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Daily Glean: Celebrity 'cameo' enlivens Franken's Judiciary debut

Who shouted while Al Franken spoke? Monday's Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was a mostly genial affair, with both Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar offering up warmly supportive words concerning the Supreme Court nominee. But for the realization that New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has an appealingly sultry voice, there was little to hold anyone's attention, at least until somebody started shouting while Franken spoke. The disturbance was brief and, in the televised version, unintelligible, but the Minnesota Independent reports that it wasn't just anybody who was shouting. Andy Birkey reports that the shout was "wrong about abortion!" and that the shouter was none other than Norma McCorvey of Texas, better known to the world as Jane Roe, the central figure in the landmark Roe v. Wade case. Ooh! A celebrity!

Today's most startling political quote. Tim Nelson from MPR details the concerns congressional representatives from Minnesota have about President Barack Obama's proposal for health care reform, and includes this quote from Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota's 7th Congressional District, who is a Democrat: "What they're talking about doing here is just adding some more gasoline to the fire that's going to burn down this country. And I'm not going to go along with that."

Polinaut updates us in Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's ongoing battle against the census, reprinting a press release regarding a bill that Bachmann is co-sponsoring with Rep. Ted Poe of Texas that seeks to limit the amount of personal information that can be solicited by the census. This news is less exciting, however, than discovering that the always entertaining Auto-Tune the News has included Bachmann in its latest offering, and, when run through a phase vocoder pitch corrector, Bachmann is quite listenable, in an AOR neo-soul sort of way.

More on the Minnesota/Somalia connection: Zakaria Maruf, one of the two Somali-American men from Minnesota killed this past weekend after returning to Somalia, may have recruited others to join him in battle, according to a story by Laura Yuen of MPR. In a related story, two Somali-American men were indicted Monday for having supplied material support for terrorism. The New York Times reports that the two men, Salah Osman Ahmed and Abdifatah Yusuf Isse, "have been charged with plotting to provide 'personnel including themselves' in a conspiracy to 'kill, kidnap, maim or injure' people in a foreign country." The Star-Tribune confirms that the indictments are connected to a major federal investigation of the 20 or so local Somali-American men who are believed to have returned to Somalia in the past year.

It's a bad time for pork. Tim Krohn from the Mankato Free Press looks into the current pork market in Minnesota, and the situation is grim. Between a depressed market and the outbreak of the H1N1 pandemic, which is colloquially called swine flu, pork producers are struggling. The Free Press quotes David Preisler, executive director of the Mankato-based Minnesota Pork Producers, as saying that between one-quarter and one-third of the state's pork producers "are on the absolute edge." Boyd Huppert of KARE11 reports that it's gotten so bad that Mankato farmers have decided to just give away their pork at a free community pork lunch intended to draw attention to the situation.

Is this the CIA assassination squad Seymor Hersh warned us about? City Pages' Kevin Hoffman, watching an NBC Nightly News clip on the the Bush administration authorizing assassinations of top al-Qaida leaders without congressional approval, reminds readers of Seymour Hersh's March appearance at the University of Minnesota, where the Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker journalist told audiences he was investigating an executive assassination squad, as was first reported here at MinnPost.

In brief
• The Hells Angels are coming! The notorious motorcycle club has picked Cloquet to be the site of its summer gathering, and MPR details the town's police department as it prepares.

• The zebra mussels are coming! The Star-Tribune reminds us that these little invaders can be very bad for area lakes.

• The geese are coming! KARE11 reports on Minnesota's exploding goose population. 

• Money Magazine came, and is impressed! The magazine declared Chanhassen to be the second-best place in America to live, behind Louisville, Colo.

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Comments (1)

"...believed to have returned to SomaliA in the past year"