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  • Weiner!

    Last night my wife and I, along with two of our adult daughters, saw the documentary Weiner. The film was shot during Anthony Weiner’s campaign in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York. It offers an extraordinary look at a candidate and a campaign in the midst of an implosion. The documentary opens with a clip of Weiner giving a speech in the House. It is a reminder of what a vicious partisan he was. Watching that opening, you might think–as I did–that his downfall couldn’t have happened to a more miserable son of a b****. On the other...

  • More MNSure Fallout: 103,000 Minnesotans cannot keep that plan they liked after all

    According to MPR, “Minnesota’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has decided to stop selling health plans to individuals and families in Minnesota starting next year. The insurer explained extraordinary financial losses drove the decision.” This means that 103,000 Minnesotans who bought a policy in what is called “the individual market” cannot keep those policies in 2017. They will have to look elsewhere. About 20,000 of those Minnesotans bought their plan on MNsure, most with the help of tax subsidies, but the vast majority bought their plans in the rapidly declining individual market through a broker....

  • Defending the Rights of Schools that Teach Self-Sacrifice

    Much is rightly made about the importance of tolerance and sensitivity on the part of religious majorities towards religious minorities. But what about the reverse?  What about the importance of tolerance and sensitivity on the part of religious minorities when it comes to public expressions of spiritual belief by those in the majority? This latter question was what I asked journalist Mona Charen to talk about at an American Experiment luncheon program twenty years ago after I read a syndicated column of hers on the topic.  Her presentation remains one of my favorites, as does the paper we later released...

  • Court Loss Over North Dakota Coal Stokes Long-Shot Appeal by Dayton

    Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton used to know when to call it quits. After giving himself an “F” and shutting down his Capitol Hill office in response to terrorism, Dayton walked away after one term in the U.S. Senate. It was a slam-dunk. So was the June 15 federal appeals court ruling that Minnesota has no business trying to prevent North Dakota utilities from burning coal and putting the power on the regional grid. But instead of stepping back, Gov. Dayton has stepped up his rhetoric and response to what most observers view as a lost cause legally. He’s announced an...

  • St. Paul Superintendent Let Go In Wake of Controversy Over School Violence

    Yesterday the St. Paul school board fired its superintendent of schools, Valeria Silva. Silva’s contract was bought out with a package estimated at $787,500. Silva’s firing follows an explosive series of local and national columns by the Center’s Kathy Kersten on violence in the St. Paul public schools. In the most horrifying case, a teacher suffered brain damage when he was beaten by a student in his own classroom. But that was just one of many violent incidents–so many that the teachers’ union threatened a strike. Violence in the St. Paul schools was widely attributed to the “equity” initiative that...