The Monday Morning Rouser. Count the superstars:
1) Good news -- maybe -- for we aging babyboomers who are probably overqualified for the jobs we might be able to get if we lose the ones we have now, the New York Times reports this morning. Companies, which once avoided the overqualified, are hiring them.
In some cases, of course, the new employees fail to work out, forcing the company through the process of hiring and training someone else. But Mr. Carroll is just one of several recent hires at Cartwright who would be considered overqualified, including a billing clerk who is a certified public accountant and a human resources director who once oversaw that domain for 5,000 employees but is now dealing with just 65.
The bad news -- predictably -- is the jobs don't pay as much and financial goals are set back years.
2) The obvious answer to Monday mornings. Coffee that you inhale, rather than drink.
3) More and more, Michele Bachmann's appearances on national TV tell us more about how unwilling Washington media bigshots are to challenge bumper-sticker stump speeches of big-shot politicians. Or how unprepared they are. It's one or the other.
On CBS' Face the Nation yesterday morning, Bachmann repeated her assertion that prior to the Obama administration, 100% of the nation's economy was private. How can we have publicly constructed roads and bridges, maintained by government workers, mail delivered by government workers, kids taught by government workers, food inspected by government workers, streets patrolled by government workers, fires put out by government workers and still have an economy that's "100% private."
Of course, we can't, as CBS pointed out online, well after Bob Schieffer let it slide.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis data since 1929, the highest percentage of government spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product was during World War II when government spending was 47.9 percent (in 1944). The lowest level of government spending as a percent of GDP was 9 percent in 1929 at the outset of the Great Depression.
At no time during this period was the United States' GDP 100 percent private.
Mrs. Bachmann also quoted a survey she attributed to the New England Journal of Medicine that 30% of doctors would leave the profession under the health care law. There was no such survey.
4) If you do nothing else today, spend some time listening to This American Life's show about a car plant in Fremont California that closes this week. It was once a typical UAW-dominated plant and the show describes how the battles between the union and management produced some terrible cars. The plant closed and then -- in 1984 -- General Motors and Toyota opened NUMMI as a joint venture. "Toyota showed GM the secrets of its production system: how it made cars of much higher quality and much lower cost than GM achieved." But now, it's over. .
It's one of the finest pieces of journalism I've heard in months. Here's the mp3 of the show
5) I will give up my flame-throwing scooter when they pry it from my cold, dead, feet. A man who created a scooter which fires flames from the rear, has been arrested because it's now considered a firearm.
A recent national study found a sharp increase in the number of households with two or more generations of adults. What's your experience with adult children moving back in with their parents?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Note: If you follow me on Twitter, the new location is @newscut.
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: One in five African American men, aged 20 years and older, is unemployed. Teens are jobless at an even higher rate. Why?
Second hour: Mexico's drug war.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: A discussion about US-Israel relations, featuring professor Michael Barnett of the University of Minnesota.
Second hour: NPR Iraq reporter Deborah Amos, speaking with MPR's Stephen Smith as part of MPR's Broadcast Journalist Series, discusses her new book, "Eclipse of the Sunnis."
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: Doctors say there's a lot of waste in the system. The hours spent on paper work, hiring staff, people. What changes now that the health care bill is law?
Second hour: Too many veterans of the war in Iraq, left on stretchers. They suffered brain injuries, lost limbs and comrades. But for the last year some have been going back. They're looking for closure in Iraq. It's called Operation Proper Exit.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Sasha Aslanian reports on one of MPR's Youth Radio reporters, who goes to Washington for Youth Senate, and is considering a career in politics.
Researchers are using dye to trace the flow of snowmelt in the limestone country of southeastern Minnesota, MPR's Stephanie Hemphill will report. They want to learn how surface water and ground water interact in this complex and fragile region. It's important because pollution in surface water can easily get into groundwater, threatening wells.
From NPR: Race and the census. Census forms are due in a few days. While the questions are mostly straightforward, the race box has some people re-thinking their identity. Arab-Americans and Iranians are among those wondering whether to check "white" -- as many traditionally have -- or "other".
Freedom from government interference ran into the sanctity of a religious holiday in South Dakota today. The sanctity of a religious holiday won.
The South Dakota House failed to override Gov. Mike Rounds' veto of a bill that would have allowed the sale of fireworks in the state during the last week and a half of December.
"While I would have no objection to the idea of allowing the discharge of fireworks on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, I believe allowing the discharge of fireworks during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is inappropriate," Rounds said in his veto message.
Presently, fireworks can be sold in South Dakota only between June 27 and July 5.(1 Comments)
Of all the critters walking the earth, the human teenager may have the capacity to be the most vicious.
The effect of bullying in its native state is on display in two cases in the news today.
First, in Massachusetts a grand jury today indicted nine teenagers in connection with the suicide of a girl who hanged herself after weeks of bullying at school and online. It started, apparently, after a romance with one of the teens ended. Two of them are also charged with statutory rape.
But the district attorney did not charge school officials who knew about the bullying, but did nothing to stop it. He says their inaction did not rise to a level of a crime, leading to the obvious question: Should it?
Meanwhile, in New York, CBS News reports today that not even the suicide of a teenager was enough to stop the cyberbullying that allegedly contributed to it:
Police are investigating whether cyberbullies contributed to the suicide of a teen in the Long Island, N.Y. town of West Islip. The nasty messages continued to show up online even after her death, reports CBS News Correspondent Jeff Glor.
Soccer star Alexis Pilkington, 17, took her own life March 21 following vicious taunts on social networking sites -- which persisted postmortem on Internet tribute pages, worsening the grief of her family and friends.2 Comments)
She talks of a contemporary atmosphere of virtual impunity for killers. Beginning in the mid-20th century, she says, and escalating with cocaine in the 1970s, the Mexican government--mainly through the PGR--controlled the country's organized-crime network. It was the government that officiated in criminal disputes and apportioned plazas--areas of influence and drug-thoroughfare, the rights to which were leased by crime syndicates. It's not that cartels didn't kill 30 and 40 years ago, she says; they just did it quietly--with the cooperation and pacifying oversight of the government.But the Washington Post suggests the situation is overblown, listing five myths about Mexico:
Perhaps you've had days at work like Jim Playfair, the coach of the Abbotsford (British Columbia) Heat of the American Hockey League. He lost it over the weekend:
Today, the league fined Playfair for his tirade.
But the video has us recalling the fond moments of great sports meltdowns.
Jim Schonfield, then coach of the New Jersey Devils, provides one...
The target of Schonfield's rath, ironically, is the father of the target of Playfair's.
Former Vikings coach Dennis Green's meltdown is legend:
Almost a year ago, a Minnesota company announced it would move to Wisconsin because of the tax policies of Minnesota which made it difficult to attract investment.
"We're not getting the job done in Minnesota," said VitalMedix CEO and president Jeff Williams told the Star Tribune at the time. "Angel investment in the Twin Cities has almost dried up. People are just sitting on their money. The past year has been the most difficult that I've ever seen in my career. It's extremely difficult and frustrating."
An "Angel investment" tax credit rewards investment in companies with tax breaks. Investing in a start-up company, especially in the high-tech world, is risky. The angel investor credit provides a cushion for the investor, its proponents argue.
Wisconsin has such a program. Minnesota doesn't.
In December, VitalMedix made the move to Hudson. How's it going for the firm in its new state? It's not. A month ago it filed for bankruptcy.
The Minnesota Legislature this session has been debating whether to offer the tax credit to the investors and, if so, whether it would be paid for by removing tax credits to some low-income individuals.
The House is debating a bill this afternoon that includes the angel investment. You can watch the debate here.
3:39 p.m. - The House passed the bill 112-20.
The father of a dead Marine has been ordered to pay the legal costs of a preacher who picketed his son's funeral.
Albert Snyder of Pennsylvania sued Fred Phelps, who taunts grieving mourners at soldier funerals, saying their deaths are God's retribution for America's support of gay rights. Phelps won the case on appeal and asked the court to force Snyder to pay the legal costs of defending himself. The court agreed.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, defining to what extent Phelps' protests are protected by the First Amendment. But Snyder says he's having trouble coming up with the money to file briefs in that case.
Phelps' supporters also picketed the funeral of Andrew Kemple in Anoka in 2006. That led Minnesota lawmakers to pass a law making it a crime to disrupt funerals.
A federal court has blocked a similar law from being enforced in Missouri, and the Supreme Court last year refused to consider that case.
It's one of the subjects we covered today on Fresh Eye on the Radio with Mary Lucia of The Current.
(Photo: Johnathan Phelps holds signs during a protest by followers of the Rev. Fred Phelps, who claims soldiers have died because they fought for a country that condones homosexuality, in Shumway, Ill., Friday, May 19, 2006. AP Photo/James A. Finley)