A phone call from the '90s, cookie-cutter politics, an absence of hope, a marathon a day for dead soldiers, and the number-one sign you're too connected.
1) A PHONE CALL FROM THE '90s
This should open up an old debate. The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has left a voicemail asking Anita Hill to apologize. It's been almost 20 years since Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment, just before his confirmation hearings. "Even if it wasn't a prank, it was in no way conciliatory for her to begin with the presumption that I did something wrong in 1991. I simply testified to the truth of my experience. For her to say otherwise is not extending an olive branch, it's accusatory," Hill said.
That cross-examination by then-Republican Arlen Specter led to a concerted effort to bring more women into the U.S. Senate, the enclave of rich, white men. And there are a few more rich white women there now. Has it made a difference?
2) COOKIE-CUTTER CANDIDATES
Want to see a political ad in another state? Just look at a political ads in this one.
3) AN ABSENCE OF HOPE?
If you go to school, work hard, and go to college, will you end up with a good job? Our kids don't believe that. Are they wrong or right?
Today, MPR's Tom Robertson reports on a Blandin survey that shows many people in rural Minnesota feel stuck. One in four is considering moving out of their rural area, but 70 percent things will get better.
4) THE EXTRA MILE
In 150 days, Mike Ehredt, a retired postal clerk and Army veteran ran a marathon every day for dead soldiers. He ran 4,514 miles across the country, placing flags every mile, marking the number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. He reached Maine last weekend.
Last night he updated his blog to reflect on his accomplishment:
In time, as I reflect on what has transpired, the value and meaning of these last 6 months will become even more apparent to me. I discovered that impossible is only a word and that the heart can surpass so many boundaries. I discovered that we are a strong country when being strong is the only option we have. That despite what we hear and read and see we are the greatest country in the world with the greatest people. I saw it in the faces of America. From store clerks to Veterans to schoolchildren and farmers and highway workers. The people I came in contact with added so much to my life and to the memory of the flags that were carried. The wall is complete now. It spans our great land and even though the permanence of a small flag may be blown away by winds and weather in time, the permanence of the moment it was placed, the honor bestowed upon that spot will remain forever..........
Each of his blog entries considers the people who've become mostly invisible -- the dead soldiers. It's well worth a read.
The location of each soldier's flag can be found here.
5) THE NUMBER-ONE SIGN YOU'RE TOO CONNECTED
You drop your cellphone in the loo. What do you do?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Bill Bryson is known for his humorous books on travel, but for his latest he stays closer to home, specifically his own. "At Home" is an intimate look at Brysons' Victorian home in England, and the history behind some of the everyday items we take for granted.
Second hour: Historian H.W. Brands writes in his new book that the act of dreaming has been encoded in Americans' DNA from the very beginning. (Rebroadcast)
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: MPR political editor Mike Mulcahy, political reporters Tom Scheck and Tim Pugmire.
Second hour: Scott Simon on his new book, "Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other," about international adoption.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: Minneapolis will likely come up in the discussion today about home-grown terrorism. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston is the guest to talk about her series, Terror: Made In America.
Second hour: For decades, arguments about poverty and culture revolved around questions about whether poverty is something you're born into - or a condition you can control. Now, a surge of academic research revives the debate.
Here is the odd thing, Bob, about Mrs. Thomas calling Hill.
She left a message on Hill's voicemail on an early Saturday Morning. She *had* to know that Ms. Hill wasn't there. Why didn't she call during business hours?
Was she afraid to talk to her directly? Was this a stunt? Its all bizarre.
Thomas is an intellectual embarrassment. A "yes mazza" token minority appointment to replace Justice Marshall. He asks no questions and frequently naps during proceedings.He writes far fewer decisions that an other scj. He mentored John Yoo, who went on to write the infamous torture memos and is an international pariah. And we're surprised that his wife is a wackjob?
I think it's interesting that she wants an apology for what Anita Hill supposedly "did with my husband," not for what she "did to" him. She does seem pretty crackers, but what does she think she knows, exactly?
And how long 'til audio? I bet her tone of voice is very telling.