Bachmann rules out run for U.S. Senate

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former Rep. Michele Bachmann

No return call. Mark Zdechlik and Cody Nelson at MPR report the news. “Former Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann has ruled out a run for U.S. Senate seat next fall. Bachmann’s reasoning: She didn’t have any ‘sense from the Lord’ that she should try for the seat, which was left vacant after Al Franken resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct. ‘It became very clear to me that I wasn’t hearing any call from God to do this,’ Bachmann told radio host Jan Markell. MPR News confirmed Bachmann is staying out of the Senate race.” 

Grand jury case in Damond case beginning to take shape. The Star Tribune’s Brandon Stahl writes: “The list of officers summoned to testify before a grand jury Tuesday indicates that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is trying to meet the legal standard to charge Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, legal experts say. Noor’s partner, Matthew Harrity, the sole witness, is among those who will be testifying. But the majority of the more than 30 officers subpoenaed are Noor’s trainers and academy educators, according to Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation.”

Or maybe it’s about the same; it’s just that kids feel like they can answer these questions honestly? Lindsey Tanner of the AP says, “Far more U.S. teens than previously thought are transgender or identify themselves using other non-traditional gender terms, with many rejecting the idea that girl and boy are the only options, new research suggests. The study looked at students in ninth and 11th grade and estimated that nearly 3 percent are transgender or gender nonconforming, meaning they don’t always self-identify as the sex they were assigned at birth. That includes kids who refer to themselves using neutral pronouns like ‘them’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’. … The study is an analysis of a 2016 statewide survey of almost 81,000 Minnesota teens.”

Aren’t you glad you weren’t there? Says Tim Harlow of the Strib, “Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reached a new record Monday, thanks to the fans streaming out of town after the Super Bowl. Sometime between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., the airport broke its single-day record for screening passengers. As of 3 p.m., 50,078 passengers had gone through airport security. ‘It’s our Super Bowl,’ said Phil Burke, director of MSP Airport Operations.… More than 69,000 passengers were expected to be processed at MSP on post-Super Bowl Monday, double the average of 34,000 that normally pass through magnetometers.”

Wait, what? Says MPR, “A gathering designed to build relationships between Maplewood police and some grade-schoolers nearly turned tragic Monday when a child got his finger on the officer’s holstered gun and pulled the trigger. A school liaison officer at Harmony Learning Center in Maplewood was in the gym Monday afternoon talking to a group of third- and fourth-graders, the Maplewood Police Department said in a statement. While the officer was seated on a bench, the third-grader sitting next to the officer ‘reached over and placed his finger into the officer’s gun holster and pressed the trigger of the officer’s gun causing it to discharge through the bottom of the holster,’ the department said, adding the bullet struck the floor and ‘no one was injured.’”

Giving lawyers a good name. Says Randy Furst for the Strib, “Three years after a Minneapolis jury awarded $11 million in a suit against Toyota over a high-speed crash that led to three deaths, the lawyers for some of the victims are in a bitter dispute over the spoils. More than $1 million in legal fees is at stake, and law firms continue to battle over who gets what, with some accusing others of exaggerating their roles in winning the hefty verdict and appeals. … One firm, Napoli Shkolnik, based in New York, is accused by other lawyers of having so botched its role it should get no payout at all. ‘What cannot be disputed is that the Napoli firm’s conduct was grossly negligent, in reckless disregard of their duties as lead counsel and harmful to plaintiffs,’ wrote attorney W.B. Markovits of Cincinnati in a court document filed on Jan. 5.”

And the latest with Wells Fargo is what? In The Los Angeles Times Jim Puzzanghera and James Koren write, “On a day when the Dow experienced its biggest point loss in history, Wells Fargo & Co. did twice as bad. The bank’s shares tumbled 9.2 percent on Monday — their biggest single-day drop since the financial crisis — reflecting just how much investors have lost faith in the San Francisco financial giant since it was severely punished last week for its accounts scandal and other assorted wrongdoing. … Along with potentially affecting the bank’s day-to-day business, the Wells Fargo penalties are ‘a shot across the bow’ of bank boardrooms, which in the past have avoided the fallout from scandals, said Ed Mills, a Washington policy analyst at brokerage Raymond James Financial Inc. As part of its enforcement action, the Fed sent letters to former Wells Fargo Chairman Stephen Sanger and former Chairman and CEO John Stumpf, chiding them personally for failing to recognize or stop abusive practices.” So: not good. 

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