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Commentaries

Jun 18, 2011
Evidence is growing that the American economy—and with it, the hopes, dreams and livelihoods of millions of our fellow citizens—is stuck in an increasingly disastrous slump. Two years after the recession formally ended, long-term unemployment is at the highest level since the Great Depression, and the unemployment rate hovers around 9 percent.
Jun 5, 2011
Recently, Minnesotans have been getting a story line about our state's budget impasse that runs like this: Mean-spirited, extremist Republicans in the Legislature are taking a cleaver to the budget. They're chopping vital services and callously shrugging off the needs of Minnesotans.
May 24, 2011
While all sides have less-than-ecumenical clergy (I seem to recall the president's former minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright), as someone who leads a conservative organization, my responsibility for speaking out when supposed conservatives say vile things is greater than when others do so.
May 21, 2011
In recent weeks, the issue of who gets to define marriage -- Minnesota citizens or a handful of judges or legislators -- has been on the front burner. The debate has generated lots of heat but not much light. Now that the Legislature has endeavored to let the people vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage, I suggest a few ground rules to ensure a fair and open exchange of views.
May 13, 2011
Doug Grow did his best on Wednesday to add some spice to an otherwise bland, but very important policy debate taking place at the Legislature. The headline to his article reads: "Surprise amendment stuns Senate during debate over health care costs."
May 4, 2011
About a decade ago, a recording studio owner, Rod, responded to a request for proposals from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office, which needed video-production services. Rod was confident he’d land the job. In the end, Rod lost to another bidder named Candy. Rod was surprised and disappointed.
Apr 24, 2011
Today is Easter, the holiest day in the Christian calendar. The feast commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Christianity's founding event. Easter's date is linked with that of Passover, which marks a central moment in the life of the Jewish people -- their liberation from slavery in Egypt.
Apr 21, 2011
Editor’s note: The following column by my old friend Fred Smith is a friendly amendment to a column of mine that appeared in MinnPost on April 5. My piece centered on President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous Farewell Address warning, in 1961, about an emerging “military-industrial complex,” and argued that his admonition takes on a significantly different meaning when read in the context of what he said immediately before and immediately after. (In short, the former Five-Star General said we really needed the weaponry as the Soviet Union really was a threat.) Fred got in touch right afterwards and correctly noted that there was another critically important warning in Ike’s speech, albeit one which has received far less attention over the last half-century. I asked him to write about it, which he has done here with great insight.
Apr 10, 2011
These are tough times for Minnesota schools. In Lakeville, for example, the school board recently announced wrenching cuts of almost $7 million. Ninety-four teachers will lose their jobs, arts programs will suffer and a school will be closed. There was wailing and gnashing of teeth, but the board set its jaw: There's not a dime for anything extra.
Apr 5, 2011
With the United States armed forces now involved in three conflicts in the Middle East, I'm a bit surprised that hardly anything has been made of how this is the 50th anniversary of Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address as president, the one in which he famously warned of a "military-industrial complex."