Weekend Round-Up: Farmers to get ax? Lillehaug puts on an act

Mike Rose

Hope the weekend went well for all you Newssstand purusers out there. Hopefully, you weren’t among the 1,803 cars towed during the three-day snow emergency. As I can attest to, the Minneapolis impound lot is no fun.

*Also no fun, at least according to Minnesota farmers, is Barack Obama’s budget. According to Kevin Diaz of the Star Tribune, the president’s budget, released Thursday, would end direct payments to farmers with sales revenue greater than $500,000 a year (that number used to be $750,000) and limit commodity payments at $250,000 per farmer. The measures are considered stricter than previous farming reforms and would be a piece of reducing the national deficit. However, Minnesota farmers, who ranked sixth in direct payments received in 2007 with $305 million, are not all on board. "If you’re a 1,000-acre corn farmer in western Minnesota, you will certainly hit that $500,000 gross sales limit," Madison, Minn., farmer Doug Peterson, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, told the Strib.

David Lillehaug, courtesy USA Today

*You may have read the Daily article about the "slippery" envelopes used in the Senate trial Thursday. It was great show, chuckle-worthy and also a clever way to illustrate a point (that being that the 132 missing Dinkytown ballots could have easily slipped out of someone’s hands). For another good read on Thursday’s courtroom antics, take a look at this piece from MinnPost’s Jay Weiner. Ever read a David Lillehaug-Johnnie Cochrane comparison?

*Lastly, here is an interesting Pioneer Press article looking at the Twins’ and Gophers’ new stadiums–and how construction snuck in just before the economy tanked. While the teams may be breathing a sigh of relief that they got their projects off the ground, there is the possibility that fans won’t flock to the parks due to the recession. Twins and Gophers officials seem to think that they will be able to attract capacity crowds, but already some sponsors are pulling away from the Twin’s Target Field–not a good sign for Twinkie executives.