With Congress as usual doing as little as humanly possible, Brett Neely of MPR reports on the nickel and dime ways states like Minnesota are trying to keep infrastructure projects funded. “Building roads and bridges is one of the central duties of government. And there’s a fair amount of self-loathing about these funding gimmicks from members of Congress themselves, including Minnesota 1st District Democrat Rep. Tim Walz. … Minnesota 8th District Democrat Rep. Rick Nolan was even more scathing, especially about the pension part of the [latest] bill that allows companies to contribute less to workers’ pensions so that the companies will pay more in taxes.”
Once again the archdiocese has attracted national attention. In the New York Times, Laurie Goodstein writes, “In the latest challenge, on Tuesday, the archdiocese was surprised by a 107-page affidavit from Ms. [Jennifer] Haselberger … ‘Everything I had heard about Archbishop Nienstedt,’ said Ms. Haselberger in a telephone interview, ‘led me to think that if there was ever a guy who was not going to put up with this kind of stuff, it would be him. Would you ever think that somebody with a reputation for being dogmatically pure would turn a blind eye to this kind of stuff? I was completely unprepared for it.’ ” The dogmatically pure thing is usually a red flag.
For The American Conservative, non-Catholic Rod Dreher is stunned by the Haselberger affidavit. “As a non-Catholic, I read this story, and think about how religious liberty in this country is now under assault, especially how right here in Louisiana, the seal of the confessional is severely threatened by ongoing litigation. And I think about how the archbishops of Minneapolis-St. Paul have behaved, saying one thing to reassure the public, but in fact behaving in exactly the opposite way, doing whatever they could to protect the clericalist mafia, and to marginalize Catholics like Jennifer Haselberger, who only wanted the Church to be the Church. I think about how the archdiocese appointed a priest who — if Haselberger is telling the truth (and as chancellor, had access to his personnel file) — had used the confessional as a way to facilitate an adulterous relationship. I think of this, and it is not hard for me to understand why people have so little sympathy for religious liberty claims.”
Meanwhile … this guy is back in jail. Jessie Perrine of the Brainerd Dispatch says, “The owner of an ‘illegal flea market’ is back in jail after the property again started accumulating items. Chad Ross will remain there until his Pine Street property is cleared or when the remainder of his 270-day sentence is complete. … ‘It’s unbelievable,’ [City Planner Mark Ostgarden] said. ‘Most people would realize what they have to do to stay out of jail. I don’t know why he isn’t realizing it.’ “
Speaking of issues of trust … Pat Doyle of the Strib covers the latest in the Southwest LRT fight. “Metro transit bankrollers agreed Wednesday to give Minneapolis until the end of August to vote on the latest Southwest Corridor light-rail plan, over the objections of suburban officials who don’t trust the city and want to trim the cost of the project. ‘I think Minneapolis has been playing games all along,’ said Anoka County Commissioner Scott Schulte … .”
Saving the bees: Tom Meersman at the Strib says, “A new plant labeling law that protects honeybees and other pollinators is now in effect in Minnesota. The law requires that plants advertised as ‘beneficial to pollinators’ must be free of detectable levels of certain insecticides.”
“I’ve Been Defamed!” watch. Stribber Randy Furst’s report from this morning’s activities says, “Jeremiah Dinnell, who served in the SEALs for a decade until he left last year, said he saw Kyle punch Ventura after Ventura said that ‘[for] what we are doing overseas, we deserve to lose guys.’ He said he watched Ventura fall and get up again. … Dinnell’s account appears to cover all the key details. … He said he had three to four drinks during the evening. ‘I didn’t want to get really drunk’, he said … .”
So probably no Cheetos and Mountain Dew … Corey Mitchell of the Strib says, “Sophie Bollin of Maplewood is headed to the White House this week for lunch with first lady Michelle Obama as the Minnesota winner of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Judges selected the 12-year-old’s quinoa and black beans recipe as the top Minnesota entry. The contest invited a parent or guardian to work with their child to whip up a healthy and affordable lunchtime recipe.”
Finally, water levels are starting to fall. Also at MPR, Paul Huttner reports, “With several dry, sunny days in the forecast, the pace of falling lake and river levels will pick up in the next few days. If the dry forecast holds, that could mean Lake Minnetonka will reach a level where ‘no wake’ rules could be removed as early as next week. … the popular west metro lake must fall another 3 inches for the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District to pull the trigger on removing the high water emergency.” So gas up the cigarette boat.