Now they’re talking about 1,000 Minnesotans affected by that meningitis outbreak from contaminated steroids. Lorna Benson at MPR says: “The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that as many as 1,000 patients may have received contaminated steroids that have been implicated in a national meningitis outbreak. Two Twin Cities-based health care groups used steroids from the same product lots that have been linked to the deaths of five patients and 30 illnesses in six states. So far Minnesota has not identified any cases of fungal meningitis related to the outbreak.”
Martiga Lohn of the AP says: “The CEO of Minnesota pain clinics that used a steroid now linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak says four patients have shown symptoms. The patients have been directed to be tested for the disease.”
The problem with trying to outrun the cops north out of Ely is that eventually … there are no more roads. KBJR in Duluth reports: “Two teenagers have been taken into custody for allegedly sending authorities on a high speed chase along Highway 169 in Ely. … The pursuit ended at Lake 1 BWCA parking lot after the Blazer failed to turn and went into the ditch. The car struck some rocks along the ditch, disabling the vehicle. No one was injured when the car went into the ditch. An 18 year old man of Oakdale, MN along with the passenger, a 16 year old girl from St. Paul, MN were taken into custody.” Better luck in the Cities, kids.
Also from KBJR: “Almost 4 years later, the new $77.5 million passenger terminal project is just a few months away from opening up to the public. Thursday morning, the Duluth Airport Authority announced that the new terminal will open on January 14th, 2013. … The first phase of the project broke ground on September 1st, 2009 which focused on infrastructure, new roadways and parking areas. Currently, contractors are completing the remainder of the interior and expanding the aircraft parking apron. The last phase of the project will consist of demolishing the existing terminal, finishing the additional apron area and constructing a 366 spot parking structure.” It’ll be nicer than anything in New York … which admittedly isn’t saying much.
The latest from Not Such a Dumb Jock, Chris Kluwe (of the Vikings), in the PiPress: “After my comments on Twitter about the debate (I called it a waste of time since the system itself is flawed and neither candidate seems interested in fixing it) several people wrote to me asking what solutions I would offer. Not being one to back down from sharing my thoughts, here they are!
Campaign Finance Reform
1) Repeal Citizens United. Corporations are not “people,” the people that compose corporations are “people.” People already have the opportunity to donate money. The day a corporation serves in the military or is tried in court for murder (and receives the same penalties and judgements as everyone else) is the day I’ll argue corporations are “people.”
2) Create a common pool of money from all donations submitted that is then divided equally amongst all candidates. Place a ceiling on how much can be drawn for each stage of the political race; any extra goes towards paying down the debt. Politics is not about which side has the richest backers to influence votes through advertisements, it’s about discussing issues and their solutions. . . .
3) Full disclosure of financial documents and work history. Currently you have to show more financials to buy a car than to run for office. If I can run a background check on a nanny to watch my kids I damn well better be able to learn the pertinent information about someone who will be crafting policies that affect them.” Not bad. Not bad at all.
Invite your cousins from Atlanta up in January and take them out for a Real Minnesota experience. Tom Horgen of the Strib writes: “The Twin Cities’ top patios will be tested this weekend when low temps dip into the 30s. Butcher & the Boar will be ready: The meat palace recently equipped its outdoor patio with a heated all-weather German-style tent. And they plan to keep it open year-round. Chef Jack Riebel is calling it a ‘Bavarian winter beer garden.’ Sounds tough.” Wear a set of horns and a moose-hair cape for good measure.
Do they have a necklace or something for “No” on the voting amendment? Aaron Rupar of City Pages says: “Zeus Jones, a Lyn-Lake-based marketing and branding agency, has devised a unique way to show solidarity with the ‘For All’ rights cause — free ‘Vote No’ wedding bands. … ‘As Mike Schmidt, strategist at Zeus Jones put it, “This is our generation’s civil rights issue. I’d rather be on the side of progress than be on the side of hate, fear and discrimination.’ “
Sentiments on the voting amendment have been undergoing a significant shift in recent months. The Mankato Free Press board now says: “While supporters will say that more than a dozen others states have Voter ID laws, they fail to mention that only one other state — Mississippi — has made it a constitutional amendment. And that amendment offers flexibility absent in the Minnesota Amendment. Voter ID laws have been turned back by courts in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri and Texas. Many Minnesota voters are seeing flaws in the amendment as polls have decidedly been moving in favor of rejection. … It’s important to remember that a vote against the Voter ID amendment is not a vote against better verification procedures. Those changes can be handled in bipartisan election legislation. That’s the way Minnesota should go in resolving voting verification improvements. We shouldn’t restrict rights of something that is essential to American Democracy.” Norm Coleman better get on the horn to those folks.
DFLers are having a good time today ripping GOP Congressman Chip Cravaack for using footage of a home he no longer lives in for one of his TV ads. Says Corey Mitchell in the Strib: “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is slamming U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack for footage from his first television campaign commercial, which shows he and his family at the Lindstrom house they sold when his wife and two sons relocated to the East Coast last year. … Residency questions from state and national Democrats have dogged Cravaack ever since he announced that his wife and two sons were moving out of the Eighth District. His wife, a pharmaceutical executive, earned a job promotion to Boston that necessitated the move, he said. When his family left Minnesota, Cravaack bought another home in the district, in North Branch. Ben Golnik, a spokesman for the Cravaack campaign, said candidates often recycle footage to save money on campaign commercials. He added that the ad, ‘Fourth Grade,’ is no longer in rotation, Golnik said.”