Feb 13, 2014
With the exception of teachers in Duluth and St. Paul, Minnesota public school teachers all save for retirement by making contributions to the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA). Taxpayers also contribute as part of an overall benefit package.
Feb 7, 2014
Back in 1967, the Metropolitan Council was created to solve a problem: The growing population of the Twin Cities region had a sewage problem spawned by a patchwork of sewer and septic systems, and letting the problem fester would be a significant problem for public health.
Jan 29, 2014
Right at the very end of President Obama’s State of the Union address, when he started talking about “feet planted firmly on the ground,” I thought he might break out into at least a recitation of the “Soliloquy” from Carousel. And no, I’m not being the least bit disrespectful by noting this, as never has there been a showstopper, at least by my footlights, as terrific as Billy Bigelow’s. If only Rodgers and Hammerstein (especially Oscar in this instance) had a few weeks to work with Obama in New Haven.
Jan 22, 2014
There is a certain irony in the fact that Chris Christie is being pilloried because his aides caused a traffic jam that lasted for four days. Across the country, liberals have caused traffic jams that have lasted for years, and they are still trying to make them worse.
Jan 19, 2014
In 1969, legislative candidates still ran as “liberals” or “conservatives” and caucused accordingly. Among the liberals that year were two future governors (Wendy Anderson and Rudy Perpich) and five future congressmen (Bill Frenzel, Arlen Stangeland, Alec Olson, Martin Sabo and Rick Nolan, who is currently back in Congress for a second go-round). Despite the DFL dominance among those future heavyweights, liberals overall were in a distinct minority in 1969. Conservatives held a nearly 2-1 advantage. Today, DFLers have comfortable margins of roughly a dozen seats in each house.
Jan 16, 2014
There's nothing like bad bridgework to leave a body writhing and speechless.
Jan 13, 2014
The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its jobs report for December, and the economists (including me) were dead wrong on this one. Instead of about 200,000 net new jobs, there were only 74,000 reported. While many had thought GDP would accelerate in the fourth quarter, average job growth was lower in the last quarter than the second quarter. Average weekly earnings fell in December. For the year as a whole, 7,000 fewer new jobs were created in 2013 versus 2012.
Jan 10, 2014
It’s an election year, so it’s time for yet another demagogic debate designed to divide.
Jan 9, 2014
It feels like we have become very spoiled — and as a result not grateful for the amazing life that is possible here in the great Northland. Or cognizant of what it takes to deliver reliable, affordable energy when we want it and (more importantly) when we need it.
Jan 8, 2014
A long time ago now, the late syndicated columnist William Raspberry was in the Twin Cities for some kind of program and a woman asked a modest question: “How do you fix poverty?” Raspberry, who was a gracious Pulitzer Prize winner, said something about how poverty was a very big problem, and as such, one could jump in just about anywhere and make a contribution. But if he had to choose just one place, he said, he would start with the boys, which is exactly where I start, principally because boys become the men whom women don’t want to marry, and usually for very good reasons.