Five at 8 – 6/5/09

  • Graduation time seems to be the one time of the year (other than Christmas) when it’s considered cool in this business to write a success story. In Mankato, Jul Engelby not only got his diploma 60 years late, but also delivered a stirring commencement address, according to the Mankato Free Press. He got his GED at the same time as his granddaughter. A Minneapolis grad gets his diploma after fleeing his family in Iowa, the Star Tribune says.

    We need a commencement speech:

  • What are Tim Pawlenty’s chances to be elected president? Baseball-stat-freak-turned-political-stat-freak Nate Silver says it depends on how many people are afraid of Mike Huckabee and/or Sarah Palin. Silver’s got plenty of political cred. He predicted Al Franken would prevail in the recount back when Norm Coleman still had a lead.
  • A new TED video: Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s photographs in “The Earth from Above.” In some of these, pollution is pretty.
  • What happens when you tickle an ape? The evolution of laughter explored.
  • Charles Quimby picks up an entertaining theme: The signs around us.
  • Bonus: Beer or water? Which is better for marathoners?


    Midmorning — First hour: What’s the future of the Republican Party. Recommended reading: Mitch Berg’s view of the same question. Second hour: Financial planner Ruth Hayden. I usually blog the Q&A. I may do so again. We’ll see.

    Midday — Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher will be in the MPR studio to talk about key issues facing the state, the unbalanced budget, unallotment, and DFL leadership. Oh, and I’m guessing a question or two about her interest in being governor might come up. Second hour: Stephanie Curtis will bring her list of the 10 best summer movies of all time.

    Talk of the Nation — It’s Science Friday! Is it time to take another look at nuclear power?

    All Things Considered – MPR’s Lorna Benson looks at why Wisconsin has the highest number of H1N1 flu cases in the country. Sanden Totten’s story focuses on a Minneapolis organization which is training retirement home staffs to be sensitive to GLBT issues. Cheryl Corley says Chicago’s post office is the last 24-hour post office (isn’t the one at the Minneapolis airport still open?), or… was.

    • Well that Berg link was certainly eye-opening. Tim Pawlenty is NOT a conservative? It would sure be helpful if the “conservative” blogs would post definitions of that word so their non-regular readers could figure out what they do mean by that word.

    • Tim Pawlenty is NOT a conservative? It would sure be helpful if the “conservative” blogs would post definitions of that word so their non-regular readers could figure out what they do mean by that word.

      I said he’s not a “movement” conservative.

      Y’know the old saying, “From Las Vegas, Denver is “east?” If Pat Buchanan is in Maine, and I’m in Pittsburgh, and and Dennis Kucinich is in Salt Lake City (and Mark Gisleson is floating in a raft west of Midway Island), Pawlenty commutes between Des Moines and South Bend.

      As I noted in the post Bob linked (which I’ll just bet you didn’t read, did you? Hmm?) Pawlenty has always been seen as a pragmatist, not a conservative dogmatist,within the party. As a longtime legislator, he was more likely to compromise with the DFL than confront them. Some of his compromises earned him the ire of a lot of paleocons in the party.

      Is his “No New Taxes” pledge conservative? Absolutely. As I noted in my post, he adopted it to get the nomination in 2002 from Brian Sullivan. Is it admirable that he kept his campaign promise? I think so; all of you out in Salt Lake City can disagree. That”s why we have elections.

    • Mitch, my apologies if I misunderstood you. I did read your post and all the comments and that’s what confused me. Between you and your commenters there were so many dog whistles and assumptions of fact that I really couldn’t make much sense of what you were saying.

      But I would love to hear more about how not making the tax code fair by equalizing the rates is somehow conservative. Are you saying that the conservative position is that the rich should pay a lower tax rate than everyone else? Is this premised on giving them a volume discount?

      And please cite examples of Pawlenty’s compromises, maybe chased with a few rimshots of Marty Seifert on civility?