5) Business is good for repo men. Salon has a story about a fearless pilot who makes his living repossessing the jets of the rich and famous.(h/t: Michael Wells)
All commercial and private planes were grounded, but Nick Popovich wasn't one to turn down a job. So he waited for the storm to clear long enough to charter a Hawker jet from Chicago into South Carolina. There was just one detail: No one had told Popovich about the heavily armed white supremacist militia that would be guarding the aircraft when he arrived.
4) Patchwork Nation. I'm still trying to play with this and figure out how it works, but PBS has an interesting project that tracks communities over time. Mouse over a county in Minnesota, for example, to see the land of emptying nests, monied 'burbs, or tractor country, for example. I was surprised at the relatively low number of "evangelical epicenters" in Minnesota. It appears they're still building the project out, but it has real possibilities.
3) What happen when you click? In a New York Times Magazine preview, Tom Vanderbilt provides an insight into the "factories" of this generation -- data centers.
Facebook's numbers are staggering. More than 200 million users have uploaded more than 15 billion photos, making Facebook the world's largest photo-sharing service. This expansion has required a corresponding infrastructure push, with an energetic search for financing. "We literally spend all our time figuring how to keep up with the growth," Jonathan Heiliger, Facebook's vice president of technical operations, told me in a company conference room in Palo Alto, Calif. "We basically buy space and power." Facebook, he says, is too large to rent space in a managed "co-location facility," yet not large enough to build its own data centers. "Five years ago, Facebook was a couple of servers under Mark's desk in his dorm room," Heiliger explained, referring to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder. "Then it moved to two sorts of hosting facilities; then it graduated to this next category, taking a data center from an R.E.I.T." -- real estate investment trust -- "in the Bay Area and then basically continued to expand that. We now have a fleet of data centers."
2) St. Paul is ditching "good teachers," according to the Star Tribune. The last in are usually the first out, which makes us wonder how graduating seniors are going to get a sniff of a job interview in the field. At the same time, Harris out with a survey that says half of us believe teachers aren't paid enough. Southerners are most likely to believe that teachers aren't paid enough. The Midwest? Not so much.
1) Some preliminary images of the planned World Trade Center Memorial have been released. "You will literally and physically be surrounded by the victims," said Alice Greenwald, director of the museum. The idea of a memorial seems perfect for an online site. I hadn't paid much attention to the Memorial's Web site until this morning. Families are being asked to contribute memories of the victims to the eventual physical site. But it would be a perfect project for the virtual world, first.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning - First hour: A preview of election in Iran. Second hour: Singer Bettye LaVette.
Midday - Dick Edwards of the Mayo Clinic will be in the studio to talk to Mike Edgerly about aging issues. Second hour: The National Press Club speech by Gen. James Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps.
Talk of the Nation - First hour: The dark side of fame. The media, primarily responsible for the dark side of fame, will tsk-tsk what the media does to people like Susan Boyle. Second hour: A talk with Elmore Leonard about his new book, Road Dogs
All Things Considered - Is St. Cloud about to become the high-tech capital of Minnesota? And NPR has a segment planned on the down side of technology. You know all of those programs to put laptops in the hands of students? Laptops break, maintenance is required. How are schools supposed to keep up?(2 Comments)
Chris Cillizza, who writes The Fix political blog for the Washington Post today handicapped the characteristics of those who would be king, injecting an assertion about Minnesota voters designed to impress those outside of flyover country.
Pawlenty, as we have written before, is the leading populist in the party at the moment. (Apologies to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels but his pledge not to run in 2012 limits his reach within the GOP.) Pawlenty's personal story -- first in his family to go to college, a truck driver father etc. -- is at the heart of his appeal in Minnesota, a state not particularly inclined to support Republicans in statewide elections.
How to measure that? Let's look at the statewide races.
Governor - Minnesota hasn't been particularly inclined to support Democrats in the race for governor. It's elected one -- Rudy Perpich -- in the last 28 years. There have only been 9 Democrat governors in the state's history, and that's counting Perpich twice. There have been 26 Republican governors. So getting elected governor of Minnesota as a Republican isn't such a big deal.
Senator - Norm Coleman was the sitting Republican in the Senate before he lost last year's election to Al Franken. Out of three million votes cast, only a handful separates the two. Suggesting the state isn't inclined to support Republicans for the seat is a tough sell, especially when the seat has been held by two Republicans since the 1978, and only one Democrat. Similarly, the seat held by Amy Klobuchar has been split by Republicans and Democrats since 1977 (two apiece).
Secretary of State - Since 1858, there have been only five Democrat secretaries of state, although DFLer Joan Growe sailed through every election to serve from 1975 to 1999.
Attorney General - A Republican hasn't been elected attorney general in Minnesota since 1966. Even when Republicans were sweeping to victory in most statewide offices in 2002, DFLer Mike Hatch was the only one to buck the trend.
Cillizza may be hanging his hat on presidential contests in the state, but that's a thin peg in evaluating Pawlenty's history as a state candidate.(8 Comments)
The struggles of the newspaper industry have been well -- perhaps too well -- documented in recent years but today's front pages of Minnesota newspapers show how they're trying to adapt to survive in a world of breaking news -- de-emphasize it.
Yesterday's top story -- the shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington -- got little front page attention around the state today.
The Pioneer Press and Star Tribune put the story below "the fold." The Pioneer Press emphasized a fine profile of a Vietnam vet with post-traumatic stress syndrome. The shooting played third banana to that and the continuing flap over the St. Croix bridge.
The Star Tribune headlined the legislative auditor's report on the apparently out-of-control Metro Gang Strike Force and the presidential elections in Iran.
The Duluth News Tribune played the shooting -- or at least the Minnesota connection -- big.
The Mankato Free Press found no room at the top of the front page:
At the bottom of the page, Miss California and the shooting vied for space. Miss California won.
The St. Cloud Times was one of the few newspapers that gave it top-story attention:
You are the editor. How would you have placed the story?
Nationally, it wasn't much different. The New York Times played it low-key.
... which makes Bill Keller's comments in this spoof all the more interesting.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Meanwhile, over at the Huffington Post -- said to be the biggest threat to newspapers -- the story is still playing big with an obvious second-day lede.
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Taryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, today claimed that for the first time, collections from the property tax will be greater than collections from the income tax.
Is this true?
We turn to veteran political calculator Mike Mulcahy.
This does appear to be true if you're talking individual income taxes. House research made this handy chart.
But there are also some caveats. It looks like income tax collections took a big drop because of the recession. Handy chart here on page 3
Also worth noting that the property tax figures include the statewide property tax on businesses but the individual income tax totals do not include the corporate tax, which raises $792 million this year...a little more than the statewide business property tax.
Also not sure if it's fair to say this is the first time ever. The state had no individual income tax before 1933.
Update 5:33 p.m. (From Mulcahy)
According to information Tom Scheck just got from the Revenue Department, the state collected more in property taxes than income taxes from 1962 to 1978 (the year of the Minnesota Miracle) and fiscal years 91-96. (The records they gave us only go back to '62). It also looks like there were a few years in the early 1980s when property tax revenues where higher than income taxes (that may have been due to the recession then, but it's a little hard to read their chart).(6 Comments)