Feb 21, 2011
To a fair amount of attention, a well-conceived bill to require photo IDs for voting was introduced in the Minnesota Legislature this session. This would be an important and long-overdue election reform, but one that has been stymied by DFL leadership, more so than by rank-and-file DFL lawmakers; 10 DFL House members voted for it in the last legislative session.
Feb 1, 2011
Calls to tax the rich grew substantially louder in 2010. The 111th Congress concluded with a lively debate over the fairness of extending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy. Governor Dayton stirred up similar debates with his call to solve the state’s looming budget deficit with a tax hike on the rich. For those leading the tax-the-rich charge, raising taxes on high-income earners is a matter of basic fairness. But what is fair and is fairness even relevant?
Jan 8, 2011
For the past 20 years or so, I've begun each semester by asking students to give me three lists of three things: topics they'd like to learn more about, their most notorious historical villains, and their most noteworthy heroes.
Dec 30, 2010
There's one thing that the 2010 election and the recent recount in the governor's race made clear: It's time to stop arguing about whether we should institute photo ID for voting and time to start discussing how best to implement it.
Dec 20, 2010
Gov.-elect Mark Dayton has announced that he will expand the state's federally funded Medicaid program to poor adults without children as soon as Jan. 3.
Nov 28, 2010
I'm going to cite a half-dozen sets of sobering facts and then ask a simple, discomfiting question: What in the world is keeping the United States afloat as the planet's economic leader?
Nov 26, 2010
There is no question that the new DNR commissioner should not be learning about mining on the job. He or she needs to understand that the economic impact domestically, and the environmental impact globally, of mining critical nonferrous metals in Minnesota would be very positive.
Nov 5, 2010
The poignant newspaper story was about the closing of a high school with a venerable history and carried the headline "The Demise of a Community Institution is Always Sad." Such ends truly are sad, even when they're still but a proposal. Great numbers of alumni and other partisans of North High School in Minneapolis fervently concur, even now that Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson has announced plans for a new North High to open in several years.
Sep 23, 2010
Lots of people here on earth – even more in the cosmos – have wondered how in the world Minnesotans elected Jesse Ventura governor a dozen years ago. But have you ever wondered how the other two major political leaders in the state at the time in 1998 were the senatorial odd couple of Rod Grams and Paul Wellstone, and how all three chaps respectively differed from one another by a mathematically impossible 359 degrees?
Sep 15, 2010
In 2005, the Onion reported this headline: "State of Minnesota Too Polite To Ask For Federal Funding." Gov. Tim Pawlenty is quoted in the article as saying, "Oh, we wouldn't want to bother the U.S. government -- they've got more than enough on their plate as it is."