Thursday, February 24, 2005

You Betcha.

The Onion is funny. But it's at it's best when it makes fun of things that the editors understand. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa are often the best lampooned subjects owing to birth of the Onion in Madison. But this take on Minnesota is priceless. (Incidently, I got to be back in MN for a bit on my trip to and from St. Louis. I miss the place. It's always going to feel a little like home).

ST. PAUL, MN—Although many of its highways and bridges are in severe disrepair, the traditionally undemanding state of Minnesota isn't comfortable asking for more interstate funding, sources reported Monday.

"Oh, we wouldn't want to bother the U.S. government—they've got more than enough on their plate as it is," Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said. "Most of the potholes on I-90 are less than four feet wide. We get by just fine. I wouldn't want anyone all the way over there in Washington to be worrying about little ol' us."

According to U.S. Department of Transportation records, Minnesota has not requested an increase in highway funds for 10 years, in spite of the fact that the majority of their roads are plagued by rutted or uneven surfaces, cracked pavement, potholes, and other deterioration.

"If it were a life or death situation, you can bet your bippy we'd ask for it, but since it isn't..." Pawlenty said. "Well, we can make do with the transportation-department budget they decided to give us back in 1995. That was more than generous.

Joshua Bolten, U.S. Director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the national government "guilted" Minnesota into accepting some money to fund a child-safety-seat program three years ago, by repeatedly urging them to "think of the children."

"After all it took to get them to take the money, they wouldn't stop thanking us," Bolten said. "The following day, Minnesota congressmen kept dropping by with cakes and cookies. I mean, the hand-stitched quilt Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-MN) made was beautiful, but a gift was really, really unnecessary."

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