And you thought Greece blowing its deadline was bad. At NBCSports.com Nicholas Mendola writes, “St. Paul and Miami have something in common when it comes to Major League Soccer: both have been announced as expansion franchises, and both have seen their progress stalled by stadium issues. Wednesday was the deadline for Minnesota United to have its plans for a soccer-specific stadium in place, and that deadline has passed. But … missing the deadline doesn’t mean United is out of the running to be an MLS side.”
Meanwhile, Andy Greder in the PiPress tells us, “Major League Soccer said St. Paul will be considered as a site for a new outdoor soccer stadium. MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott told KSTP-AM 1500 on Wednesday that he will meet with Mayor Chris Coleman in the next few weeks to discuss prospects of bringing an expansion franchise to St. Paul.” Couldn’t they play indoors at the old Macy’s?
There are a lot of predatory angles to student loans. MPR’s staff story says, “Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson sued a Florida-based company Wednesday saying it baits student borrowers with promises of loan forgiveness, charges exorbitant fees and misrepresents what it can do. The Student Aid Center charges borrowers $500 to $1,500 to sign them up with the federal Department of Education for student loan repayment plans or consolidation loans — but borrowers can apply for those on their own for free … .” Couldn’t we get a comment from Rep. Kline on this situation?
Of course nothing could shock us more than the computers of our own sort-of Beloved Hometown Airline, Delta, and three other mega giants, gaming the seat availability/price system. The AP story says, “The civil antitrust investigation by the Justice Department appears to focus on whether airlines illegally signaled to each other how quickly they would add new flights, routes and extra seats. … Thanks to a series of mergers starting in 2008, America, Delta, Southwest and United now control more than 80 percent of the seats in the domestic travel market. They’ve eliminated unprofitable flights, filled more seats on planes and made a very public effort to slow growth to command higher airfares.” At least the seats are comfortable and all the employees happy.
Manufacturing in the state bounced back. Dee DePass of the Strib reports, “Manufacturers in Minnesota and the core of the country bounced back in June after worrisome signs that growth was slowing earlier this year. Factory improvements specifically in Minnesota were so strong that they buoyed economists’ hopes for a possible strong finish through the rest of the year, according to a closely watched economic report issued Wednesday by Creighton University.” Wait’ll the numbers from our medicinal marijuana industry kick in.
Sad, but not surprising. For the Forum News Service, Robb Jeffries says, “More than half of victims in human trafficking in Minnesota last year were minors, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety wrote in its annual crime statistics report released Wednesday. This is the first year that human trafficking data was included in the annual report. It said there were 38 victims of human trafficking reported in Minnesota; more than half were children ages 11 to 17.”
Another Parent-of-the-Year contender. Jaime DeLage of the PiPress says, “Two children were taken from an Eagan hotel to foster care early Monday after their father was arrested on drug possession and child neglect charges. The father, Michael John Alexander, 39, of Elgin, Minn., was found asleep in his room after an employee of the Extended Stay Hotel discovered a 4-year-old girl crying at the front desk alone in the middle of the night … . The officer said he entered the room and found Alexander asleep again and the 4-year-old crying hysterically, according to the criminal complaint. Both children were wearing diapers, and both diapers were soiled. The officer shook Alexander awake and judged him to be under the influence of some type of drug, according to the complaint. The officer found two pipes and traces of methamphetamine in the room and more than $2,500 in Alexander’s pocket. Asked about the pipes, Alexander replied, ‘Just arrest me.’”
As you may know the echo chamber-sanctioned jargon for conservatives to use post-last week’s gay-marriage ruling is, “religious liberty.” As in ‘A war on … ,’ or something of the sort. At Power Line, Steven Hayward reaches to his bookshelf, in between the dog-eared copies of “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” for the deep thoughts of “Richard John Neuhaus, from his important 1984 book ‘The Naked Public Square’: … Our problems, then, stem in large part from the philosophical and legal effort to isolate and exclude the religious dimension of culture…only the state can… ‘lay claim to compulsive authority’.…of all the institutions in societies, only religion can invoke against the state a transcendent authority and have its invocation seconded by ‘the people’ to whom a democratic state is presumably accountable. For the state to be secured from such challenge, religion must be redefined as a private, emphatically not public, phenomenon. In addition, because truly value-less existence is impossible for persons or societies, the state must displace religion as the generator and bearer of values … .” Hmmm. Odd. Didn’t the Ayatollah Khomeini say the same thing in ‘79?
If he can play three innings without getting hurt, he’ll be an upgrade from Mr. Buxton. Matt Snyder at CBSsports.com says, “The Minnesota Twins announced after their matinee Wednesday that DH Kennys Vargas has been demoted to Double-A. They haven’t yet announced a corresponding move, but Twins.com beat writer Rhett Bollinger reports that it’ll be power-hitting third base prospect Miguel Sano getting the call. … Sano is a 22-year-old rookie. With all the hype these days around prospects and how good at such a young age we’ve seen Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado (and now this year [Joc] Pederson and [Kris] Bryant, to a lesser extent) perform, it’s easy to expect every prospect to set the world on fire upon his initial call.” All we expect is a World Series.
It’s not quite the Stars and Bars, but the official flag of ultra blue Minnesota might need a little modernizing. that’s the opinion of UW-LaCrosse prof Judith Harrington. In a Strib commentary she says, “A close examination shows the central figure to be a white pioneer dressed in work clothes, wearing a wide-brim hat and pushing a plow. He is an iconic image of a hardworking, rugged individualist who works alone to chop the trees, plow the land and protect his home. He is looking over his shoulder at the Indian, who is riding a horse and holding a spear. The contrast in the images of the figures is interesting: The image of the pioneer, a peaceful man who has laid down his gun and is plowing his field, is juxtaposed with the image of the Indian, who may still want to fight (his spear is at the ready) but who seems to be riding away. The pioneer/farmer is using a plow, a symbol of civilization. The white man is depicted as a ‘doer’ who is entitled to the land, trees and water, empowered by the concept of Manifest Destiny. The Indian is the vacating tenant.” Today the white guy would be either a “job creator” or a “hard-working small businessman.”