What's wrong with interest groups funding research? This.
A couple of agriculture groups has suspended grants to the University of Minnesota because of studies (plural) from the U that biofuels may contribute to global warming.
Bev Durgan, dean of University Extension, says "this is not about telling a researcher what they can or cannot do, this is talking about all the issues around renewable energy, around environment, what they are now and what they are going to be. This is all about having that academic conversation."(2 Comments)
I have no design sense in any facet of life, but I know a new design when I see it and today the Pioneer Press moved the furniture around, presenting a new design.
I have to admit, I don't get the point of putting some sort of time stamp on the top story that says "online at 5:28 p.m." It must be some sort of tactic to compete with the Internet, but I pulled the paper at 11:15 this morning and to me that says, "here's a 19-hour old story for you to read," and is that something you want to promote?
Fortunately, there is VisualEditors.com, a place where people who design things for newspapers hang out. They're just getting around to analyzing the thing, although the conversation is sluggish.
Not so at the PiPress Web site where the customers are weighing in.
For most of the Pawlenty administration's tenure at the Capitol, the key to Republican success has been the ability to keep a caucus together, even on those occasions when individual members disagreed. It's why the governor got virtually everything he wanted in last year's session, even though the Senate and House were in the hands of DFLers.
Those days may be over.
"I did give up my (leadership position) on bonding," she said. "I was told going in that that would be the penalty of the vote ... I felt like I made the right decision and I have to stand up with the retribution of what happens with the vote I took."
"Is that a good way for the Legislature to operate?," MPR's Gary Eichten asked.
"No," she said. "I know there's a lot of time there are informal things that happen but overall Rep. Seifert is handling it as well as can be... We'll live through it." (Listen to the entire show here.)
Tim Pugmire's story this morning said:
Rep. Rod Hamilton, R- Mountain Lake, voluntarily gave up his lead role on the agriculture committee. Rep. Bud Heidgerken, R-Freeport, lost his GOP lead spot on the K-12 finance committee. But Heidgerken said he didn't get a choice.
"I was told that if I don't fall in line, this is what is going to happen," he said.
Rep. Marty Seifert, the Republican boss in the House, has a 2 p.m. news conference to clarify things. (Update: Seifert iced the renegade Republicans.) But the situation invites another round of questions about what politicians mean when they say the things voters want to hear?
But Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, is less optimistic. Michel predicted hard feelings will linger at the Capitol.
"I worry that this will poison our ability to work in a bipartisan fashion," he said.
On Midday, Rep. Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, may have given voice to a larger problem of Minnesota politics when she said, "(for people in the middle) it's hard to find a home in either party."
All of those who voted with the DFLers may face Republican opposition at election time. Rep. Jim Abeler, Rep. Ron Earhardt, Rep. Bud Heidgerken won their re-elections in 2006 by an average of 26.6%. Their seats are considered safe.
Rep. Rod Hamilton won his last election by just 464 votes and Republican backlash against him could actually push the seat into the DFL's lap. Rep. Neil Peterson won his re-election in 2006 by just 6.8% in a district that is trending more DFL. Tingelstad, however, retained her seat by just 8.8% in a district that's in the 6th congressional district, one of the reddest in Minnesota.(2 Comments)
Today's average price for a gallon of gasoline in the Upper Midwest:11 Comments)
From the earth-shattering news that got no "play" file: "Antidepressants Hardly Help," says Time Magazine.
Researchers published their finding (in the journal PLoS Medicine), claiming patients "at the upper end of the very severely depressed category" experience benefit from drugs like Paxil, Efexor, and Prozac. For everyone else: not so much.
It was big news in Europe and elsewhere, but this topic is still a hard one to discuss -- publicly -- in the U.S., where mental illness rates a high reading on the "taboo scale." It rated not a mention on the NPR "health" section.
But that doesn't mean Americans aren't heavily into antidepressants. A study in 2004 found one in every three visits to a doctor by women was for an antidepressant prescription.(21 Comments)