Five at 8: Call the squirrel doctor

1) Tuesday is gossip day at the watercooler, right? Time to share all the juiciest bits we heard over the weekend but were too busy on Monday to share.

Well, the New York Times is now digging into some Dayton family dirty laundry that apparently resolves around some prankish vandalism and the long-festering question over whether Blake or Breck is the better school. (The Star Tribune got there first in September.)

Now the family is suing ex-classmates of Caleb Dayton, which is either surprising or expected when you’re a member of the “Minneapolis elite” and you need to exact retribution on a few high school kids.

2) Hey, remember when President Obama won that Nobel Peace Prize thing? As is his custom, Ze Frank puts it into perspective.

3) Here’s your heartwarming federal-medical-industrial complex story of the day from the Atlantic.

The CDC now says that 1 in 100 Americans has autism. But is the epidemic real? It turns out that many children with other developmental problems are being given autism diagnoses just to get them state funding.

4) In an item related to our coverage of the Pvt. Hafterson PTSD saga, writer Katie Drumm looks at an initiative to help soldiers cope with their experiences through social networking. We’ll have to wait and see on the results — the company involved is a sub-contractor of Lockheed Martin, and is being asking to develop “a publicly-accessible search engine” (umm, hello?) — but if the Hafterson story is an indicator, the military’s mental health care structure could use the improvements.

5) When your red squirrel population is on the verge of catastrophic collapse, who do you call? The squirrel doctor, of course.

TODAY’S QUESTION

President Obama recently repeated his promise to repeal the Clinton-era law concerning gays in the military. What should happen with the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The myths of the teen mind.

Second hour: Religious thinker and writer Karen Armstrong argues that the major religions of the world share a view that compassion is essential.

Midday (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) – First hour: Rabbi Harold Kushner will be in the MPR studio to talk about his new book, “Conquering Fear: Living Boldly in an Uncertain World.”

Second hour: Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Nicholas Kristof at the Westminster Town Hall Forum.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) -

All Things Considered (3-6 p.m.) – Tom Scheck looks at Gov. Pawlenty’s stance on Afghanistan. The governor says the president should expand the U.S. presence in Afghanistan no matter what the cost.

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