Ken Dahlberg, 1917-2011 (5×8 – 10/5/11)



There aren’t a lot of people in the world who have been war heroes, created a high-flying business, and uttered the words that would bring down a presidency. Ken Dahlberg was one of them.

His obituary is tucked quietly in the Star Tribune today.

As a World War II fighter pilot (Barry Goldwater was one of his flight instructors) , Dahlberg was one of the war’s “aces,” with 14 1/2 “victories.” He won the Distinguished Service Cross for leading a flight of 16 P-47 Thunderbolts against 70 German Messerschmitts, shooting down four of them. He was shot down three times and spent the last months of the war as a POW, returning to Minnesota to eventually start the Miracle Ear corporation.

The remnants of the P-47 from Dahlberg’s last flight were recently unearthed by engineers inspecting a tract of farmland that was about to be developed.

Dahlberg was the Midwest finance chairman for the Committee to Re-elect the President during President Richard M. Nixon’s 1972 campaign. A mysterious check, which later would be determined to be from the CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, was given to Dahlberg, who converted it to a cashier’s check. It was money from the campaign, destined for the Watergate burglars.

When “Deep Throat” told reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein* to “follow the money,” that was the money And when Woodward called Dahlberg to confirm he handled the check, Dahlberg didn’t lie. It was the turning point in the Watergate investigation, the first proof that the Watergate burglars were financed by a money laundering scheme that was tied to the Oval Office.

It ended up a critical part of the movie All The President’s Men.

Back then, it was all legal. People could make secret campaign donations and expenditures. You can’t do that anymore and this is why.

It’s still amazing his life didn’t end up as a movie. Here’s an interview I did with him a few years ago, when he released a book about his life, the proceeds of which went to the Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund.

(*There is some question about whether this phrase was actually uttered to Woodward and Bernstein by Mark Felt, who claimed to be “Deep Throat.” Another reporter says, however, an assistant attorney general uttered the words to him.)


Michael Cuddyer, as I pointed out months ago, spent this season documenting the ballparks he visited. Cuddyer is quite a photographer. But Target Field was missing from his collection… until last evening, when he finally uploaded the behind-the-lens look at his workplace. He only has a few of places where fans can’t go, however.

Cuddyer says he’s like to know what you think about his work. Find him on Twitter.



Sara Shourd took this picture of her fiance and his mother feeding horses up in Pine City. Shourd was one of the three hikers who spent time in an Iranian prison, Shane Bauer spent two years in prison before his release along with Josh Fattal.

Never having been in an Iranian prison, I don’t know what I’d do once I’m back in a freer society again. But I think having a horse nibble out of my hand might be fairly high on the agenda, along with anything else that has the aroma of normalcy.

“His biggest task is not to get too overwhelmed with things to do, and trying to enjoy the simple fact that he’s free,” his mother told the Associated Press yesterday.

Maybe there’ll be a time when he’ll do the talk-show circuit, but in a way, it’s refreshing to find a newsmaker who just wants to stay out of the spotlight and feed a horse in Minnesota.

Maybe this is the best place to be left alone.


It’s International Walk to School Day. We live two blocks from an elementary and junior high school where my kids went to school and, for the most part, they didn’t walk to school that much. Why? Because it’s not International Stop For People in the Crosswalk Day.

Sure, they’ve got kids with orange flags who stop cars at some intersections, but for the most part, anecdotal evidence suggests, Minnesota drivers consider crosswalks mere suggestions.

If you actually know state law and stop for a kid in a crosswalk, the odds are somebody in a car behind you will veer into another lane to go around you, and not see the kid in the crosswalk. This happened to me on Robert Street on St. Paul’s west side the other day. I stopped for a kid walking his bike, and the car that veered around me almost killed him. By following the law, I almost got a boy killed.

No doubt today, there’ll be some tsk-tsk’ing because people load their kids in the SUV and drop them off at school — or put them on a bus – but that’s the safest way to keep your kids alive and that’s the primary responsibility of parents.

On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with a good walk and we are in the initial days of Walk Through The Leaves season.


“Fishing is hard. Investment banking is easy,” author Michael Lewis said on Daily Show last night, one of the best explanations ever of the complicated events that have led to the worldwide financial crisis. If we’re going down, we should at least understand why. These segments are well worth watching.

Pay particular attention to his description of the situation in Iceland in which he asserts that women have taken over because “men with money is a dangerous combination.”

It’s a far more informative segment than any economic lesson you’ll hear in a campaign stump speech, or in any of the shallow coverage of the Occupy Wall St protests.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Michael Lewis Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Michael Lewis Extended Interview Pt. 2
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Bonus: I don’t have a clue what this is, other than the fact it was uploaded yesterday and it features ‘bridge bowling” in Minneapolis. I want to know more about this “activity. If you have knowledge, contact me:


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie insisted again on Tuesday that he will not run for president in this election cycle. So the eventual major party nominees are probably already on stage. Today’s Question: Does your party have a presidential candidate you can get behind?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Many students work to achieve high GPAs, but what about CPAs, or character point averages? Certain educators and psychologists say that character development in the classroom is the key to student success.

Second hour: Michelle Norris’ Minneapolis Reads event .

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: TBA

Second hour: A new documentary from American RadioWorks: “Who Needs an English Major? The Future of Liberal Arts Education.”

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Political chatter with the Political Junkie.

Second hour: It’s 25 years since Art Spiegelman published his epic, Maus. The comic-book chronicle of his parents’ experience during the Holocaust. And, he says he still gets the same questions: “Why comics? Why Mice? Why the Holocaust?” Now, he attempts to answer them. Art Spiegelman joins host Neal Conan to talk about, Metamaus,