Category Archives: analysis

You go, Guv!

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Governor Mark Dayton just said no to all the Republican omnibus bills over the past week. Notice, I said Republican omnibus bills – because these bills were all about partisanship and not at all about consensus or compromise, and most of all, they were not about what’s best for Minnesota. Continue reading

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Fact-checking the news: January 10

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Image by kkirugi, posted under Creative Commons license

The flood of news and propaganda continues, and so I’m occasionally drawn into fact checking. Here are some of my fact checks for the past 24 hours. Continue reading

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Confirmation bias: I really wanted to believe

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The Guardian article about Julian Assange, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Vladimir Putin was one I wanted to believe.

I read The Guardian, and rely on this British publication for accurate, wide-ranging reporting on world news, including U.S. news, since we are part of the world. I also read and rely on The Intercept, a publication edited by Glenn Greenwald, Betsy Reed, and Jeremy Scahill, and funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. So when The Intercept said an article in The Guardian was “completely false,” they got my attention. Continue reading

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Not really the news: Outright lies and hoaxes

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 10.46.01 PMDid President Obama really sign an executive order banning the pledge of allegiance in schools nationwide? Must be real — you can read it in abcnews.com.co. Oh, wait — that’s a phony news site, set up to steal the reputation of the real ABC News and get you to believe fake stories. Just like nbc.com.co or foxnews.com.co or cbs.com.co — all fake sites set up by the News Examiner, which also publishes phony news. Because theses “shill” sites look, at first glance, like legit news organizations, their phony news gets picked up and spread, often over social media and sometimes even fooling real news organizationsContinue reading

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Christmas week: Terrorism — fighting fear with facts

The Facts Come Forward

©Fotolia File: #78917611 | Author: Mark Carrel

Right after the shootings in San Bernardino, the terrorism talk started. Media and politicians said:

The politicians and the headlines, it turns out, were wrong. And that matters. In a season that proclaims hope for peace and good will, we can begin by countering fear-mongering with facts. Continue reading

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Christmas week: From inequality to hope

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 10.28.58 AMTalking Points Memo published an important four-part series in December, The March to Inequality: How did we get here? It’s one of my Christmas week readings, which I recommend despite its distinctly un-merry description. To balance the darkness, I also recommend bell hooks’ recent New York Times interview. But first, Josh Marshall’s introduction to the terrible inequality of today’s economy:

“Half a century ago, the US political economy was profoundly different. Wealth and income inequality were at historically low levels. The US still had the immense advantage of being the factory for rebuilding the world after the devastation that scarred much of the globe during the Second World War. And unions were a pervasive feature of the industrial economy. So how did we get from there to here?”

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The Pawlenty Court

Last week, Governor Tim Pawlenty appointed two die-hard conservative allies to positions on the Minnesota Supreme Court. And there’s nothing that anyone can do about it. Continue reading

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Judging Elena Kagan

She’s too liberal, too conservative, too single, too smart, too … softball? She hasn’t been a judge. She has worked for two presidents. Which of these disqualifies Elena Kagan as a potential Supreme Court justice? Which of these is even relevant to her confirmation? Continue reading

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Globalization and immigration: What future for Minnesota?

From the development of the computer to the refinement of bypass surgery by a Mexican immigrant to the creation of Google, immigrants leave a deep imprint on our society, Dr. Marcelo Suárez-Orozco told the Hendrickson Ethical Leadership Forum on April 28. Continue reading

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Turning around failing schools – a recipe that works

Turning around failing schools is not rocket science, John Simmons told an overflow crowd in the basement of University Lutheran Church of Hope on April 16. Nor, he said, is it necessary to fire principals and teachers to turn around schools. He believes – and his organization’s record shows – that it’s possible to turn around school performance by empowering the teachers and principals, and the students and parents, who are already there.  Continue reading

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