Barely true (5×8 – 10/28/10)

1) A CAMPAIGN WITH A HEAVY DOSE OF “FALSE”

I got home from the Timberwolves game — where were you all? — pretty late, so I didn’t have a lot of time to go through the mail. Instead I just picked up everything that’s glossy and threw it in the recycling without reading it. What did I miss? Not much, the PolitiFact.com people say.

Appearing on NPR’s Morning Edition today, editor Bill Adair said this campaign season rates a “barely true.” In particular, those citations of news stories used in the claims — Minnesota Public Radio has been credited a few times — are mostly bogus:


In many ads,small white letters flash on the screen showing the date of a newspaper story or a congressional vote. Those citations are supposed to back up the claim, but we have often found they were only tangentially related or provided little evidence.

Closer to home, MPR’s PolitiFact PoliGraph examines recent claims on the health care bill by gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. They’re false, the PolitiFactPoliGraph team says.

This morning, an MPR-Humphrey Institute poll shows DFLer Mark Dayton widening his lead. If the poll is anywhere near accurate, it also shows Independence candidate Tom Horner is dead in the water at 11 percent. Horner’s support has hardly budged in recent months.

WCCO found “Deputy Dave,” the unnamed deputy sheriff who appears in a political ad complaining about the effect of taxes on his working man’s salary. It turns out he’s a Hennepin County deputy sheriff. And he’s making a few bucks, and nursing apparently pays more than most people thought.

The final debate in the race will be held on Sunday afternoon, right around the time the Vikings-Patriots game starts. I’ll be live-blogging. Stop by and report on the score.

2) SHOULD TEACHERS BE ALLOWED TO DISCUSS HOMOSEXUALITY?

The controversy in the Anoka Hennepin School District boils down to this: Should teachers discuss homosexuality as part of a curriculum? This week the district, in which several students have killed themselves, changed its policy to include sexual orientation in its anti-bullying policy, but some people want the district to go further. “We don’t need to be a battlefield for this type of political and religious issue,” he said of the district’s “neutrality policy.”

3) WHEN GOVERNMENT IS PRIVATE BUSINESS’ BEST FRIEND

What was behind the new — and certainly controversial — immigration law in Arizona. NPR says its investigation reveals it was a private prison company, which had an idea for how it could get a constant influx of “customers.”

The government pays millions of dollars to airlines and air carriers to provide air service to communities in the middle of nowhere. And that’s good news if you’re in the middle of nowhere. But it doesn’t make much sense. In Alaska, a rock in the middle of the ocean gets air service. St. Cloud doesn’t. Go figure.

4) FLIGHT ATTENDANTS ON FOOD STAMPS

From The Story: “This summer Kirsten Arianejad discovered the real cost of blowing the whistle. She lost her job. Kirsten worked for Compass Airlines, a regional carrier. Kirsten loved the job and the travel, but she says the pay structure is set up in such a way that she was earning about $17,000 a year for full-time work, so little that she qualified for food stamps. Kirsten spoke out to a local TV station. When her company found out, she was fired.”

Flight attendants don’t get paid for their work until the door of the airplane closes. They stop getting paid the minute it opens.

5) IDEAS FOR CALLING IN SICK

Career Builder has released its annual list of unusual reasons people call in sick.

1. Employee said a chicken attacked his mom.

2. Employee’s finger was stuck in a bowling ball.

3. Employee had a hair transplant gone bad.

4. Employee fell asleep as his desk while working and hit his head, causing a neck injury.

5. Employee said a cow broke into her house and she had to wait for the insurance man.

6. Employee’s girlfriend threw a Sit n Spin through his living room window.

7. Employee’s foot was caught in the garbage disposal.

8. Employee called in sick from a bar at 5:00 p.m. the night before.

9. Employee said he wasn’t feeling too clever that day.

10. Employee had to mow the lawn to avoid a lawsuit from the home owner’s association

11. Employee called in the day after Thanksgiving because she burned her mouth on a pumpkin pie.

12. Employee was in a boat on Lake Erie and ran out of gas and the coast guard towed him to the Canadian side.

Bonus: Lost Remote to media on the Jon Stewart/ Stephen Colbert rally: “Lighten up.”

In sports…

San Francisco Giants fans aren’t mean; they’re stoned.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/video.

Shout out

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Dan Malmon of Roseville stopped by at Target Center last night to introduce himself. He was having a going-away party from his former job and starts a new gig next week. As it turns out, he and I had about the same role for the Timberwolves in the game last night as Kurt Rambis had for the team’s best player, Kevin Love. That is to say: None.

TODAY’S QUESTION

Veteran politicians say voter anger is high this year. Attack ads are crowding the airwaves. In the current political climate, would you ever run for office?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Mark Dayton, Tom Emmer, and Tom Horner are applying for an important job, and the voters of Minnesota are the ones doing the hiring. Hear the candidates for governor make their case for why they should be chosen as the next CEO of the state of Minnesota.

Second hour: The history and the science of things that bite — bedbugs, leeches, rabid dogs, even vampires.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First half hour: Sixth District congressional candidates Michele Bachmann, Tarryl Clark and Bob Anderson.

Second half hour: State Auditor debate: Pat Anderson and Rebecca Otto

Second hour: Broadcast of the 6th District congressional debate held in St. Cloud on Tuesday.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: A check-in on Haiti’s recovery.

Second hour: NPR’s longest-serving librarian, Kee Malesky, talks about her book, All Facts Considered.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Meanwhile, back at MPR, reporters are still covering issues in the governor’s race. Dan Olson this afternoon will look at what the three candidates say about funding for Central Corridor, transit, the gas tax, etc.

Tom Horner took a big risk running for governor as the IP candidate this year. He split with the Republican Party, he gave up his successful business. Now with days left in the campaign, it looks like he may lose his bet. MPR’s Mark Zdechlik will have more.

In 34 (all small, rural) school districts across Minnesota, next week’s school board elections feature more seats up for election than candidates on the ballot. Why is that, and what are those districts’ options for filling those seats? MPR’s Tom Weber will report.

  • bsimon

    “SHOULD TEACHERS BE ALLOWED TO DISCUSS HOMOSEXUALITY?”

    In what context? An outright ban doesn’t make sense (what purpose would that serve?). But likewise, a discussion of homosexuality doesn’t really fit into biology class or even a discussion of human reproduction. There’s room in a sociology class, or a discussion of political science / current events. But, as far as I know, there’s not a place in the schools for going over the various forms of sex. Or maybe school has changed since I was a kid – is there now a class like that ‘how-to’ scene in ‘The Meaning of Life’?

  • Bob Moffitt

    Not to take anything away from WCCO’s story, but wasn’t it Rachel Stassen-Berger at the Star Tribune who first indentified “Deputy Dave” on her Hot Dish Politics blog?

  • Jeanne

    I used to work with a woman who called in sick for the strangest reasons. One time she called in because she “fell down the stairs while holding a vacuum cleaner” (she and her husband were caretakers in their apartment building and she fell down the stairs while vacuuming them). But the best reason, by far, was when she called in because she cut her rear end on a mirror. She said she had a broken mirror that she used when she put her makeup on in the morning. She left it on the bed, had taken and shower and sat on the bed (on the mirror) and cut her backside. She was most definitely accident prone, but her coworkers and I were always amazed that she would tell the truth when she called in. Wouldn’t you just say you had the stomach flu if you had cut your rear end on a mirror? Sometimes a little white lie is the less embarrassing thing to do.

  • Heather Heimbuch

    I *would* say teachers should be able to discuss homosexuality, but I’m not confident they’d all do a very good job of it.

    bsimon, it might make sense as part of sex ed, and I think it would be especially beneficial to reinforce the fact that sexual orientation is not a choice.

  • Tyler

    Has everyone lost their minds? Do we really want to drag our teachers into this, so teachers will be damned if they do and damned if they don’t address sexuality in the classroom? Is there any forum and any audience where sexuality is off-topic?

    GLBT advocates are insisting on a special protected status based on sexual preference that we do not need to provide equal protection from sexual harassment to everyone. The rules are already in place and carry very harsh penalties. Neutrality is everyone’s friend.

  • Kassie

    When calling in sick you should say, “boss, this is me, I’m not feeling well (or my child is not feeling well). I wil be in tomorrow.” Unless you have something wrong with you that is going to keep you out for multiple days or directly affects your work, don’t give a reason or explanation.

    Of couse, my boss reads my twitter feed, so he knows. But it is best not to go into specifics.