Before Romney-Obama, Tuesday’s debate action was up north with Chip Cravaack and Rick Nolan. In addition to Devin Henry’s MinnPost report, Baird Helgeson’s Strib story says: “Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack and Democrat Rick Nolan slugged it out in a debate Tuesday, the latest spirited exchange in what is emerging as one of the most expensive and closely watched races in the country. … The candidates used nearly every question to jab at each other. Nolan accused Cravaack of trying to portray himself as a friend of working men and women while taking money from industrialist millionaires Charles and David Koch to carry out their union-busting agenda in Congress. ‘You might be for mining, but you are a company man, not a working man,’ Nolan said. … Cravaack noted that Nolan helped created the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness decades ago, which prevented any development, mining or use of motorized vehicles in the park — a move that resulted in a treasured environmental preserve, but one that rankles many locals to this day. Cravaack said sharply: ‘You sided with Twin Cities environmentalists’ over economic development.”
Mark Zdechlik’s MPR story says: “Asked whether the stimulus bill worked, Nolan said it could have been better, but that it did. ‘It did in fact create good jobs in a whole wide range of areas, not the least of which is in the field of transportation,’ Nolan said. Nolan also spoke about the tax cuts in the bill and the billions in aid to state and local governments. Cravaack said the bill was not worth what it added to the national debt, which he repeatedly said could leave future U.S. generations ‘indentured servants’ to countries such as China. ‘By every economist that I have read [it] did not help the economy,’ Cravaack said. ‘All we did was add more to our debt.’ Moments later Cravaack said the stimulus had a ‘very small impact’ on the economy. Economists disagree on the impact of the stimulus, but a Congressional Budget Office study found that between 1.3 million and 3.6 million jobs were saved or created by it.”
Down in the 1st District race between Congressman Tim Walz and Allen Quist, Josh Moniz of the New Ulm Journal reports: “Allen Quist, the Republican candidate for Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, pulled in his strongest fundraising total of the campaign in his most recent FEC quarterly fundraising report. However, he still finds himself significantly trailing Democratic incumbent Rep. Tim Walz and less than halfway to his promised goal of raising $1 million. … This quarter, Quist received $23,125 in individual contributions and loaned $160,000 of his own money to the campaign. His overall combined fundraising total was $185,625 this quarter. He spent $134,824 and ended the quarter with $168,679 in cash on hand. This quarter was Quist’s strongest fundraising yet, and he said he was very pleased with the ‘exponential increase’ in his fundraising.”
Associate prof Stephen J. Heaney of St. Thomas comes to Archbishop John Nienstedt’s aid in a Strib commentary: “He stands accused of forcing his religion on everyone, and of forcing the consciences of his fellow Catholics. Though not unexpected, the charges are unfair. … A Catholic bishop is sworn to proclaim and defend the deposit of faith and morals passed on to him. He receives his authority from the laying on of hands in unbroken succession from the apostles to this very day. The priest is sworn to help the bishop, from whom he receives his authority. Together, their task is to urge the rest of us to accept the deposit of faith and morals as our own, and to act rightly in accordance with the truth. Failure to so act in general will not lead to human flourishing. In this situation, to accept the revisionist notion of marriage logically necessitates a rejection not only of reality, but of both Catholic teaching and the authority given to bishops by Christ.” Or, you might just say, “dogma trumps all.”
Martin Pengelly of The Guardian reports: “The NFL has announced the staging of a second 2013 regular-season game in London. The Minnesota Vikings will ‘host’ the Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 29 September, before the Jacksonville Jaguars play the San Francisco 49ers at the same venue on Sunday 27 October. … The Vikings have not played in London since they staged a 1983 pre-season game at Wembley; the Steelers have never played in the UK. The NFL claims to have a UK fanbase of 11 million, two million of them counting as ‘avid fans.’ Regarding UK television audiences for the sport, the League said: ‘Sunday viewership of NFL games [is] up 154% and the Super Bowl audience [has] increased 74% since 2006.’ ” And where do we tailgate?
The meningitis outbreak is not getting any better. The AP story says: “The Minnesota Department of Health says 129 clinics in Minnesota received injectable drugs from a pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak. … Minnesota clinics currently listed on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website as having received Methylprednisolone Acetate are Edina Medical Pain Clinic, Minneapolis; Medical Advance Pain, Fridley; Medical Advanced Pain Specialists, Shakopee; Medical Advanced Pain Specialists, Maple Grove; Minnesota Surgery Clinic, Edina; and Minnesota Surgery Center, Maple Grove.” This New England distributor had a heck of a network.
On Romney-Obama, The AP was out with some instant fact-checking. A couple of samples:
ROMNEY: “I know he keeps saying, ‘You want to take Detroit bankrupt.’ Well, the president took Detroit bankrupt. You took General Motors bankrupt. You took Chrysler bankrupt. So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did. And I think it’s important to know that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet, so they could start hiring more people. That was precisely what I recommended and ultimately what happened.”
THE FACTS: What Romney recommended did not happen, and his proposed path probably would have forced General Motors and Chrysler out of business. He opposed using government money to bail out the automakers, instead favoring privately financed bankruptcy restructuring. But the automakers were bleeding cash and were poor credit risks. The banking system was in crisis. So private loans weren’t available. Without government aid, both companies probably would have gone under and their assets sold in pieces. …
OBAMA: “And what I want to do is build on the 5 million jobs that we’ve created over the last 30 months in the private sector alone.”
THE FACTS: As he has done before, Obama is cherry-picking his numbers to make them sound better than they really are. He ignores the fact that public-sector job losses have dragged down overall job creation. Also, he chooses just to mention the past 30 months. That ignores job losses during his presidency up until that point. According to the Labor Department, about 4.5 million total jobs have been created over the past 30 months. But some 4.3 million jobs were lost during the earlier months of his administration. At this point, Obama is a net job creator, but only marginally.”
And what did Power Line’s John Hinderaker think of this latest debate? “I predicted on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show that Mitt Romney would do well. He did. I predicted that Barack Obama would do better than last time — he would almost have to. He did. I expressed concern that there would be argumentative curve balls from the audience or Candy Crowley. There weren’t, really, with the sole exception of when Crowley tried to earn her Democratic Party stripes by backing Obama’s claim that his administration was on to the Benghazi attack as an act of terrorism from the beginning. … Obama did nothing tonight that would stop the bleeding. Unless you are Rip van Winkle, you know that the Obama administration’s policies have failed. Romney did a good job tonight of driving those statistics home. He also effectively distinguished himself from the Bush administration, which may seem like a silly issue to our readers, but is probably a live question for many undecided voters.” Probably more than you care to think, John.
It’s a forlorn situation GOP Senate candidate Kurt Bills finds himself in. The AP story says: “The high school economics teacher and one-term state representative has had to look for reasons to be optimistic. He trails the first-term Democratic senator badly in fundraising, and recent polls have shown him down by nearly 30 points. With a dose of gallows humor, Bills was incredulous that his name recognition seemed to be getting worse in two successive recent polls from different organizations. The more recent of the two, he said, showed 2 percent lower name recognition than the earlier one did. Still, Bills insists an upset remains possible because he has a biography and a message of restoring fiscal integrity to government that voters would respond to if they more knew about it.” Maybe next time Mike Parry will take a shot at that job.