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Ball of Collusion

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 Issue of Thinking Minnesota, now the second largest magazine in Minnesota. To receive a free trial issue send your name and address to info@americanexperiment.org. You have been writing for several years about the Russian collusion story and related matters. Your new book, Ball of Collusion, brings it all together. Tell us how that book came to be and its key messages.  While I have concluded that there really was collusion in connection with the election, it did not involve Trump being in cahoots with Kremlin to undermine the election. The most sinister collusion came from the incumbent administration...

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Kersten Makes Star Tribune’s List of Most-Read Writers for 5th Straight Year

It's become a holiday tradition of sorts for the Star Tribune to highlight its most widely read and, arguably most influential, opinion pieces published in the paper each year. From what I can tell the paper began tallying the list in 2015, prominently posting the most popular op-eds and authors in the spot usually reserved for the day's editorial. In those five years, only one author, outside the Star Tribune editorial board, has been a fixture with at least one column included among the most-read rankings every year--American Experiment Senior Policy Fellow Katherine Kersten. In the process she's specialized in fearlessly...

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Walz Doubles Down on Deleted Video of Wife at Public TV Forum

DFL Gov. Tim Walz may have hoped to end the controversy over his administration's role in Twin City Public Television's deletion of a video of a criminal justice forum featuring First Lady Gwen Walz. But Walz's remarks in followup coverage by MPR only served to reinforce concerns over the political pressure exerted behind the scenes to destroy the video of a performance that rattled the First Lady's handlers. Public TV Deletes Video of MN First Lady Under Pressure From Top Walz Aide After stipulating he values "transparency highly," Walz made it clear he approved of the  destruction of the problematic video by the...

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Public TV Deletes Video of MN First Lady Under Pressure From Top Walz Aide

DFL Gov. Tim Walz sidesteped taking responsibility for the scandal at the Department of Human Services this summer by saying "I don't do drama." Apparently the governor's wife, Minnesota First Lady Gwen Walz, doesn't do drama either. Especially when the drama is videotaped and raises concerns with her staff over an event tailor-made to burnish her standing with the public as a leader in criminal justice issues. The controversy followed a panel discussion on corrections issues staged by Twin Cities Public Television in May which took an unscripted turn into a forum on race. The First Lady's handlers became so alarmed with...

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Is that person or comment racist, or just tone-deaf?

Let me suggest a different response for when charges erupt.  This op-ed originally appeared in the Star Tribune on September 17, 2019. Are an unknown number of racists slithering through American life and institutions as we speak? Is very real racism hurting very real people? Without question both times. But I don’t use words such as “racist” and “racism” nearly as often as many do for key reasons, starting with how definitions of each term are more plastic than precise. I’m also usually reluctant to question anyone’s motives, whatever the circumstance, as I generally don’t know what they fully are. And topping it all,...

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The Washington Post Smears the Center’s Katherine Kersten

Last week a reporter from the Washington Post, Rebecca Tan, emailed the Center's Katherine Kersten, asking to interview her for an article Tan was writing. Per our usual practice, our communications director, Katie Fulkerson, called Ms. Tan to see what it was all about. According to our recording of the conversation, Tan said that she was writing an article about local governments across the country who are taking on "racial equity initiatives." Tan said that she already had submitted "a final draft to my editor" but was trying to "add a couple of perspectives before we move forward with it."...

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Just Asking

During Wednesday’s hearing of the House Oversight Committee, Chairman Elijah Cummings told the Jewish Michael Cohen that if he lied to the committee again, he’d “nail him to a cross.”  It’s now Wednesday night and I haven’t seen anything written or heard anything spoken about it.  But imagine if instead of Mr. Cummings, a Democrat, having said it, a Republican had.  Do you think the Internet might be a bit riled by now?  Just asking....

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Where Was Minnesota’s Media on Klobuchar Concerns?

It must be an eye-opener to many of the 60 percent of Minnesota voters who backed Sen. Amy Klobuchar last November to see USA Today describe the state's most popular politician this week as "a strange and unpleasant boss" whose behind the scenes persona draws comparisons to President Trump. The paper's cut line had to hurt: We don't need more nastiness and chaos from another Trump. It's not biased to apply this yardstick. It has nothing to do with Klobuchar’s gender or any double standard. Trump shows us every single day why competence, discipline and management skills are absolutely essential in the next president. It...

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Witty Comebacks That Could Have Changed History

Turns out there is a fancy French word, “l’esprit d’escalier” to describe an artful, witty comeback.  It literally means “staircase wit” as in one only realizes their missed opportunity for a great comeback too late, as they are exiting down a staircase.  Writer Joseph Epstein had a fun column in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that suggested a few clever gamechangers. Dan Quayle [was] the victim, in a 1988 debate with Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, of a notable put-down. Mr. Quayle compared his experience to that of John F. Kennedy, to which Bentsen famously replied: “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.” I wonder...

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Fake News Hits Fergus Falls: CNN Award-Winning Journalist Fired for Fabricating His Story

The small town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota is in the news because Class Relotius, the recently-fired journalist for the German publication Der Spiegel, completely lied when writing portions of his story about the Minnesota town, and many other stories he has written over the last several years. In a hilarious twist of irony, Relotius won CNN's "Journalist of the Year, 2014. Talk about some serious schadenfreude. The Washington Post (yes, that Washington Post) reports: "Relotius wrote that city administrator Andrew Bremseth had never been with a woman and had never been to the ocean, claims that were easily debunked by a photo on Bremseth’s Facebook...

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