I’m off this week but here’s something to think about if you so choose.

I filled out my absentee ballot this weekend, making sure to turn the ballot over so I could ignore the judicial races on the back, all of which (other than the Minnesota Supreme Court) feature a judge I know nothing about (except for the ex-politicians) who are running unopposed.

In my district, the race for Water and Soil Conservation Commission is hotter.

Enjoy your week.

Conditioned as we are by a three-year presidential campaign season that has intended to destroy whatever is still united in the states, there’s a good reason why the rational among us took note of this picture this weekend.

First lady Michelle Obama hugs former President George W. Bush during the dedication ceremony for the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Here’s another worth considering: It’s the last line of the Star Tribune’s story today looking at the Senate race in Edina between incumbent David Hann and challenger Steve Cwodzinski.

“We’re just two regular people that want to serve the public, that’s all,” Cwodzinski said. “I just think I could do a better job.”

We take our decency where we can find it.

The question of calling out “lies” was a big topic on NewsCut this week. Let’s consider another, less passion-filled example.

Every now and again, you’ll read a comparison of baseball fans by virtue of attendance numbers issued by the individual teams. How, for example, can the first-place Cleveland Indians be 28th in attendance (averaging about 19,000 fans), while the worst-in-baseball Minnesota Twins are 22nd, averaging 24,266 a game at Target Field?

Better fans?

Not likely. More likely: Baseball lies.

Announced paid attendance at last night’s Twins game: 22,683.

Announced paid attendance at last night’s game in Cleveland: 18,937

As the New York Times revealed a few years ago, baseball attendance is a meaningless statistic because it has nothing to do with attendance. It has to do with the number of tickets sold.

Until 1999, National League clubs reported attendance based on turnstile counts and the American League teams reported paid attendance. In 2000, all clubs started reporting the number of tickets sold because those figures were used to calculate revenue sharing between the clubs, according to Major League Baseball.

What can be concluded by the Minnesota Twins attendance figures? That the economic times are good for the baseball fans of Minnesota, who can afford to waste money on tickets they don’t bother using.

I tried to fly down to the area southeast of Mankato this afternoon to try to get a better look at the floods caused by this week’s rain. Unfortunately, there was a wall of water stretching for miles across the region, preventing me from getting through.

So, I flew along the Cannon River Valley from Cannon Falls to Red Wing and marveled — again — at the way rivers tend to go wherever they want to go, despite our best efforts. Read more