With only 11 shopping days left until Christmas, I figure it’s time to end my procrastinating and start a gift list for my favorite headliners of the year. Keep in mind that I’m a newsman, so I’m on a tight budget.
As always, it’s hard to draw a line on who makes the list. If you didn’t make it this year, please know that it’s not because you didn’t deserve it, but rather because I ran out of juice or space. You might consider yourself lucky.
Here goes, in no particular order.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges: A copy of the collected quotes of Deepak Chopra, so she can keep up with her steady stream of inane platitudes on Twitter.
This Chopra gem seems applicable: “There are very few good examples of effective, nurturing leadership that unlocks people’s potential or even enthusiasm.”
Or this one: “Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention.”
I’m pretty sure she will be able to work one of those into the Equity Mission Statement.
Stocking stuffer: Six new council members who will never, ever ask difficult questions about the mayor’s budget.
Michele Kelm-Helgen, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman. This could be shared with the entire authority, which has fought attempts to make the new Vikings stadium more bird-friendly: a pair of lovebirds and a trip to Bodega Bay so we can sit back and enjoy the Hitchcockian payback.
John Delmonico, president of the Minneapolis police union, who peddled the notorious photo of Mayor Hodges pointing at a young black man, claiming with a straight face that it was a gang sign: a “brain cam” so we can see just what was going on inside his noggin when he came up with such a cockamamie idea.
Stocking stuffer: a copy of Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” so that the next time Delmonico attempts such blatant political sabotage, he will get it right.
Stanley Hubbard, owner of KSTP, which aired the original “pointergate” story Delmonico was pitching. Hubbard repeatedly defended the story when every reputable news outlet in the country, plus several journalism ethics groups, condemned it. It’s always tough to get a gift for someone who has (almost) everything, so we’ll go with this: a conscience.
Gregg Steinhafel, ousted CEO of Target Corp, who transformed the popular retailer’s culture from “fun, fast and friendly” to “flat, flabby and frumpy,” and presided over the massive data breach: a new Target RED gift card with a secure chip.
Stocking stuffer: golden boots to go with the golden parachute.
Community Action of Minneapolis CEO Bill Davis and Board Member Sen. Jeff Hayden, who used money meant for a heating program for the poor to go to the Broadway play “Wicked.” The only other Broadway hit that might seem more appropriate for these two would be tickets to “Disgraced.”
Stocking stuffer: a copy of Tom Wolfe’s “Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers,” the classic journalistic gem about how 1960s community organizers manipulated liberal guilt to secure and skim money from programs that didn’t work.
Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, the rambling top cop who has attended more than 22 conferences outside Minnesota in her two years in office: a travel pillow and a photo of all members of the MPD, so she can remember what they look like.
Stewart Mills III, who parlayed a few million in personal wealth and a hairdo reminiscent of Brad Pitt in “Troy” into a close race for U.S. Congress: a gift certificate to see hairstylist Karen Goldfarb at Uptown Hair District. If she can help me, she could probably help Mills win an election.
Atwater Police Chief Trevor Berger, who decapitated a small hen kept by a boy as a pet, and left the head behind for the kid to find: a copy of “Chicken Soup for the Soulless Hen Beheader.”
Stocking stuffer: a visit from the Corleone family.
Follow Jon on Twitter: @jontevlin