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‘Game Change’ guys say Bachmann was ‘spooked’ by Rick Perry

State’s food stamp numbers double since 2007; Mississippi Market expanding; increase seen in “preemies”; “speech” issues in Wisconsin; Lake Wobegon Trail needs help; and more.

And here you thought she was only afraid of Obamacare … The new book by the “Game Change” guys has a good bit about Our Favorite Congresswoman. At Politico, Byron Tau and Jose Delreal write: “[D]etails are revealed in ‘Double Down: Game Change 2012,’ by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann — a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO on Thursday. …  ‘Michele Bachmann was so spooked that she was unable to deliver a key attack line against Rick Perry during the GOP primary. When the Texas governor jumped into the 2012 race, Bachmann’s aides planned a zinger that would gently mock the former Texas A&M yell leader. “From one former cheerleader to another, welcome to Iowa,” Bachmann, herself a former cheerleader, was supposed to say. But she was unable to deliver the line at an Iowa GOP function that Perry was also supposed to attend. Bachmann refused to leave her bus, saying ‘I don’t want to be in the room with him.’ Her staff lied to her and told her that Perry had left the event. When she saw the Texas governor, she froze with fear and moved out of his line of sight. She was barely able to finish her stump speech at the event. At the time, Bachmann was suffering from chronic, stress induced migraines.” Thank god she had government health insurance.

In the realm of “public service” … MPR’s Julie Siple reports: “Minnesotans who receive food stamps are about to receive less money each month for groceries. A temporary boost to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program passed by Congress as part of the 2009 economic stimulus package expires Friday, forcing some low-income Minnesotans to look for ways to fill the gap. Exactly how much each family will lose depends on circumstances. For example, a family of four will receive $36 less each month. The average drop in benefits regardless of family size will be 7 percent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think-tank that studies poverty. … There are now 537,000 people on food stamps in Minnesota, double the number in 2007.” Cynthia Boyd’s MinnPost coverage is here.

What would Pig’s Eye say? Frederick Melo of the PiPress reports: “The Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op has officially alerted the city of St. Paul it intends to buy 44,600 square feet of vacant land along East Seventh Street that formerly housed the Hospital Linen facility. The Dayton’s Bluff site, located at 740 E. Seventh St., is owned by the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority. It will become the home of a 15,600-square foot, full-service natural foods store. Dominium, a developer of senior housing, has proposed residences next door, though official plans have yet to be unveiled.”

An increase of “preemies” in Minnesota … Jeremy Olson of the Strib says: “Minnesota was one of only 17 states that failed to reduce its rate of preterm births in 2012, despite taking comprehensive steps to combat the problem. The state’s rate of preterm births remained lower than the national average, but crept up from 9.9 percent of the total in 2011 to 10.2 percent last year. The surprise result is contained in a report being released Friday by the March of Dimes on preterm births, those that take place before 37 weeks of gestation. ‘When I saw this report, I was like, ‘aw, shoot!’ said Danielle Prenevost, communications director for the March of Dimes’ state chapter.”

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If unlimited, undisclosed donations from billionaires is “speech,” why isn’t this? Dannika Lewis of WISC-TV in Wisconsin reports: “Wisconsin Dells Mayor Brian Landers said he’s been trying to get businesses to voluntarily agree to it for years. Most store owners did it. Others said they would and never moved the merchandise. ‘As a community, if we allow those things to continue to be displayed, I think that’s representative of our community that we allow and tolerate such things,’ Landers said. Landers is talking about explicit items, specifically T-shirts, that are put up in downtown storefronts. Now, there’s an ordinance moving through the city council that would require those shops to put those products inside and warn customers of mature material before they enter the store. Landers said this ordinance targets sexual references, racial slurs and profanity on clothing that can be seen from the sidewalk.”

Also from Cheddarsylvania … Betsy Bloom of the La Crosse Tribune writes: “The demonstrators say it’s an infringement of their free speech rights. Town of Campbell officials say it’s a matter of safety. But local tea party members and others for now no longer can use the town’s pedestrian bridge over Interstate 90 to display signs to the traffic below. The group showed up Aug. 6 as part of the national Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment movement, with flags and signs that encouraged drivers to honk if they supported removing the president from office. But when they continued to repeat the protests, usually during peak evening commuting hours, Campbell officials said they began getting complaints about the noise and number of people. … The La Crosse tea party website vows to fight the ordinance in court. ‘The town of Campbell will incur many hassles and legal expenses if it tries to do this,’ a member posted on the site before the board vote.” Their tax dollars at work.

We could be No. 1, with a flush! Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “There is one public restroom in the Twin Cities that is so flush with luxury that it is in the running as the nation’s best. The Varsity Theater’s restroom is among 10 vying for the honor in a national online poll conducted by Ciantas, a major supplier of products for public facilities. The company put up 10 nominees for King of the Throne and then online voters took over from there, with the potty poll closing Thursday night. Here’s some of what online voters read about our local loo in Dinkytown: ‘The restroom, decorated with ornate, gilded mirrors, sassy text plates, and bricks laid as if by a drunken mason on bender, invites guests into an Alice In Wonderland-like grotto — to relieve themselves and relive childhood fairy tales’.” I think there’s some “enhancing” activity going on in there.

The Lake Wobegon Trail is falling below average … Kirsti Marohn of the St. Cloud Times says: “Fifteen years after it opened, the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail draws hundreds of thousands of bicyclists, walkers, snowmobilers and in-line skaters every year. But in some places, the trail is showing its age. … Stearns County has been working to fix problem spots using money budgeted for parks and transportation. However, county officials also are looking for new sources of funding for trail rehabilitation, including the state’s Legacy Fund.” Or perhaps … selling naming rights? Like, “WalMart’s Lake Wobegon Trail”?

Apparently their “need to know” is insufficient … The AP reports: “Two anti-war activists whose homes were searched by the FBI in 2010 are asking a federal judge to end the secrecy surrounding their case. Jess Sundin and Mick Kelly are among 23 anti-war activists in Chicago, Minneapolis and Grand Rapids, Mich., whose homes were searched. Warrants indicated investigators were looking for connections between the activists and radical groups in Colombia and the Middle East. … Prosecutors say the notion of undue suspicion doesn’t outweigh the government’s interest in keeping the documents sealed.”