It would appear we're at the dawn of a new age of shoe tossing following last week's much-publicized incident in Iraq where an Iraqi "journalist" threw two shoes at President Bush. He is now said to be a "hero" in his country, one of the few times a journalist has been considered a hero without either (a) doing a story or (b) dying in the process of (a). By contrast, sadly, Danny Pearl never came close to hero status in our country except by a few journalists.
But this shoe-throwing thing is catching on. In New York, the New York Times reports, a transit rider yesterday tried to throw his shoe during a hearing on fare increases. He was wrestled to the ground and thrown out of the hearing.
By the way, here's the elusive local connection. The would-be missiles were made in Red Wing.
If shoe-throwing catches on, it could be big for the Red Wing economy.(7 Comments)
Oh great, it's going to snow again. I'm not against snow, per se. In fact, I like the stuff. I also would take the freezing-cold weather before the 100-degree, high-humidity, not-a-breath-of-a-breeze August day. What I detest -- almost violently, I've noticed -- is the sudden inability of Minnesota drivers to know what to do in it. This latest blizzard -- up to an inch is predicted before it all ends -- looks timed to mess up tomorrow morning's commute.
I can't explain what's happened to us but something has happened to us. On three-lane highways (yes, I'm talking about you, I-94), people drive slow in the "high-speed" lane, the middle lane, and the right-hand lane even though, as was the case earlier this week, the tire lanes were clear. Why didn't they move over and eliminate the rolling blockade? Because they would've had to go through an inch of slush separating the lanes. The situation recalls a favorite expression of a former colleague that might fit the winter-time in Minnesota meteorological discussions at the water cooler: "it's not the heat, it's the stupidity."
Meanwhile, in Boston, it's going to snow again and a Web site there has developed a wonderful new "alert system" : The French Toast Alert System. Surely there's a way we can steal that idea. Perhaps we can use walleye?(17 Comments)
Update 5:57 p.m. - A link to the Supreme Court decision on the absentee ballots as well as the salient points of the justices can be found at the end of the live blog. Just click the arrow below and scroll to the bottom. (end of update)
We're back on the case. A couple of things:
>> If you want to turn off the auto scrolling, you'll see a little icon to the right of the speaker icon (once the blog starts at 9 a.m.). Just click that.
>> Live video is available from House Radio/TV.
More pithiness to follow.(2 Comments)
This is one of the most interesting uses of a graphic to show how immigration patterns have changed over the years. Each dot represents 100 people. That so many people come to the U.S. is interesting enough, but what's truly interesting is watching the different patterns of where they come from.
(h/t: Aaron J. Brown)(2 Comments)
For sheer fascinating stories, nothing beats the medical field.
In Colorado, a surgeon working to remove a tumor from a newborn's brain found a perfectly formed foot, the beginnings of another foot, a hand and a thigh.
But the surgeon's quote is the gem:
"To find a perfectly formed structure (like this) is extremely unique, unusual, borderline unheard of," he said.
Borderline unheard of?
In other news, it turns out there is no cure for a hangover.(3 Comments)
More on the reaction to the still-unexplained firing of Tommy Mischke this month from KSTP Radio.
The Atlantic's James Fallows recalls an article he wrote on the St. Paul humorist here, and calls our attention to a video that was posted last weekend.
Fallows is now based in China, so it's amazing how far the ripples of people's lives can travel.
I asked a colleague -- well connected in KSTP-land -- last week what the story was with Mischke's firing. "I have no idea," he said. I believe him.
Update: David Brauer has an interview with the man.
There are two important steps to following the state canvassing board proceedings this week: (1) Click on the video link at the Secretary of State site, watch the results (maybe read the blog here) and then (2) See what Nate Silver thinks at fivethrirtyeight.com
So what does Nate think?
Note that the success rates cited below (he had calculated a 10-11% success rate for Coleman challenges) do not account for the dozens and dozens Coleman challenges that have gone into the "blue folder" -- these are challenges not to the marks on the ballot but "process" challenges related to its propriety (such as whether the ballot's duplicate is missing). If we count the blue folder ballots as unsuccessful challenges, then Coleman's success rate is more like 7% -- however, it would be premature to do that since we simply don't know enough about them.
The board will continue in the morning and there was some talk about going into the late night. If you're finding the live-blogging helpful -- or at least marginally interesting -- I'll be happy to do it on Friday. If not, that's OK, too. There are other things happening in the world I can find.(2 Comments)
I've noted here before that Cirrus Design up in Duluth, which makes airplanes, is one of the true Minnesota success stories. Alan Klapmeier -- its boss -- may be one of the most influential people in general aviation. Yet he's unknown to most Minnesotans.
Today, however, Klapmeier stepped down as the CEO of the company.
You never know in these announcements how much of the reasoning is true, and how much is just corporatespeak for something more dire. Klapmeier acknowledges times have been tough for the industry (is there an industry for which times haven't been tough?) but says he thinks Cirrus "has gotten a handle on that."