Former Vice President Dick Cheney once said that with just a 1-in-100 chance that Pakistan was helping al-Qaeda to develop nuclear weapons, we must treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. Yet, with a 95-in-100 likelihood that humans are triggering a warmer climate — the recent conclusion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a political atmosphere of “uncertainty” about the need for action has bred... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT At the commencement ceremony last week for some 1,200 proud young scientists and engineers graduating from the University of Minnesota, several speakers reminded us that from these ranks in previous years came the job-producing creativity that helped nurture Medtronic, Cray Research, 3M, and Cargill, as well as life-enhancing innovations in agriculture, medicine and technology. Over the same weekend, as ou... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT This month the Duluth News Tribune published an editorial-page spread with pro-and-con on a most delightful post-election trend: Elected officials are reneging on the no-new-taxes pledge foisted on them for more than 20 years by anti-government taxophobe Grover Norquist, powerful president of Americans for Tax Reform. (“Deform” would be more accurate.) A key element in the op-ed layout was an e... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT We may just be reaching a consensus on what most Minnesotans and most Americans really believe about taxes and the size and role of their governments in an increasingly diverse state and nation. First, amid all the exultation over a “New America,” let’s just make it clear that conservatism’s death has been greatly exaggerated. That durable philosophy is very much alive, if not all t... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT A few weeks ago I stood before the New Port Richey (Florida) City Council and asked the members not to further cut a library budget that had already been eviscerated. I held up an ancient book — “The Library Book” — which I wrote in 1984 to mark the centennial of the Minneapolis Public Library. In my research, I told the council members, I’d learned that a library is an econom... Read More
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