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In this age of 24/7 political news, it ought not be surprising that many people, particularly those under 30, have simply tuned it all out. Now the Minnesota Legislature is considering doing something about it. A bipartisan group wants to require that all students pass a civics class before …

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Several weeks ago, I went in for my annual physical. In passing, I mentioned to my physician that I enjoyed shoveling snow because it is a good workout. He didn’t say anything at first, but he gave me a look that suggested he was considering whether a mental evaluation may be in order. Then,…

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Last fall, Minnesota elected a new governor, Tim Walz, who advocated for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. When the ECM/APG Editorial Board questioned him about that position, he said we were deluding ourselves if we thought that recreational pot smoking was not widespread already.

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This week, news came that the New York Legislature has passed a law allowing abortion right up to the moment the person leaves the womb. Then came word that the Virginia Legislature is thinking about taking that liberalization one step further.

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On Jan. 10, a collective sigh of relief blew across the Northland. It came with the news that 13-year-old Jayme Closs of Barron, Wis., had managed to free herself after being held captive for 88 days by a 21-year-old man who had murdered her parents.

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In 1968, between Jan. 30 and March 12, North Vietnam’s Tet offensive began. CBS News' Walter Cronkite opined that the war could not be won and Minnesota anti-war Sen. Eugene McCarthy made an unexpectedly strong showing in the New Hampshire presidential primary. Shortly thereafter, the United…

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Back in September, a salesman visited us at our house. This was during the same week that Christine Blasey Ford was alleging and Supreme Court nominee Brett Cavanaugh was denying that 35 years ago he had manhandled her into a bedroom against her will.

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If I were president, as soon as I had been inaugurated, I would have gone to Congress with the following plan. The program would have been created because I may have been so bold as to promise that the U.S. would build a wall to deter illegal immigration — and that the Mexicans would pay for it.

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We asked the cracked crystal ball, full of glue and covered with duct tape though it is, to come up with 20 predictions for 2019. The ball responded, “In my condition, how to you expect me to have 2020 vision in 2019?”

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Out of the murk come former Trump advisers George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, holding something. Coming closer, it appears to be 2018 propped up by its suspenders. The poor fellow may yet make it to the finish line.

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For Minnesotans, Christmas comes when the days are among the darkest and coldest of the year. If we take the time to step back from the modern-day holiday’s commercialism, from the rush to buy gifts to the office parties to the extra baking, card writing, children’s pageants, etc., we may fi…

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How would you like one of your county commissioners to be ultimately responsible for the quality, access and cost of your health care? It may not be the commissioner in your district, but it will be one from your county.

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The day after the mid-term elections, President Trump held a news conference. The most reported part was when he called out reporter Jim Acosta of CNN for refusing to give up the microphone.

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One of the arguments commonly made by conservatives for keeping government from meddling in business is that businesses are more efficient in allocating capital. If they don’t, more efficient business people will drive them out of the marketplace.

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As the last of the confetti is swept away and the rapidly deflating balloons are popped, it’s time to raise our heads off the bar, look in the mirror and determine what we just did.

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A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine died unexpectedly in his sleep. Such losses are too often needed as reminders that each day is precious, and that the most important relationships in each of our lives are family and friends.

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While most of this campaign season has been focused on the races for Congress and governor an exceptionally important race is happening in our own backyard. State Sen. Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville, president pro tempore of the Senate, was forced to resign that position in order to becom…

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On the day after Labor Day, before the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court went nuclear, the Senate Judiciary Committee opened confirmation hearings. Kavanaugh did not speak for the first 90 minutes because senators were preening in the spotlight of heightened media attention.

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As I have mentioned before, I serve on the APG/ECM Editorial Board that will be rolling out endorsements over the next few weeks. We interviewed the Democrat and Republican candidates for Congress and governor for at least an hour each.

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I recalled the old story recently about the three students in a science classroom when the teacher was momentarily called to the office. While the teacher was gone, one of the students started a fire in the wastebasket.

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After being gone for a few days on a family visit, I returned to learn that Jeff Johnson and Tim Walz won their primaries handily. Walz was not much of a surprise, but Johnson was.

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I’ve said in this space before that money raised is a great predictor in winning elections, but it is not the only factor. The candidate raising the most money will win about 85 to 90 percent of the time. This year, with Minnesota’s primary election only two weeks away, Minnesota is experien…

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Some Republicans are saying that Keith Ellison’s decision to leave Congress will be their saving grace in this election. When Attorney General Lori Swanson decided to run for governor, Ellison chose to seek her old seat.

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Seven weeks ago, Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the bulk of the Minnesota Legislature’s efforts in 2018. Contrary to what we were told at the time, the sun has continued to rise and set each day and the end of oceanic tides has yet to be noted.

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Most people have heard the term “sanctuary cities,” whereby local governments (and also the entire state of California) choose not to help the federal government enforce immigration laws.

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Several months ago, when President Trump was calling North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man” and warning him that he had a bigger nuclear button, I figured that I should start reading up on North Korea. News lately has been more positive.

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It’s always good to get out and about. Ten days ago, the APG East Central (formerly ECM) Editorial Board, of which I am a member, made its annual trek to the State Capitol in St. Paul. Normally we visit with legislative leaders and the governor to hear firsthand their views on the issues of …

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Weird. That’s the best way to term today’s politics in Minnesota’s 8th District. Case in point: Five DFL candidates sought their party’s endorsement on April 14 — and came away with nothing. This, even though it is one of a handful of seats nationwide that both parties are targeting as a Rep…

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Back when I reported on politics full time, I had the opportunity to interview Minnesota’s youngest ever governor, Harold Stassen. At age 31, Stassen was elected in 1938, and then twice more before resigning in 1943 to join the Navy.

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    Sometimes, one has to despair as a political conservative. Each election, conservatives try to vote for candidates who recognize human nature is flawed, and when everyone seems to agree on an idea, that is the time to be most on alert. Experience teaches us there are no perfect answers, …

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    Except for driving faster than the speed limit, probably no law in America is ignored more than the use of marijuana. Pew Research Center, a liberal think tank, reported in a recent study that 49 percent of Americans have tried marijuana and 12 percent have used marijuana in the past year.

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    Last week, I wrote that the 2017 year-end campaign financial reports suggest that Democrats will gain seats in the Minnesota House this year. This week, let’s take a look at how Minnesota’s candidates for Congress are doing financially. In legislative races, the candidates who have the m…

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Historically, the U.S. president’s party, does not fare well in the off-year congressional elections. For example, the U.S. Senate seat now held by DFLer Amy Klobuchar has been won only once (in 1982) by the president’s party in the off year.

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You may think that nothing could top 2017 for true zaniness, but we are off to another fine start in 2018. Already, President Trump has told Kim Jung Un that he had a bigger nuclear button, and then told the American people that he himself is “a very stable genius.” In spite of the news, the…

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Nobody can make these things up. I sure couldn’t. The proverbial crystal ball has turned to dust, cracking up from all the bizarre twists that comprised something called the year 2017.