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Florida congressman needles Gov. Dayton on ‘snowbird tax’

A GOP congressman from Florida is delighted with Gov. Dayton’s so-called “snowbird tax.” FoxNews reports: “ ‘Dear Governor Mark Dayton,’ Rep. Trey Radel wrote Friday. ‘I’m writing today to thank you. As a Floridian, I am overjoyed to hear about your plan to raise taxes on Minnesotans, most especially the so-called ‘snowbirds.’  Your proposal gives us a chance to shine here in the Sunshine State.’ Dayton, a Democrat, proposed the idea last week when announcing key parts of his proposed $37.9 billion budget. He made a similar proposal last year that was defeated by the then-Republican-controlled legislature. … Radel, argues in the letter, which appear written with pointed sarcasm to skewer higher taxes, that southwest Florida would welcome more entrepreneurs and philanthropists investing in the region. And he cited such incentives as no income taxes, investment incentives for big and small businesses and ‘great’ public, charter and private schools.” … Not to mention the weirdest damned crime stories you ever read.

Gotta love the verbiage … “dynamic shoulder lane.” Or short for … “we can’t afford to lay any more concrete.” Tim Harlow of the Strib says: “Plymouth has long wanted a permanent third lane on Interstate 494 between County Road 6 and the Fish Lake interchange where Interstates 94, 494 and 694 come together in the northwestern suburbs. The city isn’t likely to get its wish any time soon, but MnDOT is planning to add a “dynamic shoulder lane” to ease congestion. In conjunction with a $34 million to $40 million road improvement project, MnDOT will widen the shoulders in both directions next year between Hwy. 55 and East Fish Lake Road. The shoulders will serve as additional lanes during peak traffic periods and can be opened to ease congestion caused by a crash, said Scott Pedersen, the west area manager for MnDOT. ‘We were hoping for more general-purpose lanes,’ said Plymouth Mayor Kelli Slavik. ‘It’s not perfect, but it’s something, anything to get traffic moving and in motion rather than just sitting there.’ ” How about tax incentives for tele-commuting?

You really can be a weather geek. The Strib’s Bill McAuliffe says: “Officials are calling for volunteers to tap on their smartphones to report snow, rain and other forms of precipitation as it is falling so they can establish clearer connections between what they’re seeing on radar and what actually falls to the ground. The Precipitation Identification Near the Ground project — PING, of course — has been up and running in other parts of the country since 2006. The National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., has just put out the call for participants in the 51-county forecast area of south-central Minnesota and western Wisconsin covered by the Chanhassen office of the National Weather Service.”

Stories you can’t make up … Adam Bernstein of The Washington Post writes, “[Chris] Kyle, 38, was killed Saturday in a double slaying at the Rough Creek Lodge and Resort shooting range about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Texas. Authorities identified the shooter as Eddie Ray Routh, 25, a military veteran living in Lancaster, Texas. Routh was arraigned on two counts of capital murder in the deaths of Kyle and Chad Littlefield. Both men were shot at close range, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman said. A motive was unclear. … Kyle’s book, “American Sniper: the Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura sued Kyle in 2012 after Kyle claimed in his book that he slugged Ventura — whom he called “Scruff Face” — in a 2006 bar fight.” The alleged shooter was a disturbed friend of Kyle’s. So what better buddy activity could you think of than handing him a loaded gun?

The “confiscation” part is only the beginning of the hyperbole, as Power Line’s John Hinderaker welcomes President Obama to town today: “Liberals often ridicule gun owners’ fears that what the left really wants is to confiscate firearms, but in Minnesota the Democrats make no pretense: they are pushing confiscation legislation, unapologetically. H.F. 241 relates to ‘assault weapons.’ …  Under the Democrats’ legislation, no one can buy or possess an ‘assault weapon’ in Minnesota. If you already own one as of February 1, you can keep it. But you have to register it, and give the state permission to inspect your home – which is the only place you can keep the “assault weapon” – to make sure you are storing it properly, and undergo annual background checks. You can’t sell the firearm or give it away, and when you die, your heirs are required to either destroy it or ‘surrender the weapon to a law enforcement agency for destruction.’ So the statute represents a ban, followed by confiscation. Why the legislation singles out ‘assault weapons,’ as defined, is a mystery. As we have noted many times, hardly any murders are committed with rifles, let alone the ones liberals define as ‘assault weapons.’ ” Apparently the choir John preaches to is entirely deaf and blind.

“Sir, this is a family establishment …WCCO-TV has a story up saying: “After allegedly cursing at a truck stop to an alarming degree, a 34-year-old man was arrested Saturday in central Minnesota and charged with disorderly conduct, authorities say. Alfred Pearson, of Moorhead, Minn., alarmed workers and patrons with his word choice and behavior at the Rothsay truck stop … Officers found Pearson after he left the truck stop, and they arrested him on outstanding warrants. He was later charged with disorderly conduct.”

Stribbers Kevin Diaz and Corey Mitchell remind readers that the late Sen. Paul Wellstone’s premier legislation is still unfinished: “With the nation reeling over the shootings of elementary school students by a deranged gunman in Newtown, Conn., Wellstone’s family and friends say they are close to completing his mission of expanding coverage for people with mental health or substance abuse problems. Wellstone’s Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008. But that turned out to be only the beginning of a protracted regulatory battle to refine its enforcement mechanisms. … [Sen. Al] Franken and other advocates, including Wellstone’s grown son David, say the law has no real teeth until the White House completes the long-stalled regulations needed to fully enforce it.”

I just can’t let this one pass. On the TCJewFolk website (your “Twin Cities Hub for Hip Jewish Stuff”) Bradley Machov tells us: “St. Paul judge has thrown out a case against Hebrew National which claimed that their hot dogs and other meat products weren’t entirely kosher. United States District Judge Donovan Frank (which is ironic considering a hot dog can also be called a “frank”) threw out a case brought by 11 consumers against ConAgra Foods Inc., maker of Hebrew National hot dogs. Hebrew National, whose slogan is ‘We Answer to a Higher Authority,’ marks all their products as Triangle K kosher, one of the most stringent kosher certifications. The lawsuit claimed that ConAgra used non-kosher procedures at their Hebrew National meat plants, and that the certifier, AER Services Inc., did nothing to address the issue when presented with facts and examples. When the lawsuit was filed this past June, Triangle-K issued a strong statement blasting the ‘outrageously false’ accusations and challenging all their detractors to a duel (OK, I maybe made up that last part).”

The Duluth News Tribune is whacking … “Blondie.” Editor Robin Washington says: “On Wednesday, ‘Blondie’ will no longer appear. A new strip, “Pearls Before Swine,” will take its place. Before I get to why, let me state that I like Blondie. She’s a sensible, devoted mother and wife who’s aged well (the clock stopped when she hit 40 or so) and if the punch line relies on the same old antics, they’ve more or less kept pace with the times (today’s strip is about streaming the Super Bowl on electronic devices). An exception is Mr. Dithers’ roll-top desk and overstuffed swivel chair, but you try getting him out of it. There aren’t a lot of readers who remember, but when Blondie made her debut in 1930, she was portrayed as a gold digger. It turned out to be a bum rap, and she and Dagwood married for love. His father disinherited him, however, and Dagwood’s been a working stiff ever since. … Syndication is a perfectly fine business. What’s not fine is that the DNT is charged roughly twice as much for ‘Blondie’ as for any other strip, and more than five times higher than some. The Sunday ‘Blondie’ is billed at $62.01 per week. By contrast, ‘Hi and Lois’ costs $32.22, and ‘Beetle Bailey’ only $11.67. Both of those are also distributed by King. It may sound like I’m penny-pinching, but automatic, recurring charges add up; think of your cable bill. Yearly, the Sunday ‘Blondie’ alone comes out to $3,224.52, which could easily be allocated to other needs for the paper. (New digital emergency radio frequencies require us to buy a new police scanner that goes for $500.)” Maybe the paper should test out a couple of months of manga.

Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Dave Thul on 02/04/2013 - 06:25 am.

    Cheap shot

    Since the facts are still not known, why would you take a obvious and un-funny shot at a decorated combat veteran, Chris Kyle, killed this weekend?

    Post traumatic stress disorder is a serious illness, not a rimshot.

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 02/04/2013 - 09:34 am.

      Post traumatic stress disorder is indeed a serious illness

      I agree that post traumatic stress disorder is a serious illness, but I think Brian took a fair shot, not a cheap one.

      Alcoholism is a serious illness, but I’d question the wisdom of someone who went out and got drunk with a known alcoholic and then hopped in a car with him/her.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 02/04/2013 - 08:05 am.


    I think the number of wealthy Minnesotans who take Mr. Radel’s celebratory letter seriously will be few. What Radel notably fails to mention is that southwest Florida could easily be underwater in a generation as sea levels rise. Even Minnesota is high ground compared to Florida – most of the peninsula is less than 100 feet above sea level. Perhaps more immediately relevant to snowbirds, however, is the fact that Florida has storms so damaging we give them names.

    Chris Kyle’s murder suggests two things: First, that Dave Thul is correct regarding PTSD. Second, that the NRA will find a way to pretend that firearms had nothing to do with the murder.

    • Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 02/04/2013 - 08:25 am.

      I suspect Radel’s letter will be widely quoted

      In the decades to come when Sun Belters flee to the north every summer to avoid “anvil of God” high temps. Thanks to the ultra-right thwarting common sense legislation to slow global warming, people alive today will live on a planet where the temperatures in hot spots will sometimes reach 140° or even 150° degrees — and that’s the conservative estimate!

      • Submitted by Stephen Dent on 02/04/2013 - 11:13 am.

        I am originally a Floridian…

        and in the 1960’s, my parents invested heavily in property in SW Florida and other places. Since their passing, our family trust still cannot unload the 15 acres of “prime” property right off US 41 – better known as Tamiami Trail, just south of downtown Naples. No building…no jobs…not even rich folks are going there unless they’re already established. Good luck to Florida. What can I say…”I’m proud to be a Minnesotan” – high taxes and all.

  3. Submitted by Alex Cecchini on 02/04/2013 - 09:28 am.

    Plymouth Mayor

    Sorry that a $40 million project that continues to subsidize the unproductive development pattern in the outer suburbs isn’t enough. Maybe if your residents worked where they live and/or walked, biked, and drove on local streets to work we wouldn’t need to continue to expand the freeways (which, will only induce more demand and be a wash anyway).

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 02/04/2013 - 11:51 am.

      494 Expansion

      So true. Let’s see the mayor get behind mass transit initiatives instead of more concrete for roads. Lord knows we’ve dumped enough money down the black hole of highways in the last 70 years. Let’s get a little equity and spend a couple of bucks on trains too.

  4. Submitted by David Fehlan on 02/04/2013 - 01:33 pm.

    Agree on the tasteless cheap shot

    and it’s not the first attempt by Mr. Lambert to ridicule the decisions made by people within a day or two of their violent deaths. A couple of weeks ago he couldn’t contain his snark and added inappropriate comments to the Glean item about the metro area woman who was killed and then dismembered by her husband.

    If the Glean had existed ten years ago, would he have called Wellstone a moron for hiring a less-than-top-notch small plane pilot?

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