While there is still no official confirmation that any Minnesotans were among the Nairobi terrorists, the local Somali community is asserting its revulsion with al-Shabab but conceding the pipeline still exists. The AP story says: “Leaders of the nation’s largest Somali community say some of their young men are still being enticed to join the terror group that has claimed responsibility for the deadly mall attack in Kenya, despite a concentrated effort to shut off what authorities call a “deadly pipeline” of men and money. … Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Tuesday that initial reports had suggested a British woman and two or three American citizens may have been involved in the attack. But neither Kenyan authorities nor the Minneapolis FBI office had any confirmation.”
Calculating the political effect of a government shutdown, Kevin Diaz of the Strib says: “Will Minnesota Republicans John Kline and Erik Paulsen join the Tea Party’s push for a government shutdown over health care? Will Minnesota Democrats Rick Nolan and Collin Peterson write President Obama a blank check? Those are the partisan talking points emanating from the national political parties as Minnesotans contemplate doing without an array of federal services if a government funding deal isn’t done by Monday night. Even as the Senate moved forward with a temporary spending bill, politicians and their allies on both sides of the health care battle are taking advantage of the budget stalemate to rally their supporters, score political points and raise campaign cash for 2014.”
The phrase of the day … “Corn rescue.” Julie Siple at MPR says: “More than a million pounds of Minnesota sweet corn is expected to feed hungry people across the nation this fall, the result of an effort by hunger relief groups and food companies to capture corn that would otherwise go to waste. Known as ‘corn rescue,’ the two-year-old program is led by Hunger-Free Minnesota, with donations and expertise from some of the biggest names in agriculture, including Cargill, General Mills, Seneca, Birds Eye, and Supervalu. Some of it gets distributed in Minnesota, but it’s also trucked as far away as New York City.”
Also, today’s GOP Senate challenger for Al Franken. Jim Ragsdale of the Strib reports: “The crowded GOP field of candidates who want to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken now includes an elected Republican from the very Democratic city of Duluth. Chris Dahlberg, who chairs the St. Louis County Board, said he is running under a banner of ‘front porch leadership’ and will emphasize the importance of returning money and decision-making power to local government. ‘The best decisions are made closest to the people, rather than in Washington D.C.,’ Dahlberg said in an interview following his official announcement. He said he will try to avoid themes that have gotten GOP candidates ‘clobbered’ in recent elections. ‘We put forward these people that get too much into deep-into-the-weeds philosophical debates,’ he said, when voters want someone ‘who’s going to make their lives better.’ ” Yeah, that’s how I’d describe the GOP’s problem … too “philosophical.”
The PUC has given the go-ahead to Minnesota Power … John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune says: “The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved Minnesota Power’s plan to add more wind-generated electricity, add some hydro and natural-gas-generated electricity and to continue burning coal as well. The commission on Wednesday approved the utility’s 2013 energy roadmap outlining how Minnesota Power plans to provide energy for its customers at a fair cost while also moving to reduce its impact on the environment. In the plan, which is required by the state every two or three years, Minnesota Power also confirms plans to convert its Hoyt Lakes plant to natural gas by 2015 and to retire one of three coal units at Taconite Harbor on the North Shore.
It’s a double whammy of cultural deprivation … First, news that Engelbert has canceled … again. Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “For a second consecutive time, Las Vegas-style crooner Engelbert Humperdinck has canceled a concert at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel because of a health problem. The latest show to be scrapped by the 77-year-old was supposed to be Friday. A notice on his Facebook page said Humperdinck is unable to travel by air ‘due to a trapped nerve in his neck.’ There was no word Thursday from the casino in Prior Lake about rebooking, but the Facebook posting went on to say, ‘We are trying to reschedule.’ ” Rumors of an animatronic Humperdinck are unfounded.
Then … Aaron Rupar at City Pages says: “There’s a good reason Bradlee Dean’s large Annandale headquarters was put up for rent earlier this month — he apparently no longer has a ministry to fill it with. According to a source close to the situation, Dean’s ‘You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International’ staffers have all walked out on him. Yes, that includes his notorious street teams and Dean’s ‘Sons of Liberty’ radio cohost Jake McMillan, who our source says put in his two weeks notice and moved out of Minnesota. (McMillian, for some reason, sometimes went by the name Jake MacAulay.) Our source said the beginning of the end came when two former Dean staffers — a husband-and-wife team including his former director of donor relations — had a falling out with Bradlee. The couple stayed friends with some ‘You Can Run’ employees and began trying to persuade their friends to leave the ministry.’ Where we’re all supposed to turn now for spiritual guidance I have no idea.
They say they got the right wolf … The News Tribune also says: “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources today said DNA tests confirm that the male gray wolf trapped and killed Aug. 26 in the West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish indeed is the wolf that bit a 16-year-old male two days earlier. The DNR said that tests by forensic scientists at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California-Davis showed identical matches between the wolf’s DNA profile and the profile of samples obtained from a comforter used when the teen was transported for treatment. Meanwhile, a necropsy conducted by the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory found the 1½-year-old wolf suffered several health issues that contributed to it approaching and biting a human.”
We’re No. 8! Forbes magazine says Minnesota’s business climate is so much better than last year — despite job-killing tax increases that have driven all our millionaires to South Dakota — that we now have the eighth-best environment for entrepreneurs:
2012 Rank: 20
Gross State Product: $295 billion
5-Year Annual GSP Growth: 1.2%
Governor: Mark Dayton
Minnesota’s overall rank jumped 12 spots on the strength of an improved economic outlook. The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is home to 62% of the state’s population. It is also serves as the state’s economic hub, with companies such as Target, U.S. Bancorp, General Mills, 3M and Medtronic headquartered there. Minnesota has the second highest percentage of adults with a high school degree at 92.5%.”