1) The changing face of America is challenging long-held sensibilities. Two stories in the region this week provided perfect examples. Kao Choua Vue's story about a Hmong woman who is breaking away from the tradition, and seeking an education and career instead.
When I was 13, my parents tried to get me to marry a Hmong boy. I was outraged. I remember thinking I had a long life ahead of me. But many of my friends did follow the traditional path.
In Fargo, meanwhile, a father is accused of trying to kidnap a 14-year-old Kentucky bride-to-be for his teenage son. The case, according to the Fargo Forum (reg. required) has laid bare the customs of Roma people and their collision with the law. Some parents are waiting until their kids are 16 to marry them off; some are marrying them off in secret.
2) From the Department of Doofus: Jonathan G. Parker, of Fort Loudoun, Pa., was recently arrested for breaking into a woman's home and stealing two diamond rings. Police tracked Parker down after discovering that he had checked his Facebook page on the victim's computer and forgotten to log himself out, The New Yorker reports.
3) Rod Blagojevich, railroaded politician or Chicago crook? The Daily Show's Jon Stewart acknowledges that in the same week he won an Emmy last week, his show edited Bill Clinton's interview last week with a chainsaw. So the show didn't even try to make the interview with the disgraced Illinois governor last night make sense. The extended online interview reveals why.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is taking steps to form a political action committee, considered a step toward a potential run for the presidency in 2012. His travel and speaking schedule also suggest that he may be trying to build his support outside Minnesota. Do you think Gov. Tim Pawlenty could win the presidency?
Before you answer, consider this: When's the last time a non-millionaire came close to winning the White House?
WHAT WE'RE DOING?
I hope to have another installment in the News Cut series, The Unemployed, later today. I'm not sure, yet, whether I'll have time to do a weekly News Cut quiz. However, if you'd like to help put one together, send a question about the news this week -- a hard question -- and I'll consider adding it.
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - John Moe is hosting today. First hour: Are we really in an economic recovery?
Second hour: Film critic and radio host Elvis Mitchell talks about the films that interest him now and how the culture still segregates itself.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: MPR political commentators Tom Horner and Todd Rapp discuss the political ambitions of Gov. Pawlenty.
Second hour: Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, who gave the Eugene McCarthy Lecture at St. John's University this week.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - It's Science Friday! First hour: Teachers discuss how they keep science "fun and exciting."
Second hour: The connectedness of behavior in social networks.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - National Forest cabin owners, whose families struck a deal with the government nearly a century ago, say they now face dramatic annual fee increases. A nationwide group is suing the federal government over the increases. Cabin owners program was started in 1915 to allow families to build and own cabins on national forest land. MPR's Tom Robertson will report.
NPR's Chris Arnold reports on the problem with home appraisals. Apparently, new rules have led to a lot of bad appraisals.
Larry Abramson says the world of community colleges is holding its collective breath with the debut of a TV comedy set in a community college. Do they have reason to worry? It's TV. Of course they do.