Minnesota Cage Match

Democrats ex machina

Featured image The latest development in Minnesota’s budget standoff/government shutdown is the announcement of a supposedly bipartisan committee of elder statesmen to resolve the crisis. Over at MinnPost, former Star Tribune columnist Doug Grow can barely contain his excitement. The Star Tribune reports on the formation of the committee here. Announced by Democratic former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Republican Governor Arne Carlson (emphasis on former Republican), the committee will search »

Were the Founders Democrats?

Featured image Normally we wouldn’t bother to critique an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but this one by political reporter Dane Smith, which implicitly addresses the current budget standoffs in both Washington and Minnesota, is perhaps worth a brief review. Smith’s theme is that today’s conservatives, especially those associated with the Tea Party, are like the anti-federalists who opposed the creation of the United States. Federalist heroes, notably George Washington and »

What’s wrong with this picture?

Featured image In “Dayton’s moment to decide,” Star Tribune political reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger purports to summarize the impasse that has produced Minnesota’s government shutdown. According to Stassen-Berger, Minnesota’s highly medicated governor faces a stark choice: “Dayton must decide whether to stick to his principles against determined opponents, or seek a fresh, if painful, compromise.” As usual with Stassen-Berger’s reportage on the budget battle, critical facts go missing in the interest of her »

A Tale of Two Shutdowns

Featured image Minnesota’s government shutdown has made national news, in part because it foreshadows, in some respects, the battle that will play out in Washington over the next month on the debt ceiling. What has happened in Minnesota is clearcut: our Republican legislature passed a budget for the next two years, consisting of nine spending bills. Our Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, didn’t think the legislature spent enough money, so he vetoed them. »

Katherine Kersten can’t say that, can she?

Featured image Over on the editorial pages of the Star Tribune, Katherine Kersten looks at some of the circumstantial evidence suggesting that the current government shutdown is the consummation devoutly wished by our highly medicated Governor Mark Dayton. My friend Kathy writes: Dayton — and the DFL legislators who support his plan — needed a dramatic way to persuade fiscally conservative Minnesotans to support their big-spending ways. A government shutdown could do »

Shut down the Star Tribune

Featured image In the budget standoff leading to the shutdown of the Minnesota state government, the army of reporters at the Minneapolis Star Tribune has played a bizarre role. The army first devoted itself to the catastrophes that would befall us in the event of a shutdown. It worked the hell out of the looming catastrophes until June 30. On July 1 the army made a transition. Now the Star Tribune is »

The play’s the thing

Featured image Yesterday I wrote that the Star Tribune was spinning the breakdown of negotiations between Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders on Dayton’s behalf. Seeking to understand the dynamics of the negotiations leading to the shutdown, I sought out a copy of the parties’ various positions as revealed in their most recent written offers. Here they are. I am sure these final four written offers were as readily available »

Minnesota cage match, cont’d

Featured image The big news in Minnesota today is the coming of the state government shutdown as of midnight last night. The shutdown is the result of a budget battle between Minnesota’s highly medicated Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and a Republican legislature led by House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. Zellers and Koch have done a fine job standing their ground and holding their troops together so far »