Blog Archive for 2011
December 24, 2011
The Golden Strings—a group Variety once called the “longest running violin show in the world”—first appeared at the old Radisson Hotel in downtown Minneapolis on Valentine’s Day 1963. To be more exact, they performed in its famous Flame Room. They continued playing there until the hotel closed in 1981, consistently before big and appreciative audiences, as more than two million people heard the legendary group at the landmark hotel over nearly two decades.
December 15, 2011
In a column for Bloomberg, Virginia Postrel explains how “federal subsidies intended to make college more affordable may have encouraged rapidly rising tuitions.” She calls the idea heretical, which it may be to some. But anyone who understands anything about economics should immediately nod their heads in agreement. I think I audibly uttered, “No duh.” There’s just no question that tuition will increase when, thanks to government grants or low-interest loans, people have more money to spend on tuition.
November 22, 2011
About 30 years ago I wrote a two-part package about Thanksgiving for the old Minneapolis Star, the first piece running right before the holiday and the second shortly afterwards. As many recall, and as many others who weren’t around at the time don’t, the Star was the Cowles family’s afternoon paper in town and the Tribune was the morning paper. The two combined into a single morning paper soon afterwards. After a brief introduction, the first article was actually a questionnaire, with open-ended questions about television viewing on Thanksgiving. More specifically, it asked a series of questions about watching football games on that day. As with now, the Detroit Lions had long hosted an early game on Thanksgiving (routinely against the Green Bay Packers), and the Dallas Cowboys hosted another game later in the afternoon.
November 11, 2011
As you may recall, another Texas governor not too long ago – someone who actually did wind up in the White House – also was known to occasionally commit syntactical violence when speaking in front of big crowds with cameras, among other situations and places.
November 4, 2011
After years of threatening to sue Minnesota over the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007, the state of North Dakota finally filed suit in federal court.
October 24, 2011
Herman Cain recently said he was not terribly familiar with neoconservatism. For a serious presidential candidate, this frankly was not impressive. Then, again, one might fairly grant that the term has been conceived in different ways over the last nearly five decades, with at least one definition used more as an indictment than a description. One might also grant that only folks who type for a living – not successful captains of industry – generally have the time to keep track and decipher such matters.
October 20, 2011
Earlier this week, Rep. Ryan Winkler wrote in the Star Tribune in favor of the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board’s recent decision to broaden disclosure requirements on nonprofits that work to support or oppose ballot questions. My column last week made the general case for how disclosure of individual names and contributions can infringe on First Amendment rights to speech, association, and privacy of belief. I noted the real risk of harassment when individuals speak out on various issues. In a follow-up blog, I noted how it seems to be conservatives that are the most likely to be harassed these days, whether the issue is gay marriage, right-to-work, affirmative action or something else.
Due to Left’s intolerance, the Right leads litigation against burdensome campaign finance disclosure
October 12, 2011
Yesterday (Oct. 11), the Star Tribune published my column explaining how disclosure of contributions made to support or oppose ballot questions can infringe upon First Amendment rights of speech, association and privacy of belief.
September 30, 2011
Congress and the Obama administration have been wrestling for a spell on reauthorizing the guts of federal K-12 policy – known in its current iteration as “No Child Left Behind” – and they’ll keep grappling for a while longer. Of keenly pertinent note regarding that already politically intricate exercise is the recent release of two think tank-affiliated publications which make essential albeit complicating points, not about the status of weak students in the United States (NCLB’s target), but rather strong ones. Or, more precisely, the two publications focus on strong students who might do even better if not for NCLB.
September 21, 2011
Did the middle class lose ground after the Bush tax cuts? No, according to Census data compiled by Steve Conover.