The Tea Party movement fancies itself a populist uprising. The basic theme is that working stiffs and ALL Americans are overtaxed and that ordinary Americans can't possiby pay another penny without becoming slaves to a socialist government. Sarah Palin herself articulated the message for the umpteenth time at a rally in Boston on April 15, clearly implying that taxes were a big burden on all ... Read More
We can't compete with Jason Lewis when it comes to pushing hot buttons and provoking ideological flamers, left and right. Our Feb. 21 front-page Sunday Star Tribune Op-Ex commentary, making a reasoned, pro-business case for raising taxes, to address our historic budget crisis and to continue investing in human capital and infrastructure, elicited 36 comments. Mayb... Read More
Eminent historian Alan Brinkley (Columbia University professor, an authority on 1930s populist movements of the left and the right and the New Deal, also son of legendary TV anchor David Brinkley) was in town this week and offered some timely wisdom at the Humphrey Institute about the conservative populist uprising.Brinkley is himself a progressive and a voice for "pragmatic liberalism.'' Although an admirer of Pre... Read More
The demise of Home Valu (it will always be affectionately thought of as Plywood Minnsota to us old-timers) reminds me that its owner, former U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, has been a stand-up guy in many respects: a good family man, a community-minded business leader, serious about his Jewish faith and traditions, and at times a voice for moderation and common sense as a Republican Party leader. The announceme... Read More
Watch for lots of retrospective media commentary in the next couple of weeks, as we mark the end of one of the worst years in the economic history of Minnesota and the United States, but also one of the worst decades in modern times. The pundits will offer us a zillion theoretical causes for these hard times, from the 9/11 trauma at the start of this blighted decade, to dislocations from a more global e... Read More
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