Wisconsin’s AG isn’t giving up on getting his state’s Voter ID law back into effect before Election Day. At Bloomberg, Andrew Harris writes: “Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said he will ask the state’s Supreme Court to reinstate a voter identification law before the Nov. 6 state and national elections. The law, which requires otherwise-eligible voters to present a government-issued photo ID before being allowed to cast a ballot, was declared unconstitutional by Dane County Circuit Judge Richard G. Niess in Madison on March 12. A second Madison judge, David T. Flanagan, ruled the law invalid on July 17 after a bench trial. Van Hollen, who appealed both rulings on the state’s behalf, today said he wants the high court to block their enforcement. ‘No quarter has been given in defending Voter ID,’ the Republican attorney general said in a statement outlining his plan to bypass the intermediate-level appellate court. ‘While I respect the judicial process and the right to challenge a law in court, it is time for our Supreme Court to take control of these cases’.” … Otherwise, ALEC will drop my membership!
The field to replace DFL Rep. Kerry Gauthier — who hasn’t resigned his office or dropped out yet — is getting more and more crowded. Peter Passi at the Duluth News Tribune says: “[Erik] Simonson will become the third candidate to offer himself as an alternative to Gauthier, who has recently come under fire after a report of an alleged sexual rendezvous with a 17-year-old boy was made public. Also running for Gauthier’s seat are Travis Silvers, the Republican endorsee, and Duluth City Councilor Jay Fosle, who is running with no party affiliation. Daniel Fanning, who ran as a DFL candidate in the 8th Congressional District race before dropping out earlier this year, also has been approached about running for the state house seat. Fanning said he’d be willing to run should his party ask him.”
Also in Duluth, which has had a very newsy summer, is word that the Georgia Pacific plant will close … in 10 days. The News Tribune story says: “Georgia-Pacific will permanently close its Duluth hardboard plant at the end of the month, putting 140 employees out of work. ‘This is a closure; it is not a shutdown,’ Eric Abercrombie, a company spokesman in Atlanta, said. ‘We are going to be looking to reallocate any useable equipment and sell the remaining assets. That would include the property.’ … ‘The news from Georgia Pacific is disappointing given previous assurances from the company that it would not close this plant,’ Duluth Mayor Don Ness said in a news release late this morning. ‘We will start working immediately to support new operations at the plant. Meanwhile, our focus will be on the workforce that will be displaced. This is unfortunate and untimely news for our community. I’m very disappointed by this decision.’ ”
Thank god! Steve Karnowski of the AP and MPR’s Tim Nelson report we will be able to engage in the solemn Minnesota ritual of patting the fattest pig in the state: “The swine show will go on at the Minnesota State Fair. Deputy State Epidemiologist Richard Danila says officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control support the precautions Minnesota officials are taking to prevent the spread of a new strain of swine flu from pigs to fair visitors. … CDC officials say more than 80 million people have visited state and county fairs across the country this year, leading to countless interactions between people and pigs. But the CDC has recorded only about 250 cases of the new flu strain in humans.”
Anyway you cut it 91 percent is a lot to lose. Martin Moylan’s MPR story says: “A new earnings report shows just how big a job Best Buy’s new CEO Hubert Joly has on his hands to turn around the company’s flagging fortunes. The Richfield-based electronics retailer’s net income for the quarter ending earlier this month fell a whopping 91 percent to just $12 million. That’s down from about $130 million for the comparable period a year ago. … Without costs related to store closures and other restructuring efforts, the bottom line would have been $68 million. But that’s still a steep drop.”
At Bloomberg, Anne D’Innecenzio writes: “Brian Sozzi, chief equities analyst for research firm NBG Productions, described the latest quarter’s results as ‘ugly.’ He said that Best Buy management needs to turn around things quickly. ‘Every day, the (business) model is changing, and it goes against Best Buy,’ he said. And things don’t seem to be getting any better for the company. Best Buy had said in May that it expected full-year earnings guidance to be in the range of $3.50 to $3.80, excluding restructuring charges. But the chain said Tuesday it was withdrawing its outlook to give [new CEO Hubert] Joly more flexibility and the opportunity to make decisions that will address broader challenges ahead.” … As long as he can get it done by next Monday.
Yeah, I wouldn’t be too pleased if I owned property on a manure-filled lake. The Strib’s Tom Meersman says: “By mid-summer, Lake Independence is a slimy, gooey mess that grows greener every year, the result of too much fertilizer washing into its waters and jump-starting algae and other aquatic weeds. Frustrated by a lack of action from officials, lakeshore homeowners recently sued a dairy farmer whose land borders the lake, contending that he has illegally spread manure too close to its waters and contributed to algae growth. ‘The water was thick with green blobs all the way down. It’s just disgustingm,’ said Barbara Zadeh, a lakeshore owner who is part of the suit.”
It’s time for a cougar-hunting season! The AP reports: “A horse owner whose 900-pound mare was attacked by a cougar wants other animal owners in Aitkin County to be on the lookout for the big cats. Lori Hart’s quarter horse Molly was mauled last week on her property north of Aitkin. Hart says the wild animal took a ‘big chunk’ out of the horse’s hind quarters. Hart says a Pierz veterinarian confirmed Molly was attacked by a cougar and that there was a similar attack on a calf less than a month ago.” There have been unconfirmed reports of similar attacks at bars along Lake Minnetonka. (Sorry, I couldn’t stop myself.)
Here’s a list you can do something with. Joy Summers of City Pages assembles the Top Ten Takeout restaurants. A couple:
“9. Szechuan Spice
There’s Chinese takeout, and then there’s Chinese takeout. Since its opening in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood in 2010, Szechuan Spice has been receiving rave reviews from critics and patrons. With portions the size of placemats and spice levels that will warm a polar plunge participant, this isn’t your typical chicken lo mein and beef with broccoli Chinese restaurant, though both are on the menu. We recommend the chicken with double chili pepper (eat it with a water faucet nearby), the candy-sweet General Tao’s tofu, and the bright, seductive, revelatory cold noodles. Takeout is prompt, and the portion sizes are almost always good for multiple meals.
Question: What’s a lot easier than importing the Creole grandmother you never had and chaining her to the stove? Answer: programming Brasa’s number into your phone. The premium rotisserie restaurant that serves batch-roasted chicken, slow-roasted pork, and braised beef to dine-in guests also whips up the same fare for takeout. Call it comfort food in the comfort of your own home. Chef Alex Roberts of the upscale Restaurant Alma has customers calling in orders for free-range chickens, sides of creamy cheese grits, and fried sweet plantains, and their house-made sodas.”
Oh baby. I’ll take four pounds of that slow-roasted pulled pork. And yes, that’s for one, if you must ask.