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Congressman Kline: Education is ‘the province of states’

“States’ rights” in Wisconsin, too — plus a push for pre-abortion ultrasounds; attention on sex trafficking; Nature Valley Grand Prix starts; $175K Superman comic No. 1; and more.

Without actually uttering the phrase … “states’ rights” … . 2nd District Congressman John Kline, interviewed by Tom Weber on MPR, said: “Saying that ‘The secretary of education was never intended to be the nation’s superintendent,’ U.S. Rep. John Kline said Wednesday that proposed legislation in the House would reduce the federal role in education and return authority to the states. ‘Education has been the province of the states, of local control, of school boards and superintendents, and I think it works very well to leave it there,’ Kline told Tom Weber on The Daily Circuit. ‘So our bill works to reduce the federal imprint. ‘We eliminate 70 federal programs. … We do return responsibility for addressing these standards and the accountability system to the states, and take it out of the hands of the secretary. We’re trying to reduce that federal footprint, restore local control, empower parents by enhancing charter schools and other options, and ensuring that states are taking steps to support really good, effective teachers.”

Speaking of states’ rights … Ernst-Ulrich Franzen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes: “ ‘Maybe we should have a required course for legislators in constitutional law.’ Maybe we should, starting with the issues that were settled in 1865 when the concepts of secession, nullification and the primacy of the states over the federal government surrendered with Lee’s army at Appomattox. Apparently not everyone got the news: Under a bill proposed by Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Algoma), any future federal regulation to restrict assault rifles or magazine capacity couldn’t be enforced by local and state law enforcement officials. Officers who enforced a future restriction could be charged with a misdemeanor. … In addition, the bill would require firearms manufactured in Wisconsin to have a “Made in Wisconsin” stamp in the forlorn hope that it would make them exempt from federal regulations. … This is reminiscent of the legislators who threatened last November to arrest federal officials who try to implement Obamacare in Wisconsin. It does make one wonder when the secession bill will be coming up for a vote.”

Also next door — our pals are kind of on a run here David Edwards at the lefty site The Raw Story, writes: “Republican state senators in Wisconsin on Wednesday silenced Democratic lawmakers while passing a bill requiring women to undergo an ultrasound procedure before being able to receive an abortion. Wednesday’s Senate session began with state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) reading letters from several constituents who opposed the bill. ‘The idea of — quote — small government is in direct conflict with big government Republicans sticking their nose [up] my vagina,’ one voter named Suzanne wrote. ‘How can we get the conservatives — mostly men — to quit blaming women, many times girls, solely for unwanted pregnancies’? A second letter pointed out that the bill’s provision excluding rape and incest would not be effective because only 16 percent of rapes were reported to police. … In the end, the bill passed 17 to 15 along party lines. It was immediately referred to the state Assembly, and Gov. Scott Walker (R) has said that he will sign it into law.”  

The “victim-centered approach” to sex trafficking also got a going-over on MPR this morning. Some snippets:
Where does it happen?
[St. Paul PD Sgt. John] Bandemer:
“If you’re a fisherman, you’re going to go to the big lakes where the fish are. And if you want to go find girls you can exploit into sexual slavery, you’re going to go where the girls hang out: the malls, the shopping centers, the bus stops, the parks, the schools, the libraries. That’s where they know the girls are at. … The trafficking of a person does not require that they be moved. It’s not required that they cross a transnational border or even a state border. …
What needs to be done?
[Director of programs at Breaking Free Nikki] Beasley:
“We do have the Safe Harbor law that was passed in 2011, and that comes into effect in 2014. And we’re trying to get the No Wrong Door model passed so that we can respond. Because right now we aren’t able to wholly respond to the issue. The hope is that if this law passes, and the money that’s needed to make this model work, then we’ll be able to address it.”

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The GleanI assume this is what all the Tour de France wanna-riders in their pro rider gear have been training for … Tim Nelson of MPR says: “Tens of thousands of spectators and nearly 200 riders are expected for the 14th year of Minnesota’s Nature Valley Grand Prix, the state’s biggest competitive bicycling event. The annual bike race kicks off Wednesday in the Twin Cities, and continues through Sunday in various parts of the state. Jade Wilcoxen, the top woman road bike racer in the nation, is expected to compete.” I’d buy some of those shorts, but I worry they’d make my butt look too big.

That can of Keystone Light you “lost” overboard on the Mississippi last summer might be State Fair art …  The AP says: “Wednesday is riverboat cleanup day along the river, with volunteers to fan out shortly after daylight to pick up the debris that high water has deposited along sandbars. It’s the 22nd annual cleanup … The garbage that winds up in the Mississippi typically includes tires, barrels, bottles, boat parts, cans and occasionally furniture. Prizes are awarded to volunteers who find the best trash, and an artist will be collecting materials to turn into a sculpture to display at the Minnesota State Fair later this summer.”

Gosh, I can’t say I’m stunned … . The Strib story by David Phelps and Celia Ampel says: “Twin Cities hedge fund manager James Fry was found guilty on federal charges Wednesday that he misled investors when he when sent their funds to former Wayzata businessman-turned-felon Tom Petters. The jury of eight women and four men reached a verdict Wednesday on day three of deliberations. Fry was convicted on all 12 counts of wire and securities fraud, and of making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission for his role as an investment manager with convicted Ponzi scheme operator Tom Petters. … The federal trial of Fry marks the last foreseeable defendant in the $3.65 billion Petters Ponzi scheme, the largest criminal fraud in Minnesota history.”

And Superman goes for … $175,000. Steve Karnowski of the AP says: “A rare copy of the comic book featuring Superman’s first appearance that went undiscovered for over 70 years in the insulation of a Minnesota house has sold for $175,000. The high bidder for the copy of Action Comics No. 1 in the online auction was a “hard core, golden age comic book collector,” Stephen Fishler, CEO of, said Tuesday. The buyer’s name was not released. Fifty-one offers were submitted before bidding closed Monday night. But Fishler said the buyer had been looking for a several months for a lower-grade, unrestored copy of the Man of Steel’s debut, rather than a copy in better condition that could have cost well over $1 million.”

Interesting piece in Rolling Stone about a possible Bob Dylan biography … Writes Andy Greene: “Few people outside of his immediate family have ever been closer to Bob Dylan than Victor Maymudes. He entered Dylan’s inner circle in 1961 and served (without any official title) as his road manager and all-purpose best friend/sidekick through the entire decade, and he returned in 1988 for a 12-year run as his road manager on the Never Ending Tour. A personal spat around 2000 drove Maymudes off the road, and he soon began a book about his time with Dylan. He signed a $100,000 deal with St. Martin’s Press and recorded 24 hours of his recollections on tape, but died of a sudden brain aneurysm in 2001 just as he started the book. His son, Jake Maymudes, has held onto the tapes for the past 12 years, and he’s now completing the project. … in February of 1964 they drove from New York to California together along with singer Paul Clayton and writer Pete Karman, stopping along the way in Kentucky, Mississippi and New Orleans. Along the way Dylan wrote ‘Chimes of Freedom’ and ‘Ballad in Plain D.’ Realizing it would be hard to score drugs in the middle of the country, they planned ahead and sent packs of weed to post offices along their route.” That would be a good movie …