Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Quick Hits: Volume CVI

- C'mon, you never really doubted Gov. Mark Dayton's intention to raise the gas tax, did you?

"The condition of Minnesota's highways, roads and bridges are getting worse," Dayton said. "There's one real solution to our predicament, and that's to invest more money in repairs, improvements and modernizations."

More money is what Dayton laid out: close to $900 million per year in ongoing funding, plus $2 billion in additional money borrowed over 10 years. The plan would be about an 18 percent increase on existing road and bridge funding, and would also include about $280 million per year for metro-area transit.

The core of the plan is applying a 6.5 percent tax to gasoline. This complicated proposal would bring in about $440 million per year and cost motorists at least 16 cents per gallon at the pump. Minnesota now charges a 28.5 cents-per-gallon gas tax, in addition to the federal 18.4 cents-per-gallon tax.

For a couple of years prior, Dayton has insisted that because there is no public support for such an increase that he would not seek one. Then one month before the election, he betrayed his true feelings by floating the idea of a gas tax hike only to walk back those comments.

But now that Dayton has been reelected and has already been on record that he'll not seek a third term, polls be darned. This seems to be a golden opportunity for the GOP majority in the MN House to stand strong on a winning issue. Don't fumble it away, gang.

- Judging by the dialogue on Twitter, apparently cable news outlets like CNN have declared themselves The Weather Channel with their non-stop breathless reporting on major winter storms about to hit the northeastern United States.

I guess I'm not all that offended by it given the fact it diverts from their borderline insufferable droning over "DeflateGate" and missing Malaysian airliners.

- Speaking of DeflateGate, upon revelations that the New England Patriots were using under inflated footballs (a violation of NFL rules) during their AFC Championship Game rout of the Indianapolis Colts, I tweeted the following:

Upon quarterback Tom Brady being grilled in a press conference last Thursday, I reiterated my stance:

Then news surfaced Monday on where the NFL's investigation is currently focusing.

The NFL has zeroed in on a New England Patriots locker room attendant who allegedly took the AFC Championship Game balls from the officials' locker room to another area on the way to the field, Fox Sports reported, citing sources.

According to Fox Sports, the league has interviewed him and has video.

The league is still gauging if any wrongdoing occurred, but he is a strong person of interest, Fox Sports reported.

The location in question was a bathroom in which the attendant can be seen in the video entering and exiting in 90 seconds with the 24 footballs provided by both teams, according to Pro Football Talk, which cited an anonymous league source.

The bathroom is a small, one-toilet room with one sink and has a door that locks from the inside, the Pro Football Talk report said.

Between coach Bill Belichick making a reference to a Marisa Tomei character in the movie My Cousin Vinny to Bill Nye the Science Guy refuting Belichick's scientific experiments on footballs, this whole debacle is beyond bizarre at this point.


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