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Bachmann: Obama election due to ‘guilt’

Walker inner circle’s “joke”; Vikings, other teams tighten contract language; Minnesota health reforms lowering costs; railroad company doesn’t like Southwest LRT plan; season’s biggest snow possible; and more.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Return of The Quote Machine!  The Huffington Post story, by Samantha Lachman goes like this: “Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) doesn’t seem too concerned with what the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy means for the Republican Party in 2016. In an interview last week in her Capitol Hill office, Bachmann told syndicated columnist Cal Thomas people ‘aren’t ready’ for a female president. ‘I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt’, she said. ‘People don’t hold guilt for a woman.’ She added that while voters elect women for virtually every other office, she doesn’t think there is ‘a pent-up desire’ for a woman president.”

And in a not-entirely dissimilar vein … Did you catch this gem from the e-mail trove out of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s inner circle? Jason Stein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes: “[T]he newest examples coming to light Wednesday in the unsealed documents involved Walker staff members who served as his No. 1 and No. 2 aides while he served as Milwaukee County executive. In April 2010, Walker’s former deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch received an emailed joke from a friend about someone whose dogs supposedly qualified for welfare because they are ‘mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddys are.’ Rindfleisch wrote back: ‘That is hilarious. And so true!’ ” Such a classy crowd. But do click in and read the entire e-mail “joke.”

“I’m sick. Let me go.” Ryan Foley of the AP reports: “A Minnesota man charged with killing his wife in Iowa in 1997 is suffering from prostate cancer and other illnesses and may only have months to live, his defense attorney said Thursday. John Bloomfield’s attorney revealed the cancer diagnosis in asking a judge to let the 73-year-old be released from custody and live at home in St. Paul, Minn., until trial, which is scheduled for July 8.”

The NFL knows the value of a tightly written contract. Ben Goessling of ESPN writes: “The fallout from the Wells report will continue to make its way through the NFL for months, but there is one immediate effect from the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin scandal that appears to have made its way to the Minnesota Vikings.  … ‘Teams such as Minnesota and Cleveland have begun to use language in their new coaching contracts that forces assistants to act in a more tolerant way than some in the Dolphins organization did,’ (Adam) Schefter reported. ‘The new added language in coaches’ contracts is designed to limit liability if a Miami-like situation were to occur anywhere else.’

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Improvements … Jeremy Olson of the Strib says: “A set of far-reaching health reforms adopted by Minnesota in 2008 has resulted in better care at lower cost for patients using clinics that have adopted a new, preventive model of medical care. … The report, released Thursday, offers the most tangible evidence to date showing the results of Minnesota’s 2008 package of health care reforms, which included funding for the creation of health care homes as well as health improvement grants to promote healthier foods and recreational options in schools and communities.” So “The Nanny State” is paying off?

How are your grant-writing skills? An AP story says: “The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is looking for innovative grant proposals for specialty crop research and development. The department says it expects to get the money from a federal block grant authorized under the 2014 farm bill. Specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops including flowers.” Is crabgrass a crop?

The railroad company is not down with that Southwest LRT re-route idea. Pat Doyle and Rochelle Olson of the Strib say: “With the Southwest light rail project facing a make-or-break deadline, Minneapolis residents were dealt a blow Thursday when a freight train company rejected a proposal to reroute its trains to clear space for the transit in the city’s Kenilworth recreation corridor. The decision will likely put more pressure on running the light-rail line in two tunnels alongside the freight trains in the corridor, a strategy opposed by some nearby residents.”

“The biggest of the winter”? Paul Douglas is saying: “NOAA’s NAM model kept the heaviest snow bands well east of Minnesota [Tuesday], but last night’s (00z) run finally came in line with guidance from GFS and ECMWF, both hinting at very significant snowfall amounts for the Twin Cities. Snow gets heavier as the day goes on, accumulating at the rate of 1″ an hour by afternoon and tonight. By Friday morning there’s a good chance many towns and suburbs within 30-40 miles of MSP may wake up to 5-10″ of new snow. I suspect this will be the biggest snowfall of the winter, to date. … Next week will feel more like late January, and any extended thaw in early March appears to be a cruel hallucination, a meteorological mirage.”

Paul Walsh and Tim Harlow at the Strib say: “MnDOT prepared by pretreating metro roads, but rain that lasted through the morning washed much of those chemicals off, and that will limit its effectiveness as temperatures drop below freezing and snow falls, said spokesman Kevin Gutknecht. MnDOT has its full armada of plows ready to hit the roads once the snow starts accumulating. But if that doesn’t happen until the evening commute, that will make it challenging for plows to do their work.”

Aw shucks … but please keep asking. Stribber Corey Mitchell writes: “While deflecting questions about a possible presidential bid of her own, Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she’s excited about the possibility of former Secretary of State  Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016. ‘I love the job that I have right now and it really looks like Hillary Clinton may be running on our side and that’s exciting,’ Klobuchar said in a C-SPAN ‘American Profile’ interview. ‘But she hasn’t said, so I’m not making any news here.’ ”

On the pot beat … Tim Pugmire of MPR says: “Supporters of Legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota are considering a new approach for the 2014 session, and the potential changes are winning the backing of some law enforcement groups. State Rep. Carly Melin, the chief author of the bill in the Minnesota House, is working on a much narrower proposal that would allow only the use of some non-narcotic, marijuana-derived chemicals.”

With that in mind … Sally Jo Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie continues following Ms. Melin’s endeavor: “Representative Carly Melin boldly confronted the yoke that ties funding of Minnesota’s police and sheriffs’ departments to seizures of property and money in drug busts, providing their lobbyists with an incentive to resist reforming laws that making all forms of cannabis illegal, including industrial hemp (a natural fiber and oil) and medical marijuana, which promises relief for a range of human maladies. Left out in the discussion? That legislative relief that might reduce the resistance of law enforcement to the reform of marijuana laws might not be found in bills legalizing hemp farming or medical marijuana, but in reforms directed toward funding law enforcement.”