Franken and Ellison play in prime time at Democratic convention

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Sen. Al Franken speaking Monday at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Al and Keith were ready for primetime. Says Tim Pugmire for MPR, “Sen. Al Franken used a prime time speech at the Democratic Nation Convention in Philadelphia to jab Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and to urge delegates to work hard to elect Hillary Clinton. Franken took aim at Trump with a series of jokes about Trump University. ‘Sure he’s scammed a lot of people,’ Franken said. ‘But did you know that Trump University’s school of ripping people off is ranked second in the nation, right behind Bernie Madoff University? That is no mean feat.’”

For the Star Tribune, Patrick Condon writes, “Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison got a prime speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention Monday night as he introduced Bernie Sanders for his prime time speech capping off the first night of the gathering in Philadelphia. … ‘Six thousand in Duluth, 14,000 in St. Paul – Bernie sparked the beginning of a revolution.’”

Earlier, Lauren Fox at Talking Points Memo got Ellison on the phone. “As Sanders delegates hint they could walk out on Clinton’s acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, Ellison – who endorsed Sanders– is urging them to think about the bigger picture. ‘I am just saying the logic of playing spoiler to the advantage of Trump does not make any sense to me if you call yourself a Bernie supporter,’ Ellison told TPM in a phone interview Monday.”

Job creators, prepare to be crippled. For the Forum News Service, Don Davis says, “Minnesota’s minimum wage rises Aug. 1, and several new laws will hit the books. The state’s large employers must pay at least $9.50 an hour, while smaller businesses will be  required to pay $7.75. Training and youth wages also must be at least $7.75.In 2018, Minnesota minimum wages begin rising  annually to match inflation. Monday is the first increase in three years as part of a 2014 law that Gov. Mark Dayton signed after a Legislature controlled by his Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party passed it.” So how much is a bus ticket to Sioux Falls?

Busted! Mary Divine of the PiPress reports, “Washington County investigators on Monday said that they have identified a 16-year-old boy they believe is responsible for a series of recent home break-ins in Hugo. The burglaries made the news after an image of the suspect — snapped by a doorbell camera just minutes before he allegedly broke into a house in the Birch Tree Ponds housing development — was shared on social media.”

Saved by the storm. Says Jamie DeLage in the PiPress, “A St. Paul man has been charged with drunken driving after allegedly running over tents in the middle of the night at St. Croix State Park east of Hinckley, Minn. Fortunately it was a stormy night and the people who might have been crushed in their tents were sleeping in their cars, the Pine County sheriff’s officials said in a news release.”

Same as last year, unfortunately. The KMSP-TV story says, “There have been 200 road fatalities in Minnesota so far this year, according to the Department of Public Safety. Preliminary numbers show the state reached the 200 mark on July 23. This is about on pace with last year, as Minnesota had 201 road fatalities by July 20, 2015. Included in the 200 traffic fatalities are 27 motorcyclists, 26 pedestrians and four bicyclists. This time last year there were 37 motorcyclist deaths, 16 pedestrian deaths, and four bicyclist deaths.”

In the PiPress, Mike Berardino breaks down the candidates forming some kind of short list for the Twins’ next scapegoat, I mean, GM. “In addition to interim GM Rob Antony and longtime Ryan lieutenants Mike Radcliff, Deron Johnson and Wayne Krivsky, that search figures to include the best and the brightest from outside the organization. A search firm is likely to be retained as the Twins move toward potentially hiring a GM from outside the organization for the first time since early in Ronald Reagan’s second term.” That was before algorithms, I think.

And this is just from this month’s 100 year-storm. The Duluth News Tribune reports, “Monday marks two weeks since torrential rainfall fell in the Northland, causing catastrophic flooding, several deaths and damage estimated at more than $46 million across Northwestern Wisconsin and in parts of Minnesota. State and federal officials are  scheduled to meet Monday in Madison to discuss the flood damage in Northwestern Wisconsin. … The information they gather will be provided to Gov. Scott Walker, who then will determine whether to request a federal disaster declaration.” Are you loving that federal money now, Governor?

Eh, I could do this. If you gave me three years and a plane ticket to Trenton. MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports, “For the first time in a month, Michael Gibino isn’t running toward Philadephia. Gibino, a Bernie Sanders delegate from St. Paul, completed his unconventional journey to the Democratic Convention Sunday night when he arrived at the Liberty Bell in downtown Philadelphia. He began the run in Minnesota on June 25 and logged about 40 miles a day.” Which I guess means he felt the cardio bern.

Let me guess: luxury condos and a Panera? Says Nicole Norfleet of the Strib, “A former Rainbow Foods grocery store in south Minneapolis has been sold to be redeveloped into possible new retail and office space. Wellington Management plans to develop the site at 2919 26th Ave. S. in the Longfellow neighborhood after it purchased the lot for $5.35 million, according to a certificate of real estate value made public Friday.”

Speaking of Panera, you might want to eat out for a while. Says Kristin Leigh Painter of the Strib, “General Mills is expanding its national flour recall for the second time after more people were sickened due to E. coli in its products. … General Mills in May recalled batches of its Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchens flour made during three weeks in November at a Kansas City plant.” Barbecue. That’s what you eat from Kansas City.

Whoa! You’re not actually trying to tell me they have a plan, are you? At MPR, Elizabeth Dunbar says, “At the Republican National Convention last week, delegates wearing hard hats went wild when Donald Trump’s running mate Mike Pence said, ‘Donald Trump digs coal!’ … But many conservatives have said that a strong focus on protecting coal isn’t giving Republicans enough opportunities to weigh in on the country’s energy future. So a new group designed to give conservatives a voice on energy policy has been formed, and their message is far different from those at the RNC. ‘Let’s get away from the standard talking points for Republicans that focus on one area of energy production’, said Amy Koch, a former state senator who served as majority leader when Republicans controlled the chamber earlier this decade. Koch recently joined the board of the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum, a group that wants to push for market-driven, consumer-friendly energy policies.” What next? A health care plan? You know, with words and numbers?

Save the books! Tracy Mumford of MPR reports, “Mike McGinnis has run The Village Bookstore in Grand Rapids, Minn., for 36 years. When he bought the store in 1980, it was just a small affair on the side of Highway 2. Four years later, he moved it into the newly opened Central Square Mall, becoming one of the first tenants. … But this year, after three decades in the industry, McGinnis decided to retire.  … Jean Healy, the manager of Central Square, couldn’t stand to see the store leave. After McGinnis submitted his notice, she began planning. … She didn’t want to see another one, and she knew the bookstore was one of the most beloved shops in the mall. ‘We said, ‘We don’t want to lose the bookstore. Let’s buy it,’ Healy said.”

A dirty really old man (among my people, no less). Says Paul Walsh in the Strib, “A 90-year-old convicted sex offender was caught at the Edina municipal pool exposing and fondling himself in front of teenage girls, according to prosecutors. Lloyd K. Rudy, of Eden Prairie, was charged with felony fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the incident last Tuesday at the Edina Aquatic Center.” Eden Prairie! I knew it! We need a wall!

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