You did see Kevin Diaz’ Strib story on Minnesota’s Grover Norquist-pledge signers “rethinking” their allegiance and loyalty to that sacred oath? “U.S. Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen, both potential Senate candidates in 2014, say they would consider raising new tax revenue by closing “special interest loopholes” in the tax code as part of a deficit deal that significantly cuts spending. Also signing on to a tax loophole strategy is recently defeated Minnesota Republican Chip Cravaack, whose single term ends after the current lame-duck session of Congress. The new statements by the three mirror a broader movement among Republicans in Washington seeking a little negotiating room as pressure builds to avoid recessionary budget cuts and tax increases now scheduled to take effect after Dec. 31.” Uh-huh. And what’s their attitude toward first maintaining the middle-class end of the Bush tax cuts?
After taxpayers — that’s you and me — agreed to their share of the Target Center renovation (it was attached to the Vikings’ stadium deal, remember) — we are waiting for the … private sector … to show us the money. Says Eric Roper of the Strib: “Six months after the Vikings stadium deal paved the way for a public/private renovation of Target Center, Minneapolis’ chief negotiator says the Timberwolves and the arena’s operator still won’t say how much they will pay. The Timberwolves contend that’s because the city unexpectedly changed the ratio of public to private funds this spring, which delayed the entire process. The split is now expected to be about half and half. The ‘implementation committee’ for the estimated $100 million renovation of the city-owned building — the team hasn’t agreed to that number — has already met twice. But the city’s lead official on the project, Jeremy Hanson Willis, expressed frustration Tuesday night that there wasn’t a deal.” Maybe the NFL commissioner could fly in and move things along.
Here’s a “We’re No. 1!” story to be proud of. Don Davis of the Forum papers says: “More than 76 percent of Minnesota’s eligible voters cast ballots Nov. 6, best in the country, but the state’s top election official says even more would participate if they could vote early. In this year’s election, 2,950,780 Minnesotans voted. That is the most ever, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said, and while final numbers are not in, he said that he is sure Minnesota has the highest percentage in the country. ‘We’re No. 1 by many,’ he said.” Of course, we were led to understand that a very high share of that 2.9 million are actually felons voting multiple times for the long deceased.
More on the Little Falls killings … Tim Nelson at MPR writes: “Authorities in Little Falls say they’ve confirmed a connection between a home burglary and another break-in that ended with two fatal shootings. Police say they first encountered Nicholas Brady when neighbors reported a suspicious car parked near their home. Brady claimed to have run out of gas and got a ride from the scene from a Morrison County deputy. Sheriff Michel Wetzel said officers didn’t realize an unoccupied home nearby had just been burglarized. Brady and his cousin, Haile Kifer, were shot to death in a second break-in the next day.”
WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler offered one of his “Reality Checks” on exactly where a homeowner must stop shooting to kill: “Minnesotans already have the right to defend themselves in their homes, but the case in Little Falls would probably not apply. It’s already legal to shoot and kill an intruder in your home, or in your yard, or your garage, if you are threatened. But self-defense becomes murder at a very specific point. Most states already have self-defense laws based on the Castle Doctrine — ‘a man’s home is his castle.’ In fact, in Minnesota, you can shoot an intruder — even kill — if you feel threatened with great bodily harm, or if you are trying to prevent a felony. But you must stop shooting if the threat’s eliminated, even if the intruder is still alive.”
The case has received lots of national attention. From the Seattle area, Dave Workman of examiner.com, writes: “Pacific Northwest gun owners and activists are engaged in a very active discussion about home protection and self-defense in the wake of a double-slaying in Minnesota that was reported yesterday, with sentiments clearly against the dead alleged teen burglars. However, it is also clear that the firearms community is hardly warming up to the man who shot the two teen cousins and then appears to have executed them. Sympathy completely vanishes at the revelation that homeowner Byron David Smith waited a day before notifying authorities so as not to disturb their Thanksgiving holiday. Discussions at Northwest Firearms and Seattle Guns have topped 400 comments each, and there are also interesting remarks at Gun Rights Media and WaGuns.” A word of caution if you decide to wade into the comments — I doubt you’ll feel safer.
Here goes another wad of taxpayer money … The AP reports: “A conservative legal group has filed a lawsuit alleging that Minnesota taxpayers are being wrongfully charged for elective abortions. The Alliance Defending Freedom says state law and court decisions allow Minnesota to pay for abortions for indigent women only if they’re necessary for therapeutic reasons. The lawsuit says government figures show that Minnesota taxpayers paid for about 47,000 abortions on indigent women from 1999 through 2011. But it also claims the data indicate that — at most — only about 10,000 of those abortions might have been medically necessary. The lawsuit says that means the state paid for 37,000 abortions without legal authority.”
So will they stitch the Neiman logo on the front of every Justin Bieber T-shirt? Thomas Lee of the Strib says: “Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel and Neiman Marcus CEO Karen Katz … are showing off some of the merchandise Target and Neiman co-created for the holiday season during a preview for the media last month in New York. Both Target and Neiman have high hopes this partnership will boost sales throughout the holiday season. As I write this, Target executives are on the way to New York for the collection’s debut fashion show Wednesday night. The retailers, which will also promote the merchandise in a pop up store, will officially launch the collection Saturday.” I expect nothing less than a Tiffany’s kiosk next to the freezer of store-brand pizzas.
MPR’s Catharine Richert slaps DFL Majority Leader Tom Bakk with a “Misleading” for one of his post-election comments: “Bakk, DFL-Cook, said in a recent interview on TPT’s Almanac that a close look at the votes shows what a huge responsibility this win is for his party. ‘I think Minnesotans are sending a pretty strong message to the Legislature’, Bakk said. ‘The interesting thing that I observed was the Democratic candidates for the state Senate got 100,000 more votes than President Obama. That means to me that 100,000 people in Minnesota voted for Mitt Romney for president and then they decided to vote for a Democratic candidate for the state Senate.’ … First, Bakk misspoke when he said that “Democrats got 100,000 more votes than President Obama.” In fact, Obama got more votes. … Bakk’s larger point is on shakier ground. He’s also arguing that more than 100,000 Minnesota voters voted for Mitt Romney and for DFL candidates, indicating historically Republican voters are now favoring the DFL. It’s true that nearly 128,000 Minnesotans cast their ballot for Mitt Romney, but not for GOP Senators. But it’s impossible to know whether those Minnesota Romney supporters also voted for Democrats or whether they didn’t vote at all because the Secretary of State doesn’t keep track of such things.” Frankly, I’m always surprised when any such claim is treated with credulity.