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Twins great Harmon Killebrew says he’s entering hospice

AFTERNOON EDITION ALSO: Tribe wants to test fishing rights law; Strib poll: Public opposes vote on gay marriage ban; bad news for women; Pawlenty, Bachmann news; and more.
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Harmon Killebrew
Baseball Hall of Fame
Harmon Killebrew

Prepare to say goodbye to a part of your childhood. Twins legend Harmon Killebrew is entering hospice care, accepting he can not beat cancer. ESPN reports: “The Twins released a statement on Friday from Killebrew, who was diagnosed with the disease in December. ‘It is with profound sadness that I share with you that my continued battle with esophageal cancer is coming to an end,’ the former Twins and Washington Senators star said. ‘With the continued love and support of my wife, Nita, I have exhausted all options with respect to controlling this awful disease. My illness has progressed beyond my doctors’ expectation of cure.’ Killebrew, 74, said he will enter hospice care, that he’s comforted by the presence of family and friends and that he looks forward to spending his final days ‘in comfort and peace’ with his wife. ‘I thank you for the outpouring of concern, prayers and encouragement that you have shown me,’ Killebrew said in the statement.” Thanks for the memories, Harmon.

This stuff always sets off a certain crowd. The Strib’s Doug Smith reports: “In the first major test of tribal fishing rights in the Twin Cities, Dakota tribe members challenged state law by placing fish nets in Cedar Lake in Minneapolis on Friday — the eve of Minnesota’s walleye fishing opener. Organizers say that an 1805 treaty with the federal government gives them off-reservation hunting and fishing rights that have been denied and that they want to be charged so they can take the case to court. ‘We’re just asking the U.S. to honor its treaties with the Dakota people of Minnesota,’ said Chris Mato Nunpa, 70, a Dakota and retired professor from St. Paul and Granite Falls. ‘Our conservation officers will be out there to safely and respectfully enforce current state fishing laws,’ said Major Rod Smith, state Department of Natural Resources enforcement operations manager. He said it’s unlikely violators will be issued citations.”

GOP sponsors have been touting (a) poll showing overwhelming support for a referendum on banning gay marriage. A Minnesota Poll, however, tells a completely different story.  Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib writes, “A majority of Minnesotans oppose amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they oppose adding such an amendment while 39 percent favor a constitutional ban — views that appear to be a sharp reversal of poll results seven years ago. Opposition to the ban generally cuts across all ages, though support rises gradually with age. Sixty percent of Minnesotans aged 18 to 34 oppose the idea. A slim majority, 51 percent, of Minnesotans older than 65 oppose the constitutional ban. … Views in the latest poll did, however, break along party lines. Seventy-one percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independent voters said they oppose the proposed amendment. Sixty-five percent of self-identified Republicans back the amendment, with only 30 percent opposing it.”

Today in Bachmannia:  Did you catch the one where a New Jersey high school kid has challenged our favorite congresswoman to a debate on the, you know, facts of the Constitution? Nick Pinto of City Pages writes: “Michele Bachmann is famously reluctant to put herself in positions where she might have to talk to someone who disagrees with her. But Jesus God do we hope she makes an exception in this instance. Amy Myers, a high school sophomore from Cherry Valley, New Jersey, has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging the Minnesota Representative to a debate and public test on the constitution, U.S. history, and civics. Myers says Bachmann’s frequent errors, misstatements and distortions aren’t just bad for civic discourse — they’re bad for women. ‘Though politically expedient, incorrect comments cast a shadow on your person and by unfortunate proxy, both your supporters and detractors alike often generalize this shadow to women as a whole,, Myers writes.” You have to love the feminist indignation. But my guess is Bachmann has Antonin Scalia substitute for her.

Oh, great. Based on a survey of legislation promoted and/or passed by state legislatures, Minnesota has slumped (or risen, depending on your point of view) to  the seventh worst state to be a woman. Amanda Marcotte of AlterNet writes: “7. Minnesota. So much for ‘Minnesota nice.’ The much-ballyooed unwillingness to be confrontational was shoved aside by Minnesota legislators who are all too willing to simply ignore court rulings that restrain misogynist legislation. Legislators sent a big F-you last week both to the supreme courts of the nation and their own state by passing two laws that have already been deemed illegal by the courts. One, a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, violates the Supreme Court’s ruling that abortions can only be banned after viability. The other, a law banning public funding of abortion, violates the Minnesota supreme court ruling that found that such a ban violates women’s right to equal treatment under the law. Minnesota Republicans may not confront you on most things, but they’re willing to take it to the mat to deprive women of basic equality.” Ouch. But hey, Mississippi, Texas and Oklahoma are worse.

Former Sen. Ellen Anderson’s intended move to chairman of the Public Utilities Commission isn’t getting any easier. Dennis Lien of the PiPress reports: “A Senate committee Thursday declined to recommend former DFL Sen. Ellen Anderson’s confirmation as chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The Republican-controlled panel’s 8-6 party-line vote to offer no recommendation to the full Senate was a rebuke of sorts for Anderson, who resigned earlier this year to accept Gov. Mark Dayton’s appointment to chair the commission overseeing certain energy and telecommunications matters. In almost 19 years as a state senator from St. Paul, Anderson earned a reputation as a passionate advocate for renewable energy and an ardent opponent of nuclear power. … The decision by the Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee to send the nomination to the full Senate without recommendation is unusual but was not unexpected. In the highly partisan atmosphere at the Capitol, there had been widespread speculation the committee might take that approach or even recommend she not be confirmed.”

Awwww … The AP tells the story of the little granny and that nice Elton John boy: “A Duluth grandmother has a reminder of the Elton John concert she enjoyed recently — and it came directly from the Rocket Man’s dressing room. A huge flower arrangement was delivered to the home of 93-year-old Harriet Schwenk a day after Elton John’s show at the Amsoil Arena last week. The arrangement stood half as tall as the 4-foot, 7-inch grandmother.”

Jon Ward of the Huffington Post sees T-Paw waiting to see what Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is going to do: “Two events over the next couple of months will go a long way to determining the former Minnesota governor’s chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination in 2012: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will soon decide whether or not to launch his own campaign, and in early to mid-July the political world will see how much fundraising juice Pawlenty has. If Daniels does not run, Pawlenty is very likely to win [the] anti-Romney primary — the contest to become the most attractive alternative to the former Massachusetts governor and putative GOP primary front-runner Mitt Romney. But even if Daniels doesn’t jump in, Pawlenty still has to show he can muscle up in the money race. ‘If he’s able to show any kind of decent numbers, he could have an interesting summer,’ said one well-connected Republican fundraiser who is not aligned with any of the presidential hopefuls. Expectations for Pawlenty’s second quarter haul are between $7 million and $15 million, though Pawlenty backers caution against putting too much stock in the high-end number.”

Mark Zedechlik of MPR notes Pawlenty taking swings at President Obama’s foreign policy chops: “Pawlenty has had little good to say about the Democratic president he hopes to challenge next year, and he has leveled some of his harshest criticism of Barack Obama in the area of foreign affairs. ‘My basic perspective on foreign policy — and this is oversimplifying, but in the interest of time — is simply this: You may have learned it on the playground, you may have learned it in business, you may have learned in sports, you may have learned it in some other walk of life but it’s always true is you’re dealing with thugs and bullies they understand strength, they don’t respect weakness,’ Pawlenty said in a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H. in March.” The countdown is on for the carrier-landing photo op.