The recall election, the picture that still won't let us turn away, the great bubble wrap debate, the stationary kayak, and the time machine in the back of a truck.
President Obama is in Minnesota today to the mostly giant shoulder shrug of the state. He's giving a speech in Golden Valley and raising money for his re-election campaign.
Whenever Obama visits the state, it's very hard not to think about one of the most amazing sights in the history of Minnesota politics.
It was four years ago Sunday that thousands of Minnesotans lined up through the streets of downtown Saint Paul to hear then-candidate Obama speak at Xcel Center (relive it here).
It was clearly a moment of political passion which has pretty much disappeared. Were the expectations of what life would be like four years later realistic?
The unemployment rate in the country that evening was 5.5 percent. Today, the government announced, the unemployment rate jumped to 8.2 percent.
The stock market had closed down 100 points that day -- the Dow was at 12,402.85, after opening 12,503. Today, the market opened a few hundred points below that, and tanked big.(9 Comments)
For sheer trivia and worthlessness, nothing beats the "pool report" issued to the local media when a president visits. It's usually written by one reporter selected to be the "official" dispenser of information, so as not to litter the area with the likes of reporters.
Here's the first dispatch from today's presidential visit to Minneapolis.
The President emerged from the Air Force One at around 10:50 a.m. on a glorious, sunny morning in Minneapolis. AF1 came to a stop outside an Air Force Reserve hangar. The President strode down the steps wearing a dark blue suit and black shoes. He was joined on the flight by U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum and Tim Walz, D-Minn. He was greeted by Democratic U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar along with U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. He was also met by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.
The President had a particularly long chat with Ellison, but the pool reporter could not hear the conversation.President then jogged over and immediately began shaking hands with about 90 well-wishers, including one woman carrying an Obama portrait. The snapped pictures with cameras and camera phones as he got close.
"How is everybody doing?" the President asked? The crowd cheered."Welcome to Minnesota," one woman said."School out yet?" the President asked one school age kid.
Repeating if you just tuned in: It was a glorious morning in Minneapolis.
Full details later.(5 Comments)
The U.S. Postal Service will issue a new stamp celebrating bicycling next week, and it's chosen Minneapolis in which to issue the "first day cover," because it is America's #1 biking city.
I have noted on this blog numerous times that I might bike more if I had the Spandex and biking wardrobe that my bicycling friends assure me that you don't actually need in order to fit in with the biking community.
I say the U.S. Postal Service wouldn't lie about such things.
If you want to just wear normal clothes while biking, you better have training wheels on that thing!
Britain, bless its heart, has a watchdog agency to prevent TV commercials from offending its people.
This week the Advertising Standards Authority released its list of all-time horrible TV commercials based on the number of complaints received.
Here's your winner:
Most of the complaints to the ASA were based on the assertion that the ad would encourage bad manners among children, a factoid which pretty well sums up how Britain and the U.S. are different.
The 2005 ad, however, was allowed to stay on the air, thus contributing to a generation of ill-mannered children with adorable accents.
The third-most-complained-about ad was this one.
But that one stayed on the air too. There's no indication that Britain's children are now talking with their mouths full of kittens.
Here's the full list.
Over the years, some tremendously distinctive radio personalities have made a living in Twin Cities radio. Today, one of them died.
Dark Star, longtime host at WCCO, was found dead in his home today, according to KFAN. He was 66. His real name was George Chapple.
"I stole every second I was ever on the air," he told the Star Tribune in 2010, after accepting a buyout offer at WCCO. "I had the time of my life. It was a lot of fun."
For Twin Cities sports fans, it wasn't unusual to go to a sporting event, then listen to Dark Star on the drive home to see if he saw the game the way you did.
His passion was the ponies. He was a fixture at Canterbury Park and started his media career around here by handicapping horses for the Pioneer Press. It's a gig he started in Los Angeles, colleague Cathy Wurzer tweeted this afternoon. He took his name from a longshot 1953 Kentucky Derby winner when he was handicapping at a newspaper in L.A., and he didn't want his brokerage bosses to know, she said.(3 Comments)