The Monday Morning Rouser. These people would be pushing 70 now:
Away from the attention of most of the domestic news media, Iraq is taking more steps toward all-out civil war.
Fallujah, where a lot of Americans died, is in the hands of al-Qaida, according to the Washington Post.
“At the moment, there is no presence of the Iraqi state in Fallujah,” said a local journalist who asked not to be named because he fears for his safety. “The police and the army have abandoned the city, al-Qaeda has taken down all the Iraqi flags and burned them, and it has raised its own flag on all the buildings.”
And yet, few people want to ask the question Business Insider asks. “What did Americans die for?”
Two Republican hawks — John McCain and Lindsey Graham — say the U.S. should have stayed, CNN says:
“While many Iraqis are responsible for this strategic disaster, the administration cannot escape its share of the blame. When President Obama withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011, over the objections of our military leaders and commanders on the ground, many of us predicted that the vacuum would be filled by America’s enemies and would emerge as a threat to U.S. national security interests. Sadly, that reality is now clearer than ever,” said McCain, of Arizona, and Graham, of South Carolina, in a statement.
War can be like a bad stock. You want to hold onto it because you’ve already lost so much.
2) THE OIL TRAINS OF MINNESOTA
For a lot of people in these parts, last week’s train derailment and oil-tank-car explosions in North Dakota raised a single question: Do those trains end up rolling through Minnesota?
Yes, they do, the St. Cloud Times reports. They pass through St. Cloud every day. BNSF, the railroad of choice for oil heading to the refineries, runs eight to ten trains a day, according to the paper. That’s prompted the railroad to train more fire departments for handling and derailments and explosions like the one in North Dakota. Some experts say the loss of life near Minnesota cities would be significant, especially since oil from the Oil Patch is much more dangerous than traditionally-extracted oil.
When you hear “social worker,” you don’t think of an auto mechanic.
But Cathy Heying realized that one of the biggest problems for low-income people is keeping a car running, especially since it’s quite often their home. So she learned how to be a mechanic and opened The Lift Garage in Minneapolis, CBS News reports.
A science teacher in Ankeny, Iowa, experimented by eating only McDonald’s food for three months. He wanted to see what the impact was on his health. John Cisna says he lost weight and his cholesterol went down by paying close attention to the amount of calories he consumed in a day. He also made sure to walk more every day.
The moral: It’s the choices we make that determine how healthy we are (or aren’t).
Yes, anybody can — and most everybody does — throw boiling water into the air when it gets to be this cold, but can just anyone photograph it?
Brian Hansel of Grand Marais provides a guide to photographing boiling water turning into steam, and falling as “snow.” The trick, he says, is to get both the water before it’s met its frosty end, and the snow as it falls.
I obviously didn’t take his course when I made this video three years ago. But, then again, he doesn’t have a picture of scotch whiskey on a cold day, either.
Meanwhile, over in Green Bay yesterday, Packer fans demonstrated why this whole wind-chill thing is nonsense, and why the temperature that matters is the point at which beer freezes.
Somewhere in that crowd is The Current’s Bill DeVille.
Meanwhile, I’ve got just the thing to warm you up:
Related: Minnesota: Why Do We Live in This Godforsaken, Freezing State? (The Tangential).
Bonus: Tweet of the day.
— Corey (@cbj0) January 5, 2014
What is your most vivid cold weather memory?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The prospects for changes in U.S. immigration policy.
Second hour: Arctic exploration politics.
Third hour: According to national statistics, the number of low income people is growing and the number of wealthy people is growing – but the number of folks in the middle is shrinking. We look at these trends and examine the root causes, the social side-effects and the potential to stabilize what once was a large body of Americans who had a comfortable lifestyle in the middle of the economic spectrum.
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm) – Doris Kearns Goodwin, speaking about her new book “The Bully Pulpit,” about presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft and muckraking journalism.
The Takeaway (1-2 p.m.) – TBA
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – The new Minneapolis City Council is sworn in today, and its first job will be to elect a new council president. MPR’s Curtis Gilbert is watching the proceedings.
The tiny towns of Embarrass and Babbitt in northeastern Minnesota have been a mainstay in weather forecasts this winter. During a brutally cold winter they’ve often been the most frigid places in the state. What do residents think of the attention? How do they cope with the extreme cold? MPR News’ Dan Kraker reports.