Five at 8 – 10/28/09: Congressional comics

One can almost hear the accumulated anguish of a million lost souls. The Timberwolves open their season tonight.


Last-minute Halloween costume ideas, anyone? This comic strip from Salon has at least one. I’m also pretty sure it’s the first time Eddie Vedder and Michele Bachmann have been mentioned in the same space. (h/t: Ken Paulman)

2) Some people — and very few, mind you — can actually make you at least think about rooting for the Yankees when they start the World Series this evening. Almost.

3) Stories to reconsider. Like this outstanding story yesterday from MPR’s Rupa Shenoy. “New research at the University of Minnesota shows many of the refugees coming to the Twin Cities aren’t getting the mental health services they need, and university researchers are searching for a way to solve that problem just as a new group of refugees arrives,” she writes. Of course, a lot of the people who were born here aren’t getting the services they need, either.

And next year, with the unallotment of health care for the poor, a lot fewer are going to get the services they need. But, other than a few gubernatorial candidates and activists, there hasn’t been much of a clamor to right the situation. Does that tell us anything about ourselves? If they had, say, cancer or war injuries, would things be different? Discuss.

4) A great question in this morning’s New York Times about President Obama’s idea to send $250 to Social Security recipients. Sure the answers to the fairly rhetorical question are skewed, but still… Read the story and then vote. Discuss below.

If you wanted to help the economy and you had $14 billion to bestow on any group of people, which group would you choose?(surveys)

5) The Taliban is — as I write this — engaged in an assault on Kabul, bombs have gone off in Pakistan, and Sen. John McCain is on CBS complaining that we we’re delaying sending more troops to Afghanistan.And The Atlantic’s James Fallows is suggesting people take a deep breath and consider the resignation of Matthew Hoh from the Foreign Service:

The United States entered Afghanistan — properly and with every moral and practical justification — to disrupt, punish, and kill groups that had planned the 9/11 attacks. It is now in a mess in Afghanistan largely because of the crucial misjudgment nearly eight years ago to shift effort and attention to Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Not everything in foreign affairs can be explained by logic. But as Hoh argues, if we’re serious in thinking we can now eliminate terrorist threats with our troops in Afghanistan, then logically we must also send them to Pakistan and beyond. And if we’re not serious, then how can we keep them there?

Bonus: How to get a job.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stephen’s Sound Advice – How to Get a Job
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Religion



A group of chimpanzees have been captured on camera apparently lost in grief for the death of a friend. (Sky News)


On today’s “Midmorning,” Kerri Miller and former librarian Nancy Pearl discuss books that carry the reader to other places. What book does the best job of transporting you to a different place?


Midmorning (9 – 11 a.m.) – First hour: Two book lovers join Midmorning to share their favorite books about exotic lands.

Second hour: Segments from Kerri Miller Book Club events with Louise Erdrich and Diane Ackerman.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: MPR’s Sasha Aslanian presents the work of our “Youth Radio” project.

Second hour: A Twin Cities speech about immigration, by Ray Suarez of the PBS Newshour.

Talk of the Nation (1 – 3 p.m.) – First hour: Political Junkie Ken Rudin.

Second hour: Everybody wants smarter kids — and the allure of parking your little

genius in front of a digital babysitter and waiting for the Nobels to roll in

— is strong in most parents, hence the success of the now discredited Baby

Einstein videos. How DO you turn your little Jack or Jill, into an Albert Einstein?

All Things Considered (3 – 6:30 p.m.) – MPR’s Lorna Benson tracks the latest information on flu vaccine distribution in the state.

Pagett Powell, whose book “The Interrogative Mood” consists entirely of questions, is on the show to provide some answers.

MPR’s Tim Pugmire profiles the two DFL candidates competing to challenge Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Nina Totenberg reports on the Congressional medal being presented to former Sen. Ed Brooke today. Brooke, a Republican, was the first African American elected to the Senate. He also likely wouldn’t be considered a Republican by today’s standards.

Oh, and there was that affair with Barbara Walters.

  • kennedy

    The $250 social security bonus is ridiculous. I thought the plan was to gradually phase out dependence on social security by increasing the age of eligibility?

    Whining for an extra $250 hardly seems like behavior becoming of a “great” generation. Suck it up. Things are tight and going to get tighter for all of us.

  • JackU

    The “No Census” sign in Bachmann’s hand is great. She doesn’t want the census to take place for one reason: redistricting.