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On-off-on-off Mark Ritchie church talk … postponed

It was on, then off, then on because the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis hadn’t exactly said “no.” Now it’s been postponed. Laura Yuen of MPR writes: “[T]he Star Tribune quoted a St. Joan of Arc spokesman Wednesday morning, saying the parish had no plans to dis-invite [Secretary of State Mark] Ritchie. Within hours, the parish reversed itself, saying the event was postponed. ‘We’ve just decided that given the almost unbelievable and torrential attention it’s been given, we thought it’s better now for our parishioners, and for also Mr. Ritchie, to just postpone the talk,’ said Dennis Heaney, a spokesman for the parish. St. Joan of Arc is widely seen as a liberal church, and the archdiocese is one of the leading supporters of the marriage amendment. Heaney said there is no dispute between the two parties. ‘Absolutely not,’ he said. ‘They never came down heavy on us about this talk at all.’ ” Shall we have an unscientific vote on who finds that credible?    

She knows how to grab (and hold) headlines, Our Favorite Congresswoman. In a Strib commentary, Michele Bachmann writes, “[W]hile I am working tirelessly every day to promote pro-growth policies so Minnesota’s small businesses will once again invest and hire new workers, I cannot ignore the national-security threats facing our nation. … It is my duty as a member of Congress to ask why the Obama administration has repeatedly undermined America’s national security and bows to political correctness on issues related to radical Islam. The safety and security of every person in my district, as well as all Americans, is of preeminent importance and concern to me.”

Earlier in the day, the threat was … gay marriage. Bachmann joined other conservatives in expressing her support for the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, whose head guy essentially called gay marriage an abomination, or something. Paige Lavender at The Huffington Post writes: “Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) showed her support for Chick-fil-A Wednesday when she tweeted a photo of her visiting the restaurant. ‘Have you gone today?’ Bachmann asked her followers on what became an unofficial ‘Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.’ … As gay rights groups launched boycotts against the company, prominent conservative figures like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began showing their support by visiting the restaurant. But conservatives weren’t the only ones taking sides. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted about her opposition to the restaurant, and West Hollywood bar The Abbey introduced a ‘Chick-for-Gay’ sandwich as a protest against the chain.”

At New York magazine, Margaret Hartman explains that Bachmann has little to fear in her re-election bid: “Though Democrats are hoping that the controversy will help sway Minnesota voters in the fall, there’s little evidence that her so-called ‘witch hunt’ will have an impact in her home district.  … [DFL candidate Jim] Graves still faces an uphill battle. Recently he released an internal poll of 505 likely 6th District voters that shows Bachmann leading with 48 percent of the vote to his 43 percent, with a 4.4 percent margin of errors, which would put him within striking distance of the three-term representative. However, Bachmann has a huge fund-raising advantage over Graves. She’s raised more than $14.8 million in the current election cycle, making her one of the House’s top fund-raisers. While Graves is said to be worth more than $100 million, he’s only raised $404,000, and $250,000 of that was his own money.”

Ron Kampeas of The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports Jewish criticism of Bachmann and, implicitly, defense of Hillary Clinton’s Muslim aide: “Some of the toughest condemnations of Bachmann have come from major Jewish groups.The allegations, and the apparent split among some in the Republican leadership over whether to denounce them, underscore a return in recent years to scapegoating ‘outsiders,’ according to the Jewish leaders who slammed Bachmann for launching what they called a ‘witch hunt.’ ‘It’s likes someone who says there’s a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world,’ Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, said in a JTA interview. ‘And then they say prove it’s not true. What proof can you bring to ideologues who want to believe it’s true?’ ”

Also Wednesday, Jeff Kazmierski from the University of Nebraska at Omaha writes: “Like most Americans who don’t actually live there, I don’t think about Minnesota very often. I have a few relatives there, and I listen to Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” on occasion, but I’m not a Twins fan so the state doesn’t usually cross my mind. Unless, of course, Michele Bachmann opens her mouth and makes sound come out. Then, I breathe a silent prayer of relief that, as dumb as my representative is, at least he isn’t completely insane. I mean, sure, he wrote that ridiculous bill that would have allowed telemarketers to call you any time they want, but that was just stupid, not crazy. And say what you like about [Nebraska GOP Congressman] Lee Terry, at least he doesn’t make a regular habit of accusing highly qualified, competent, loyal patriots of conspiring with international terrorists, like Bachmann recently did. … This isn’t the first time Bachmann has made controversial statements. In fact, it could be said fairly that it’s a rare event when she doesn’t say something inflammatory, defamatory, or just plain stupid. Her short, undistinguished career in Washington has been marked by one ridiculous statement after another. But this time, in directly implicating a high-level State Department official, she went too far.”

Public access TV’s days are growing ever more numbered. Kelly Smith of the Strib says: “A public-access TV studio that serves five southwest-metro cities will go dark this month — an example of accessible, hyper-local television being forced to refocus in an era of instant, free video uploads to YouTube and Facebook. Residents who tape shows fear they’ll no longer have a place to do so, but city leaders say they aren’t doing away with public access, just starting to explore new ways to boost it. The studio’s closing comes as the Southwest Suburban Cable Commission is renewing a contract with Comcast, which no longer wants to run it. Plus, the commission says, it has outdated 1990s equipment and produces far too few programs for its audience: Edina, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Richfield. … Public-access channels are, to some degree, a relic of the era when most people got their news from television. Cable franchises were often required to provide the channels as a condition of their city franchise, and they became the place where residents could watch their local city council or school board. But new technology, changing media habits and cost concerns as contracts come up for renewal have forced cities to reevaluate public access.” Why have a half-hour discussion when you can tweet your deepest thoughts in 140 characters?

Also in the Strib, Mike Hughlett reports that struggling SuperValu has whacked 50 IT jobs: “The reduction is part of an IT restructuring and comes in addition to about 200 local white-collar job cuts that Supervalu announced in February. The struggling supermarket giant, which earlier this week ousted its chief executive, Craig Herkert, has also announced several store-level layoffs in the past 18 months. Last week, before Herkert’s exit, Supervalu internally notified its IT workforce of a reorganization that would cost 85 jobs nationally, including 50 in Eden Prairie. The reorganization is aimed at making Supervalu’s IT employees more generalists than specialists.” … And also bag boys, if need be.

Everything tastes better with bacon … even a burglary. The Wisconsin State Journal reports: “An alleged burglar who started to cook himself some bacon in someone else’s home last year was charged Wednesday with burglary after police used DNA from a shoe he left behind to identify him. Paul M. Muthamia, 49, of Middleton went into a North High Point Road home Oct. 30 after its occupants had gone to church, stole several pieces of jewelry and then opened a root beer and started to cook some bacon before apparently leaving in haste, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court. Police found a well-worn shoe near the back door and sent it to the state Crime Lab for testing.” Now see, on “CSI” they’d have that shoe back in 15 minutes.

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 08/02/2012 - 08:24 am.

    How did all the flakes of Minnesota land in the 6th district? Generally speaking Minnesota has reasonable citizens, that is, until you get to the 6th district. Or is it all the flakes that keep supporting Bachmann don’t actually live in the 6th district, the state of Minnesota, or even the US. The Supreme Courts worst decision ever, the Citizen United Bill, has usurped the voting power of the everyday citizen. It has made it very easy for big money influence politicians to the point of making them act stupid. Bachmann may have a titanium spine, as she claims, but it isn’t connected to a rational brain. There is very little denouncement of Bachmann from the republican elite because they need the distraction from their irrational talking points. As long as there is a spotlight burning, Bachmann will be there front and center. In November we will really see what the 6th district is made of.

    • Submitted by Arito Moerair on 08/02/2012 - 09:28 am.

      Maybe the lesson here is that Minnesotans aren’t better than anyone else. I know that’s a very difficult concept for people here to understand, but it’s the truth.

  2. Submitted by Susan McNerney on 08/02/2012 - 08:26 am.

    That fundraising comment seems off target

    Many dems are looking at a candidate in MN-06 who is worth 100,000,000 and are thinking their money is better spent elsewhere simply because he already has resources.

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 08/02/2012 - 10:36 am.

    “St. Joan of Arc is widely seen as a liberal church”

    Hence their problem. They want to call themselves a Catholic church, but want to conduct themselves as liberals.

    Also, I find it absolutely amazing that the Glean can mention Chick-fil-A and ignore the nationwide outpouring of support that decended upon them yesterday. You could hardly have missed it, since it was the lead story on every national media source.

    To keep it local, you might have mentioned that the line of supporters extended out the doors of the University of Minnesota’s Coffman union for hours.

    • Submitted by Sean Huntley on 08/02/2012 - 12:29 pm.

      Does that mean that good Catholics cannot deny global warming is real and man made? Does that mean that good Catholics cannot deny that evolution is real?

  4. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 08/02/2012 - 12:32 pm.

    there are good Catholics…..

    ….and then there are liberals

    • Submitted by Pete Barrett on 08/02/2012 - 08:24 pm.

      The Good Book

      The Bible contains very challenging readings for liberals and conservatives alike.

      Paraphrasing Jim Wallis, God is not a conservative. Or a liberal.

  5. Submitted by Pete Barrett on 08/02/2012 - 08:26 pm.

    So They’re Not Talking About Uber Value, Then?

    It doesn’t sound like the folks at SuperValu are job creators. And I can’t believe Brian missed this one.

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