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BEST READING OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Minneapolis 2004 - Al Franken's pep-rally reading at St. Paul's Central Presbyterian Church

There couldn't have been a better kickoff to another queasying election year than Al Franken's October 15 pep-rally reading at St. Paul's Central Presbyterian Church. Ever since the Twin Cities' satirical southpaw came to town at the behest of Ruminator Books, we've been singing the praises of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. Even if he was preaching to the choir among the sold-out pews in downtown St. Paul, Franken did what that seasoned comedian now does best: He gave an investigative wallop to the right, wrapped in irreverent wit and delivered with a wink. It's fitting, too, that Franken's gig was brought to us by a bookstore that has been committed to cultivating community involvement and activism, and has been drawing top acts for nearly 35 years. Rather like the wheezing Democratic Party, business over at that Grand Avenue landmark has been precarious for a while now. So here's hoping the divine cow keeps on ruminating into 2007--around the time Al Franken is preparing for his Minnesota senatorial bid.

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