Five at 8 – 11/13/09: A political convention mulligan

1) Vance Opperman is proposing that the Republican National Convention return to St. Paul (OK, Minneapolis – St. Paul) in 2012. He reports the people were wowed.

No doubt, the convention looks a lot better on the Minneapolis side of the river, where most of the parties were held, most of the delegates were staying and most of the delegates were “wowed.” Not so on the St. Paul side. The delegates were bused in, bused out, and barely gave St. Paul the time of day. If you didn’t sell your restaurant to CNN for a week, chances are pretty good your St. Paul downtown business lost some money. Opperman is, it seems, asking for a mulligan.

Another possibility. Bring the Democrats in. The Twin Cities wanted the Democrats more, but the Dems waited too long to make their selection, eventually selecting Denver. And since we’ve already got these spy cameras up anyway….

More seriously, would you be interested in seeing the political conventions return to the Twin Cities? Think about it. Remember: We’d get the Daily Show again.

2) What happens when two groups of protesters on opposite sides of the health care debate collide? Once two women in Rochester admitted their signs were “ridiculous,” nothing.

3) We’re not hearing a lot of “the flu story is overblown” rant much these days. With good reason: it’s not. Last year, about 150 kids in the country died from the flu. Health officials have now changed their count of the number of children who’ve already died — raising it to 540. Twenty-one people have died in Minnesota. Today, Sen. Amy Klobuchar is holding a forum on ways to produce vaccine faster the next time officials warn us a pandemic is coming.

4) When a property is foreclosed, an ad appears in a paper announcing its auction. How often does an average Joe show up to make a bid? Hardly ever. The Marshall Independent went to one yesterday.

5) The Fort Hood shooter was killed during the rampage. No. Wait, he wasn’t. He was shot by a woman police officer. No. Wait, he was shot by a male police officer. Why can’t the media get this story right? The Takeaway hosts a discussion on the question with Campbell Robertson of the New York Times, who has been reporting in Killeen, TX; and Dave Cullen, author of “Columbine,” about the Columbine High School massacre.

Bonus: Because you can’t be sad while hearing someone play the banjo, that’s why.


Monday will see the start of service on the Northstar line, the train that will carry commuters between the Twin Cities and Big Lake, Minn. Would you ride commuter rail if it were available to you?


The FAA is having a teleconference at 9 this morning to reveal how it tracks “nonresponsive” airplanes. Presumably, this is a rebuttal to criticism that it waited until fairly late in the game to notify air defense officials that Northwest Flight 188 wasn’t communicating. I’ll probably live blog it here on News Cut.

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The final conversation with the 2009 MPR News Fellows, a group of people from the community with diverse opinions and experiences. The topic: How Congress and President Obama are handling the economy.

Second hour: A new thriller from author and journalist Masha Hamilton takes readers inside the mind of a terrorist contemplating an attack in New York, as his mother and girlfriend try to figure out how to stop him.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Roy Grow of Carleton College and Richard Bohr of St. John’s University talk about President Obama’s trip to Japan, Singapore, China and Korea.

Second hour:A new American RadioWorks documentary by Stephen Smith, Laurie Stern and Chris Farrell, called “Workplace U.” Here’s the Web site.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – It’s Science Friday! First hour: Can people develop multiple personalities to cope with trauma? A spacecraft with mylar sails,

propelled by sunlight. And results from NASA’s lunar crash mission. Is there

water ice up

Second hour: Actress Anna Deavere Smith about her one-woman show that gives a voice to patients and doctors around the country. Plus, graphic novels show the colorful side of science.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – NPR’s Tom Goldman continues his Friday high school football focus with a profile of the “marching band kids.”

Peter Overby considers the role of the Catholic Church in the health care reform debate. Where is the line between an expression of faith and political lobbying?

Happy 13th!

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