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Michele Bachmann to speak at Oxford

Medical marijuana bill on hold; Garofalo goes after solar energy; bills tightening rules on surveillance advance; Hard Rock Cafe opening at megamall; and more.

Rep. Michele Bachmann
REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Please, please … someone get video of the Q & A. The Strib’s Jim Spencer says: “Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will take her free market philosophy to Great Britain Friday for a speech at the Oxford Union, a debating society founded in 1823. The conservative Republican will make the case that bureaucracy thwarts innovation, her office announced Tuesday. … Bachmann has titled her speech ‘Seeds of Progress: The struggle between innovation and bureaucracy.’ It will posit that regulators tend to control innovation and offer Bachmann’s thoughts on how to develop a system that fosters growth.” Fifty quid says it begins with repealing Obamacare.

Also in Our Favorite Congresswoman news … Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch says: “Michele Bachmann said last week that she is tired of gay people ‘bullying’ her and the American people. The Minnesota congresswoman told talk show host Lars Larson in an interview at CPAC that the gay community distorted the Arizona bill by making it about gay rights … Bachmann said. ‘And the thing that I think is getting a little tiresome is the gay community have so bullied the American people and they have so intimidated politicians that politicians fear them and they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere.’ ” So are we clear who the real victims are?

MinnPost’s Eric Black notes her comments here.

Don’t start counting on that marijuana revenue for Minnesota anytime soon … Christopher Snowbeck of the PiPress reports: “A bill to legalize medical marijuana is on hold at the Capitol. Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, postponed a hearing scheduled for Tuesday at the Capitol after negotiations with law enforcement representatives deadlocked, she said. … To win support from law enforcement, Melin said she offered to remove provisions that would allow some to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home. She also offered to remove an option for patients to smoke medical marijuana, Melin said, and narrow the definition of which patients might be eligible.”

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Say what you will, at least there’s no reference to “street” thuggery in this one … In a commentary for the Northfield News, GOP Rep. Pat Garofalo turns his sights on … solar energy. “Last May, Democrats doubled down on their silly love affair with expensive solar energy technology. They imposed a mandate on Minnesota that singles out customers of large electric utilities and forces them to produce 1.5 percent of their energy output through solar technology by 2020. … The left coupled this mandate with solar subsidies that will cost Minnesota ratepayers more than $175 million during the next 10 years. Not since President Obama’s Solyndra boondoggle have we seen such a squandering of taxpayer dollars on solar energy.” Couldn’t he work a Benghazi or birth certificate angle in there somehow?

Data and drones … The AP story says: “Minnesota laws related to criminal surveillance could be in for a major updating. On divided voice votes Tuesday, the House Public Safety Committee advanced a pair of bills that impose a higher standard on law enforcement to collect data from cell phones and other electronic location devices. Later, the panel will consider curbs on aerial devices known as drones.”

Back to the future at MOA … Rick Nelson of the Strib tells us: “After a three-year hiatus, the Hard Rock Cafe is returning to Minnesota. This time, instead of Block E in downtown Minneapolis, where it had a home from 2002 to 2011, the rock n’ roll memorabilia-soaked chain is opening a 400-seat outlet in the Mall of America in Bloomington.” Is that a genuine Foghat guitar pick?

From Moscow to Madison … The AP story says: “Members of the Moscow-based band Pussy Riot are calling on Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to dismiss cases against protesters arrested for singing in the Capitol building. Two members of the group appear in a video released Tuesday calling for a petition to drop the more than 400 arrests made last summer.”

I think we can skip the “alleged” part … In a Strib story headlined “Alleged drunken driver nearly falls out of car onto St. Paul cops,” Chao Xiong writes: “A St. Paul man was so drunk Sunday morning he nearly fell out of his vehicle when police found it stuck in a snowbank. … Doty’s eyes were droopy and bloodshot, and his speech was so slurred officers couldn’t understand him. An open beer can was found in the center console, and an empty bottle of vodka was found on the passenger floor, according to the complaint. ‘Doty had to hold onto the driver’s door for balance when he got out,’ charges said. ‘Doty was so intoxicated he couldn’t get his flip flops on his feet.’ … Doty has nearly two dozen convictions involving drunken driving, alcohol or traffic violations.”

Similarly … It took a little less than three weeks … Bryce Haugen of the Forum News Service reports: “At a special meeting Monday, Sebeka City Council members unanimously accepted the retirement of the town’s police chief, who was recently cited for driving while intoxicated, and appointed a part-time officer as interim chief. Eric Swenson, 48, had been a Sebeka police officer for 28 years and the chief since 2007.”