WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning -- Are America's brightest days behind it? The first-hour guest thinks so. Equal time, anyone? In the second hour: The science of tornadoes. BTW, I'm still looking for experienced tornado storm chasers.
Midday -- It's day two of the Sonia Sotomayor era. Gary Eichten will provide further analysis of the Supreme Court pick. In the second hour, the American RadioWorks documentary Bridge to Somewhere: Lessons from the New Deal. Can't wait? Here's the Web site.
Talk of the Nation -- NPR political editor Ken Rudin talks up Sotomayor in the first hour. The Hauser case occupies the second hour. Why do some patients refuse life-saving treatment?
All Things Considered -- A festival in India over the weekend marked Bob Dylan's 68th birthday. No other city has been honoring Dylan's birth for so long -- 38 years. How do you like that, Hibbing?(2 Comments)
Jet America has announced plans to start service from Toledo to Minneapolis, with some fares as low as $9.
The blog, The Cranky Flier, is full of disbelief.
I honestly couldn't make this sound any worse if I tried. The CEO is John Weikle, one of the original founders of Skybus. He has slightly tweaked the plans laid out when the airline was going to be named Air Azul. Now, the flights from Rockford are gone, as are the BWI connectors. And instead of infringing upon JetBlue's trademark, they'll now infringe upon Alaska's trademark. Alaska still owns the trademark for Jet America to provide charter airline services. And yes, this is a charter operation for now.
Right. Skybus. The people who left hundreds of passengers stranded when it went belly up. How much are you willing to risk to be stranded in Toledo?
There's more. The airline will have only two jets. Other routes include Newark and Lansing, Melbourne (Florida), and South Bend. Some of these cities are paying Jet America to fly there. Minneapolis isn't one of them.
Toledo bills itself as a "business friendly" city. In March, it reported an unemployment rate of 12.3 percent.(1 Comments)
Gas prices rose 20 cents in the Twin Cities area on Tuesday, a day after dropping 6 cents. The top price in these parts is $2.59 a gallon, a 31-percent jump from a month ago, and well ahead of the nationwide 19-percent increase.
The price of a barrel of oil has jumped almost 79% so far this year. It comes as analysts say the demand for gasoline is still dropping.
What's going on?
According to a report from McClatchy, big investment houses are bidding up the price, in anticipation of the economy turning around.
Big Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, and others are able to sidestep the regulations that limit investments in commodities such as oil, and they are investing on behalf of pension funds, endowments, hedge funds, and other big institutional investors, in part as a hedge against inflation.
A year ago, Minnesota -- what with its blend of ethanol and all -- had the lowest prices in the nation. This year, however, the Upper Midwest is among the higher-priced regions.
Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates said gasoline prices could be back down to nearly $2 a gallon by the end of summer.
(Photo: Tom Weber)(8 Comments)
Posted at 12:29 PM on May 27, 2009
by Bob Collins
Five Minnesota kids are participating in the national spelling bee which got underway today. Here's how serious this stuff is: A CNBC writer has handicapped the competition, downgrading one contestant because he's blogging for the local paper. What's next? Office brackets?
Profiles of the Minnesota students participating are posted on the bee's Web site. The contestants are Ryan Kisch of Barnesville, Daniel Halvorson of Mankato, Anja Beth Swoap of Edina, Laura Galbus of Rochester, and Audrey Lothspeich of Staples.
In round 2 this morning, Lothspeich advanced by correctly spelling perishable, Kisch got maverick, Halvorson spelled roulette correctly, Swoap got ludicrous right and Galbus scored with initiate.
Words that tripped up contestants in the third round (but not the Minnesota kids) include giusto, kibbutzim, Sarsar, fettuccelle, and turgescent , all of which are also highlighted by my blog program's spell-checker..
Update 2:40 p.m. - Correct answers for Kisch (maquiladora ), Halvorson (pestis) , and Swoap (koinonia ), and Lothspeich (tintinnabulation).
Update 3:01 p.m. Galbus was tripped up on mousseline (mouseline).
Update 5:56 p.m. - Here's the list of semifinalists. Unfortunately, none of the Minnesota kids advanced. The scoring system involved more than the two rounds of answering correctly (or incorrectly).
Photo: Getty Images
Posted at 4:04 PM on May 27, 2009
by Bob Collins
MPR's Than Tibbetts has sent along an update of a post I made last January with an increase in gun sales following the election of Barack Obama.
The rate of increase in Minnesota is higher than the national average. Nationally, federal background checks are up about 25 percent.
In DC recently, a gun show promoter's advertisement said, "Come and get them while you still can."
A story last month on NPR suggested that goes for ammunition, too.