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Was a Minneapolis man the latest Somali suicide bomber?

MORNING EDITION ALSO: Bachmann, Amanpour spar; Legacy water funds debated; Vikes’ lessons in Cleveland move; high-speed rail pushed; deer hunters ready; and more.
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CNN reported a Minneapolis man as a likely suicide bomber in Somalia, but friends locally tell Rupa Chenoy and Laura Yuen of MPR otherwise: “CNN quotes Omar Jamal, first secretary of the Somali Mission to the United Nations, as identifying the source as Abdisalam Hussein Ali of Minneapolis, a former University of Minnesota student. Ali’s name is spelled in a federal court indictment as Abdisalan Hussein Ali. … However, three former university friends who knew Ali when he lived in Minnesota and listened to the message say the voice does not resemble his. MPR News agreed not to identify the friends, who didn’t want their names used because they did not want to draw attention to themselves in a high-stakes investigation that started about three years ago. ‘That did not sound like Bullethead,’ said one of the friends, referring to Ali’s nickname.”

Today in Bachmannia:  It’s a fair question to ask why Christiane Amanpour of ABC even bothered, but she had Our Favorite Congresswoman on her Sunday morning beltway show and things went … about as you’d expect. Elizabeth Williamson of the Wall Street Journal writes: “Bachmann, a Republican presidential candidate, was taken to task for her videotaped comments in which she said of illegal entrants to the U.S., ‘59,000 alone this year came across the border … from Yemen, from Syria.  These are nations that are state sponsors of terror.  They are coming into our country.’ Ms. Amanpour pointed out that 59,000 is the federal government’s tally of illegal immigrants apprehended from all nations other than Mexico. There were 11 illegal immigrants from Yemen, and five from Syria. Total: 16. ‘I mean, how do you get those figures so wrong?’ Ms. Amanpour asked the candidate. Ms. Bachmann at first said she hadn’t said that, using a tactic she’s deployed after misstatements on other issues, and then went on with an explanation. … ‘You’re missing the main point that I made,’ Ms. Bachmann told Ms. Amanpour. ‘The fact that we have 59,000, other than Mexicans coming across in one year, certainly poses a threat.  But no, I didn’t say that they were all from the state sponsors of terror,’ she said. ‘It is in fact in your statement there. Of course, Yemen is not classified as a state sponsor of terrorism,’ Ms. Amanpour replied.”  59,000 or 11, it’s within the margin of error.

Kevin Diaz of the Strib apparently watched as well: “Amid new polls showing Michele Bachmann far behind the leaders in the GOP nominating race, the Minnesota presidential hopeful showed no signs of losing heart Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” with Christiane Amanpour. ‘We’re doing exactly what we need to do,’ Bachmann said. ‘We’re looking forward to Jan. 3’ (the date of the Iowa caucuses). This came as a Des Moines Register showed her polling at 8 percent in Iowa, down from 22 percent two months ago. She’s now in fourth place behind Herman Cain (23 percent), Mitt Romney (22 percent) and Ron Paul (12 percent). One bright spot: Her main Tea Party rival, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, logged in at 7 percent, tied with Newt Gingrich. Despite her expressions of confidence, Bachmann repeatedly dodged Amanpour’s questions about whether Iowa, as some of the congresswoman’s own top aides have said, is a must-win state for her. ‘We’re focused on it as we are on all the states,, Bachmann demurred. There were other miscues in Sunday’s 13-minute outing on national TV. Bachmann said she ‘wrote the bill to repeal Obamacare.’ While she did author such a bill, the bill that eventually passed the Republican-led U.S. House was authored by Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.” “Miscues,” you say?

Before the Vikings soak up what remains of the Legacy Fund money, Dennis Lien of the PiPress checks into just exactly how a big chunk of that dough will clean up Minnesota’s water: “Over the next 23 years, Minnesota will spend an estimated $2 billion in Legacy funds to make its lakes and rivers cleaner. But who’s to say whether that money will be well spent? That those waters will be in appreciably better shape than they are now? That the money won’t go down some big hole or lots of little ones? As the state begins handling constitutionally dedicated money approved by voters in 2008, questions are being raised about the clean-water portion of that amendment. Some activists worry much of that money, especially that dealing with pollution from agriculture, could be wasted or could go to less effective uses.”

Colleague Brian Murphy’s Sunday piece on Cleveland’s experience with an NFL team splitting town for a better deal is worth reading: “On Nov. 7, Gov. Mark Dayton plans to recommend a funding mechanism and a site among the Arden Hills proposal and three in Minneapolis. He wants lawmakers to pass a stadium bill during a Nov. 21-23 special legislative session. But there is little consensus among members in both chambers. [Browns owner Art] Modell also waited for political action as the MLB Indians and the NBA Cavaliers negotiated public financing for new downtown facilities, absorbing significant operating losses from managing Municipal Stadium after the baseball team vacated in 1994. High-end sports fans were more willing to buy tickets for the glitzier suites and high-backed chairs at what were then called Jacobs Field and Gund Arena than the dank, cramped quarters at aging Municipal. The city and Cuyahoga County agreed to pay for stadium improvements by extending a countywide tax on alcohol and tobacco products. The local governments had the authority to do it, but leaders wanted voters to decide. A referendum was scheduled for Nov. 7, 1995.”

Responding to his congressman, Chip Cravaack, Steve Raukar of the St. Louis County Board writes a Strib commentary in support of that high-speed rail link to Duluth: “NLX got a boost on the federal level under President George W. Bush, when the NLX corridor was selected as one of eight top priorities for development in the entire country. Also under Bush, another indicator of America’s interest in passenger rail was the increase in Amtrak’s passenger-rail funding. Since 2000, Amtrak ridership is up nearly 44 percent. Support for NLX has been demonstrated by the federal government with $7 million in grants and this summer’s approval of the preferred route using existing tracks. At the state level, support has been demonstrated by the route’s high-profile inclusion in the state rail plan and $11 million in state bonding authority. Roads need to be maintained, on that I agree with the congressman. But we need a broader transportation system if our residents and businesses are going to prosper, now and in the future. Besides, if Cravaack was so concerned about building bridges and highways, why did he vote to cut $18 billion from the highway trust fund at a cost of 54,000 construction jobs?”

You might want to hit your car with a few coats of blaze orange paint. Deer hunting season is nigh. Glen Scmitt at the St. Cloud Times writes: “Hunters shot 207,313 deer in Minnesota last year via archery, muzzleloader, shotgun, and rifle. Of those, 174,104 were taken during the regular firearms season, which was considered a very good year. With another gun season set to begin next Saturday and nearly a half million hunters expected to participate, it appears that there will again be plenty of opportunities to bag a deer. In fact, wildlife officials from the Department of Natural Resources anticipate that this year’s hunt will nearly mimic last season’s harvest. … Steve Merchant is the DNR wildlife program leader and he says the deer population is currently estimated at about one million animals.”

The Strib’s Neal St. Anthony digs up tales from Herman Cain’s tour of duty with Pillsbury years back: “Cain demonstrated during a tour with Pillsbury Co. in the 1980s that he is a successful, charismatic leader. With flair and hard work, he turned around Pillsbury’s struggling Philadelphia Burger King region and revived a near-dead Godfather’s Pizza. ‘My career spans 38 years and I’ve worked for 26 different managers,’ said Frank Taylor, a recently retired Burger King financial executive whom Cain hired as his regional controller in 1983. ‘Herman was far and away the best I’ve worked for in terms of getting a team together, sharing a vision and accomplishing the goals. And nothing diverted him.’ “

David Wahlberg of the Wisconsin State Journal files a breakdown of a new poll on several matters vital to Cheeseheadistan: “A majority of Wisconsin residents don’t like the way Gov. Scott Walker is doing his job, but the state is split on whether to recall him, according to a new poll. Some 56 percent of those polled disapprove of Walker’s performance. But only 47 percent want to recall him, compared to 49 percent who don’t — a statistical tie. …

34 percent have a favorable opinion of the Occupy Wall Street movement; 33 percent have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party.
• 50 percent have a favorable opinion of public employee unions, down from 59 percent in March but generally higher than elsewhere in the country.
• 54 percent approve of President Barack Obama’s performance and 42 percent disapprove. That’s more support for Obama than in much of the rest of the country.
• In head-to-head contests with three Republican challengers — Mitt Romney, Ricky Perry and Herman Cain — Obama is 11 percentage points ahead of Romney, his closest rival in Wisconsin. If the matchup were between those two candidates, Obama would get 46 percent of votes to Romney’s 35 percent, the poll said.”