RIP Rod Grams: Once A Senator, Always A Senator

Oct 09

RIP Rod Grams: Once A Senator, Always A Senator

Former U.S. Senator and Twin Cities newscaster Rod Grams has died. In this 2001 story — one of the last informal interviews he gave — Grams rued the loss of his Senate seat to now-Gov. Mark Dayton, and tried to make peace with his past and return to his farm roots. He never seemed comfortable in his skin. From the Pioneer Press: The Summer of His...

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When Minnesota Groveled for Gorbachev and Lost Its Soul

Jun 03

When Minnesota Groveled for Gorbachev and Lost Its Soul

I wrote this critique of Mikhail Gorbachev’s June 3, 1990 visit to Minnesota two weeks in advance of the actual event. Although I am a well-known Commie (mouth-breathing righties think so), this piece still stands up well: Minnesota’s leaders will go to bed with anyone if it inflates their prestige, and pads their bottom lines. GORBY-GROVELING A BIT...

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God, We’ll Miss Her: Michele Bachmann Turns MN Capitol into House of Gay Bashers

May 29

God, We’ll Miss Her: Michele Bachmann Turns MN Capitol into House of Gay Bashers

I wrote this in 2004, when then- State Sen. Michele Bachmann turned the Capitol into a den of homophobes. Satan raised a hideous hand in the State Capitol on Friday. But the faithful fought back with prayer. State Sen. Michele Bachmann ‘s 10-year-old daughter had taken sick and had been rushed to an emergency room. Bachmann , R-Stillwater, is the author of a...

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Free At Last: Same-Sex Marriage Victory Rocks St. Paul, Not To Mention Church and State

May 19

Free At Last: Same-Sex Marriage Victory Rocks St. Paul, Not To Mention Church and State

This post is re-published here from www.theuptake.org An estimated 7,000 people partied down in St. Paul Tuesday, coming to the Capitol lawn and braving record 98-degree heat to celebrate the dawn of a new era: Same-sex marriages are now enshrined in law — a law signed under the blazing sun by Gov. Mark Dayton after a week’s worth of impassioned debates...

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Happy 50th to the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band

May 19

Happy 50th to the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band

Over the years, I’ve had a close relationship with the Brian Boru Irish bagpipe band of St. Paul, a band named after the High King of Ireland who defeated the Vikings (defeating the Vikings used to be more difficult in olden times than it is today) at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. I had these good guys play at my wedding reception. They ate all the food...

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Minnesota Gun Safety: Shot Down By…Democrats?!!!

May 06

Minnesota Gun Safety: Shot Down By…Democrats?!!!

  This post is re-published from The UpTake, where it first appeared. All winter long, hundreds of gun-carrying opponents of gun safety laws crowded the Minnesota State Capitol, ostentatiously presenting their numbers and their obvious weapons during the difficult debates over proposals to tighten gun safety laws in the state. So I was surprised, upon entering...

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Ernest Wabasha: The Burden of History

May 05

Ernest Wabasha: The Burden of History

I was 30 years old, a journalist with a passing knowledge of Indian history. Yet it had never occurred to me, until I came across the name of Ernest Wabasha one day, that people still lived among us who were connected to the terrible events of 1862-63, the time of the so-called “Sioux Uprising” and the exile and banishment of the Dakota Sioux from their homeland....

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GUNS WIN! Shoot-Out at the Capitol Corral

Feb 08

GUNS WIN! Shoot-Out at the Capitol Corral

Update on The UpTake: Today, 2-14-13, I ask how Minnesota is supposed to try to have a real discussion about guns when the discussion room is FULL of guns. Please see: www.theuptake.org                                       — Nick Coleman   What a week for guns! Minnesota was awash in gun talk this week, starting with...

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Obama Minneapolis Visit Highlights Gun Control Divide

Feb 06

Obama Minneapolis Visit Highlights Gun Control Divide

(The following post was written for The UpTake) Story by Nick Coleman. Videography by Jacob Wheeler & Allison Herrera (updated 3:43 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013) President Barack Obama visited Minneapolis Monday to try to light a fire under his campaign to reduce gun violence in America. But even as he was speaking to a gathering of law enforcement officers, local leaders...

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Not Exactly, “Off With Their Heads!” Dayton Raises Taxes on Rich by 2 Percent.

Jan 23

Not Exactly, “Off With Their Heads!” Dayton Raises Taxes on Rich by 2 Percent.

This post was published originally by The UpTake, www.theuptake.org A somewhat gimpy Gov. Mark Dayton, walking gingerly after recent back surgery, threw down a challenge Tuesday to the “powerful opposition” he said he expects to resist his budget plan for the 2014-15 biennium, which includes a 2-percent tax increase on Minnesota’s wealthiest 2...

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