Shutdown Cinema (5×8 – 6/30/11)

Seven scenes about Minnesota government, the stadium deal, a special place for the jerks who prey on us, Blyleven trivia, and Gollub sings.


People seemed to like the fact I invoked “Get Smart” in yesterday’s 5×8 commentary on the state shutdown. So here are seven movies representing the state of Minnesota’s government, as submitted last night by NewsCut readers/followers on Twitter and Facebook.

High Noon – Do not forsake me, oh my darlin’.

Cool Hand Luke – What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Unforgiven – The kid is the rookie legislators who are going through their first “shutdown chicken” game. Clint Eastwood is the grizzled veteran lawmaker. (Warning: Obscenity)

Fargo – “Toss those who need help down the chute,” one tweeter said.

Wall Street – “Greed is good.”

The Graduate – This one’s open to your interpretation. Mine: No matter where you’re going, at the end of the day, there you are. A metaphor, perhaps, for the way we plan Minnesota’s future.

The Wizard of Oz – Alternative scene: “If I only had a heart…”

The shutdown brings out the artistic side in people, apparently. Dale Connelly is inviting “budget haiku.”

My closed state park is

Beautiful without me there

Or so I suppose.


Maybe there’s a deal to build the Minnesota Vikings a new stadium; maybe there’s not. We don’t know. The negotiations have been happening in secret, there have been no public hearings (and if there’s a deal, there won’t be), and everyone’s attention has been on other happenings — or non-happenings — at the Capitol.

The Star Tribune reports the price of the stadium has dropped and the Vikings have increased their contribution. But supporters say they wouldn’t announce a deal before an agreement on a new state budget is reached.

“If anyone is stupid enough to announce that there is a deal on the Vikings before there’s a deal on the budget, it’s beyond comprehension what the reaction of the public would be to that,” Rep. Alice Hausman, a stadium opponent, said.

If the price has dropped by $200 million, the Daily Norseman says that sounds like a stadium roof has been removed.

Rep. Morrie Lanning, the stadium’s godfather in the House, says the Star Tribune’s story is inaccurate:

“I don’t know the source of that information,” Lanning said. “Those numbers, from my standpoint, have not been finalized or agreed to. I would not use those numbers. The report that has been out is not accurate.”

If only there were a way to get accurate information about what the lawmakers and Vikings are up to.


Wherever Robert Attias of Miami is at the moment, we can at least hope he has mirrors nearby to take a good look at himself. We see a lot of crime stories but this one is particularly nauseating.

Attias, the Star Tribune reports, called elderly people in Minnesota, posed as their grandson, and bilked them out of thousands of dollars by saying he needed bail money. Then he allegedly posed as a lawyer and called the seniors to tell them where to send the money. One senior citizen in Glencoe lost over $6,000.

Officials are asking anyone else who may have been a victim in this case to call Hastings Police at 651-480-2300, the paper says.

They don’t know where Mr. Attias is. What makes the case even harder to take: The Florida cops had him and questioned him, then let him go after he said someone must be impersonating him. They later found out by looking at surveillance film from a Western Union (where he picked up the money) that they had the right guy.

Good job, Florida.

Meanwhile, someone stole a backpack out of a car in St. Paul. Inside were the ashes of a woman’s father who recently died of cancer. “Before he had passed away, he had asked myself and my siblings to take him on adventures after he died,” Amy Ernsberger told WCCO.

“If there’s any good in your at all,” she pleaded, “please return it.”

Fortunately, there’s good in most of us…

Good job, Minnesota.


It was 15,000 years days ago today that Bert Blyleven made his debut with the Minnesota Twins, Hardball Times reports.


From the “If you feel like crying, you might as well laugh” file:

Bonus: Now that Tom Petty has asked Michele Bachmann not to use his music at her campaign stops, Ted Nugent has offered his music, instead. Note the picture of Nugent’s guitar, which — technically — is a desecration of the flag. Which reminds me: As we do each July 4th, we’re inviting you to send your images of the inappropriate use of the flag which you spot during the holiday.


A judge’s order yesterday specified that only “critical core functions” of state government would continue during a shutdown. That shutdown, if it happens, is now only hours away. Today’s Question: How would a state government shutdown affect you?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Daily negotiations between Gov. Dayton and Republican leaders have not provided a solution to the state’s $5 billion deficit. With a government shutdown looming, what chance do last-minute talks have towards reaching a resolution?

Second hour: Eric Foner, author of “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.”

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Former Pawlenty deputy chief of staff and finance commissioner Tom Hanson and former DFL House speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher offer insights on the budget negotiations.

Second hour: New York Times columnist David Brooks, speaking about “The Modesty Manifesto” at the Aspen Ideas Festival

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Policing the medical marijuana economy.

Second hour: Farmers and their subsidies.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – All shutdown, all the time.