Five at 8 – 1/18/10: The new ‘norm’

The Monday Morning Rouser

1) As I was saying, “Norm Coleman is going to run for governor. The signs are almost as obvious as the ones that say Tim Pawlenty is running for president.”

I want small, unmarked bills, in a suitcase, buried next to the Winter Carnival medallion by midnight tonight, or I predict a Vikings victory against the Saints.

Coleman announced he’s not running for governor while sticking a finger in the media’ s eye — announcing it on Facebook, where we learn, “Just turned 60 this year. 32 years of public service-and loved every minute of it. A still beautiful wife after 28 years of marriage, and two wonderful grown up kids. I have been very blessed!”

Oh, and he’s not running for the gig (psst: There’s a Senate race in ’12).

I love Minnesota and I love public service, but this is not the right time for me and my family to conduct a campaign for Governor.

Timing is everything. The timing on this race is both a bit too soon and a bit too late. It is too soon after my last race and too late to do a proper job of seeking the support of delegates who will decide in which direction our party should go. The commitments I have to my family and the work I am currently engaged in do not allow me to now go forward.

At the moment, I am tremendously energized by the work I am currently involved in to create a positive, center right agenda for this country. Anger on the left and anger on the right will get us nowhere. In Minnesota, we face a jobs deficit, a budget deficit and a bipartisanship deficit. We must all put aside the bitterness and sniping and remember that behind every job loss and every home foreclosure is a Minnesota family losing hope and confidence.

I think I can be part of recreating a more civil and respectful politics, a politics that better expresses the will of the vast majority of people. I will continue my efforts to work with Republicans, Independents and moderate, common sense Democrats across the country to advance the values of fiscal responsibility, entrepreneurship, effective government change, national security and respect for life. That’s where America is philosophically and we need well-thought-out policies that express it.

My thanks to the many folks who encouraged me to run, but I’ve learned there are lots of ways to serve without an official position. Dr. King said everyone can be great because everyone can serve. We all need to seek out how our service can do the most good, and at this moment in my life, I’ve found mine.

Thanks. God bless you.

Coleman calls for more civil and respectful politics and then gets in a pretty good “Minnesota style” shot against Democrats by saying he’ll continue his work with Republicans, Independents and then “common sense” Democrats. Well played, sir.

Coleman, like most people, has his Facebook page set to “private,” so unless he’s approved you to follow, you can’t. Political journalists tend to follow politicians so, perhaps, this is the new — no pun intended — “norm.” No more press conferences with those icky questions, just a posting on Facebook.

A sign of the times, indeed. Which brings us to…

2) If a popular news site like the New York Times starts charging for access to its Web site, my guess is a lot of other cash-strapped newspapers will follow suit. The New York Times is likely going to do just that, New York Magazine reports:

The Times has considered three types of pay strategies. One option was a more traditional pay wall along the lines of The Wall Street Journal, in which some parts of the site are free and some subscription-only. For example, editors and business-side executives discussed a premium version of Andrew Ross Sorkin’s DealBook section. Another option was the metered system. The third choice, an NPR-style membership model, was abandoned last fall, two sources explained. The thinking was that it would be too expensive and cumbersome to maintain because subscribers would have to receive privileges (think WNYC tote bags and travel mugs, access to Times events and seminars).

Discussion point: Would you read daily news Web sites if they charged you?

3) The future of flying:

What do birds see when they fly?

(h/t: Discover blog)

4) Posting will be light today. I have the day off. Many people — my wife, for example — don’t. I notice the trash haulers are working this morning; there’s irony there. It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day and, no doubt the “I have a dream” speech — or the usual portion of it — will be replayed. I’ve already spent some of the day the way the holiday’s supporters thought I should when they created it: reading old speeches. I suggest that this 1956 speech is the one that stands the test of time better? Paul’s letter to America:

The misuse of Capitalism can also lead to tragic exploitation. This has so often happened in your nation. They tell me that one tenth of one percent of the population controls more than forty percent of the wealth. Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. If you are to be a truly Christian nation you must solve this problem. You cannot solve the problem by turning to communism, for communism is based on an ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept. You can work within the framework of democracy to bring about a better distribution of wealth. You can use your powerful economic resources to wipe poverty from the face of the earth. God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty. God intends for all of his children to have the basic necessities of life, and he has left in this universe “enough and to spare” for that purpose. So I call upon you to bridge the gulf between abject poverty and superfluous wealth.

Even parts of the “I have a dream” speech have been lost to history. Commentator E. Ethelbert Miller says the beginning of it should be considered:

When I listen to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, I’m always curious as to why many of us overlook the opening statements of his 1963 address. It’s as if we only hear one side of his speech. Why do we quickly repeat the words “I have a dream,” and not the words “America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’ But we refuse to believe the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.”

5) It’s day 7 of the post-earthquake world of Haiti. The story today moved to the bottom of page one in the Star Tribune, Mankato Free Press, and Duluth News Tribune. It stayed near the top of the page in the St. Cloud Times.

Newspaper editors have a difficult week ahead of them; they have to determine when you’re sick of the story.

Bonus: What they’re saying in New Orleans:

Jeff Duncan's New Orleans Saints Vlog (Jan. 17, 2010)


Today is Martin Luther King Day, a holiday established in 1983 to honor the late civil rights leader. Most schools and government agencies close for the day, but many businesses remain open. Are there better ways to honor Dr. King than to take the day off?

Does your employer have a company holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.?(opinion)


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The humanist chaplain at Harvard preaches on living an ethical life without belief in God as the underpinning. His new book explores why people manage to do good without belief in a deity.

Second hour: An environmental justice advocate from the South Bronx confronts “environmental racism.” Majora Carter fights for urban renewal by bringing green space to her industrial neighborhood.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Sen. Al Franken will be in the studio to discuss his recent trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as health care reform, and the economy.

Second hour: Rev. Joseph Lowery, speaking this morning at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: A closer look at the Haitian


Second hour: What does post-racial mean in the real world?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – One year ago this week, Barack Obama supporters from around the country flocked to his inauguration. Many took home a positive outlook that’s stayed with them. For others, the optimism did not last. We take a look back at President Obama’s first year in office, and what people think of it.

Take a look at this image. Click on it to make it larger. What would it look like a year later?


  • kennedy

    “Would you read daily news Web sites if they charged you?”

    If the content was unique, worthwhile, and not available elsewhere I would pay for it.

  • John P.

    I would pay for MPR’s site, but then I feel like I sort of do that already with my membership.

    I get 90% of what I need between the MPR web site and the radio, so I would probably not be interested in paying for access to anyone else’s site.

    If this became standard practice, I imagine that most people would focus on one or a couple of sites they consider most the valuable.