1) Probably the last thing KMSP -- Fox 9 in the Twin Cities -- wanted, was to wake up today to find out it had been the target of one of Jon Stewart's segments on The Daily Show. Wait for it.
Twin Cities media watcher David Brauer noted -- via Twitter -- " But to be fair, they were only station credited with mentioning Exxon paid zero U.S. taxes. I'll take a few spa reports for that."
Meanwhile, NPR reports today that nearly two-thirds of households making $250,000 or more support raising taxes to cut the federal deficit.
In today's New York Times, David Leonhardt points out there's a different between not paying taxes, and not paying income taxes (A point News Cut made a few days ago ).
2) It's not too hard to figure out why we're becoming a nation of fatties. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released its annual reports, finding...
* One-third of obese adults have never received advice from their doctor about exercise.
* Obese adults who are black, Hispanic, poor or have less than a high school education are less likely to receive diet advice from their doctor.
* Most overweight children and one-third of obese adults report that they have not been told by their doctor that they are overweight.
* Most American children have never received counseling from their health care provider about exercise, and almost half have never received counseling about healthy eating.
According to the reports, "not having insurance is the single strongest predictor of poor quality care, exceeding the effects of race, ethnicity, income or education." Find both reports here. A separate report confirmed an old axiom: Hospitals are a lousy place to be sick. A report finds 100,000 people die each year from infections they picked up while in the hospital.
3) Today's phrase that pays: Stay focused at work. A priest working a suicide help line in Sweden fell asleep during a call from a man wanting to kill himself. He decided not to when he became more angry than depressed because of the snoring he heard while telling the priest his story.
Remember. Focus! From last night's NBA game in Chicago.
4) Just in time for spring planting: First word that people can catch a virus from a plant. Round up the usual petunias.
5) He's 81 and "gruff as all getout." My kind of guy. My kind of story.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: The online magazine Slate decided to find out what its readers think are the best ways to save energy. The top vote-getters include getting rid of lawns and cheaper solar shingles. Slate columnist Daniel Gross talks about what he has done to try to live the energy-efficient life.
Second hour: Novelist Richard Powers was among the early few to have his genetic makeup mapped. His latest work of fiction asks if there were a gene for happiness, should we rid ourselves of discontent?
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: Carleton College political science professor Steven Schier analyzes the tea party movement, which is rallying in Washington tomorrow.
Second hour: Jay Winik, author of "April 1865: The Month that Saved America." He spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: Political editor Ken Rudin.
Second hour: Dana Sachs explores the legacy of Operation Babylift: international adoption and the Children of War in Vietnam. The mission had the best of intentions -- but created a complicated web of psychological and emotional consequences for the children, their new families, and, in some cases, for the families they left behind.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - NPR is going to tackle "red light cameras," which have already been found to be unconstitutional in Minnesota. They'll look at the use of the cameras in Los Angeles. When I was in Arizona a few weeks ago, I found the effect of the cameras. Nobody ran red lights. And because they're also used to nab speeders, few people seemed to speed. Back in Minnesota, meanwhile, I regularly see people run red lights and one of these days, they're going to kill someone. Here's the discussion point: The rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few ; the Minnesota Supreme Court said that in the '90s when it ruled on the state's plan to keep sex offenders incarcerated, even though they had already served their prison time and hadn't committed a crime. Couldn't that justify infringing on the right of a driver who considers red lights a mere suggestion?
Posted at 10:51 AM on April 14, 2010
by Bob Collins
Following up on Monday's post about earmarks requested by members of the Minnesota congressional delegation, Jim Harper of WashingtonWatch.com sends along this link that tracks earmarks for the locals (and others). It also has more details on each of the projects.
Sarah Palin held a rally on Boston Common today on behalf of the tea party. Here's a picture of the crowd. Click on the images to see the larger versions.
More shots of the crowd can be found at Boston.com.
The last time Boston had a big rally, the dastardly Red Sox won a World Series. Compare the face of Boston.
According to the census bureau, only 56% of Boston is white.
Today's crowd was -- as it was at the Palin rally in Minneapolis -- exclusively white. That doesn't make the tea party racist -- an accusation that precludes a scholarly discussion -- but it does indicate that the tea party doesn't resonate with non-whites (and/or that it's not as popular in Boston as the Red Sox).
What does this mean for the movement? Why doesn't it resonate across race? And can it be a national party without creating -- or at least, illuminating -- a racial divide?
By the way, this sign at the rally should get some attention:
For more on the tea party, listen to today's MPR Midday, which featured an analysis of the tea party movement.(15 Comments)
With all the gushing and attention surrounding the opening of Target Field in Minneapolis, is St. Paul having any regrets? In the 15+ years of debate about the stadium, only St. Paul residents got the opportunity to vote on it, when they rejected the idea in 1999. The Twins never really embraced the city -- the owner seemed to view St. Paul as a second-banana city -- but it was the only "deal" the team could find.
There were five possible stadium sites. Only one still may end up with a stadium -- Lowertown near the former Gillette plant -- if public funds are used to build a new facility for the Saint Paul Saints.
What's happened to the other four sites in the following 11 years? Not much. Have a look.
|NINTH AND JACKSON|
|The view in 1999||The view in 2010|| |
It was a parking lot then. It's a parking lot now. Although it was one of the few sites with access to the interstate highway system, it was a poor one. Because of the sun, the stadium wouldn't have been able to open up to a view of the downtown, as is the case in Minneapolis. A big hotel and condo project a block away fizzled recently. A shovel never hit the earth. A townhome project was completed east of the stadium site and nearby Galtier Plaza recently attracted several hundred employees via Cray Research
The view in 1999
|The view in 2010|
Most of the area between Wabasha and Robert Street has still not been developed. But the spot where the stadium was to go has been. US Bank built a large office complex there in 2003. Although the site afforded a beautiful view of the downtown skyline, it would have been a nightmare for access. There is no way to get to any major highway without driving through a neighborhood on one of the two streets.
The view in 1999
|The view in 2010|
Could it have been a great venue? A circus there last summer proved it could be. The stadium would've allowed a view of the city -- the large post office building evokes memories of the old Yankee Stadium's centerfield view -- and the Mississippi River. But it would've involved buying rights from the railroad. Traffic would've been difficult. The city encouraged the post office to leave town and it has since decided to do so. But the building is still for sale and there's little chance it will be the site of significant development anytime soon.
(No artist sketch is available)
The view in 1999
|The view in 2010|
|This is the site that probably made the most sense, which carried the biggest political problem. It's across the street from the Xcel Energy Center. It also would've required demolition of a homeless shelter (shown), which provided stadium opponents with the perfect metaphor for stadium economics. A stadium there also could've destroyed the downtown view of the city's iconic Cathedral of St. Paul. No matter. A transit center has been built on much of the property, which also damaged the view of the Cathedral from downtown.|
But wait, there's more! Had St. Paul voters approved the stadium, Twins owner Carl Pohlad would have sold the team to Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and Robert Naegele. Naegele has since dumped the
Wolves Wild. Taylor has presided over the destruction of the Timberwolves as a serious sports franchise.
The St. Paul stadium referendum asked voters whether they wanted to raise the sales tax by one half of one percent. Over 58 percent of those who voted, said "no."(2 Comments)