It was 10 o'clock on a Friday night, drizzling rain in a not-too-good part of town behind the State Capitol. I flagged down the first bus I saw; I was not at a designated bus stop. I hailed that bus knowing full well the driver was within his rights not to stop. He pulled over; I climbed on, grateful. Grousing rose up immediately from the back of the bus. More than one voice chimed in agreement with an outspoken, incensed, disgruntled one, jeering and heckling the driver.2) Politics in Minnesota reveals that the Star Tribune is asking all candidates for governor about their substance abuse and mental health history.
"Now, if she were Black, he'd have never picked her up! It'd be a different story." Anger is emotion; violence is behavior. They didn't like me.
By placing mental health questions off-limits, we're leaving it up to the candidates to self-report (or be forced by rivals to self-report). If Paul Wellstone and Jim Ramstad are right about insurance parity for physical and mental illness, why should mental health questions be off limits if we wouldn't bat an eye when candidates are asked for their traditional health histories?Well, maybe. But we've seen what happens with an out-of-context fact during campaigns. Let's assume a candidate had postpartum depression, and sought help for it. Based on the mail you've gotten in the past from an opposition party around Election Day, how do you think that factoid would be presented?
Stigma, comes the instant reply. Voters would instantly disqualify someone who owned up to, say, being bipolar -- even if most members of the public has no real idea of what being bipolar means. Another version: We'd never have elected Lincoln.
But this "You can't handle the truth" limitation on questioning is dangerous for journalists to succumb to. Our job is to figure out what's important, ask about it, provide necessary context, and let the chips fall where they may.
Mr. Ferguson wrote that being on an American territory on a military base in Iraq did not count toward residency. "The service is unable to consider your time working in Iraq to fulfill the physical presence requirement for adjustment of status purposes," he wrote.Don't ask; don't tell: The New England Patriots needed someone to clear their stadium of snow. They hired a company to provide workers. The company hired undocumented workers.
"The idea of "finally" going to hell is a modest joke too. Through the entirety of my conscious life, America has been on the brink of ruination, or so we have heard, from the launch of Sputnik through whatever is the latest indication of national falling apart or falling behind. Pick a year over the past half century, and I will supply an indicator of what at the time seemed a major turning point for the worse."
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How does the man who was mayor of New York on September 11, 2001 forget September 11, 2001?
Rudy Giuliani was on ABC's Good Morning America this morning when he compared the war-on-terror records of George Bush and Barack Obama, noting there's been one terrorist attack on Obama's watch.
"What he [Obama] should be doing is following the right things that Bush did -- one of the right things he did was treat this as a war on terror. We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We've had one under Obama," Giuliani said.
Another question worth considering. How does a news interviewer not call Guiliani on his statement?(14 Comments)
The leaders of the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Tim Pawlenty are doing something they rarely did in last year's stalemate at the Capitol: talking to each other. But Republican leaders told MPR's Midday today that nothing much has changed.
"I don't think so," Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem said. "As we go home and as we survey the landscape, from our position we want to see jobs and we want to see prosperity in Minnesota and that's a question of how you get there," Sen. Senjem said.
"The $1.2 billion (deficit) ... 70 percent came from personal income. That means someone lost their job or they took a big cut," Rep. Kurt Zellers, the House minority leader, said.
Host Gary Eichten asked whether there are enough spending and service cuts to balance the budget. "I'm not going to suggest it's going to be easy, but I think we have to," he said, naming human services and -- possibly -- K-12 as targets.
Last week, DFL leaders suggested cutting the number of political appointees in the administration as an area to cut. "It's cheap political shots," Zellers said.
Zellers and Senjem disagreed on wheether a "budget gimmick" of delaying payments in state aid to schools will be eventually repaid. Senjem there's a chance that won't be. Zellers said schools shouldn't have to "eat" the cut.
Today's meeting comes on a day of poor economic reports, leading more analysts to suggest we've ended one recession, and are about to head into another.(2 Comments)
In the last few days, some of my conservative online friends have sent me the link to a cartoon on the npr.org Web site as proof of the anti-conservative nature of National Public Radio.
I don't work for NPR, and I don't spent much time reading the opinion/editorial sections of most online news sites, so I wasn't aware of "Learn to Speak Teabag" and, having read it, didn't think it was funny and reinforced my belief that most political discourse in America isn't going to be mistaken for challenging intellectual endeavors.
Today, NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard gave her colleagues the chance to explain how it got on the npr.org site, and then noted the obvious:
That said, there are problems with the Tea Bag animation. Chief among them is it doesn't fit with NPR values, one of which is a belief in civility and civil discourse.
Fiore is talented, but this cartoon is just a mean-spirited attack on people who think differently than he does and doesn't broaden the debate. It engages in the same kind of name-calling the cartoon supposedly mocks.
And why is NPR running a cartoon from just one perspective?
NPR is a lightning rod in the ongoing political struggle. But it's a credit to that organization -- and others -- that in a time of big cutbacks, they employ someone to answer complaints from the audience and hold people accountable to explain editorial decisions to the people who matter most -- the readers and listeners.(7 Comments)
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