‘Eric Mortensen is the village idiot’: Right and far right battle over Walz’s emergency powers

BY: - June 14, 2021

This was ripped from Daily Reformer, our email newsletter about Minnesota politics and policy. Sign up here. Sen. Dave Osmek, who occupies the farthest right of the Senate Republican caucus, has a habit of being very blunt in his communications, be they in email or the floor of the Senate. He let loose on someone […]


If a tree falls and there was no story about it in the paper, did it happen? | Opinion

BY: - June 14, 2021

There’s a crisis at the border. No, not that border. And not that crisis. This one directly affects Minnesotans’ lives and the viability of our local democracy. On June 24, the International Falls Journal will cease publication, ending a 118-year run of journalistic service to this isolated small town in far northern Minnesota. The news […]


The Democrats’ solution to the Manchin problem? Move on. | Opinion

BY: - June 11, 2021

As a Democrat from a staunchly Republican state, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, is a vanishing breed, not only in contemporary American politics, but in a Democratic Party that is steadily tacking to the left. The senator from the Mountain State has tied his party in knots this year with an insistence on […]


The great mask conundrum | Column

BY: - June 10, 2021

Last week, Washington Post columnist Tamar Haspel tweeted: “My local supermarket has (a) sign saying they ‘strongly encourage’ everyone to wear a mask. Do you wear one, and feel silly engaging in hygiene theater? Or not wear one and feel a little like an (a–hole)?” It’s a great question, and on a lot of people’s […]


On critical race theory: We don’t arrive at truth until suffering speaks | Opinion

BY: - June 9, 2021

The late historian John Henrik Clarke explained the dominant subculture’s preoccupation with manipulating history. Europeans “began manipulating history in the 15th century to justify the slave trade,” said Clarke, a pioneer in Pan-African studies, during an interview with Tony Brown on Brown’s eponymous show in the 1970s. Modern racism incubated during this period, Clarke said. […]


Minnesotans need to open our eyes about problem gambling | Column

BY: - June 8, 2021

At dawn on July 30, 2016, Terra Carbert was in her car with $2 in cash, enough for a gallon of gas to get home.  “I left the casino that night staring at the lake across the street from Little 6, and thinking I could just floor it,” she told me recently. “I could just […]


Filibusted: Experts say the time has come to end Senate practice

BY: - June 7, 2021

Even the stuffy, florid name of the procedure, “filibuster” sounds like something conceived around a table of wig-wearing Founding Fathers. While the name has its roots in the 18th Century (with pirates nonetheless), the concept and practice in the United States Senate is much younger, not being implemented in a modern form until 1917. Known […]

Hat with words Immigrant make America great

Minnesota must remember African immigrants as we craft COVID-19 recovery plans | Opinion

BY: - June 4, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic affected all of us, but communities of color have been disproportionately affected. From loss of lives to the economic impact, the toll has been heavy.  After over a year of lockdown and physical distancing, the country is reopening.  Unfortunately, our communities are not recovering at the same pace as the rest of […]


Congress can’t do much about fixing local police — but it can tie strings to federal grants | Opinion

BY: - June 3, 2021

Since the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and massive protests in 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd, there has been widespread interest in the problems of racism in American policing. Whether calls for reform or for wholesale defunding of police departments, there appears to be substantial appetite for change. Just […]


In defense of the bureaucracy | Opinion

BY: - June 2, 2021

Thirty years ago, my dad missed a very important turn. Driving my mother to the hospital, and perhaps owing to the end-of-May legislative session, he was fatigued and dwelling on last-minute legislative work for his state agency. Fortunately, the missed turn did not preclude a healthy baby boy from being born, a “session baby.” So […]


Where is the outraged sense of self-preservation when we are under attack by our own? | Column

BY: - June 1, 2021

The protests we’ve seen against police, i.e., occupying storm troopers, are an understandable, even obligatory response of Black people, borne of self-preservation.  But also I’m sorry to say it’s open to question how much Black lives indeed matter to Black communities. Where is the outraged sense of self-preservation when we are under attack by our […]


Remarks of then-President Barack Obama at Arlington, Memorial Day, 2016

BY: - May 31, 2021

Secretary Carter, General Dunford, Mr. Hallinan, Major General Becker, members of our Armed Forces, veterans, and most of all, our Gold Star families: I’m honored to be with you once again as we pay our respects, as Americans, to those who gave their lives for us all. Here, at Arlington, the deafening sounds of combat […]