FOOT: In the immortal words of those troubadour-philosophers Iron Maiden, "Feel like I've been here before":
When you consider how the old Interstate 35W bridge looks these days, there is an irony in the name of the company picked to build a new one: Flatiron.
RYAN: Honest to God, Nick Coleman could see nonexistent irony in practically anything. Bath water? Irony. Broccoli? That's irony. Gravel pit? You better believe that's an irony.
GARCIA: "When you consider what a homely man Nick Coleman is, there is an irony that he took up with a woman named "Billings".
"Flatironed" is what we got on Aug. 1. And what you get when you cross Carol Molnau.
RYAN: Look, Nick. Buddy. Pal. Firstly, flatiron is not a verb. It is a noun, and not a particularly well-known one at that. Nextly, you're not allowed to make it a verb, not even for the purposes of conjuring an outrageously hamfisted lead paragraph. Thirdly, you're a terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE writer.FOOT: Indeed one could easily imagine him writing something like: "The first President Bush told a reporter that he hated broccoli. Now the second President Bush is broccoliing America."
GARCIA: It could be a synonym - given my previous comment (which I'm trying to gargle out of my brain by pouring "Scope" in my ear cavities), "Flatironed" could be a synonym for "nerfiness". IfyaknowwhatImean.
"Steamrollered" works, too.
RYAN: *blink* *blink* Look, if you're not going to take this seriously. . .Seven weeks after the catastrophic collapse of a highway bridge on her watch, Lt. Gov. Molnau defiantly remains in her politically motivated posting as Tim Pawlenty's transportation commissioner, and has even worked up the nerve to show up in public again.
RYAN: Yeah, the nerve of a public official, showing up in. . . PUBLIC. And she should have resigned, too, damnit! Everyone in the state should have resigned! That bridge collapse is the fault of every single person on the planet who isn't Nick Coleman!
FOOT: Aren't all executive cabinet appointments "politically motivated." You know - a politician appointing folks to political posts. I wonder if anything his dimwit brother does as St. Paul mayor is ever "politically motivated"?
GARCIA: I think Rudy Perpich's transportation commissioner stepped from a burning bush with a holy calling...
FOOT: Politically motivated or no, given said mayor's desire to build 3 new hockey rinks because he "played hockey as a kid" while simultaneously claiming that the taxpayers of Minnesota - to say nothing of those of Saint Paul (I'm saying nothing of them because they deserve everything they get for putting this gerbil into office) - aren't being sufficiently tax raped broccolied, we can throw "stupid" in there as well.
Molnau was on hand, briefly, at Wednesday's weird awarding of a $233 million bridge contract (that could reach as much as $260 million) to the highest bidder, Flatiron Construction, of Colorado. She made some introductory remarks, then sat, alone, in the back of the room, disappearing before questions came up and the whole crazy rush to get a new bridge built in order to get the ruins of the old one off our minds started to unravel.
RYAN: Oh, those crazy rushes to get a major metropolitan artery back up and functioning. Crazy, crazy, CAH-RAZY. Can you imagine if Coleman were a heart surgeon? He'd just kind of stand there in front of an open chest, lingering over a clogged artery, marveling at how cloggity clogged it was, paying due diligence to the ramifications of such a clog, and considering which processed food company was most to blame for the cloggification (yes, I'm making up words, because if Nick can, I can).FOOT: Wow, Ryan - you really broccolied him!
Quick ThunderJournal Poll for our multifiskers: What is the appropriate amount of time to leave a big hole where a major commercial/transportation thoroughfare once was, allowing traffic to languish, before starting to think about forming a committee to look into the possibility of maybe hiring a consultant to knead his chin and propose an inquest into the cost-benefit analysis of maybe taking a proposal to the legislature asking them to pass a resolution calling for the rebridgification of the 35W gap?
From what I'm getting, according to NonMonkey and other DFLians who've gotten the memo, the answer is...well, longer than 45 days.
GARCIA: And if you don't, you'll get Colemanned.
FOOT: Meanwhile, according to the drooling turds in the left-o-sphere, Pawlenty taking a week to call a special session to address the floods in southeastern Minnesota was glacially slow.
Flatiron was the most expensive bidder, the only one with no strong Minnesota construction experience, and its plan equalled the longest timetable to build a secret bridge -- the design of which has not been unveiled and has not been approved by the city, which must sign off on the project.
GARCIA: Maybe some of the decisionmakers were Billingsed into their decision? Or perhaps they tried to Billings, but they flatironed.Surprise, surprise: The other bidders are now objecting.
RYAN: Yeah, wow, bidders who didn't get a lucrative and high profile bid are objecting. Consider me adequately shocked.
FOOT: Yes, Ryan, shocking indeed. But the real issue here (according to this butt cheek) is whether any of those losing bidders had Minnesota bridge experience. Because everyone knows that bridge engineering is so much trickier out here in the Canadian Shield (that's a geology term, NM, look it up) than it is constructing a bridge in, say, the San Francisco Bay area - an area known for it's tectonic stability!
Sure the wide variations of temperature make for unique conditions here that may require special components in the design, but since I - a mere ink-besotted ThunderJournalist - have already thought of that, I'm not too worried about a company that's doing the design-build on a project like this from figuring it out.
"Minnesota bridge experience". I challenge anyone to find a NonMonkey remark stupider than that one.
Wait - I take that back:
You look at this mess and you get the idea that the Pawlenty-Molnau administration wants Aug. 1, 2007, to fade into the rear-view mirror of history as fast as possible.
RYAN: No, Nick. YOU get that idea. Most people who have more than a single neuron firing would get the idea the administration wants to move forward and get a new, safe bridge up and running. Only in your addled, simplistic mind is it a case of sweeping something under the bed.
FOOT: I wonder what NonMonkey thinks of the editorial decisions of many TV networks who decided to stop showing the footage of planes flying into the WTC. Given his abusive relationship intellectual honesty, I'd say he was "fer it".
If she ran a railroad this way, Molnau would be trying to find a box car to ride in.
GARCIA: And if the Strib ran MNDOT and made you the project manager, bridges would stop in the middle and collapse from the weight of their own unsupported...trusses.
Molnau was in China when the bridge -- which was structurally deficient and in the midst of a critical inspection that had been suspended and was a cheap substitute for the more expensive fix that had been recommended by consultants -- fell into the Mississippi and killed 13 people.
FOOT: KAR NONMONKEY FACT CHECK
1) NonMonkey continues to use the technical term "structurally deficient" as a synonym for "about to fall down." At this point in time, only the willfully ignorant still hold that view. That NM is one of them should surprise no one.
2) We have two lies of omission crammed into a single sentence here:
a) The inspection was suspended to allow construction on the bridge deck of this horribly neglected bridge; and
b) The "more expensive fix" NonMonkey mentions was scrapped primarily because officials feared that course of action would further weaken the bridge before restabilizing it. This particular repair entailed drilling more holes into the girders, so that decision wasn't really all that counter-intuitive. Again only the willfully ignorant believe this crap.
RYAN: Holy non-sequiter nonsensicalities, Batman! So, wait a minute, let's see if I can understand this kind of logic, which is a scary undertaking in its own right: Molnau should have been in Minnesota because there was a bridge deemed deficient that was being inspected, even though bridges deemed "deficient" aren't necessarily considered collapse risks, and a more expensive fix (which, by the way, was itself considered a risky move because it could have, in fact, further weakened the bridge, hence the inspection option) would have saved the world, or something.
FOOT: Ryan, if there's anything you've learned from this it should at least be this:
It's spelled "non sequitUr."
RYAN: Hey now. I'm allowed to make up words, remember? And that includes incorrect spelling.
GARCIA: Well, the real problem is now that Carol Molnau is going to have to put a house on the north ramp to the Lafayette Bridge, which is "48 percent", which in NonMonkey's world means he has a 52 percent chance of getting steamrollered on his way home to get Billingsed.
When she returned, she jousted with reporters and seemed annoyed that anyone would question her leadership, and implied that everything would be OK if the media would report about all the people who made it safely across a bridge.
RYAN: Oh, she "seemed" annoyed, did she Nick? According to? Oh, according to you? To your credit, I suppose it's possible she was annoyed, having seen your cynical, ignorant, biased, talentless mug peering at her over your bifocals. For her, it must have been like being forced to answer questions from the kid wearing the cone shaped hat sitting in the corner.
Since then, Molnau has been harder to find than a quick way home from work.FOOT: Yet we're hurrying - what was the term? steamrolling? - to rebuild this bridge.
RYAN: No, not steamrolling. . . STEAMROLLERING. Actually, Nick wrote "steamrollered." Yes, I suppose it's an actual word, but I'd never seen until today.
GARCIA: This is what happens when you step into a logical boyd.
She didn't show up in Washington for a Sept. 5 congressional hearing on bridge safety, sending her deputy, Bob McFarlin, instead. Flunky McFarlin, representing the grieving state of Minnesota, told lawmakers it was far too early to know what to do about bridges mysteriously falling into rivers.FOOT: [typing slowly for the Nick-level intellects out there] And that is because
(Ryan: what was that word you used last week?)
FOOT: Right. "Assnozzle."
Especially if it involves gas taxes. That's Molnau's M.O., all right: "Let's Do Nothing."
GARCIA: Now wait, Nick - you're steamrollering me. Did the administration "Do Nothing", or did it "steamroller" to rush a bridge design through?
Or in the logical boyd, are contradictions the norm?
FOOT: Aaaaaaand once again, NM makes the leap from not knowing why the bridge collapsed ("mysteriously") to knowing that a gas tax would have prevented it. Or something.
This is called "knowing stuff".
RYAN: Also, as has been pointed out many, many, MANY times, there was, in fact, money in the budget for repairs, so Nick is basically advocating a gas tax that would throw an even bigger pile of money on top of the adequate amount of money that was already there.
Also, be sure to note how it's possible for Nick to complain about a new bridge being approved and built too fast within paragraphs of him complaining Molnau's M.O. is "Let's do nothing."
NICK COLEMAN: That's not fair! Stop pointing out how stupid and illogical I am!
RYAN: Quiet, old man. You'll take this fisking up the assnozzle and you'll LIKE IT.
GARCIA: Unless he's too flatironed to billings.
FOOT: I'll bet it's his aftershave...It has been adopted by her subordinates, including Molnau's emergency manager, a wandering traveler named Sonia Kay Morphew Pitt, who was enjoying an East Coast jaunt at taxpayer expense when the bridge fell and who didn't return home for 10 days, although it was her job to coordinate things in an emergency.
FOOT: Given the way the aftermath was handled (notwithstanding certain Kool Aid bedraggled letter writers), I merely see another government salary that can be eliminated.
RYAN: *grumble* Can't believe Foot beat me to the point about the excellent handling of the aftermath. *grumble*
Pitt is now on leave, or perhaps in hiding, and under investigation, although it appears the "investigation" is as much damage control as inquiry.
GARCIA: So which is it?
If she didn't come home because she thought she didn't need to, she should lose her job. If a superior told her she didn't need to, that person should lose his or her job.
Oh Molnau, Where Art Thou?
In Washington yesterday, Sen. Barbara Boxer got in the face of U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters after Peters claimed there is no transportation safety crisis in America. Like Molnau, Peters says she thinks things are going swimmingly, and they are: Sometimes, we have to swim for it.
We need more angry Boxers.
GARCIA: My boxers aren't angry, but then I haven't flatironed when I've tried to billings. Although it happens to everyone sometimes, they say, bigfella.
And fewer huggers. It's time to stop holding hands and start holding people responsible. It wasn't only a bridge that fell down on the job.FOOT: Others who fell down on the job: a certain metro columnist who continually mistakes rage for well-founded opinion, ignorance for fact, and his morning turd for a column.
RYAN: That's being awfully insulting to morning turds.
GARCIA: Ooh! "Morning Turds Get Colemanned!"
But I'm trying to figure this out; what's the difference between getting colemanned and fecke'd?
Public government, including Carol Molnau's Department of Transportation -- once one of Minnesota's proudest achievements -- is collapsing.
RYAN: Yeah, "gag" pretty much sums it up.
GARCIA: Whoah! When was MNDOT ever one of "Minnesota's Proudest Achievements?"
Is this more of that "stuff" that Coleman "knows?"
Right before our eyes.FOOT: Bring us on home Head...
GARCIA: It's no wonder the Strib, lost in a logical boyd, is billingsed up the spotty.
FOOT: Tee hee!