Minnesota superiority, kids who stick up for bullied kids, and a woman’s hockey history in St. Cloud (5×8 – 11/25/13)

The Monday Morning Rouser:

1) WHY MINNESOTA WORKS

Sure, your little spunky football team played our little spunky football team even yesterday, Wisconsin. But that’s about as close as Wisconsin gets in the ongoing battle between Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Writing in the New York Times, University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs writes that Minnesota has it all over Wisconsin when it comes to the economy:

Three years into Mr. Walker’s term, Wisconsin lags behind Minnesota in job creation and economic growth. As a candidate, Mr. Walker promised to produce 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term, but a year before the next election that number is less than 90,000. Wisconsin ranks 34th for job growth. Mr. Walker’s defenders blame the higher spending and taxes of his Democratic predecessor for these disappointments, but according to Forbes’s annual list of best states for business, Wisconsin continues to rank in the bottom half.

Along with California, Minnesota is the fifth fastest growing state economy, with private-sector job growth exceeding pre-recession levels. Forbes rates Minnesota as the eighth best state for business. Republicans deserve some of the credit, particularly for their commitment to education reform. They also argue that Minnesota’s new growth stems from the low taxes and reduced spending under Mr. Dayton’s Republican predecessor, Tim Pawlenty. But Minnesota’s job growth was subpar during Mr. Pawlenty’s eight-year tenure and recovered only under Mr. Dayton.

“The lesson from the upper Midwest is that rigid anti-tax dogma fails to deliver a convincing optimistic vision that widens economic opportunity and security,” Jacobs says.

Even so, he notes, a large percentage of businesspeople contend Minnesota is one of the least business-friendly states.

2) THE BANDS OF BROTHERS AND SISTERS

The waterboy for the fifth-grade football team at a school in Bridgewater, Mass., was teased mercilessly for wearing a coat and tie on game days. He’s a first-grader. He’s 6 years old. So his team rallied around him.

Danny Keefe is a little bit different, the Brockton Enterprise reported:

Danny and his twin sister, Emily, were born at 34 weeks and five days. Emily suffered no negative health consequences. But a week after he was born, Danny developed a fever.

It turned out to be caused by a brain bleed. Danny’s doctors said he might not live and if he survived he’d never reach any developmental milestones. But the only one he’s missed has been speech.

“A nurse took me aside and said, ‘Don’t let them limit him.’ And I’ve held that faith,” Jennifer Keefe said.

Meanwhile, two high school football teams faced off on Saturday in a semifinal football game. One team is a perennial powerhouse, but the other is from a town that was all but leveled by a tornado, NPR reported. It was from Washington, Ill., where one person was killed.

Moms of the Springfield players have spent all week arranging to get food for Washington players. They’re also sending six buses to Washington to pick up Panthers fans who may have lost their cars in the storm.

Granted, that’ll mean more fans cheering against her team, but Anne Dondanville says part of football is to look out for each other.

“We definitely want to win, as do they,” Dondanville says. “But you know, there’s also human kindness and trying to set it up. If it would have happened to us, we’d hope that our opponent would try to make it as level a playing field as you possibly could under these circumstances.”

Circumstances that Washington resident Amy Thompson says has her son questioning priorities. She says he felt guilty about going to football practice when he could be sorting through tornado debris.

“My words of advice to him were, ‘Honey, the town needs this right now,'” she says. “‘We need to find a positive. And the positive is you guys. And I know that’s a lot to put on your young shoulders, but you guys need to go out there and fight the good fight.’ “

“The biggest thing you can do to help your town is give them that two-hour escape of bringing you the chance to go watch our guys play,” the head coach of the Sacred Heart-Griffin Cyclones said.

The parents in Springfield also chartered buses for the Washington contingent.

  1. Listen Rivals Help Level Playing Field For Tornado-Shattered Team

    November 23, 2013

Springfield won 44-14.

3) THE WOMAN BEHIND THE MICROPHONE

As near as we’ve been able to tell, this is a first for Division I hockey.

(Photo: Jim Gray)

Gina Carlson, an Avon, Minn., native and a senior at St. Cloud State University, made a little history over the weekend by doing this:

  1. Listen Gina Carlson play-by-play broadcast for KVSC

    November 22, 2013

Carlson became the first woman to do play-by-play at KVSC, possibly the first to call a Division I game when she called the weekend series between the Huskies and Colorado College.

4) THE FLYOVER

A B-17 provided the flyover at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field yesterday afternoon before the Packers-Vikings game. Here’s what it looked like from the ground:

(Associated Press)

Here’s what it looked like from above.

Related: Woman jumps from Oakland Coliseum’s third deck. Good Samaritan saves her (Oakland Tribune).

5) THE FREEDOM TO DIE

Scott Adams, the man who writes the Dilbert comic strip, spent part of the weekend hoping his father would die, and not being allowed to help make it happen:

My father, age 86, is on the final approach to the long dirt nap (to use his own phrase). His mind is 98% gone, and all he has left is hours or possibly months of hideous unpleasantness in a hospital bed. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s as close to a living Hell as you can get.

If my dad were a cat, we would have put him to sleep long ago. And not once would we have looked back and thought too soon.

Because it’s not too soon. It’s far too late. His smallish estate pays about $8,000 per month to keep him in this state of perpetual suffering. Rarely has money been so poorly spent.

I’d like to proactively end his suffering and let him go out with some dignity. But my government says I can’t make that decision. Neither can his doctors. So, for all practical purposes, the government is torturing my father until he dies.

I’m a patriotic guy by nature. I love my country. But the government? Well, we just broke up.

His father died a few hours after he penned his essay.

Bonus I: Video: Times must be better than we’ve been led to believe. Thanks to advertising, the Fargo Forum is putting out the heaviest paper it ever has on Thanksgiving. Like other newspapers, it’s already being assembled. There’s no day off for newspaper carriers, either. (Fargo Forum)

Bonus II: The Incredible Story Of Marion Stokes, Who Single-Handedly Taped 35 Years Of TV News (Fast Company). h/t: Ben Chorn.

Bonus III: The Ohio State Band has already done Michael Jackson moonwalking this season. The Gettysburg Address was the next logical theme.

TODAY’S QUESTION
Would lower executive salaries serve the public interest in the U.S.?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The Iran nuclear agreement.

Second hour: The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recently issued new recommendations for the use of Statin drugs for cardiac patients. There was push back to the recommendation from many in the medical community. In the midst of all the controversy we want to find out what patients should ask their doctors, and how doctors plan to talk with patients about the new recommendations.

Third hour: Talking Volumes with Pat Conroy

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm) – Jean Shepherd’s 45-minute original radio broadcast on the day of the Kennedy funeral, Monday November 25, 1963. Jean Shepherd reflects on American culture, the meaning of the Kennedy presidency, and the way it ended Shepherd was a master storyteller, an icon on WOR Radio when radio ruled the overnights and people would sit in the dark and listen to people they thought of us family.

The Takeaway (1-2 p.m.) – The Iran nuclear deal.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Some authors might object to a big-time Hollywood star messing mightily with one of their novels. Sylvester Stallone recently adapted Minnesota writer Chuck Logan’s popular book “Homefront.” The movie opens nationwide on Wednesday, and Logan fans will find quite a few changes in the story line. But Logan is more than OK with that. He’ll talk with MPR’s Euan Kerr.

“Divided and United” is a collection of Civil War music. It features old songs sung by the artists of today. Old Crow Medicine Show, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton. NPR listens in on some lesser-known songs interpreted in a new way.