Marriage debate bingo (5×8 – 5/8/13)

Playing politics, beemageddon, Jablonski goes pro, stories that make you want to call your mom, and pro athletes as role models redux.


The Minnesota House will debate the bill legalizing same-sex marriage on Thursday. The DFL leaders, mindful of being embarrassed, had refused to hold a floor debate on the bill if it didn’t already have enough votes for the bill to pass, which tells you everything you need to know about the value of Minnesota politicians spending time debating things on the House floor.

So, if you believe the House leaders, bill passage is a fait accompli, which means it’s all over except the bingo. So here:

"Activist judges" Legislator who cares about the 2014 election proclaiming "I don’t care about the 2014 election." "Think of the children" "I am not homophobic." Person unable to see partner in hospital story.
Draws parallel to slavery. "The people of Minnesota have voted." "Indoctrination" Lawmaker acknowledges he/she’s gay. Bill fails.
Rainbow tie. Mention of any gay member of the military.
Citation of any poll. Debate halted while legislator recognizes winner of a spelling bee in the gallery.
Any mention of marrying an animal "Only love matters." Mention of gay family member. "The gay lobby." "Erosion of the family unit."
Bill passes. “The flavor of the month” Legislator gets tongue-tied trying to say "L-G-B-T" Any legislator changes his/her mind during debate. "God"

I’ll be live-blogging the debate in this space tomorrow. I hope you can join in.


An interesting letter from a landscape expert in yesterday’s Star Tribune presented a depressing fact: Saving the bees is out of our hands. We can plant all the Russian sage we want, but the problem of bees dying is bigger than mere homeowners can solve.

Parasites, bee-killing pesticides, the drought all are being blamed for the problem, which is pretty important if you expect to get food or anything else from plants.

NPR reported last evening that as the bee colonies get smaller, they’re getting weaker. And there are 31 percent fewer bees this spring than last fall.

What if this is the end of bees? Scientists already have begun to stockpile bee semen and germplasm, Huffington Post says.

Europe is banning pesticide use because of the die-off, but Europe doesn’t have any more information about what’s causing it than the U.S. does. At, Bryan Walsh says it shows the difference in how Europe and the U.S. think about these sorts of things.

This is a classic case of policymaking by the precautionary principle. The pesticides are considered guilty until proven innocent, and so they’re preventively banned, even before the scientific case is rock solid. That’s not unusual for European environmental regulation, especially in regard to chemicals. In the U.S. it’s the reverse — before the federal government is likely to take the step of banning a class of pesticides, and pissing off the multibillion-dollar chemical industry, you’re likely to see a lot more science done.

Related: And now we have to worry about deadly snails?


Jack Jablonski, the Minnesota high school hockey player paralyzed by a from-behind hit a couple of seasons ago, posted this on his Twitter feed on Monday.

And the Chicago Steel were listening. Using its final draft pick



Bret Dunlap knows what people think when they see him running the streets of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. They think: homeless. When they hear him talk, they think: “stupid.”

He was in a terrible accident as a young boy. But he had a mother who wouldn’t give up on him.

You want to read this.

(h/t: @saladgoddess)

Related: A man who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing tries to save the good leg. (Boston Globe)


Maybe Chris Kluwe’s release from the Vikings was inspired by his outspoken views on social issues as a “distraction” to the team, or maybe he just got too old and expensive to be of any use. But check out this interview with Jalen Rose on Grantland. There are already plenty of distractions for professional athletes aside from a political opinion. Like the possibility that their wives will run into their girlfriends at the game.

Classy stuff. Which sort of person would you rather have representing your city?

Bonus I: How we express ourselves when we no longer can. (h/t: Brent Olson)

Bonus II: You missed the first installment of Peter Sagal’s series on the Constitution? No problem.

Watch A More Perfect Union on PBS. See more from Constitution USA with Peter Sagal.


Minnesota lawmakers are considering a bill that would force private employers to remove questions asking job applicants about their criminal history until the applicant has secured an interview. Today’s Question: Should felons be forced to identify their criminal history on job applications?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Breast cancer.

Second hour: The language of news.

Third hour: Cheryl Strayed, author of, “Wild,” which chronicles her 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail and the personal problems that drove her to that journey

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Sasha Aslanian’s documentary, “The Deep Roots of the Marriage Debate.” The history goes back 40 years.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The Political Junkie. Actual votes in South Carolina polls surprise in Massachusetts. The Heritage Foundation’s big number on the cost of immigration reform draws fire from both sides of the aisle. And everyone wants to know about Chris Christie’s lap band.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Most of art that Nazis plundered from European Jews has found its way back to its owners. But 2,000 works of art have yet to be claimed. Now, French authorities are trying to return the art to its rightful owners and their descendants with the help of new technology and techniques. NPR looks at a renewed effort to repatriate stolen art.

In his pitch to state legislators for state money to help Mayo Clinic grow in Rochester, Mayo President and CEO Dr. John Noseworthy has said other states would be eager for Mayo to expand there if Minnesota does not provide a taxpayer subsidy. Two of the most logical places would be Florida and Arizona, existing Mayo campuses that are growing steadily. MPR’s Elizabeth Baier will have a profile.

  • Dean Carlson

    When you live blog the debate on Thursday please let us know when one of the BINGO squares is filled. For those of use scoring at home.

  • BJ

    Please -“Any legislator changes his/her mind during debate.” put in something that actually might happen on the bingo card.

  • Suzanne

    Re: Bingo – Don’t forget “comparison to cell phones or other technology.”

  • Joe

    1: Might end up with a Blackout for this Bingo game…

    5: Quite the class act…

    Bonus I:

    That is one incredible lady! We can only hope that when this lady is gone someone as dedicated and loving as her is around to make a difference as she has.

  • Chuck

    For bingo card number two, here are a couple of items to get started:

    – “slippery slope”

    – “right side of history”

    – “gay agenda”

    – “fires of hell”

    – “freedom to marry who I want” (extra credit if the speaker properly uses “whom”)

    – any mention of the Civil War

    – “Sodom and Gomorrah”

    – “great w****e of Babylon”

    I loved the square with the legislator pointing out the spelling bee winner. That made me laugh out loud.

  • Pat Fair

    #4: Bret Dunlap. Thanks so much for posting this. Yep, started the day again with a good cry.

    #5 Jalen Rose, what a sorry excuse for a human being.

  • Chuck

    #5 Jalen Rose: When he started talking about the family section vs. girlfriend section, I thought he was just blowing smoke. But then he goes into such detail about how this all works that it seems obvious that he has thought about this quite a lot and possibly acted on it more than once. I don’t know who Jalen Rose is, but he certainly reinforces the stereotypical image of a pro athlete.

  • annie

    “…which tells you everything you need to know about the value of Minnesota politicians spending time debating things on the House floor…”

    Pretty cynical, even for you, Bob. 🙁

  • Bob Collins

    //Pretty cynical, even for you, Bob. 🙁

    yes, i’m guilty of not thinking what’s falling on my head is rain.

    Look, we saw the same thing in the gun debate in the U.S. Senate. Leaders refusing to allow a debate at all unless the fix on the vote is already in (which, it turns out, it wasn’t).

    You want to be a legislator? Fine. Don’t be so afraid of a debate with an uncertain outcome.

    It’s not going to kill you anywhere near as fast as the staged political process is.

  • Disco

    I have a couple more for the bingo card:

    – use of the word “homosexual” or even “gay” instead of “same-sex”

    – use of “gay marriage” instead of “marriage equality”

    – we need further “conversation”

    – it will cost the state more money

    – a Republican bellyaching about getting government out of our lives (with regards to another issue), then attempting to squash a bill that gets government out of our lives

    – any use of these words together: “cram” – “down” – “throat”

    – the budget’s not done! (they hate the DFL’s budget anyway; why do they want so badly for it to be done?)

    – it’s been this way for [arbitrary number] of years!

    – they’re trying to redefine words!

    – fantasy- and/or bible-based nuggets about procreation

    – any use of the words “building blocks”

  • Jeff

    Damnit, Bob!

    #1 – Our legislators are so frustrating – this story makes me want to cry.

    #2 – How sad that too many in the US take the “let’s figure out if the pesticides really are the problem first” route not realizing that, if they are, it may be too late (if it isn’t already!). This makes me want to cry.

    #3 – A young life altered forever. A sports team that does something wonderful for him. Both things make me want to cry.

    #4 – I’m about one third of the way through Bret’s story – I’m tired of crying!

    #5 – Oh god, is this one going to make me cry too? I’m not reading it.

    Bonuses – ARRG! Stop making me feel something! I’m going go find a story about the governor and the fishing opener….