1) A new poll out today reveals that…. somebody’s poll is wrong. In the MPR- Humphrey Institute poll, former Sen. Mark Dayton beats all comers and Republican-endorsee Tom Emmer beats all DFLers and Independents but Dayton.
The margin of error in the MPR poll is 5.8 — that’s a lot. An equal number of DFLers and Republicans were measured.
Flashback almost two weeks and we have a KSTP poll that showed Emmer beating all DFLers by a lot. He beat Dayton in the survey of 900 people, most of whom were registered to vote. It surveyed an equal number of DFLers and Republicans, but a greater percentage of independents than the MPR survey. The margin of error was a little over 4 percent.
In the KSTP poll, 17 percent were undecided. In the MPR poll, 25 percent were undecided.
The KSTP poll was put in the field right after the GOP state convention, perhaps giving Republicans a bounce if you assume the average Minnesotan was on the edge of their couch all weekend paying attention to it.
Has there really been an 11-point swing in two weeks from Emmer to Dayton? Not likely. More likely: Somebody’s poll isn’t scientifically representative of the voters as a whole. But after last night’s election results in other states, how would you even try to figure out what representative of the electorate means?
Which poll should you believe? The one you want to.
2) A Connecticut politician admitted yesterday he misspoke. He didn’t serve in Vietnam. He served during Vietnam? Let’s see now: How many political careers have been ruined by questions about service during Vietnam. The Washington Post, naturally, is keeping score.
Dan Quayle kicked off the “what didn’t you do in the war, Daddy” era when reporters questioned how he stayed out of the jungle, and instead got stuck writing press releases in Indiana? Later, questions about the service of someone who actually did go to Vietnam, labeled John Kerry a “coward” while someone who didn’t go got the “patriot” treatment.
Messed up? It’s a perfect political quagmire for a war that was nothing but, says the Post.
These kinds of issues have not arisen for politicians who have gone to war in subsequent conflicts, largely because there was no draft for Iraq and Afghanistan that separated the privileged and the connected from those who had no choice. But the Vietnam War generation will never escape them. What looked at the time to be the most personal decisions — ones bound in honor and survival and ambiguity — have become metaphors for the larger sins of a war whose history continues to be written.
It all comes back to the draft. Thirty years from now, nobody is going to ask politicians what they did during the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, because there’s no longer an equal responsibility to serve as there was in the ’60s where by design everybody could be drafted but by reality the fortunate sons did not.
But the more puzzling question is this one: Why do politicians keep lying about stuff like this? It’s 2010 and while the news business is circling the drain, it’s still pretty easy to catch someone in a lie.
3) The new ground zero in the anti-smoking battle is Rochester, where the City Council has widened a smoking ban in the downtown area to include two blocks of West Center Street between the Kahler Grand Hotel, Methodist Hospital and the Gonda Building. And, the Rochester Post Bulletin reports, it may expand it even more. It started, as smoking bans do, as an indoors ban, now it’s an outdoors ban, too. Some Mayo Clinic employees told the paper they can’t get to the part of the city where they can smoke and then get back to their jobs in the 10-minutes they have to take a break.
Which brings up the question: At what point is a ban on smoking in a certain spot simply the outlawing of smoking in general?
4) Children of the Great Recession. I wonder what stories today’s 7-year-olds will be telling their grandchildren 50 years from now about what it’s like to grow up during the Great Recession?5) “Not in my middle-of-nowhere.” Wind farms seemed like a great idea years ago and maybe they still are. But dozens of people packed a hearing room in Stearns County yesterday to consider whether the county should ban large wind farms, according to the St. Cloud Times.
It’s a growing issue. Should the wide-open horizon of greater Minnesota be dotted with dozens of wind turbines as far as they eye can see?
You know, like Iowa:
(h/t: Midwest Energy News)
Security cameras are becoming such a regular feature of urban life that they raise privacy concerns in some minds. Have security cameras ever made you feel intruded upon?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: What happens to security camera information once it’s viewed or recorded? As federal security agencies and local police forces try to come up with ways to prevent terrorist attacks, this raw information is up for grabs.
Second hour: As a Jesuit priest in a gang-ridden neighborhood in Los Angeles, Father Gregory Boyle has seen his share of violence and unnecessary death. The jobs program he created offers youth a different path from gang life.
Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
Second hour: Live broadcast from National Press Club with the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Tim Kaine.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: NPR political editor Ken Rudin sorts through yesterday’s election results.
Second hour: Theauthor of “Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us.”
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Since DDT was banned, the population of bald eagles has recovered dramatically. But how healthy are they? MPR’s Stephanie Hemphill will have the answer.
MPR’s Tim Post looks at what’s happening with college tuition rates around the state.
NPR will look at job retraining in the sad state of Michigan. There has been plenty of retraining, but not many jobs.