Aug 10, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 45 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
It’s too soon to tell whether the world will be able to recover from its grief, but we suppose civilization must go on, if for no other reason than to preserve the memory of the deceased. We speak, of course, of the tragic killing of Cecil the Lion—the beloved symbol of Zimbabwe’s wildlife. To be abundantly clear, The Scrapbook abhors the illegal or gratuitous killing of animals. Walter Palmer, the Minneapolis dentist who shot the lion, had previously been fined and put on probation for lying about shooting a black bear miles outside the area where his hunting permit was valid. We are not inclined to give him any benefit of the doubt.
Nonetheless, the condemnation of Palmer not only is over-the-top but says a lot about our inability to channel outrage and otherwise have a collective sense of moral priorities. Palmer’s dental practice is closed for the time being. His home address is all over the Internet, and he is besieged by death threats. Daytime TV host Sharon Osbourne tweeted, “I hope that #WalterPalmer loses his home, his practice & his money. He has already lost his soul.” All of those things may yet happen to Palmer, but we’re not ready to join the gang that looks forward to his two children ending up impoverished. The condemnation is also a little rich coming from Mrs. Osbourne. Her famous heavy-metal husband, Ozzy, is notorious for biting the heads off of two doves—symbols of peace!—to intimidate a couple of recording industry execs. She’s bragged about the stunt for decades.
Much of the media coverage has been indistinguishable from the bloodlust of the online mob. Piers Morgan, perhaps auditioning for a job with ISIS, wrote the following in the Daily Mail:
I’d like to introduce a new sport—Big Human Hunting. I will sell tickets for $50,000 to anyone who wants to come with me and track down fat, greedy, selfish, murderous businessmen like Dr Palmer in their natural habitat. . . . Then we’d calmly walk over, skin him alive, cut his head from his neck, and [take] a bunch of photos of us all grinning inanely at his quivering flesh.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the political fallout: “JUST IN: Cecil the lion killer Walter Palmer donated to Romney,” reports the Hill.
Sadly, other male lions don’t take well to the offspring of dead lions, so Cecil’s progeny may not live much longer. “Infanticide is the most likely outcome,” an Oxford wildlife researcher told the Telegraph. The media have been especially outraged by the fate of the lion cubs, even as they eschew coverage of actual, you know, human infanticide, following the recent revelations of Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting. Cosmopolitan’s senior political writer Jill Filipovic was both defending Planned Parenthood in Time and declaring “Palmer deserves all of the public shaming” inside of a day.
Still, it’s hard to top ThinkProgress for blowing things out of proportion: “Killing a single lion in 2015 is mathematically equivalent to murdering 400,000 of the planet’s roughly eight billion people.” Palmer may have committed crimes he has to answer for, but we’re confident genocide isn’t one of them. While we’re counting, it might be worth mentioning South Africa is hosting three million Zimbabwean refugees—but the only crisis in Zimbabwe that’s garnering wall-to-wall outrage isn’t a humanitarian one.
1:15 PM, Jun 12, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Obama administration is funding a provision of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutionally and against the decision of Congress, a Republican House member says. Peter Roskam of Illinois joined Fox News's Greta van Susteren Thursday to talk about the details of his findings in an oversight investigation by the House Ways and Means committee.
5:01 PM, Nov 12, 2014 • By BARRY CASSELMAN
Following the 2014 elections, Congressman John Kline remains the major and senior elected figure in the Minnesota Republican party. The powerful chairman of the House education committee, he will be a central figure in the reform measures ahead to improve the nation’s faltering public school systems.
7:53 AM, Oct 17, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
One health insurer in Minnesota, once the top seller on the state' s Obamacare-mandated exchange, is expected to raise its premiums between 40 and 60 percent. Small-business health insurance rates are also expected to go up in Minnesota. KSTP-TV reports the story:
The Minnesota governor’s race isn’t over. Oct 20, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 06 • By BARRY CASSELMAN
The 2014 race for governor of Minnesota had been placed in the “Safe Democrat” category since it began in earnest. Potential Republican opponents to the Democratic (Democratic-Farmer-Labor in this state) incumbent Mark Dayton were numerous, but most voters told pollsters the state was going in the right direction. Unemployment was lower than the national average, and Minneapolis was growing again
and seemingly booming with new housing construction.
A Republican neophyte takes on Al Franken.Aug 4, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 44 • By BARRY CASSELMAN
In 1978, Republicans in Minnesota, astonishingly, won all three statewide races: both Senate seats and the governorship. It became known by DFLers (Democrats here run as Democratic-Farmer-Laborites) as the “Minnesota massacre.” Republicans preferred to call it their Minnesota miracle. This year they’re looking for another miracle. One Senate seat is up, as is the governorship, and the DFL incumbents are widely expected to win. If an upset is possible, it might be in the Senate race.
The two parties battle it out in northern Minnesota. Jun 9, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 37 • By BARRY CASSELMAN
One of the most fascinating congressional races in the nation this year is taking place in a practically unknown Minnesota district between two men who could not be more different—in style and in substance.
9:08 AM, May 9, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
There’s a refrain familiar to any regular Capitol Hill reporter trying to ask a question of Senator Al Franken, Democrat from Minnesota and Saturday Night Live alum: “I don’t talk to national press. You’ll have to speak to my staff. I only talk to Minnesota press.”
3:01 PM, Apr 29, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Al Franken, the first-term Democratic senator from Minnesota, is under 45 percent against 4 potential GOP challengers in a new poll. Suffolk University's poll of likely voters in Minnesota also found Franken with a 46 percent favorability rating, while 41 percent say they have an unfavorable opinion of him.
A congressman rewrites his own history.Feb 3, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 20 • By SCOTT W. JOHNSON
Minnesota’s Keith Ellison made history as the first Muslim elected to Congress. He is a former member and local leader of the Nation of Islam who first ran for office as a Democrat in 1998 under the pseudonym Keith Ellison-Muhammad. He’s a voluble striver and a hustler emitting Marxist claptrap with an Islamic twist. He now puts these qualities on display in his engaging new memoir-cum-manifesto, My Country, ’Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future (Karen Hunter Publishing/Gallery Books, $25.00).
1:02 PM, Dec 26, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Americans for Prosperity has two new ads targeting House Democrats in swing districts, both of which make the case that Obamacare "doesn't work" and should be repealed. The first ad, running in New Hampshire, tells Democratic congresswoman Annie Kuster to "stop thinking about politics and start thinking about people." Watch it below:
Vacationing while website burned.7:17 AM, Dec 18, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The chief executive officer for Minnesota's Obamacare exchange resigned Tuesday after reports surfaced she had taken a tropical vacation in November, right when the state's health insurance exchange website was experiencing problems. ABC affiliate KSTP has the story:
4:24 PM, Nov 22, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Minnesota senator Al Franken, a Democrat, opens the door to a delay of the Obamacare individual mandate in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio.
The Washington Post reports: