Obama chief of staff and Minnesotan Denis McDonough profiled by Politico

REUTERS/Jason Reed
President Obama shaking hands with Denis McDonough, left, after announcing his appointment as chief of staff on 2013.

Minnesotan and Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough gets the Politico profile treatment. Glenn Thrush writes, “Denis Richard McDonough, a Minnesota native with the rangy build of a defensive back and the ashen asceticism of a 16th-century Vatican fixer, is Obama’s fifth, favorite, and likely last chief of staff. … More perfectly than perhaps anyone else who has served in the Obama White House, McDonough mirrors the president’s deepest priorities—discipline, loyalty, dogged efficiency and obsession over process—in a way that Obama pined for, but never quite found, in his previous chiefs. He’s intensely focused on the two troubled areas Obama in twilight is most concerned with—restoring a working relationship with Congress and dealing with an increasingly unpredictable national security situation. And, as many who have crossed Obama have found out, McDonough is more than willing to tell anyone who gets in their way to go to hell, in words profane or polite.”

Looks like Real ID compliance will take “papers, please” to a whole new level. MPR’s Tim Nelson explains the current, voluntary process for getting an enhanced driver’s license in Minnesota: “It’s not an easy process to obtain an EDL, according to Carol Schaubach. She’s retired and lives in Andover, but travels occasionally to see her son and his family in Oregon. She worried that her regular Minnesota license might not be enough to get her on a plane, as federal officials have been suggesting. … Schaubach needed a lot of documents to apply for an enhanced drivers license. … ‘I needed to have my certified birth certificate, my original Social Security card, and then I needed two pieces for my name change, one a certified marriage certificate, and then another name change court document. And then, to verify my address, I needed to bring in either my bank statement or a utility bill,’ she said.”

A little more info on the mysterious death of HCMC’s head of anesthesiology last month. MPR’s Tim Nelson (again) reports, “Christopher Robert, the head of anesthesiology at Hennepin County Medical Center, was found dead on Interstate 94 near the Lowry Tunnel Dec. 5. It wasn’t clear how he ended up there. … The medical examiner on Thursday said that Robert died of a blunt force head injury caused by an apparent fall. … Authorities are calling the death an accident. A spokesperson for Hennepin County said the report also found acute alcohol intoxication had been a factor in the incident.”

Will a no-tipping trend catch on in Minnesota retaurants? WCCO’s Jason DeRusha makes note of the latest establishments ungrateful for gratuity: “For more than 100 years, we went out to eat. We got the check. We did some math in our heads and decided how much to leave as a tip. There’s a gratuity line right on your bill, where you get to help pay the wage of the server. … But visit Victory 44 in north Minneapolis or the new Upton 43 in the Linden Hills neighborhood, and at the bottom of the menus you’ll get a separate printout that explains they’re not accepting tips.”

In other news…

Amazing story of survival out of North Dakota: “Former Mayo doctor crawls 16 hours to survive” [Rochester Post Bulletin]

Interesting nugget from Dick Clark’s FBI file: The entertainer received a death threat in 1962 mailed from St. Paul, Minnesota. [Muckrock]

Nice: “U Libraries receives $224,450 to digitize African American collections” [Continuum]

Rock the Island: Due to construction at the Walker, this year’s Rock the Garden will be held at Boom Island in Northeast Minneapolis [The Current]

Also a great opportunity to raise awareness about frostbite: “Bud Grant Says Last Outdoor Vikes Game Should Be A ‘Celebration’ ” [WCCO]

You can add Guy Fieri to the long list of fans of the Nook’s burgers. [Pioneer Press]

Minneapolis’ lakes have finally frozen. [Star Tribune]

Whoever last owned this F. Scott Fitzgerald house in St. Paul had great taste. [Pioneer Press]

Princeconcert? Event? Something? ??? [Pioneer Press]

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 01/07/2016 - 07:37 pm.

    Considering How Easy it Would Be

    to provide counterfeits for EVERY SINGLE DOCUMENT required to gain a “real I.D.”…

    the purported additional security of such Driver’s Licenses is a complete joke.

    There is no way that local license bureaus are going to have the security clearance,…

    access to records,…

    staff expertise,…


    or money,…

    to check the veracity of these required documents.

    Because of this, the “Real I.D.” is completely useless as a security device.

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