If you want to play “Legislative Bingo” you get points for how soon Sunday liquor sales come up … and are slapped backed down. Cristina Craig for ValleyNewsLive up in Fargo says, “After failed attempts another push to lift the Sunday liquor sale ban is on the agenda for this upcoming legislative session. ‘That one we seem to deal with every year and there’s always at least one amendment on the house floor that comes up,’ said Minnesota State Representative Paul Marquart. ‘And, every year so far it’s been soundly defeated.’ … come summer lakes country could benefit greatly. Overall if repealed the state could generate a large sum of tax dollars.”
And look who’s on board with Sunday booze. WCCO-TV says, “An alliance of various political groups are speaking out against Minnesota’s long-standing ban on Sunday liquor sales. The coalition announced their collaboration prior to the start of another legislative session, which begins on Tuesday. The group includes the Minnesota Tea Party Alliance, the Republican Liberty Caucus, the state Libertarian Party, and others.” Who knew booze-free Sundays were a violation of our precious Constitutional freedoms?
Et tu LaCrosse Tribune? An editorial says, “The governors of Wisconsin and Minnesota each presented their versions of new year’s resolutions in various media interviews last week. The comparison paints a stark contrast of where the states are headed in 2015. Which approach is better? As we enter the new year, Minnesota is clearly winning by a long shot. … The business-friendly policy embraced by [Scott] Walker has resulted in private-sector job growth that continues to lag behind the national average. The latest 12-month period numbers that ended in June show Wisconsin 32nd in the nation in job growth. Minnesota was 26th. Minnesota’s jobless rate in November was 3.7 percent. Wisconsin’s was 5.2. How else do the states compare? Forbes ranks Minnesota as the ninth best state for business, No. 7 in economic climate and No. 2 in quality of life. Wisconsin is ranked 32nd, 27 and 17 on the same measures.” Which is why one is considered presidential timber and the other is not.
What could possibly go wrong? Dan Kraker of MPR says, “A series of hearings this week will gather public opinions on a proposed pipeline that would increase the amount of oil flowing across Minnesota by 225,000 barrels a day. The line is called Sandpiper, and the crude it would carry from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields would be a significant addition to the more than 2 million barrels of oil that daily travel through underground pipelines bound for refineries in the Twin Cities and beyond. Trains carry an additional half-million barrels. But the plan has raised concerns among environmentalists and state agencies about potential risks to lakes and rivers.” Come on! We’ve got plenty of lakes. We can spare a few.
At Salon, Luke Brinker is feeling like a lot us are feeling, now that Our Favorite Congresswoman is past tense. “If you wake up tomorrow morning and feel a little bit less free, you won’t be mistaken. As the 114th Congress begins, Michele Bachmann will no longer be a member of the House of Representatives, depriving the country of its foremost warrior against America-hating politicians, the totalitarian U.S. Census, and retardation-causing vaccines. … And while she vows that she’ll continue to play a role in America’s political debate — as a conservative commentator or even a 2016 White House candidate — it’s more likely than not that Bachmann’s career as a public officeholder is finished. Of course, backbench representatives step down all the time, usually with nary a single valedictory piece from a national outlet.”
Speaking of insurgents … Randy Furst of the Strib says, “A Minnesota man has been accused of conspiring to overthrow the government in the west African nation of Gambia, according to a news release issued by U.S. Attorney Andy Luger on Monday morning. Papa Faal, 46 is scheduled to make a first appearance in U.S. District Court on Monday for violating the Neutrality Act by making an expedition ‘against a friendly nation from the United States and conspiring to possess firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence,’ Luger’s office said.” Sounds to me like he was just exercising his precious Second Amendment rights.
Time for a shore lunch. Steve Karnowski of the AP says, “Two experienced adventurers who paddled, portaged and sailed 2,000 miles from northern Minnesota to Washington, D.C., say they plan to keep up the fight in the new year to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from copper-nickel mining. Amy and Dave Freeman set out Aug. 24 from Ely. They canoed 180 miles through the BWCA, then portaged to Lake Superior. They strapped their canoe to a sailboat for the next 600 miles to Lake Huron, then switched back to the canoe for the final 1,300 miles, traveling mostly by rivers and canals across parts of Canada and the eastern states.”
Thanks, but no thanks. Says Steve Kohls for the Forum News Service, “Scuba diving under the ice? Really? Scuba divers come with all types of strengths and weaknesses, but all are curious. As an underwater photographer and instructor, I believe the desire to see what is under the water is universal among all of us, no matter what our skill level is. Just be sure to dress warmly and try to find a way to stay down without anything going wrong. Under-ice diving is not really that unique in latitudes with clear water and ice cover. If you want to go to the extreme, sign up for an ice dive under the Antarctica ice.” As though it isn’t cold and dark enough here.
Finally, gilded recidivism. Paul Walsh of the Strib says, “A Wayzata husband and wife, already convicted of skimming money from a multimillion-dollar bank loan intended to finance a doomed Orono project, were put back in jail over the weekend on suspicion of initiating an additional financial scheme. This time, Philip and Virginia Carlson are charged in Hennepin County District Court with trying to scam a couple out of the $180,000 bank loan they took out for construction of a home in Scandia. The criminal complaint against each alleging felony theft by swindle details at least two instances when the Carlsons and the couple clasped hands and prayed amid rocky times in the business relationship … .” And the Lord sayeth, “Lo, thy money shall be my money.”