Pillowless in the Twin Cities (5×8 – 4/4/11)

How did we miss International Pillow Fight Day, the housing debate three years later, flooding: second verse, worse than the first; men vs. women in Bangladesh, and Porky’s last burnout.

The Monday Morning Rouser…


London, Toronto, New York, Moscow, Boston. The great cities of the world held International Pillow Fight Day over the weekend, an event so big it needed two days. Minneapolis St. Paul, what happened? How could you not make time for a pillow fight?

Here’s New York:

Vancouver did it with a little style:


It’s been almost three years since the housing meltdown put us into a depression. And yet, we’re still having the same debate: What caused the meltdown? Financial institutions or homeowners living beyond their means?

CBS’ 60 Minutes documented the apparent fraud taking place as banks — including locals US Bank and Wells Fargo — tossed people out of their homes even though they didn’t have any actual paperwork proving they owned the mortgages on the homes. People were paid $10 an hour to forge the names of bank officials on phony documents.

The only question the report last evening didn’t answer is this one: How come nobody has gone to jail?

The comments from the story were not surprising:

This story is so one-sided and shows what happened with a very small percentage of lenders. What about the borrowers who reneged on contracts. We don’t know the individual cases but I would suspect the vast majority simply lived beyond their means. Most loans being foreclosed on are equity loans- most loans were for a second car, a vacation- just great. Now the government is using a few rogue banks to cover the obvious culprit, the government. So taxpayers are being stolen from again- help comes from another government agency- guess who’s paying? You! Now we have lawsuits against a government that is proposing a clean-up fund of billions of funds!! Guess who pays again- the sucker taxpayer who was responsible and lived within their means.


The snow is almost gone, it hasn’t rained that much so one might think the flood threat has gone by the boards. But the experts at the National Weather Service are now projecting a future crest of Twin Cities rivers higher than last week. And it’s now started projecting the outlook on the Red River and it appears a good chance that will hit the 2009 level. This is not a good projection…

How much is 37.5 feet? It’s all the way up this hill and to the back doors of the homes in this south Moorhead neighborhood.


The city will deliver sandbags tomorrow.

This flood talk makes Matt Thueson, who writes the Boomsite Blog, a chronicle of things on the St. Croix, a little wistful. He’s got a series of photos showing the way things were in 1965.

4) MEN VS. WOMEN (Cont’d)

Who’s missing in this photo from Bangladesh (click for larger image)?


One 19-year-old man was killed in weekend protests against the government’s proposed law for women to get an equal right to inheritance.


There were long lines of sad people yesterday, the last day of operation for Porky’s, the classic institution of hot rods and hamburgers on St. Paul’s University Avenue. But no one is sadder than the region’s tire retailers:

Historic preservationists are trying to save the pig. They are due to release the list of most endangered historic sites in Minnesota. Porky’s was to be on it.


President Obama has ruled out regime change as a goal of the NATO intervention in Libya. But others insist that the coalition effort will be a failure if Moammar Gadhafi remains in power. What should be the U.S. goal in Libya?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Former ambassador Ryan Crocker discusses Iraq

Second hour: Singer-songwriter Chris Koza joins rock artist Adam Levy and rapper Dessa in MPR’s Maud Moon Weyerhauser studio to perform live and talk about the third installment of The Southern Songbook series.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Mark Feldstein on muckraking journalism.

Second hour: Sen. John Kerry speaks at the Commonwealth Club

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: TBA

Second hour: Author Elijah Anderson talks with host Neal Conan about redrawing racial lines.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – The oldest of the country’s 78 million baby boomers turn 65 this year, kicking off a wave of retirements that will stretch into the next two decades. It means the workforce will shrink and it could lead to worker shortages. MPR’s Tom Robertson visits Roseau to see what educators, manufacturers and health care providers are doing to get ready.

The state Department of Human Rights just released its count of civil rights complaints, by category, for the last two years. With what’s already out there, we have a picture of the whole decade, plus a few years in the 1990s. They show that while complaints overall have declined, people continue to report most often discrimination based on gender or disabilities. MPR’s Rupa Shenoy will have the story.

Gov. Mark Dayton has to decide by the end of the day what to do about the 132 executive orders signed by his predecessor. If he doesn’t take action to extend them, they will expire. MPR’s Sasha Aslanian looks at two immigration measures: one expanding state law enforcement involvement with ICE, the other requiring state agencies and contractors to use an electronic system to verify the immigration status of new hires.