In your face, Governor. The Strib story by Patrick Coolican says, “The Minnesota Senate on Monday gave final approval to a $17 billion education budget bill containing $400 million in new spending, sending the measure to Gov. Mark Dayton who has promised a veto because there’s no funding for his goal of universal preschool. State senators voted 52-14, and many said the budget bill was the result of compromise between DFL and Republican priorities. The Minnesota House approved the measure overnight 71-59.”
Says Tom Scheck at MPR, “Besides Dayton’s threat of a veto, many legislators are disappointed in the final bills agreed on by the two parties. Despite a major push all year to fund a multi-year transportation plan, for example, the House and Senate opted to pass a bill that maintains the status quo instead of funding needed improvements. Democrats and Republicans disagreed over whether to raise the tax on gasoline or use existing sales taxes and borrowing to pay for road and bridge construction. Among the lawmakers who said they wished they could have done more was state Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis. He wanted a tax increase to finance transportation needs.”
And while you’ve got your pen out, Guv: Elizabeth Dunbar of MPR says, “Environmentalists want Dayton to reject a spending bill for agriculture and the environment — even though it includes language on buffers to protect the state’s waterways. Buffers have been one of Dayton’s top priorities this session. The list of objections from environmental groups is long, and it includes complaints about both policy and spending — including a provision that uses money raised by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment to pay for environmental measures. One of the biggest objections is to a provision that would eliminate the citizens’ board that oversees some decisions at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.”
“Harebrained?” All he has to do is come up with a billion dollars to subsidize … a billionaire and he’s in the conversation. Lisa Kaczke of the Forum News Service tells us, “Proctor City Councilor Travis White wants to start the discussion on bringing a professional football team to the Northland. White’s heard from the critics that it sounds like a harebrained, pie-in-the-sky idea. But he said he’s become a believer after researching the idea of whether the Northland could support an NFL team.”
Who said harebrained? The Strib’s Mike Kaszuba reports, “Negotiators in Minneapolis may be making progress on a menu of mostly local tax breaks for a Major League Soccer stadium, even though the proposal appeared dead Monday in the closing hours of the legislative session. Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey said city officials and representatives for Bill McGuire, the former UnitedHealth Group chief executive who wants to bring an MLS franchise to Minnesota, have outlined a package that would include a property tax break for the team.”
In a Strib commentary, Jack Uldrich resurrects the argument for some kind of giant iconic structure to give us major league status. “If you’re a person wanting to immigrate to America, what physical image springs to mind? If you are a tourist traveling to Paris, what icon is a ‘must visit’? When the city of St. Louis is portrayed in the media, what edifice is most frequently shown? Now, when you think of Minnesota, what structure comes to mind? For the first three questions, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and the Gateway Arch likely top the list. For Minnesota? Perhaps, the Walker’s Spoonbridge and Cherry, the Split Rock Lighthouse, the St. Paul Cathedral, the State Capitol or, maybe, the Mall of America. My point is that there is no one definitive image.” How about a 1000-foot spire with an enormous crystal football on the top that blinks out the words, “NFL Approved”?
Braggin’ rights … in 140 characters. Says Jennifer Brooks of the Strib, “Mosquitoes create the worst sort of Twitter buzz. Ask anyone in Bemidji. The northern Minnesota city ranks nationally when it comes to complaining about mosquitoes on Twitter. This according to the extermination corporation Terminix, which combed through 200 billion tweets to locate the source of that high-pitched whine on your Twitter feed every summer.” I wonder where “Tea Party” ranked?
Mark my word. It’ll be $50 for carry on baggage by next year. Tom Webb at the PiPress says, “A plan to raise airport wages to at least $10 an hour won approval Monday from the Metropolitan Airports Commission, but not before drawing fire from all quarters. Labor activists scorned the increase as too little, too late. They want a $15-an-hour minimum wage for workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, not $1 above the state’s $9-an-hour minimum wage, which commissioners approved after three hours of debate.” This kind of burden must not negatively impact shareholders!
Finally, the PowerLine lawyers, or at least Paul Mirengoff, took time away from Sean Hannity’s logic seminar to watch the last episode of “Mad Men.” “‘Mad Men’ is an overrated show, but that’s mainly because no television show could be as good as gushing liberals deem it. Why do liberals love ‘Mad Men’ so? I think it’s because it tells them that America in the early 1960s was not only a hell hole for blacks, gays, and women, but that the wholesome family image of the time was a mirage. Liberals can thus feel less guilty about the near collapse of the family, and of wholesomeness, that the left-wing culture helped bring about. Ironically, though, the upscale liberals who love ‘Mad Men’ tended to opt, in the end, for the nuclear, intact family. Broken homes and single moms are for the lower classes. Thus, Mad Men provides many liberals with an additional reason to pat themselves on the back for being superior to their parents.” Pal, if you ever deconstruct the end of “Lost,” kick it over here. I gotta read that.