1) Probably the last thing KMSP — Fox 9 in the Twin Cities — wanted, was to wake up today to find out it had been the target of one of Jon Stewart’s segments on The Daily Show. Wait for it.Twin Cities media watcher David Brauer noted — via Twitter — ” But to be fair, they were only station credited with mentioning Exxon paid zero U.S. taxes. I’ll take a few spa reports for that.”
Meanwhile, NPR reports today that nearly two-thirds of households making $250,000 or more support raising taxes to cut the federal deficit.
In today’s New York Times, David Leonhardt points out there’s a different between not paying taxes, and not paying income taxes (A point News Cut made a few days ago ).
2) It’s not too hard to figure out why we’re becoming a nation of fatties. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released its annual reports, finding…
* One-third of obese adults have never received advice from their doctor about exercise.
* Obese adults who are black, Hispanic, poor or have less than a high school education are less likely to receive diet advice from their doctor.
* Most overweight children and one-third of obese adults report that they have not been told by their doctor that they are overweight.
* Most American children have never received counseling from their health care provider about exercise, and almost half have never received counseling about healthy eating.
According to the reports, “not having insurance is the single strongest predictor of poor quality care, exceeding the effects of race, ethnicity, income or education.” Find both reports here. A separate report confirmed an old axiom: Hospitals are a lousy place to be sick. A report finds 100,000 people die each year from infections they picked up while in the hospital.
3) Today’s phrase that pays: Stay focused at work. A priest working a suicide help line in Sweden fell asleep during a call from a man wanting to kill himself. He decided not to when he became more angry than depressed because of the snoring he heard while telling the priest his story.
Remember. Focus! From last night’s NBA game in Chicago.
4) Just in time for spring planting: First word that people can catch a virus from a plant. Round up the usual petunias.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The online magazine Slate decided to find out what its readers think are the best ways to save energy. The top vote-getters include getting rid of lawns and cheaper solar shingles. Slate columnist Daniel Gross talks about what he has done to try to live the energy-efficient life.
Second hour: Novelist Richard Powers was among the early few to have his genetic makeup mapped. His latest work of fiction asks if there were a gene for happiness, should we rid ourselves of discontent?
Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Carleton College political science professor Steven Schier analyzes the tea party movement, which is rallying in Washington tomorrow.
Second hour: Jay Winik, author of “April 1865: The Month that Saved America.” He spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Political editor Ken Rudin.
Second hour: Dana Sachs explores the legacy of Operation Babylift: international adoption and the Children of War in Vietnam. The mission had the best of intentions — but created a complicated web of psychological and emotional consequences for the children, their new families, and, in some cases, for the families they left behind.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – NPR is going to tackle “red light cameras,” which have already been found to be unconstitutional in Minnesota. They’ll look at the use of the cameras in Los Angeles. When I was in Arizona a few weeks ago, I found the effect of the cameras. Nobody ran red lights. And because they’re also used to nab speeders, few people seemed to speed. Back in Minnesota, meanwhile, I regularly see people run red lights and one of these days, they’re going to kill someone. Here’s the discussion point: The rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few ; the Minnesota Supreme Court said that in the ’90s when it ruled on the state’s plan to keep sex offenders incarcerated, even though they had already served their prison time and hadn’t committed a crime. Couldn’t that justify infringing on the right of a driver who considers red lights a mere suggestion?