1) Are voters as angry as the current narrative says they are? If so, what does it mean? Polls in previous years have shown incumbents are unpopular, but people tend to think better of their incumbents. PBS’ NOW provided a comprehensive examination last evening:The key to the issue? The suburbs, according to the PBS report — the one area of the state that gets the least coverage.
That’s the PBS version of political analysis. Bring on the satire!
2) MPR’s Tom Scheck yesterday gave Gov. Tim Pawlenty the opportunity to make God “part of the discussion,” as Pawlenty insisted he/she should be during his speech to a national group of conservatives in Washington last month. The ongoing controversy over Pawlenty’s plan to eliminate the health care program for the poor and disabled created a debate on the House floor this week between legislators over who’s the better Christian, and some religious leaders have claimed the governor’s veto of a bill saving the program violates God’s teachings. But Pawlenty demurred:
When asked about the criticism Wednesday, Pawlenty sidestepped the question, saying he has to balance the budget. He also emphasized the need to better control state health care costs.
3) Perhaps the best line in the history of journalism. “With this shovel, I’m going to fill your pain,” MPR’s Tim Nelson said:
Note the short-sleeves in 30 degree weather. Nelson is all-man. Here’s the story.
4) A few days ago, Minnesota Public Radio reporter Bob Kelliher documented Duluth’s effort to be first in line for Google’s offer to built a high-speed fiber-optic broadband network in an American city.
That spooked Topeka, Kansas, which vowed to change its name to Google, Kansas if necessary. Duluth strikes back!
There’s still time to rename your fine city Duloogle, Duluth.
5) Behold, the miraculous healing properties of coffee. A new study shows coffee can prevent an irregular heartbeat:
A study of 130,054 adults found that people who drank four cups or more of coffee daily had an 18 percent lower risk of being hospitalized for irregular heartbeats and other heart- rhythm conditions than noncoffee drinkers, researchers at the health system Kaiser Permanente said. The risk of hospitalization was 7 percent lower for people who drank one to three cups of coffee daily, the researchers said.
Bonus: In search of the Juicy Lucy.
The state Senate is considering whether to lift Minnesota’s moratorium on new nuclear power plants. Is it time to give nuclear power a greater role in Minnesota’s energy mix?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: (Twin Cities only) Minneapolis public schools has designated a new superintendent to take over for the resigning Bill Green. Bernadeia Johnson and St. Paul’s school superintendent Valeria Silva will share their vision for progress and overcoming the achievement gap in Twin Cities public schools. Greater Minnesota will hear a rebroadcast of Kerri Miller’s conversation with nutritionist Marion Nestle.
Second hour: New rules out this year may help many more with mental illness obtain the treatments they need and have insurance plans pay for them as for any other medical condition. Also a look at what mental health doctors believe should be done to standardize care.
Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Paul Eisenstein, publisher of “The Detroit Bureau.com,” discusses the latest news on Toyota and other developments in the auto industry. The Twin Cities Auto Show starts on Saturday.
Second hour: A new America Abroad documentary explores the history and current state of Yemen. It’s called, “Yemen in Focus: The Perils of a Fragile State.”
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: What small businesses are telling us about the future of the economy.
Second hour: Film buff Murray Horwitz looks at the Oscar nominations for visual effects and sound mixing,
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Minn Econ blogger Paul Tosto and Sasha Aslanian team up to tell the story of two farm women who have come up with an unusual arrangement to make it through a tough time in the horse industry, and a personal tragedy. An ex-wife and a widow have joined forces to run a struggling horse farm in Randall, Minnesota.
Note: The daily Five at 8 is a year old next Friday. Over that time, I’ve pushed out the post a little earlier. So this seems like a good time to change the name to Five by 8.