Five by 8 – 4/28/10: Morning in America

First, a request. I’m looking for high school students who are graduating this year for a long-term project following them over the course of the next several years. If you’ve got one, please contact me.

1) It’s morning in America. And people are lined up before dawn to get health care from an agency that specializes in providing care in Third World countries.Did I say “morning in America?”

Ronald Reagan’s ad, perhaps the most famous feel-good ad in history, provides a template for political advertising in bad times — even if things aren’t that great, say that they are.

2) We have a lot of authors on the radio — not just at MPR, but the media is thick with people who wrote a book. They’re revered, and why not? They’ve written a book. They’re the backbone of the talk-show industry. So how do we know they’re not liars? The New Yorker has a bombshell today. Stephen Ambrose, celebrated World War II historian and author, was a liar.

3) Down in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa yesterday, a lot of people were paying attention to the president. Me? I’m a sucker for old people.

4) The Supreme Court hears arguments today in a case I wrote about a few months ago. If you sign a petition, is your name public? It’s a case out of Washington state where gay-marriage proponents sought the names of people who signed a petition to get a question on the ballot reversing a law on same-sex marriage. If you could be “outed” for signing such a petition, would you be less likely to sign? And, if so, does that deny you First Amendment rights?Lyle Denniston, at ScotusBlog, writes that the case balances the need for open government vs. the right of the individual to participate in the political process without relation:


The Court, perhaps, has tipped its hand in the case, not only by its order in October, temporarily protecting the Washingtobn signers’ privacy, but also by its 5-4 ruling in January in the Proposition 8 TV trial coverage ruling. But both of those actions tend largely to exhibit sympathy for the argument that opponents of gay marriage do face threats and other forms of harassment or outright violence. That sentiment, perhaps, cannot be translated directly into a conclusion that signing a petition is a form of protected political speech.

I’ll update this post later today with the transcripts from the arguments. Here’s the transcript.

5) I don’t really know why I find the live video feed from the Duluth Lift Bridge so fascinating (thanks, Duluth Shipping News TV!). But I do, even when there isn’t a ship moving through the canal. (If off the air, click the link for the archived version).

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Bonus: The classical music folks at MPR have organized a drive to get you to donate your no-longer-used musical instruments for use by school kids. For a great read, check out these profiles of people whose lives were changed — or at least enhanced — by a musical instrument and have passed it on to others. Today’s Duluth News Tribune has a short profile of the reaction to the drive at St. Scholastica.

Disguised-as-news story of the day: One-third of those surveyed say their pets are the best listeners in the house.

TODAY’S QUESTION

A controversial new law in Arizona gives police the power to detain anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. What should be the role of local police in enforcing immigration law?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The politics around immigration reform grows more heated with Arizona vowing to enforce federal law. But opponents say the new Arizona law will lead to profiling of Mexican Americans. Two prominent experts on immigration talk about why consensus may be building to change immigration law.

Second hour: Author Laura Munson was married for a decade, and raised two children when her husband said he wanted out of the relationship. She had a surprising reaction to his request that she says actually kept her family together.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Republican gubernatorial candidates Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert debate.

Second hour: New York Times reporter David Sanger, speaking Tuesday at the University of Minnesota about his book, “The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power.”

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Politics with NPR political editor Ken Rudin.

Second hour: Why people take their own lives, why it’s so often misunderstood, and what it means for the rest of us.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - MPR’s series on the Central Corridor light-rail project continues. The biggest impasse of the Central Corridor project revolves around demands made by the University of Minnesota. The U says it needs to protect its research facilities, including one lab we visited that houses a couple of laser interferometers that literally sit on compressed air to protect it from vibrations. The dispute heads into mediation this month and a lawsuit is still pending.

From NPR: Wes Moore is a decorated war veteran and a Rhodes Scholar. A shining example of how to make it out of a rough neighborhood. Then one day he got a call from his mom. She said the cops were looking for a man who killed a police officer, and the suspect’s name was Wes Moore. And so began his journey to discover the other Wes Moore- and more about himself.

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