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Bachmann hopes Social Security makes her a ‘weaner’ winner

MORNING EDITION ALSO: Another Cargill recall; Boundary Waters fire growing; hotel occupancy rates rising; 9/11 remembrances, glow-in-the-dark cats; and more.
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A bit of stenography over at MPR, where Mark Zdechlik relays news from Michele’s Bachmann camp that the presidential candidate will “highlight the sharp difference between her position on Social Security and that of Texas Gov. Rick Perry” at a 7 p.m. GOP debate in Florida today. Given the location — and a Republican primary electorate that averages somewhere between septuagenarian and nonagenarian — it’s smart of Bachmann to highlight one of the few areas where someone has out-extremed her. But while Perry has called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” and attacked it as unconstitutional, Bachmann has her own safety-net skeletons, context that MPR has reported and even this short item could have referenced. In the 2010 campaign versus Tarryl Clark, Bachmann argued she would protect “people that are already in the system, that don’t have other options” but “wean everybody else off.” That’s not far from Perry’s declaration in the California GOP debate that “men and women who are receiving those benefits today, are individuals at my age that are in line pretty quick to get them, they don’t need to worry about anything.”

Yummy: Minnesota-based Cargill is recalling a mere 92 tons of salmonella-contaminated turkey, from the same Arkansas plant that sparked an 18,000-ton recall a month ago, the Associated Press reports. This, despite the addition of “two additional anti-bacterial washes” after the first recall. Be still, my salivary glands! Says AP: “The problem … is that salmonella is ‘ubiquitous’ and can come from soil, water, poultry feed and any number of sources. The challenge for Cargill and other food processors is to try to identify and eliminate the sources, reduce the amount during processing and then test for it.” The recall happened in the final week of August.

Lovely weather we’re having — today might be the last midsummer-type day — but then again, seven square miles of the Boundary Waters is burning. The Duluth News-Tribune staff says the Pagami Creek fire grew 40 percent Sunday, and high temps, low humidity and 20 mph gusts could keep it moving. The local ranger says crews are letting the natural order of things take its course to the south and east for now, and are protecting private property in the Fernbrook corridor.

For some reason, two big Minneapolis tax stories broke on a Sunday, and if you’re a homeowner in the city’s tonier neighborhoods, it’s a win-win. The Strib’s Steve Brandt reports the city’s fire pensioners approved a state merger that (if the cops soon agree) will save the city $17 million in 2012. Brandt has written that the cops would be the tougher nut. Meanwhile, he says a tax court judge threw out a suit from poorer-‘hood residents that would’ve shifted the property-tax burden rich-ward. An appeal is likely.

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Defying gravity: The Strib’s Don Jacobson reports that Minnesota hotel occupancy and rates are rising, and could top pre-recession 2008. A sign that corporations do spend some of that cash on mini-bars, if not jobs? That rising income inequality pays off for those who can afford room service? Jacobson notes little new construction is helping those already in; if only the housing market worked this way.

It’s 9/12, so it’s probably safe to come out of the bunker. But in a fairly vivid illustration of America’s post-attack path, KSTP sends Mark Albert to Iraq to check in with Minnesota’s Red Bulls about how 9/11 inspired them to join the military. It’s hard to question the soldiers’ dedication, though it’s worth remembering Iraq was not involved in 9/11. KARE has a nice shot of the 35W bridge lit up in red, white and blue, plus a State Capitol rally.

Speaking of shedding light, the Mayo Clinic is spending money on glow-in-the-dark cats, WCCO reports. Huh wha’? Apparently Feline immunodeficiency virus acts like HIV in humans, and can aid in AIDS treatment. Mayo is adding a gene known to block infection with a jellyfish gene for tracing. The tactic “will help medical (and veterinary) researchers understand how restriction factors can be used in gene therapy for AIDS, caused by either virus.” Mayo’s release is here.

Nort spews: Minnesota teams with XY chromosomes continue to display epic ineptitude. A day after the Gopher gridders gagged on New Mexico State, the Vikings and Donovan McNabb threw up 2 second-half yards passing in their come-from-ahead 24-17 season-opening loss at San Diego. The Twins — remember them? — were swept in Detroit, losing 2-1. So this is where we stand: The Vikes are now one game behind the Lions and the Twins are two games behind the Royals, and the Timberwolves may actually be looking down on them if their contract offer to Rick Adelman is accepted. Fortunately, Gopher head coach Jerry Kill is expected back on the sidelines Wednesday, the PiPress’ Marcus Fuller reports. The Strib’s Phil Miller says Kill is “embarrassed” because the seizure happened in public; really, the game is the only thing you have to be embarrassed about, coach. Anyway, the Minnesota Lynx — with little to play for since clinching their conference’s top seed — still gave their all in a 96-90 win over Phoenix, Canis Hoopus notes. The Lynx play San Antonio in their WNBA playoff opener Friday.

Glean creator David Brauer returns to fill in for vacationing Brian Lambert.