1) A song for Haiti. The students at the High School for Recording Arts in St. Paul:
It’s been awhile since one story was the top story for a full week. National Public Radio reporters covering the effort in Haiti have provided their own journal entries here. CBS considers what will happen to all the limbless people of Haiti. And they also serve who sit and program. Crisis Camps do their part for Haiti rescue and relief (Marketplace).
2) Janis Joplin would’ve been 67 today.
3) Is today’s Coakley-Brown Senate matchup in Massachusetts — one the experts say will likely be won by the Republican — a referendum on the Obama administration and the issues it has pushed, as NPR suggested last evening?
Or is it merely a typical Massachusetts reaction to cluelessness and arrogance (she identified Curt Schilling, the Red Sox World Series hero and Brown supporter as “a Yankee fan”), as Daily Show’s Jon Stewart contends?
Iron Range writer Aaron Brown sees lessons for Minnesota:
Just like with show biz, it’s easy for politics to become absorbed with the glitz of the top of the ticket. But a reliable top of the ticket depends upon a deep bench, with not one but several thoughtful people who could step up to other offices as needed. It’s true of states and of regions. Areas dominated by one party are often criticized for “machine politics.” Fair enough. The machine has to work. If it doesn’t …
And Nate Silver connects the dots between a Brown victory and yesterday’s announcement of a date for the State of the Union address:
The White House’s announcement yesterday that it will schedule its State of the Union address for next Wednesday, January 27th, an earlier date than most insiders expected, is surely not coincidental and reflects a desire to pressure the House into voting for the Senate’s version of the health care bill almost immediately, assuming that Scott Brown defeats Martha Coakley in Massachusetts tonight.
4) Let’s consider the state of music. In Cleveland, the orchestra is on strike, pointing to troubled times for the future of classical music, the New York Times says. “But implicit is a debate over the worth of exquisitely trained musical artists in our society and how much we are now willing to pay for them,” it says.
Meanwhile, at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, a class signals the futures of composers of music: Video games.
5) Today is Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, and since 1949, a mysterious visitor has arrived at his grave in Baltimore between midnight and 5:30 a.m., to toast Poe. He didn’t show today.
Bonus: At the South Pole, a man’s parachute failed to open. He fell about 3,000 feet, landed in a snowdrift and lived. So he’s building churches in Antarctica.
The American Lung Association gave Minnesota a mixed grade last week for its anti-smoking efforts. About 23 percent of the state’s high school students smoke, which is more than the national average. What more should Minnesota do to prevent smoking?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: President Barack Obama has called big bank bonuses “obscene.” Obama’s pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, talks about how he’s tried to limit massive payouts to executives at the firms getting government bailout.
Second hour: Health care reform near the finish line.
Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist David Broder of the Washington Post compares the first year of the Obama presidency with the first year of previous presidents.
Second hour: Dr. Atul Gawande, speaking at the Los Angeles Public Library about his new book, “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.”
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Granting temporary protected status to Haitians… Is it enough?
Second hour: Accomplishments and disappointments from President Obama’s first year.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - After 9-11, Justice Department lawyer John Yoo wrote memos to justify waterboarding and keeping enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay. In his new book, John Yoo makes a case for why a wartime president can authorize these controversial methods.
In Grand Forks, the Red River Basin Commission holds an annual meeting to discuss flooding issues for Minnesota, North Dakota and Manitoba. MPR’s Dan Gunderson is there.
National Book Award finalist Daniyal Mueenuddin talks to MPR’s Euan Kerr about his short stories about life in Pakistan called “In Other Rooms, Other Wonders”. He split his time between the Punjab and Elroy, Wis.