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AG Swanson is suing Texas credit-card processor

Plus: Bachmann talks about her hoped-for legacy; ‘Metro Jay’ used as derisive nickname in western district; 178 days in jail for former nurse; and more.

Dropping the hammer. The Strib’s Jennifer Bjorhus reports, “State Attorney General Lori Swanson is suing a Texas company for fraud, accusing the payment card processor of using bait-and-switch tactics to rip off small businesses in Minnesota. Apex Merchant Services of Plano, Texas, routinely altered the contracts it signed with companies without their authorization, inserting extra pages that hit them with higher-than-agreed-to fees, the lawsuit said. … Apex has contracts to process debit and credit cards for more than 600 small companies in Minnesota.”

Western Minnesota, where “metro” is a dirty word. MPR’s Tom Scheck says, “State Rep. Jay McNamar, DFL-Elbow Lake, and Republican Jeff Backer have been fighting over taxes, spending and the minimum wage in the district, which covers six counties and stretches along Minnesota’s border with North Dakota and South Dakota. But the biggest disagreement is over Backer’s nickname for McNamar. Backer calls McNamar ‘Metro Jay’ because he claims the first-term Democrat is ‘voting with the metro crowd, Minneapolis and St. Paul, more than voting with his constituents and what’s important to our area.’ “

You’d feel this: Stribber Paul Walsh on a once loose (now deceased) moose. “A moose was struck by several vehicles and died on an interstate early Wednesday in western Minnesota, a part of the state where the animal is rarely seen. A semitrailer truck first hit the moose about 4:45 a.m. along Interstate 94 near Barnesville, then a few other vehicles did the same, according to the State Patrol.”

Still in the news. Amy Forliti of the AP on the former nurse finally getting jail time. “A former nurse in Minnesota who admitted going online and encouraging two people to kill themselves is headed to jail. William Melchert-Dinkel was ordered Wednesday to serve 178 days in jail. He was sentenced to nearly five years in prison, but he won’t have to serve the prison term if he complies with conditions of probation that include the jail time.” I think Eisenhower was president when that case began.

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Once … eh, maybe an accident. Twice … you’re under arrest. From Paul Walsh (again): “A dispute between an ex-boyfriend and the new guy ended with one man running over the other — not once, but twice — near Brooklyn Center High School, authorities said Wednesday. Now the driver is jailed on suspicion of attempted murder, and his victim is in the hospital with a broken pelvis, police added.”

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Did you catch this commentary in this morning’s Strib? From local writer Wayne Nealis on former CIA director Leon Panetta’s belief that the war with ISIS-type insurgencies could be a “30 year war.” “Instead of Panetta’s insane future, the United States should notify the world that it will be removing all troops from the Middle East, will immediately stop all bombing and drone attacks, and will apologize to the Iraqi people for invading their nation. … Panetta, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Cheney, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. John McCain, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and others, should apologize to the American people and our soldiers and their families for choosing a military response to terrorism that destabilized the world and made Americans less safe. Then they should resign from political life and hang their heads in shame for the death and destruction they caused.” He makes Gandhi sound like Curtis LeMay.

Meanwhile, let’s (please) not forget Our Favorite Congresswoman as she rides into the sunset. In The National Journal Rebecca Nelson says, “In a speech at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, Michele Bachmann underscored what she hopes will be her legacy: the upstart tea-party movement. … For the eight-year veteran of Congress and former presidential candidate to gain entry into the American historical canon, the tea party will have to succeed in doing so, too—and overcome its current trajectory toward being rendered only a footnote in political history.” Does this mean they won’t even get credit for gridlock?

According to cops themselves … things are going just fine. MPR’s Brandt Williams reports, “The Minneapolis police civilian conduct review process turned two years old this month, and the department says it has streamlined the process for investigating complaints against officers. … According to data from the city, the most common civilian complaints contain allegations that officers used foul language or were disrespectful. Some critics of the department, like Chuck Turchick, said coaching doesn’t seem to be an effective remedy for that.”

Veteran sports writer Frank Deford has had it up to here with the NFL. The latest nail in his craw is the nonprofit NFL seeking 10,000 volunteers (i.e. un-paid) to help out with the next Super Bowl, in Glendale, Arizona. After that he goes on to say, “Worth keeping in mind, too, that the new Minneapolis stadium is costing about $500 million in taxpayer money with a sweetheart deal for the owners. Last year I said I was amazed that anybody would volunteer for the NFL. Now, it’s simple to declare: If you people in Arizona volunteer for this season’s Super Bowl, you’re suckers.”