1) A very powerful essay from Elizabeth Ellis of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder:
It was 10 o’clock on a Friday night, drizzling rain in a not-too-good part of town behind the State Capitol. I flagged down the first bus I saw; I was not at a designated bus stop. I hailed that bus knowing full well the driver was within his rights not to stop.
He pulled over; I climbed on, grateful. Grousing rose up immediately from the back of the bus. More than one voice chimed in agreement with an outspoken, incensed, disgruntled one, jeering and heckling the driver.
“Now, if she were Black, he’d have never picked her up! It’d be a different story.”
Anger is emotion; violence is behavior. They didn’t like me.
2) Politics in Minnesota reveals that the Star Tribune is asking all candidates for governor about their substance abuse and mental health history.
I wrote about the door that Mark Dayton opened here, when he acknowledged a history of alcoholism and depression. In an attached poll, most of you who took the survey said it’s fair game.
So maybe we should ask what isn’t fair game?
David Brauer has posted a more charitable view.
By placing mental health questions off-limits, we’re leaving it up to the candidates to self-report (or be forced by rivals to self-report). If Paul Wellstone and Jim Ramstad are right about insurance parity for physical and mental illness, why should mental health questions be off limits if we wouldn’t bat an eye when candidates are asked for their traditional health histories?
Stigma, comes the instant reply. Voters would instantly disqualify someone who owned up to, say, being bipolar — even if most members of the public has no real idea of what being bipolar means. Another version: We’d never have elected Lincoln.
But this “You can’t handle the truth” limitation on questioning is dangerous for journalists to succumb to. Our job is to figure out what’s important, ask about it, provide necessary context, and let the chips fall where they may.
Well, maybe. But we’ve seen what happens with an out-of-context fact during campaigns. Let’s assume a candidate had postpartum depression, and sought help for it. Based on the mail you’ve gotten in the past from an opposition party around Election Day, how do you think that factoid would be presented?
It’s a slippery slope that the most influential news organization in Minnesota has decided to take us down, particularly when an alternative is a thorough examination of vision and ideas of candidates. The candidates, themselves, are in a bad situation. If they refuse to reveal their mental health history, the suggestion will likely be they’ve got something to hide. If they do, they’ll certainly reinforce to the people they wish to lead, that’s it’s something that should be hidden.
3) Caught in the immigration nightmare. A woman in Chicago wants to be reunited with her husband in northern Iraq. It appears he hasn’t satisfied the U.S. residency requirement for a Green Card because he went back to Iraq to serve as a translator for U.S. troops there.
Mr. Ferguson wrote that being on an American territory on a military base in Iraq did not count toward residency. “The service is unable to consider your time working in Iraq to fulfill the physical presence requirement for adjustment of status purposes,” he wrote.
Don’t ask; don’t tell: The New England Patriots needed someone to clear their stadium of snow. They hired a company to provide workers. The company hired undocumented workers.
4) A custody officer in Blue Earth County pleased guilty yesterday to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. He pushed an “uncooperative suspect,” the Mankato Free Press reports.
5) “Is America going to hell?” The Atlantic’s James Fallows:
“The idea of “finally” going to hell is a modest joke too. Through the entirety of my conscious life, America has been on the brink of ruination, or so we have heard, from the launch of Sputnik through whatever is the latest indication of national falling apart or falling behind. Pick a year over the past half century, and I will supply an indicator of what at the time seemed a major turning point for the worse.”
Bonus: Connect the dots!
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Failure to Connect the Dots|
An annual survey has found that the number of Americans who are happy with their jobs has fallen. Workers say their pay is too low, their health costs are too high and their jobs are uninteresting. What would make your job more satisfying?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: With the decline of American manufacturing, the motto “America makes, the world takes” is no longer a reality. While the old factory jobs may never return, will the new economy lead to a manufacturing renaissance?
Second hour: Motivating workers who already feel overwhelmed and overworked is one of the jobs of management. But according to author Daniel Pink, most captains of industry have no idea how to make the crew row faster.
Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Senate Republican Minority Leader Dave Senjem and House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Zellers share their ideas on how to balance the state budget.
Second hour: Three scientists who study the brain discuss how our brains change from birth to old age. The scientists spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – It’s Science Friday. First hour: Obesity research.
Second hour: A talk with memory researcher, and Nobel prize winner, Eric Kandel.
Because it is Science Friday, I give you this “symphony of science.”
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Some liberal Democrats are not happy with President Obama. They feel like the inspiring, “Yes We Can” candidate is not the same politician who’s in the White House. They’re also the supporters whom the administration needs to win back during this election year. Mara Liasson will assess the state of things.