“Fascism is the result of the failure of the left to provide an alternative”

March 27, 2017

Update 4/7/17: Readers here know that I am an admirer of writer Thomas Frank. He just finished a long and international book tour that ended in his home town, Kansas City. I am sure it was kind of a valedictory presentation for him. Here’s a video of his appearance at the Kansas City Public Library; […]

Dogs get blamed for farts, too

December 17, 2016

There was a reprint of a WaPo article in the Strib this morning, about how the FBI was now agreeing with the CIA about Russian hacking of the DNC and Clinton campaign chair, John Podesta. Great, I thought, seizing the newspaper, now we will get to the bottom of this! But not really. It was […]

How Donald Trump almost won Minnesota

November 30, 2016

Donald Trump came as close to winning Minnesota as any Republican since Ronald Reagan, is a sentence I never expected I would write, but here we are. Donald Trump lost Minnesota by 1.5%, the closest margin in a Presidential race in the state since Walter Mondale beat Reagan by less than a quarter of a percent […]

Damn you, Electoral Collage!

November 22, 2016

I saw a tweet the other day blaming the “Electoral Collage” for Hillary Clinton’s loss. A typo, no doubt, but I like the imagery. There has been a lot of blaming of the Electoral College for the Democrats’ losses, noting that Clinton won the popular vote, which she did. But that is not the way we […]

Welcome to LeftMN

November 14, 2016

There are some new readers here because of my Commentary in the Star Tribune (Monday evening on the website and in the Tuesday paper edition; please read it before continuing here) in support of Keith Ellison’s run for the chair of the Democratic National Committee. We’re glad you came over to check us out and hope […]

This is why you can’t get a majority opinion out of the Supreme Court

November 6, 2016

In the Op Ex section of the Strib on today, rather than trying to write a single editorial about What the Hell is Going On, they gave everybody some ink in signed pieces. They called it What, us worry? It was pretty good, really. I can only imagine the editorial board meeting leading up to […]

Here a VAT, etc., part three

October 3, 2016

See the update at the foot of the story. In the first and second stories in this series, I described how the international trading system is stacked against US manufacturing workers, and that much of it is our own fault. Or more accurately, it is because we want it that way. The neo-liberal elites who […]

Here a VAT, etc., part two

October 2, 2016

Now with an update at the foot of the story. (10/3) And a second update. (10/4) In an earlier story, I wrote about value added taxes everywhere but the US, and how they can disadvantage US business. There is much more to this story, of course. One of the first thing we must realize is what […]

Here a VAT; there a VAT; everywhere a VAT VAT

September 30, 2016

I had an animated conversation with someone recently about value added taxes, arising in part out of Donald Trump’s mention of them in the recent debate as a disadvantage to the United States. My conversation partner said VAT was neutral, since everyone selling in a market pays them. I said that’s true as far as […]

Leave the Clintons alone, or the AIDS kid gets it

August 30, 2016

The headline is harsh, I recognize. But it is only a shorter, somewhat editorialized version of the op-ed piece in the Strib, written by Sharon Schmickle, a former reporter at the paper. Don’t dismantle the Clinton Foundation, Schmickle pleads; it does good work. And she quotes the entirely impartial Donna Shalala: Shalala says that only the Clintons can do […]

A David Schultz reader

August 2, 2016

Hamline’s Professor David Schultz has had a series of insightful posts about the presidential race on his blog, Schultz’s Take. Professor Schultz writes stories here once in a while, and I am tempted to crib his latest batch en masse. But I will make you go over to his blog instead. You might start with […]

Who’s really the hair trigger candidate, anyway?

June 3, 2016

On Thursday, June 2nd, Hillary Clinton had one of those adolescent run up to the door, ring the bell, and run away moments. She said, in a moment of actual clarity (I guess that is what it was), that this was “actual reality,” and that Donald Trump was “thin-skinned” and might plunge the US into war […]