Sens. Klobuchar and Franken seem to be having a hard time deciding … According to the Strib’s Kevin Diaz: “The Obama administration’s nuclear accord with Iran has ramped up the pressure on several dozen senators who remain on the fence about additional sanctions on Tehran, including Minnesota Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. … While Minnesota’s senators remain undecided, the unrest among Democrats has long been on display. When the House voted 400-20 last July to toughen sanctions against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Minnesota Democrats Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum broke ranks and voted in the minority.” Naturally, Our Favorite Congresswoman wants to get tough … now.
In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, the specter of “Soviet-style price controls” gets a workout: “Some of the House-Senate negotiators are demanding new Soviet-style price controls for the U.S. milk industry, which could show up in your next grocery bill. … [Collin] Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee whose state is home to 470,000 cows, wants to create an insurance program without a cap so Big Milk can get in on the action too. MILC has already cost $3.6 billion since it began in 2003 and the Peterson blowout would lead to exorbitant payments and political blowback. So Mr. Peterson wants consumers to pay for hidden corporate welfare for the huge dairy cooperative Land O’Lakes instead.”
A story at Catholic Online says: “It sounds like the plot of a science-fiction B-movie. Scientist trolling the bottom of a Minnesota lake discovers organisms lost there for over 700 years, and successfully bring them back to life. Only this time, it’s not science-fiction, but science fact. … South Center Lake in Minnesota is in fact a charming 898-acre body of water located on the outskirts of the small town of Lindstrom, most famous for being known as ‘America’s Little Sweden.’ Scientists here have revived shrimp-like animals that have been buried at the bottom of the lake for more than 700 years. They may very well be the oldest animals ever resurrected.”
Paul Walsh of the Strib has the latest on the Minnesota couple who drowned in the Chicago River: “Ken Hoang, 26, died at Northwestern Hospital early Monday after police pulled his body from the river, family members and a law enforcement source told the Chicago Tribune. … A witness told WBBM-TV that he and a friend heard cries for help coming from the river. The witness said he spoke to the man who was yelling while hanging onto the St. Paul man and was told a woman also was in the water.”
And on that idea for a dime container deposit … Josephine Marcotty of the Strib says: “At best, Minnesotans recycle less than half of the water, pop, beer, iced tea, fruit juice and energy-drink containers they use, with the rest winding up in landfills and garbage burners. That contradiction explains what is expected to be a contentious public hearing Tuesday in St. Paul on one surefire way to change consumers’ habits: Turn beverage containers into cash by putting a 10 cent deposit on each one. Such a fee would catapult the statewide recycling rate to 84 percent, a new analysis found.”
And as for that lawsuit holding up bond sales for the Vikings’ palace … Baird Helgeson, also of the Strib, says: “State budget officials had methodically prepared for the bond sale to ensure the lowest possible interest rates. Now the project costs could creep up, not only with the potential for higher interest, but also added administrative and legal costs. … It is not clear when the Supreme Court might weigh in on the matter, said John Kostouros, spokesman for the State Court Administration.” And the completely objective Strib story laying out the case for the lawsuit runs when … ?
Example No. 4322 of why Delta Airlines is so beloved … . Kelly Yamanouchi of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports: “For the first time in decades, the loyalty of Delta Air Lines’ elite frequent fliers isn’t being measured by miles or flying alone. Instead, cold, hard cash has been added to the equation. It will now take at least $2,500 in spending annually to reach Delta’s Medallion status — on top of the typical requirement of flying 25,000 miles. … Effective Jan. 1, Delta is now requiring $2,500 of spending to reach silver Medallion status, $5,000 for gold, $7,500 for platinum and $12,500 for diamond — in addition to existing requirements to fly 25,000, 50,000, 75,000 and 125,000 miles, respectively, to reach those levels.”
For MPR, Dan Gunderson covers news of a pro-bee initiative: “In a report to the Legislature on Wednesday, the state Department of Agriculture will detail its plan to review the use of a popular insecticide linked to bee deaths. Meanwhile, the state Department of Natural Resources is developing guidelines to improve the habitat for pollinating insects. The issue is also likely to be a hot topic during the upcoming Legislative session because pollinating insects are important to agriculture.”
It better be … Frederick Melo of the PiPress says the Central Corridor LRT is on schedule: “From solving drainage problems to replacing cracked concrete, crews are working to finish the four-year construction project along some of St. Paul’s busiest streets. The line will debut in mid-2014, though an official announcement isn’t planned till Jan. 22. … Trains are expected to roll by July 15, when Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is scheduled at Target Field in Minneapolis. But much remains to be completed.”