Tag Archives: Obama

News Day: All T-Paw, all the time / Vampire pleads guilty / Trees coming down / Recession-proof industry / more

T-Paw signing off – in 2010 As Governor Pawlenty announced that he would not run for a third term as governor in 2010, it seemed that no other news could compete. Here’s the breakdown from Eric Black, who came away from the press conference with the message that “Tim Pawlenty loves God, his wife and kids, the troops and Minnesotans”, as well as the news that House Minority Leader Marty Seifert will run for guv, the PiPress gives a straightforward report,PIM looks at Pawlenty as a Big Mac, with “Secret sauce, secret seasonings. Same thing. Extraordinary tastes for extraordinary times,” but also provides a fact check on T-Paw’s claims of success, MinnPost on possible GOP gubernatorial candidates, and the Strib.
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News Day: Shredding Strike Force docs / T-Paw: “Quit whining” / Ending “Season of Fear” / more

Picture 5Shredded documents at Gang Strike Force led to Strike Force commander Capt. Chris Omodt’s decision to padlock the doors ahead of schedule yesterday, reports the Strib.

Officers in the Metro Gang Strike Force shredded documents at its headquarters late Wednesday night, hours after the state Commissioner of Public Safety announced plans for an internal investigation after a government audit found that the Strike Force couldn’t account for $18,000 in seized cash and at least 13 vehicles.

After the shredded documents were found in dumpsters and garbage cans at the Strike Force’s Brooklyn Center headquarters, Omodt ordered an immediate closing. In an email obtained by the Strib, Omodt also reported that “someone apparently shut off a computer that records when someone enters the building with a security card,” and that Strike Force members had removed documents and personal property from the building.
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News Day: Veto forecast / Charter school in trouble / New car rules / more

Even without the legislature in session, the forecast for Minnesota is high winds and lots of heat today.

T-Paw QOTD “The legislators are gone away and they are not coming back.”
Health care, bullying, transportation More end-of-session news: Pawlenty plan is recipe for massive job losses from Workday Minnesota, and Pawlenty talks unallotment, veto plans from Session Daily. Getting down to specifics:
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News Day: Minnesota’s midnight madness / MN Job Watch / NYT and plagiarism / more

Midnight madness Just moments before midnight, the legislature passed a new tax bill, but it faces certain veto by the governor, MinnPost reports. Governor Tim Pawlenty claimed that he offered a “choice” to DFLers in the legislature, which came down to: you can keep me from making unilateral cuts by agreeing to those cuts, which would make them … not unilateral. Or, as Sen. Tarryl Clark put it: “He left us with two choices. We could do it his way or he would do it his way.’’

In other action during the closing days of the session:
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News Day: Last legislative day today / Eating the evidence / Housing, foreclosure news / War reports / more

Governor No: More cuts to health care, education, local government aid In a grueling and emotional session on Sunday, May 17, the House failed to overturn Governor Tim Pawlenty’s veto of its tax and finance omnibus bill, by an 85-49 party-line vote that saw two DFLers defecting to the Republican side. By an 87-47 vote, the House also failed to overturn the Pawlenty line-item veto that ends medical assistance for General Assistance recipients in mid-2010. The prospect: deep cuts in health and human services, education, and local government aid, dictated by the governor to the legislature or unilaterally imposed as unallotments in the year ahead. Full article here

Comic banana relief C’mon folks – you know we all need something to laugh at after the dismal news from Capitol Hill in St. Paul. So here it is — from North Carolina, via BBC:

A US teenager who was thwarted in an attempt to rob an internet cafe armed with a hidden banana ate the “weapon” before he was arrested, police say.

The shop owner and customers overcame the teen, who held the banana under his t-shirt and said it was a gun.

Ash borer week Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week started yesterday in 16 states, including Minnesota and Wisconsin. Joe Soucheray says Minneosta has 937 million ash trees, or about 179 per person. For more info, photos, advice, and questions, go to the official emerald ash borer site.

Foreclosures up again in April The Calculated Risk blog reports on Realty Trac figures for April, which show an upswing in foreclosures after the end of an informal , voluntary moratorium.

[F]oreclosure filings – default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions – were reported on 342,038 U.S. properties during the month, an increase of less than 1 percent from the previous month and an increase of 32 percent from April 2008. The report also shows that one in every 374 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in April, the highest monthly foreclosure rate ever posted since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.

In more bad news, good news, bad news, MinnPost reports that home prices fell 14% nationally and 12.9% locally in April, while the Strib reports that home sales were up by 23% — but that the growth came in “lender-mediated” (read foreclosure-related) sales, and that traditional sales fell.

The worst news is reserved for minority and immigrant homeowners, as reported by the Pew Research Center: “The boom-and-bust cycle in the U.S. housing market over the past decade and a half has generated greater gains and larger losses for minority groups than it has for whites.”

Fong Lee trial The PiPress reports that the civil suit against police officers and the city of Minneapolis over the police shooting of 19-year-old Fong Lee in 2006 is set to begin this morning.

World/National Headlines

Robbing pension funds TPM’s Josh Marshall notes that Bush appointee Charles Millard, who headed the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation, is under investigation for “a suspicion pattern of communications with big investment houses just before Millard piled tons of [Pension Benefits Guaranty] money into their funds.”

Gay marriage: Bad for business? The latest GOP attack on gay marriage says it’s bad for business, AP reports. GOP chair Michael Steele says gay marriage will hurt business because — horrors! — more people will be eligible for health care coverage. Well, here’s an alternative — maybe we could just have single-payer, national health care coverage? OR —as the Daily Kos suggested later:

And if we want to really polish our fiscally conservative creds, we can outlaw marriage for everyone! Especially heterosexuals! Because they reproduce and add even more more dependents for the rolls of small-business health care programs!

Not the dog again! The Republican National Committee has a new TV ad out criticizing — the presidential puppy. The Daily Kos recalls that this puts Bo in good company, along with FDR’s Fala, also the subject of Republican attacks.

Record time for broken promises The health care industry promise to slow the annual health care spending growth rate? Forget that, reports the Daily Kos. Now the Hospital Association’s executive vice president, Richard J. Pollack denies that any promise was ever made. Daily Kos reprints the signed promise letter.

Congress Party in India The Washington Post reports a big win for India’s ruling Congress Party, and a second term for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, “a former economist who has championed programs for the poor and pushed for rural development and economic reforms.”

War Report

Sri Lanka BBC reports that the Sri Lanka president declared victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels, although some fighting continues. On Sunday, the NYT reported that the Tigers also acknowledged the war was over, coming to “a bitter end.” By Monday morning, BBC joined other media in reporting that the Tamil Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was dead.

Pakistan BBC reported May 16 that a car bomb in Peshawar killed at least 11 people, and a U.S. drone killed 10 people in the North Waziristan tribal region.

Somalia BBC reports that President Barack Obama’s top official on Africa, Jonnie Carson, expressed concern over possible arms sales by Eritrea to al Shabaab militants in Somalia, and also over reports of Chechen and South Asian fighters in the al Shabaab forces. Eritrean government officials denied the charges. Meanwhile, President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed told BBC that he has asked his former ally and Islamist spiritual leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweysto negotiate an end to fighting in Mogadishu, but that the al Shabaab leader refused.

Chad/Sudan BBC: Chad’s government admitted air raids inside Sudan, saying they had destroyed seven groups of mercenaries.

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News Day: Governor No: Line item vetos and unallotment / Cop pleads guilty / Beware the borer / more

Governor No No new taxes. No special session. No compromise. That’s essentially the message that Governor Pawlenty delivered with $400 million in line item vetoes and a threat that he will balance the budget by unallotment if the legislature does not agree to his terms. Rachel Stassen Berger’s PiPress blog describes who gets hit by the biggest line item veto:

In signing the Health and Human Services bill the Legislature sent him, he slashed $381 million in funding for General Assistance Medical Care, a health insurance program for adult Minnesotans who don’t have health insurance but may not be eligible or may not yet be approved for other subsidized health care programs.

Health insurance through GAMC is only available to folks who make $650 a month, about $7,800 a year, or less. Many covered under GAMC are homeless. .. (Worth noting: Pawlenty cut the program’s funding only in 2011, which gives the Legislature next year to work with him on finding funding.)

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News Day: Media spotlight on media / Best Buy, worse pay? / Cigarettes, surcharges, furloughs / more

Media spotlight on media From Fox News to the Strib, media is the news this morning.

Not all media are equal in the eyes of the law — or at least not in the eyes of Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan. The TC Daily Planet reports that the chief decided to give an exclusive interview to the Strib about the legal case arising from the 2006 police shooting of Fong Lee, but isn’t answering requests for interviews from the PiPress, which has reported on the family’s side of the ongoing lawsuit. Since then, the chief has also talked to MPR. Guess he doesn’t like the PiPress coverage of inconsistencies in stories about the gun found near Fong Lee’s body or questions about the patrol car video.

And then there’s Fox: the “news” channel sponsored and heavily promoted yesterday’s national tea bag protest day — and then joined the rest of the media in extensive coverage of the events. Sponsorship? Oh, yes — as Media Matters reports, “from April 6 to April 13, Fox News featured at least 20 segments on the “tea party” protests scheduled to take place on April 15 and aired at least 73 in-show and commercial promotions for their April 15 coverage of the events,” which Fox hyped as “the FNC Tax Day Tea Parties.” This goes so far beyond the bounds of journalistic ethics that it’s hard to know where to begin.
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News Day: Court: Franken won, and not one of Coleman’s claims was legit / Cops and fairy tales / Mpls Somali news / more

Franken won, and not one of Coleman’s claims was legit In a 68-page opinion (PDF), the three-judge recount court knocked down every single one of Coleman’s claims, said Franken should be seated as Senator, and gave a resounding vote of confidence to the Minnesota election system. Continue reading

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News Day: Seriously bad unemployment figures / Not-so-serious news: Michelle and the Queen, T-Paw goes hunting, Toilets in space / more serious news

Seriously bad news National unemployment rose to 8.5 percent in March, up from 8.1 percent in February, by the most conservative measure used by the U.S. Department of Labor. Employers cut 663,000 jobs in March. A second, more comprehensive, measure of unemployment puts the number of unemployed higher, at 15.6 percent. Full article here.
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News Day: 89 ballots / Unfree press in MN House / Around the world in 90 seconds / Out with the old regime / more

Is Coleman toast yet? The Daily Kos jumps the gun, declaring “Coleman is toast,” but it’s true that the latest court ruling holds no good news for the Norm. After the inner ballot envelopes were opened in a search for registration cards, only 89 of the roughly 1500 rejected absentee ballots in pile 3a proved possibly countable. In MinnPost, Jay Weiner reports that “Coleman’s universe of legally cast ballots that his side wants opened may now be as low as 1,000, if not lower.”
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