“Traditional financing.” What a crazy concept. Joe Carlson of the Strib reports, “Medtronic Inc. will use traditional financing rather than its overseas cash buy Dublin-based surgical supplier Covidien, following the announcement of new federal tax rules designed to discourage such deals. Nothing else is changing about the $42.9 billion deal, which will invert the combined company’s headquarters to low-tax Ireland but keep executive operation in Fridley, according to a statement Medtronic officials sent out Friday morning.”
Chelsey Dulaney of The Wall Street Journal writes, “Medtronic Inc. said Friday it plans to use $16 billion in external debt to finance its $43 billion takeover of Irish rival Covidien PLC, rather than using cash from foreign units as previously planned. The medical-device maker said the new financing will carry an additional expense, but didn’t specify how much. Medtronic still expects the deal to add to its cash earnings in its 2016 fiscal year. … In August, Medtronic said it had agreed to reimburse company officials who were charged millions of dollars under a 15% tax on stock and option awards at companies pursuing inversion deals.”
Obviously, someone got the message. Emma Nelson of the Strib says, “The University of Minnesota said Friday it is backing away from a bundled season ticket policy that was forcing students to buy seats they didn’t want. Governor Mark Dayton had written to University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler earlier in the day, saying he was ‘appalled’ to learn about the school’s new ticket sales system and urged Kaler to discontinue it.”
Pot. It’s a mysterious thing. Says Tim Nelson at MPR, “A Minnesota marijuana operation may be coming soon to an industrial park or farm near you, or maybe not. Nobody knows. No one knows much about how the state’s new medical pot program is coming along. That includes the people applying to get in on the ground floor. Today’s the deadline for those applying to be one of two licensed medical marijuana suppliers. So far, it’s proving to be a process shrouded by complexity and secrecy. … It’s not even clear what kind of market there will be for medical marijuana in Minnesota.”
Change the plug in the snowblower… “It” is coming baaaack. Says weather guy Paul Douglas in the Strib, “Mother Nature will test your sense of humor this weekend. Are you stoic — do you take things in stride, or do you agonize over things you can’t change? Only in Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Weather Extremes, is it possible to go from 82F and sunburn on a Sunday to slushy snow, heavy jackets and scattered scowls five days later. Each successive computer run is colder and wetter for tonight & early Saturday; Saturday, the freezing level [is] forecast to be low enough for wet snow to mix in with the rain, even as far south as the Twin Cities.”
The reviews are so bad you almost feel sorry for the guy. A few choice comments on Christian Ponder after last night’s Vikings debacle in Green Bay:
Doug Farrar at Sports Illustrated, “He was hesitant in the pocket, waited far too long to make throws, failed to make confident throws to the intermediate and deep levels and threw more deep balls out of bounds than he did between the lines. … he may have to accept one of those Kevin Kolb/Matt Leinart ‘it’s just about over’ deals from another team if he wants to stay in the NFL.”
Ben Goessling at ESPN, “If [Teddy] Bridgewater starts the rest of the year and Ponder heads into free agency with Thursday’s game as his final piece of work, he’ll have trouble creating much of a market for himself. [Head coach Mike] Zimmer is fond of saying faith is belief without proof; the belief the Vikings had professed in Ponder went unproven on Thursday.”
Christopher Gates at The Daily Norseman, “ … this was a disaster for Minnesota, and has basically put the Christian Ponder era to bed. The team had the three turnovers, Ponder was sacked six times, and the Vikings managed only 111 rushing yards against a unit that came into the game as the NFL’s worst defense against the run. The lack of chemistry between Ponder and anyone else in a white jersey was pretty obvious.”
Jim Souhan of the Strib, “When the Vikings kept saying nice things about Ponder during training camp, you had to figure they were hoping to trade him. When they kept saying nice things about him while keeping him on the roster, you had to wonder whether offensive coordinator Norv Turner had rewired Ponder the way some mad scientists can turn a toaster into a short-wave radio.”
Tom Powers at the PiPress, “Like Zubaz, Chia Pets and fanny packs, some things are best left buried in the past. Christian Ponder returned to his old job as Vikings quarterback Thursday night, and the results were predictable. No matter that the entire Vikings team played terribly, Ponder, being Ponder, today will be on the receiving end of the bulk of the blame. In Minnesota, his name has the same negative connotations as zebra mussels and emerald ash borers.”
You get the idea.
Meanwhile, The Base loves itself some good hyperbole. From the AP out of Madison: “The leader of Wisconsin Club for Growth is comparing law enforcement raids targeting the homes of people connected with a John Doe investigation to rape and domestic spying. Eric O’Keefe made the remark during an interview Thursday with WISN-AM. His group was targeted as part of an investigation into alleged illegal campaign coordination involving Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign and at least 29 conservative organizations.” I’m sure women will relate well to that analogy.
Have you heard about the time Sarah Silverman stabbed Al Franken in the head? Jason Hughes at The Wrap says, “Sarah Silverman was a featured player and writer for ‘Saturday Night Live’ for only one season in the early 1990s, but she was there long enough to violently assault a future senator of the United States. … It was in the writers’ room, while they were working on the show. She recalled that it was winter because Franken ‘had a really big Jewfro,’ she explained, turning to the audience to add with a smile, ‘They grow them for the winter.’ She found herself mesmerized by his hair. ‘In my mind, I just thought, I’m gonna stab this through his hair,’ she said of the pencil. ‘But what everyone saw — because this is what happened — was I just went and stabbed him.’ She held the pencil directly to her temple. After the random assault, she said that Franken just screamed ‘Why?’ ”