. Haley Barbour was one of the first aboard, followed by Gov. Scott Walker, dressed down in khakis and a Green Bay Packers shirt, and a bevy of other Republican stars with ties to Wisconsin. The setting, featuring an elephant topiary, clinking wine glasses, and good cheer all around, was perfect for the task at hand: raising lots of money. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas quoted former Sen. Phil Gramm, his predecessor as chair of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, telling the laughing attendees, ‘There is plenty of money for this election. The problem is, some of it is still in your pockets’. Millionaire businessman Sen. Ron Johnson got a huge cheer for defeating campaign-finance-reform advocate and poorest man in the U.S. Senate, Russ Feingold.” It’s good to be first in the First World.