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Vikings stadium groundbreaking: Upbeat politicians, downbeat politicos

Snow, gales hit North Shore; decade’s coldest cold freeze on way; little court help for frequent flyers; end to “gay conversion therapy” sought; and more.

Politicians, the Vikings owners and other dignitaries break ground Tuesday on the site of the new stadium.
MinnPost photo by Marlys Harris

Even though the asphalt was cracked Monday, today was the official start of construction on the Vikings’/our billion-dollar stadium. In the Strib, Richard Meryhew and Paul Walsh are saying: “Two longtime project boosters — Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak — were among the speakers at the under-the-tent event outside the doomed Dome. Team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf also attended, along with executives for HKS Inc., the stadium architect, and Mortenson Construction, the stadium builder, and star running back Adrian Peterson. ‘What a day,’ Zygi Wilf said to the gathering. ‘It was always our intention to bring a championship and a stadium’ to Minnesota, he said. ‘We are embarking on our way to both.’ … Dayton saluted the members of the Minneapolis City Council who, he said, put their political careers on the line and voted for the stadium. … Referring to Vikings fans who had spent time at the State Capitol lobbying for the stadium financing bill, Rybak said: ‘Democracy sometimes includes painting your face [Vikings colors] and wearing horns.’ ” … As long as you understand the difference between democracy and majority rule.

The PiPress story, by Doug Belden and Bill Salisbury, includes this: “As government officials and Vikings owners were preparing for the groundbreaking, leaders of three conservative groups predicted proponents will be back for more state funding to finish the project. ‘This coming legislative session, I think we can expect to see taxpayers get hit again for this,’ Dan McGrath, president of Minnesota Majority, said at a Capitol press conference. The stadium will be built, ‘but the deal is not fully funded yet,’ said former state Sen. Ted Lillie, president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota. He noted that the main source of the state’s $348 million subsidy for the $1 billion stadium — taxes on electronic pulltabs and bingo — is falling far short of projections, and he warned that stadium backers would try to tap tax dollars that would otherwise go into the state’s general fund to plug a shortfall in funding for the project.”

MPR’s story, by Tim Nelson and Tim Pugmire, says: “Republican Senator Dave Thompson of Lakeville predicted that funding for the public share of the stadium will fall short and taxpayers will get hit harder. Thompson, who is a GOP candidate for governor, blamed incumbent DFL Governor Mark Dayton. ‘Who’s going to get stuck with it? Probably the taxpayer, and not the hated 1 percent’, said Thompson. ‘The regular folks in Minnesota that are getting up every Monday through Friday, going to work, working hard and earning an average living will pay for this stadium. It’s wrong. It shouldn’t have been done, and this governor should be held accountable.’ ”

Better call before driving up to Duluth … John Myers of the News Tribune says: “Moderate snow continued to fall in Duluth this morning on top of 7 to 13 inches reported across the city overnight — and there’s more to come tonight and Wednesday. Through early afternoon, another 1 to 3 inches of snow is expected on top of what fell overnight, with the highest amounts along the higher terrain on the North Shore. Another wave of potentially heavy snow is forecast to move into the region starting late this afternoon through Wednesday. A gale warning is posted for Lake Superior, with east winds to 45 mph and pushing waves to 14 feet. A winter storm warning has been posted for all of Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin until 6 p.m. Wednesday.”

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Says Paul Douglas: “What may turn into the coldest arctic outbreak in a decade is on the way. Not a casual cold front, but at least two separate waves of ‘Holy Thinsulate — get me out of here’! Siberian Surges. An old fashioned cold wave spilling into mid-December. I’m predicting 5 subzero nights through the middle of next week; in spite of a Yukon-blue sky daytime ‘highs’ may not rise above 0F on Saturday. Late week wind chills may dip to -25F or colder. Bitter blasts are often preceded by significant snow, and we’re still on track for some 4-14 inch snowfall amounts over central & northern Minnesota by Thursday; maybe 2 feet along Lake Superior’s North Shore.”  You did put the snow tires on, right?

Because “he complained too much”? Mark Sherman of the AP says: “The Supreme Court indicated Tuesday it won’t offer much help to frequent flyers who want to sue when airlines revoke their miles or their memberships. The justices heard the case of a Minnesota rabbi who was stripped of his top-level ‘platinum elite’ status in Northwest’s WorldPerks program because the airline said he complained too much. Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg said Northwest, since absorbed by Delta Air Lines Inc., did not act in good faith when it cut him off. The airline says the federal deregulation of the airline industry in 1978 rules out most lawsuits like the one filed by Ginsberg.” So what are they going to do to me if I complain? Shoehorn me into an uncomfortable seat and gouge me for bags and lousy chow?

First, Our Favorite Congresswoman is harassed by political opponents (and courts) and decides to give up her day job. Now, godless secularists are going after husband Marcus’ source of income. On the site, Alec Fisher writes: “I was bullied horrifically in middle school for being perceived as gay, and like many people who experience bullying, the problem got so bad that I attempted suicide. Thankfully, when I got to high school, I was fortunate enough to come out to peers and family members who loved and accepted me for who I was. But we know this is not the case for many other youth who identify as LGBT in our state and across the country.  That’s why I want my state to take a stand for LGBT youth, and ban ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy. … The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and every leading medical organization condemns conversion therapy.” Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Karen Clark may offer such legislation.   

The GleanBob Dylan is in trouble with both the French and the Croats … The AP says: “French authorities have filed preliminary charges against Bob Dylan over a 2012 interview in which he is quoted comparing Croatians to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. The charges of ‘public insult and inciting hate’ were filed against the musician in mid-November, Paris prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said Tuesday. They stem from a lawsuit by a Croatian community group in France over remarks in an interview in Rolling Stone magazine in September 2012. Speaking about race relations in the United States, Dylan was quoted as saying: ‘If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.’ ” The world is too literal-minded a place for Bob.

Gizmo news … James Walsh of the Strib writes: “Neurostimulation, the use of electric stimulation to control chronic pain, continues to gain steam in the U.S. and abroad. On Tuesday, St. Jude Medical announced that it has started a clinical study of its Prodigy neurostimulator, a spinal cord stimulation system that delivers something called burst stimulation. It is the first of its kind, St. Jude said. The SUNBURST (Success Using Neuromodulation with BURST) study will evaluate whether burst stimulation can be more effective in managing chronic pain than traditional tonic stimulation that sends a continuous stream of electricity. … St. Jude says that early research indicates that burst stimulation may be able to deliver therapy with little or no tingling and that it may be more effective than traditional stimulation treatment. It may even be more effective in managing complex back pain.” But obviously work on this will grind to a halt and St. Jude will never sell a single unit and may well go bankrupt if they don’t get out from under that Obamacare device tax.