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Archbishop Nienstedt offers anti-gay marriage message from Capitol steps

Lawsuit contests wolf hunt; obesity trend shows 50% by 2030; electronic pull-tabs makes debut; Obama praises Lynx players; and more.

Say what you will, he’s not afraid to own it. The Strib’s religion writer, Rose French, reports: “Twin Cities Roman Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt and several other faith leaders gathered Tuesday on the steps of the State Capitol to encourage Minnesota voters to support the proposed amendment on the November ballot that would limit marriage to only between a man and a woman. ‘I ask all Minnesotans to join us to vote yes on November 6th,’ Nienstedt said in a rare public declaration on the issue. ‘This is a wonderful sight, to see clergy from … so many different churches, come together and show their support for our basic understanding of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.’ … Nienstedt, who was among about 40 clergy at the podium, declined to take questions from reporters and left immediately after the [event]. The archbishop has been one of the most active religious leaders backing the marriage amendment. So far this year, Catholic leadership has directed close to $500,000 in support of the amendment.

Speaking of spouses, all of you planning to present yours with a freshly shot wolf-hide coat for Christmas better hold off for a minute. John Myers at the Duluth News-Tribune says: “Two animal protection groups this morning filed a lawsuit with the state Court of Appeals seeking an injunction against wolf hunting and trapping in Minnesota this fall. The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves say the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources failed to provide a formal opportunity for public comment on recently approved rules establishing wolf hunting and trapping. … Instead of offering a formal public comment period, the DNR offered an online survey before adopting the details of how wolves would be shot and trapped. More than 75 percent of the comments opposed killing wolves.”

Who you calling “fat,” Porky? John Lundy, also at the News Tribune, writes: “More than half of Minnesota and Wisconsin residents will be obese by 2030 if we don’t change our ways. That’s the conclusion of a study released today by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study also warns of staggering health-care costs ahead if the obesity trend isn’t reversed. The analysis, conducted by the National Heart Forum and using a model published last year by British medical journal the Lancet, forecast a 54.7 percent obesity rate for Minnesota and 56.3 percent for Wisconsin. Current rates are 25.7 percent and 27.7 percent, respectively. Nationally, the study predicted 13 states would have obesity rates of more than 60 percent.”

Come on, folks, get out there and help pay down the tab on the new Vikes stadium. At the Strib, Jean Hopfensberger writes: “Minnesota’s first electronic pulltab games got the green light from the state Gambling Control Board Tuesday morning, kicking into gear the state’s strategy for financing the Vikings stadium. Five pulltab games manufactured by a Las Vegas gaming company were approved by the board, and several bars and restaurants that run charitable gambling are lined up to offer them to patrons today.” If I win, do I get a Super Bowl ring?
The Glean
The Lynx finally got their close-up with the president. Jim Spencer of the Strib reports: “Minnesota pro sports finally got a day at the White House Tuesday as President Obama welcomed the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx. The president traded quips with the team and accepted a Lynx jersey. The president described the team’s journey from the bottom of the standings to league champs. He also said that as the husband of a tall woman and the father of two girls, he appreciates the role models the WNBA players have become. ‘You don’t see them (female athletes) on SportsCenter doing stupid stuff,’ Obama said.” Of course, their ratings might be better if they did.

Wisconsin’s AG has officially asked for a stay of the order striking down Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining law, aka. Act 10. Scott Bauer of the AP writes: “J.B. Van Hollen’s request just four days after ruling Friday comes as school districts and local governments attempt to understand the ramifications of the decision and whether it opens the door to new negotiations previously barred with unions. Van Hollen, a Republican, asked that Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas act quickly on the request for a stay of his ruling that overturned the law as it pertained to school and local government workers. … Lester Pines, the attorney representing the Madison teachers union which brought the lawsuit, promised to vigorously fight the request to put the ruling on hold.” He’s an “activist” AG!

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In an MPR commentary, Chaska minister Gordon Stewart offers his thoughts on the inflammatory anti-Muhammed video causing so much trouble: “As a Christian pastor, I can only take responsibility from within the tide pool of my faith tradition. Muslim imams, like Minneapolis Imam Makram El-Amin, are doing the same in theirs. A news story in the Star Tribune quoted him as saying, ‘We will stand in unity against these attacks and the appalling killing of the diplomat who was there on a peaceful mission.’ Every Christian pastor is called to do the same in the wake of the viral film that poisoned the ocean from a yellow tide pool in the United States. When any religious tradition mistakes its pool for the ocean itself, when it denies the existence of neighboring tide pools along the edges of Eternity, fundamentalism wins. Things turn yellow and nasty.”

Maybe this will be better … Christopher Snowbeck of the PiPress says: “The Dayton administration is shifting responsibility for creating Minnesota’s health insurance exchange to a new state agency after weeks of criticism from business leaders that they couldn’t get enough information about the project from the Commerce Department. The planning job will now fall to Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner James Schowalter, according to a Tuesday, Sept. 18, letter from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton to legislative leaders. … The executive director and 12 full-time staff working on the exchange will now report to Showalter.”

Wondering what our local, standard-bearing GOP/libertarian blogger brethren think of Mitt Romney’s “47%” comments? Here’s John Hinderaker at Power Line: “Welfare was always a winning issue for Republicans, but it seemed to become moot, at the federal level, after the welfare reform of 1994. Now, as government dependency has skyrocketed during the Age of Obama, it is back on the table. Romney should be ready to recite the dependency numbers at the drop of a hat: the millions of long-term unemployed, the millions more who have left the labor force, one-sixth of Americans on food stamps, an astonishing 8.7 million now on permanent and total disability. And the Obama administration thinks we don’t have enough dependency, as is demonstrated by their efforts to recruit more and more Americans and illegal aliens into the food stamp program. Romney shouldn’t be at all defensive about the Mother Jones video clip. Whenever he is asked about it, he should say that the most fundamental difference between him and Barack Obama is that he wants people to have jobs, and Obama wants them to be dependent on the government.” I have no hard evidence, but I suspect there are people who actually believe that.