Bachmann leads Congress in privately financed travel

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Rep. Michele Bachmann

After so many exhausting sessions, it’s time for some sightseeing. Stribber Corey Mitchell tells us, “Retiring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has taken more privately financed trips in 2014 than any other member of Congress. …  Since January, Bachmann has also traveled to: a Heritage Foundation event in Richmond, Va., in February; England’s Oxford Union Society in March; an event hosted by the Israel Allies Caucus Foundation in Dallas in March; Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Ok., in May; and the Western Conservative Summit in Denver in July, congressional records show.” Apparently she skipped Burning Man.

That new ad playing with Eighth District GOP candidate Stewart Mills’ luxury pedigree is pretty funny. Even the Washington Post has noticed. Aaron Blake writes, “This is hardly the first ad this cycle — or in any cycle — to target a candidate for his or her wealth and how it was obtained. But it is a particularly pitch-perfect entry into what is a fast-growing (and apparently effective) genre. And it’s all in the details. … Mills is in a toss-up race with Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) in Northeastern Minnesota. No word on whether he has been seen campaigning in boat shoes.” Considering the power of humor/ridicule, it’s astonishing so many campaigns still resort to the grainy “perp” video shtick.

But can it create as much excitement as Krispy Kreme? Says John Ewoldt of the Strib on news that L.L. Bean is coming to the MOA. “The Maine company will announce [today] that it will open a 29,000-square-foot store on Nov. 10 — L.L. Bean’s first outlet west of the Mississippi River.  … The new store will be a first-floor anchor in the former Bloomingdale’s space. With Forever 21 also on the first floor and basement level, and Barbie’s Dream House on the 3rd floor, only Bloomingdale’s second-floor space has yet to be filled.” … “Barbie’s Dream House”?

Because it’s always sunny in Sioux Falls. The AP says, “Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County planners have approved a permit for a proposed $25 million solar farm on the outskirts of South Dakota’s largest city. However, some neighbors say they’ll appeal the decision, and a renewable energy expert wonders why the project is even being proposed. Minnesota-based Geronimo Energy of Edina is planning the Cherry Creek solar farm. Construction is to begin in the spring of 2016 … . A security fence will surround the 99 acres of solar panels.”

In another 50 -100 years your property might be worth some real money … . Jennifer Kingson of The New York Times looks at who’ll benefit from climate change, and the experts like what they see in the Midwest. “Don’t count out the elevated inland cities in the country’s midsection, like Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee and Detroit, said Matthew E. Kahn, a professor of environmental economics at the University of California, Los Angeles. … In his 2010 book ‘Climatopolis,’ Professor Kahn predicts that when things get bad enough in any given location — not just the temperatures and extreme weather, but also the cost of insurance and so forth — people will become ‘environmental refugees,’ fleeing cities like Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego. By 2100, he writes, Detroit will be one of the nation’s most desirable cities.”

Well, that’s 29 tons we won’t be drinking. The AP reports, “An effort by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has kept 58,000 pounds of unwanted and unused pesticides out of the environment. The department held free collections in 31 counties this summer to offer homeowners, farmers and businesses a way to safely discard old pesticides. In a statement Tuesday, the department says this year’s collections marked a 20,000-pound increase from the last round two years ago.”

The charioteer is off for a few months of beauty treatments … Says Bill Salisbury in the PiPress: “The charioteer who steers the four golden horses on the Quadriga, the iconic statue atop the front entrance to the Minnesota State Capitol, is finally taking a ride. The figure was removed and lowered to the ground by a giant crane Tuesday to allow repairs to corrosion to the top surface of the chariot. The work is expected to take about three months.”

Just a kid who knew its Second Amendment rights … . From Mara Gottfried of the PiPress: “The gun police found in a crib at a St. Paul home daycare was loaded and was under the mattress, police said Tuesday as they released more information about the case. Officers executing a search warrant on Friday night found the weapon, along with marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the North End home, according to a police report.”

But still enough to cripple job creators … . MPR’s John Enger writes, “[Will Fisher is] too frugal to gamble, since he supports himself working roughly 60 hours a week at three part-time jobs, all paying rates at or within a stone’s throw of minimum wage. That kind of job situation is exactly what state lawmakers wanted to address when they raised the minimum wage in Minnesota. Most employers had to boost the bottom of the scale from the federal minimum of $7.25 to $8 starting Aug. 1. That day the minimum rate of pay in Minnesota rose 10 percent. Fisher, a 45-year-old with no specialized job training or college degree, is the type of worker one might expect would get a raise from the Aug. 1 minimum wage increase. That pay increase, however, looks a lot better on paper than in his pocket. His weekly take home pay is up just $3 a week.”

Predictably … Corporations have been quick to respond to the Obama administration’s crackdown on tax-dodging inversion deals. At USA Today Kevin McCoy writes, “The rules, which took effect immediately, would cover pending deals such as Burger King’s merger with Canada’s Tim Horton’s doughnut chain and medical device maker Medtronic’s acquisition of Ireland’s Covidien. … ‘The continued approach of the U.S. on this issue is yet another example of antiquated tax policy which fails to create a pro-business environment,’ said Frederic Donnedieu, chairman of Taxand a global organization of tax advisers to multinational businesses. ‘Combined with its approach towards offshore cash, the country is creating an uneven playing field and is losing out to those jurisdictions who recognize the benefits of a forward looking tax policy.’ ” “Forward looking”? Is that code for “negligible”?

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 09/23/2014 - 06:13 pm.

    Just Out Auditioning

    No doubt soon-to-be former Rep. Michele Bachmann has just been out auditioning for her new job as spokesmodel for some “conservative” organization or other.

    Surely EVERY such organization would like to make use of her ability to keep herself in the media spotlight on their behalf,…

    although I, for one, wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out she repeatedly failed to mention the name of nor express appreciation for the employer who was paying her salary,…

    nor if she turned around and attacked them for doing so,…

    as she’s always done for every one of her previous employers – local, county, state, and federal governments.

  2. Submitted by Joe Musich on 09/23/2014 - 08:46 pm.

    Isn’t the Strib ….

    looking for a conservative columnist ? Maybe that would be the job for Bachmann!

  3. Submitted by E Gamauf on 09/29/2014 - 07:41 am.

    Private trips to Burning Man, in FlipFlops?

    Surprised that she goes on junkets?
    These are just the recent ones.

    No one has noticed the extreme flip-flopping of Bachmann on gay rights lately: gay rights is now not an issue!

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