1) If farms had giant smokestacks and ugly buildings, instead of bucolic barns and a long-standing romanticism, would we be more likely to acknowledge -- and do something about -- the toxic wastes they dump into our water on a daily basis? The New York Times today looks at some farms in Wisconsin and elsewhere, where farm run-off is contaminating water wells. Yet the government doesn't do much to regulate the toxic waste and, in fact, gives farmers a free pass we'd never give a factory owner.
Some farmers are more interested in preventing the problem than others. Last month, MPR's Mark Steil profiled Tracy farmer Brian Hicks, who has installed a system on his farm to prevent pollution.
2) Thirty-three men to go in Mankato before a bottle of bourbon gets uncorked. The Last Man's Club is down to 34. In the early days, the members partied 'til the early hours. At last night's banquet, some of the guys were calling it quits by 8.
3) Fathers, it says a lot about our national image that a dad who didn't get mad at his daughter after she threw a foul ball back on the field in Philadelphia is getting so much attention. But Steve Monforto and his family are getting the attention they deserve. And everyone who's ever been called "Dad" is looking in the mirror.
Let's see, now. When was the last time a baseball theme brought America to tears?
Major League Baseball's actions to remove the legitimate "Internet senation" video from YouTube speaks volumes about the people who run that sport. As one sports blog noted:
Look, Major League Baseball owns the footage. They can do with it as they please. But who is this helping? Not only is Selig raining on our internet parade, he is doing himself a disservice. How does it hurt Major League Baseball to have the internet masses viewing family fun at the ball park? Selig could use some folks in the stands.
4) Next to the story above, this is the best story of the week. A local man needed a kidney. He found it on Facebook.
5) A day in the life of a nursing home. Here's the Minnesota Department of Health's investigation into the Glenwood Minnesota nursing home, where an aide abused the patients. What the probe doesn't address: How on earth do you grow up to be this person?
Discussion Point: Have you noticed something peculiar around the debate that has sprouted with President Barack Obama's scrapping of a missile defense shield in Europe. The stories don't indicate how much it would cost. How is it we can debate health care in the U.S. -- mostly on the basis of its cost rather than its benefit and then debate a missile defense system for Europe on the basis of its benefit rather than its cost? I'll hang up and listen.
Now that Minnesota is classified as a state where flu is "widespread," officials are recommending that children age 5 and younger be kept home from school or daycare for seven days after symptoms first appear. Guidelines urge that students stay home for 24 hours after a fever subsides, and that adults stay home from work if they are sick. Can you afford to take five to seven days off work because of the flu?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Is solar power ever going to catch on?
Second hour: A local scientist talks about his summit of Mount Everest after several high-altitude excursions around the world.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: Former 3rd District Republican congressman Jim Ramstad will be in the studio to discuss bipartisanship in Congress, civility in politics, health care reform and the future of the Republican Party. (CALL-IN)
Second hour: Coverage of Dennis Cortese's speech to the National Press Club. He's president and CEO of the Mayo Clinic. Maybe we'll get a better indication after conflicting reports of whether he supports the current health care reform plans.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - Science Friday. First hour: Showerhead germs and a tiny T-Rex.
Second hour: What is the smell of death?
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - As the decade nears an end, the state is falling far short of a projected need for 33,000 units of affordable or workforce housing. Instead, barely a third of that total will have been produced due in no small part to the effects of the recession. MPR's Dan Olson will have the story.
NPR will cover the Value Voters Summit in Washington today. Would-be presidential candidates and those trying to rise to big-shot status are speaking, including Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann.
Ted Robbins will report from Arizona, a state which has a health care public option.(12 Comments)
Former Third District congressman Jim Ramstad dropped a little bit of a bombshell -- for now, we'll call it a firecracker -- when he told Gary Eichten a few minutes ago that he's leaving the door on the possibility of his running for governor "open just a crack."
A few minutes later, however, he said there's a 99 percent chance he wouldn't run.
Ramstad, a moderate by any definition, has no shot at winning a Republican state convention, but in his scenario he made it clear he'd do what former Gov. Arne Carlson did and run in a primary.
The former congressman had announced earlier this summer that he would not run.
Ramstad made his comments during the early part of MPR's Midday show, when he strongly criticized "the hard core right wing Republicans who are in charge of the Republican House caucus."(5 Comments)
Wolf Blitzer reads the news for a living, so it's a slam dunk that he'd kill at Jeopardy.
For the record, that was a comedian who cleaned Blitzer's clock.
(h/t:Drew Geraets)(5 Comments)