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Dayton and Republicans at odds over timetable for driver’s license fix

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Gov. Mark Dayton

Apparently there’s some confusion over what “right now” means. The AP says, “Gov. Mark Dayton and House Republicans are clashing over how quickly to handle a dispute with the federal government over driver’s licenses, complicating a key issue in a possible special session and potentially sowing further doubt about state residents’ ability to board domestic flights. The prospect of Minnesota residents being turned away from domestic flights when new federal standards for IDs at airports take effect has some state officials calling for a quick legislative fix. But a draft of legislation prepared by House Republicans and obtained by The Associated Press wouldn’t set the necessary changes in motion until at least early 2018.” Now, if we were talking (precious) Second Amendment rights, we’d have this done yesterday.

Someone might want to get this cleaned up, pronto. Says Chris Serres for the Strib, “Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center, the state’s second-largest psychiatric hospital, could lose millions of dollars in critical federal funding if it fails to correct long-standing threats to patient safety, according to a federal report.”

As for the effect of President Obama’s executive action on gun checks, Brandt Williams at MPR writes, “It’s unclear whether the firearms measures announced by President Obama on Tuesday will have much effect in Minnesota or elsewhere. But his comments won praise from supporters who welcomed his willingness to act in the absence of action by Congress. … John Monson, a licensed firearms dealer and owner of Bill’s Gun Shop in Robbinsdale, Minn., welcomed the prospect of more resources for the FBI. He said the instant background check system isn’t always instant. ‘It’s understaffed and we often run into long delay times,’ he said. ‘It’s not uncommon for us to be on the phone for an hour, hour and a half waiting for a second check on an individual.'” 

$32 million for roadwork. A KMSP-TV’s story says: “Eleven Minnesota communities are slated to receive $32 million in grant money aimed at clearing highway congestion and improving infrastructure in Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro. In particular in the metro, Bloomington will have a new ramp providing westbound access to I-494 from East Bush Lake Road to alleviate traffic at the I-494/Highway 100 interchange.”

40 percent of you are being gassed. The Forum News Service says, “A new state law is helping in ensuring homes are tested for radon gas — a major problem in Minnesota — but state officials say all homes need to be examined as state health officials say about two in five Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of the gas.”

Did they taste like chicken? Amy Dalrymple of the Grand Forks Herald reports, “A man wanted in Pennsylvania for charges related to human trafficking allegedly tried to chew off his finger pads to hide his identity after Bismarck police arrested him last week on similar charges.”

Do they have Kickstarter campaigns for all the stadiums and training facilities? Says Joe Carlson of the Strib, “Pediatric critical care physician Dr. Gwenyth Fischer invented a device to prevent adrenaline overdoses in children having heart attacks, but commercial interest in ­testing and selling it was nil. The problem in both cases is the ‘home run’ model of medical device innovation. The venture investors that pay for much of the early-stage medical device innovation in the U.S. typically insist on strong financial projections before backing a device because the risk of failure is high. Profit targets of $500 million or more for a new medical device are often mentioned. Kids’ wireless sleep-study monitors and preloaded adrenaline syringes are unlikely to ever produce the kind of profits that someone could retire on. But rather than just vent about the well-documented challenges facing pediatric medical devices, Fischer in 2011 founded a volunteer group that uses the resources of the University of Minnesota and the local medical-device industry to get such devices on the ­market.”

This just in from Seattle: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says, “Seahawks fans looking to see an NFL playoff game live might want to start packing. And don’t forget to throw gloves, earmuffs and scarves into that suitcase. No football game in America this weekend offers cheaper travel for fans than Sunday’s NFC wild-card playoff game between the Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis. Whether in flight, hotel or ticket costs, the outdoor game at TCF Bank Stadium — expected to be played in single-digit temperatures — offers some cool savings for Seattle fans. … At midday Tuesday, the average listed ticket price to the Seahawks-Vikings game was $163.49, according to, compared with $307.07 for Green Bay-to-Washington fares, $262.11 for Kansas City-to-Houston and $190.27 for Pittsburgh-to-Cincinnati.”

Colleague Bob Condotta writes, “If the current weather forecasts hold true, the Seahawks’ wild-card playoff game Sunday at Minnesota is almost certain to set a record as the coldest in team history, and rank among the coldest in NFL history. Forecasts from the likes of and others are calling for a high temperature as low as zero Sunday. … According to, the lowest cold temperature for a Seahawks game was 13.4 degrees for a 1992 contest at Denver. The Seahawks lost 10-6, though it’s hard to blame the weather because they went 2-14 that season, the worst record in team history.”

MPR’s Paul Huttner says, “Sunday’s Vikings-Seahawks game at TCF Bank Stadium looks more than just plain cold. It looks like it will likely go down as one of the top 10 coldest games in NFL history. As arctic air settles in over Minnesota this weekend, temperatures will struggle to reach the zero mark in the Twin Cities Sunday. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts  model is cranking out a kickoff temperatures of -3 degrees at noon Sunday for the Twin Cities. Toss in a wind speed around 9 mph and you get a toasty game time wind chill around -19 degrees.”

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Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/06/2016 - 08:24 am.

    Background check delays

    John Monson of Bill’s Gun Shop is correct. I have a permit to carry which means I’ve already passed a federal background check, but the last time I bought a handgun, about a year ago, I had to wait at least 45 minutes for Gander Mountain to get the feds to bless me again.

    Ironically, doubling the number of federal bureaucrats to shorten the delays are the result of gun sales that are through the roof because people don’t trust this president and his hoplophobia.

    • Submitted by kelly barnhill on 01/06/2016 - 10:07 am.

      Actually, Mr. Tester, while gun sales are up, the number of people owning those guns, and households with guns in them have actually declined significantly. In 1977, 54% of American households had a gun on the premises. In 2014, that number had declined to 32%. The unarmed far outnumber the armed, but the armed have chosen, strangely, to arm themselves to the teeth. What can they possibly be afraid of? Their unarmed neighbors? Or are they simply afraid of one another? In any case, your phrase, “people don’t trust this president” is incorrect. Since a declining number of people are buying guns, it would follow that a declining number of people fall under the “don’t trust this president” category. And declining all the time.

      Here is an article detailing the gun research:

      And here is a second study, done at the University of Chicago, with similar results:

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/06/2016 - 11:54 am.

        I realize this is anecdotal

        and I certainly wouldn’t encourage you or others who are reluctant to trust themselves with firearms to go buy one, but within my immediate circle of family and friends, some of whom vote democrat, four of them have purchased handguns for the first time in the past 6 months … obviously contributing to the background check delay experienced by us serious gun owners.

    • Submitted by Christopher Williams on 01/06/2016 - 10:15 am.

      Makes Sense

      The thing is, a background check is only accurate as of the point in time it was run. Just because you were clean a year ago when you bought the first handgun doesn’t mean you haven’t gone crazy or committed a felony in the intervening time period. That’s why you have to be run again. This is common sense. Just imagine the NRA outcry if there were on-going tracking of gun owners and the government came and confiscated your guns the moment a bad mark hit the database. That’s the trade off for having to wait to be checked again with each purchase.

      • Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 01/06/2016 - 11:19 am.

        gone crazy

        Define “gone crazy” please. Where do we draw the line? This is where I am having a problem with these proposals. Is anyone who has seen a mental health professional for any reason automatically refused a gun now no matter how minor the reason? If so then I have a problem with that and hope many people sue to protect their rights to own a gun. I have a real problem with having my medical records opened to them. It may prevent some of the wrong people from obtaining a gun initially but ultimately since it would violate the rights of many who should rightfully be able to own a gun and also would not totally stop anyone from getting one is simply not worth it.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 01/06/2016 - 12:35 pm.

          And yet . . . .

          And yet, the NRA is behind proposed legislation to restrict gun ownership for individuals with certain mental health issues (not sure how they’re defining it, either).

          I sure do wish you gun people would make up your minds!

          • Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 01/06/2016 - 04:11 pm.

            same here

            I wish the anti gun people would make up their minds too. They are for restricting certain individuals rights when it comes to guns but these are the same people who think Trumps proposal to temporarily restrict entrance to the U.S. for some individuals is wrong. You can’t have it both ways.

            • Submitted by Pat Berg on 01/07/2016 - 07:18 am.


              Nice deflection, but this isn’t a discussion about immigration reform or “the war on terror”, it’s a discussion about potential legislation around the idea of how, when, or if gun ownership should be subjected to additional scrutiny (in this section of the discussion, specifically with regards to the mental health status of certain individuals).

              • Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 01/08/2016 - 10:39 am.


                I am not deflecting. I am illustrating my point using a recent example. It is a discussion of rights and how people are willing to take away the rights of some but when someone poses the idea of temporarily blocking the rights of someone else they all cry foul and declare that person to be a bigot and anti american rather than pragmatic. I don’t think anyone has the right to deny someone the right to own a gun unless already prohibited. That would be just as anti American as well. This legislation will go no further than what we already have in place and is simply lip service and a total waste of taxpayer money.

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/06/2016 - 11:45 am.

        I understand all that

        My only point is that some politicians and other misinformed people are saying that the problem is that we need background checks when in fact there is no shortage of background checks. Quite the opposite. There are so many background checks being conducted that they apparently have to double the number of the checkers.

    • Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 01/06/2016 - 11:15 am.

      Lip service

      The proposals are simply lip service and would have done nothing to prevent Adam Lanza’s mom from purchasing her son a gun that would eventually be used in a shooting. What a waste if you aren’t able to prevent such a thing from happening but are spending millions on it.

    • Submitted by Tom Lynch on 01/06/2016 - 06:33 pm.


      Patriotism isn’t about owning a Glock and freedom isn’t conceal /carry at Starbucks. Uninformed belly-aching is hardly the best use of the First Amendment. Democracy isn’t about getting even with Americans you don’t like.

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