Daily Reformer: Happy MLK Day

January 21, 2020 10:56 pm

Good morning and happy MLK Jr. Day. Government is closed for the day, but Daily Reformer is not. 

Gov. Tim Walz was at the 30th Annual MLK Holiday Breakfast at the Armory in Minneapolis this morning and then will host the 34th Annual MLK Day Celebration at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul. 

King writes to his “fellow clergyman” while sitting in a jail cell:

One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Ala., who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: “My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest.” They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience’ sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

This morning at Daily Reformer, two pieces from academics about the civil rights struggle in the post-King era. One tries to measure economic progress (a little, but not much) while the other examines the socio-economic stratification of our schools

That’s our Amy! Sen. Amy Klobuchar endorsed by the The New York Times ed board, the same paper that a year ago in its news pages detailed a pattern of workplace bullying by our senior senator. The Times ed board’s televised interviews and reality TV style of announcing their endorsement certainly gave the event more juice than usual. It’s a nice boost, to be sure. (Her endorsement from the Quad City Times on the same day was arguably more important.)

But it’s not 1930 anymore. Newspaper endorsements, especially in presidential contests, don’t matter as much as they used to. Hillary Clinton won 56 endorsements of the 60 largest in the country in 2016

Weekend reads: The Star Tribune with a richly reported story on whether farmers are abandoning Trump. Short answer: No.

A couple things stuck out: The piece notes the tough times farmers have endured, with bad weather and their soybeans piled up unsold. 

But as Bloomberg notes, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has projected net farm income this year will reach $88 billion, up from $84 billion last year and the best in 5 years. Of course, most of that is due to the $28 billion cash payments of farmers. (That’s more than twice the auto bailout.)

So if farmers are sticking with Trump, maybe it’s because his, hmm, what’s the word…let’s be polite and call it favorable policies? 

Also, this from the Star Tribune story: 

Noah Hultgren, Nate’s brother, wants less government spending, opposes abortion and is wary of policies such as Medicare for All or eliminating college debt. For a lot of farmers social issues outweigh the losses they’ve taken from tariffs, he said.

“Less government spending”? What about the $28 billion farm bailout? Can we cut that?

The special primary election for district 60a to replace the late Rep. Diane Loeffler is tomorrow. Here’s some analysis from a DFLer in the know: 

We think the win number will be like 700-800. Sydney Jordan, Sonia Neculescu, Jessica Intermill, maybe Amal Ibrahim are running legit campaigns. The first 3 have all raised roughly the same, all have some endorsements and know what they’re doing. Kinda feels like anyone’s game when you get into the field.

Good luck everyone!

To Jill Lepore’s “These Truths,” an appropriate day to share this anecdote:

In the longest section of Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence, he blamed George III for African slavery, charging the king with waging “cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery,” preventing the colonies from outlawing the slave trade and, “that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact distingued die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms against us.”

It’s a weird passage. Jefferson was a slave owner. He’s blaming the king both for slavery and encouraging slave rebellion. 

Congress struck the passage, so it does not appear in the final document. 

Have a great day all. JPC

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

J. Patrick Coolican
J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican is Editor-in-Chief of Minnesota Reformer. Previously, he was a Capitol reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five years, after a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and time at the Las Vegas Sun, Seattle Times and a few other stops along the way. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and two young children