Five at 8 – May 12, 2009

  • The tone of Al Franken’s brief in Norm Coleman’s election appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court is a “stifled yawn,” says Rick Hasen of the Election Law blog. That’s a good thing, he says. Franken — or rather, his lawyers — devoted only 5 pages to Coleman’s strongest argument. Hasen predicts a unanimous win at the court.

    Meanwhile, want to see how red states become blue states, check out the analysis “How Did White People Vote? How Did Rich and Poor People Vote” on

  • Oh, dear. The kids are moving the furniture. The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer is getting a makeover. First, it’s being renamed the PBS NewsHour, which is a nice way of saying, “Jim Lehrer, it’s time for you to go.” It will also have a second anchor in the series of moves designed as a way to get the show “into the digital age.” Let the record show that back in the analog age, it had a second anchor.
  • Whatever happened to the swine flu? One out of three of us will find out, the BBC reports. There are now about two dozen confirmed cases in Minnesota. Another study shows it’s already as severe as the 1957 pandemic. But in the face of criticism from the usual suspects and a short attention span, reporters have mostly stopped reporting on it.
  • If evolution guides us, soon we will no longer have vocal chords. I posted yesterday about the way the Legislature and governor are communicating, today we find a heartfelt apology from Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban, delivered by blog.
  • Oh to be Tom Friedman. Give a speech, get 75 big ones. That led me to explore speaker fees for “famous” people. And why wouldn’t you want Gabe Kaplan to come speak to your group? Jon Stewart makes $100,000 (and up!) a pop.

    Discussion: On his Facebook page, MPR’s Tom Weber compares the same intersection in Minneapolis from January to May and says “you either love this or you hate it.” I ask: “How could you not love this?” Which side are you on?



    Midmorning – Rudy Maxa talks about travels to places you and I can no longer afford to go, and provides tips on how to do it cheaper. In the second hour, a rebroadcast of David Grann’s appearance on the show, talking about his book, The Lost City of Z.

    Midday – A discussion about Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Talk of the Nation – Former MPR reporter Martin Kaste says not all drugs are being smuggled in from Mexico. They’re being grown in the U.S. national parks. We’ll also discuss the Social Security report out today that will — again — indicate it’s running out of money.