Senate District 49 Democrats

Bloomington - Eden Prairie - Edina - Minnetonka

Office: 7001 Cahill Road, Suite 21, Edina [Map]
Mail: PO Box 24073, Edina, MN 55424

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9/28/17     Adjuncts:  Marginalized academic workers

This article reviews the often desperate situation of adjunct teaching staff, who endure low pay and employment insecurity.

 

8/19/17     How the Republican Party quietly does the work of white supremacists

In this article former Senator Russ Feingold nails it--Republican support for voter suppression and gerrymandering are "aimed at one outcome: a voting class that is predominantly white, and in turn majority Republican."

 

8/16/17     The secretive voter-purge crusade behind Trump's bogus elections commission

This article provides an excellent description of the right-wing groups working to suppress voter participation.

 

8/7/17     Our broken economy, in one simple chart

In this article NYT columnist David Leonhardt draws on recent academic research to portray graphically the sharp increase in US income inequality in recent years.  He also notes that Trump and the Republicans want to make it even worse.

 

7/26/17     Two paths diverged: Minnesota's progressive environmental policy bests Wisconsin's neglect

This article describes the huge difference between Minnesota's progressive environmental policy and Wisconsin's reactionary approach.  Minnesota looks very good indeed!

 

7/17/17     MMB Commisssioner Frans: Minnesota's budget is really tight

In this article MMB Commissioner Myron Frans describes some of the risks facing the Minnesota budget.  The biggest is the threat of cuts by Trump and the Republican congress.

 

7/9/17     For Republicans, tax cuts for the wealthy are the main legislative priority

In this column Bloomberg columnist Al Hunt underscores the primacy of tax cuts for the wealthy in Republican legislative strategy and shows how this hidden agenda makes it hard to pass bills.

 

6/23/17     Trump:  Unprecedented lying

This article in the NYT carefully documents Trump's public lying and shows that during his first 113 days in office, he lied in public on 74 of them--about two-thirds of the time.  This is a useful piece of reportage, but it was written about a year too late.

 

6/16/17     Feingold: America risks one-party rule if gerrymandering isn't stopped

In this op-ed Russ Feingold argues that hyper-partisan gerrymandering is undermining the legitimacy of democracy in the US.

 

6/15/17     Where Democrats can find new voters

In this op-ed Thomas Edsall summarizes several studies that suggest significant potential for Democrats to gather new supporters among service workers.  However this will require a greater emphasis on economic issues, especially those most important to low-income workers.

 

6/13/17     Sanders: How Democrats can stop losing elections

In this op-ed Senator Bernie Sanders notes that in the recent UK election a key to the Labour Party's surprising gains was its progressive manifesto, which emphasized critical economic  issues; he thinks the same approach can help the Democrats to reverse the Republican gains of recent years.

 

6/10/17     Slavitt: Senate Republicans using sabotage, speed, and secrecy to gut healthcare

In this op-ed Andy Slavitt calls out Senate Majority Leader McConnell and other Republicans for their clandestine plans to take healthcare away from millions.

 

6/10/17     Reich: Trump's infrastructure scam

In this article Robert Reich examines Trump's infrastructure plan (insofar as it can be said to constitute a plan) and concludes that it's chiefly a huge tax break for wealthy persons with very little infrastructure investment likely to be generated. 

 

6/9/17     Trump: Profoundly ignorant (Part 8)

It's no secret that Democrats regard Trump as profoundly ignorant, but some Republicans have the same view. In this article a right-wing investment manager laments that Trump's incompetence may put at risk the hoped-for massive tax breaks for the wealthy.

 

6/8/17      More on the collapse of Kansas-style voodoo economics

This article provides a good description of the economic disaster caused by the Kansas tax cuts and the inability of Republicans to face the facts.  (Hat-tip to Krugman for this reference.)

 

6/8/17      The Democratic Party is in worse shape than you thought

In this op-ed New York Times columnist Thomas Edsall summarizes a group of studies that all point to the same conclusion--Democrats lose by ignoring legitimate economic issues.

 

6/7/17      Greenberg: Downplaying economic issues in 2016 "bordered on campaign malpractice"

In this article prominent pollster Stanley Greenberg documents the salience of economic issues among working-class voters and shows how downplaying those issues in 2016 was decisive in weakening the Democratic base.

 

6/7/17      Kansas: Experiment in Trumponomics

Everyone knows that when Kansas slashed business taxes several years ago, it caused an economic disaster.  Recently both Democrats and Republicans in the Kansas legislature voted to repeal most of cuts.  However relatively few are aware that the Trump tax proposals were written by the same group of extreme right-wing economists that designed the disastrous Kansas plan.  You can read about it here.

 

5/31/17      Why key state polls were wrong about Trump

In this article New York Times columnist Nate Cohn reviews factors that may have caused polls in several key states to overstate Clinton's strength.  These include undecided voters breaking heavily to Trump, inadequate stratification by educational status, etc.  However the fact remains that the national polls were quite accurate, and the state polls, though off, were within expected error ranges.

 

5/30/17      Al Franken: It's good to be "Giant of the Senate"

In this article MinnPost writer Sam Brodey reviews Senator Franken's just-published book, Al Franken: Giant of the Senate.

 

5/26/17      Summary of the legislative session

In this article MinnPost writer Briana Bierschbach provides a good summary of the deeply disappointing Minnesota legislative session.

 

5/23/17      Summers: Trump's budget is simply ludicrous

Distinguished economist (and among other things former Treasury Secretary) Larry Summers shreds the illogic and simple incompetence in Trump's budget.  You can read his comments here.

  

5/19/17      Federal Reserve: Large numbers of Americans are struggling financially

Polls consistently show that "jobs and the economy" are the most important concerns of voters.  The Federal Reserve's recent Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households shows why.  Among many shocking findings, fully 44% of all survey respondents could not cover an emergency $400 expense from their financial resources..  You can read the Federal Reserve press release here.  (It contains a link to the full report.)  Bloomberg economics columnist Noah Smith summarized the key findings and suggested several policy initiatives to address the problems; you can read his column here.  Needless to say, with Republicans in control, there is no chance that anything will be done to address the problems.

 

5/12/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the eighteenth week of the legislative session.

 

5/11/17     Paulsen: Mendacious

in this op-ed Andy Slavitt smacks down Congressman Paulsen's mendacious defense of Trumpcare.

 

5/11/17     Trump: Profoundly ignorant (Part 7)

Trump gave one of the most profoundly ignorant interviews in the history of the Economist magazine.  For a summary click here.

 

5/9/17      EPI: Proposed corporate tax cuts will do little to stimulate employment and growth

Trump and congressional Republicans are backing massive corporate income-tax cuts.  In a new analysis the Economic Policy Institute points out, correctly, that such tax breaks will benefit the very wealthy while doing little or nothing to create jobs and stimulate growth.  You can read the report here.

 

5/7/17      Warren Buffet tells it like it is: Republican healthcare bill is a huge tax break for the wealthy

At the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, famous investor and multi-billlionaire Warren Buffett stated that if the Republican healthcare bill had been in force, his tax bill would have been 17% lower.  He also pointed out that the legislation was likely to enlarge the federal deficit.  The Bloomberg account is here, and the NYT account is here.

 

5/5/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the seventeenth week of the legislative session.

 

4/29/17      The first 100 days of assaults on worker protections

In this report the Economic Policy Institute summarizes the many assaults on worker protections that have taken place during the first 100 days of Trump.

 

4/28/17      Trump:  Profoundly ignorant (Part 6)

In this article the Guardian summarizes some of the strange and unhinged statements Trump made in a recent interview.  Among other things, he thought being president would be easier than it is.  Who knew?  In this op-ed distinguished economist Paul Krugman describes life in the "Trump zone."  It's not funny.

 

4/28/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the sixteenth week of the legislative session.

 

4/21/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the fifteenth week of the legislative session.

 

4/19/17      Trump-style trickle-down is not the answer

In this blog post distinguished economist Jared Bernstein shreds a NYT op-ed, in which several Trump advisers made a plea for a range of trickle-down policy initiatives -- precisely the kind that have failed in the past.

 

4/17/17      Time for Democrats to focus on the favored few?

This op-ed argues that Democrats should focus their communication on a small group of loyal voters.  This is exactly the strategy that has proved to be distrous for Democrats in past campaigns, including 2016.

 

4/7/17      Trump:  Profoundly ignorant (Part 5)

At the end of the week the White House announced that Kevin Hassett would become the new Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.  Hassett is notorious as the economist who made the worst forecast in the last 100 years in his book Dow 36,000.  Nobody in the Administration apparently is aware of this, or if they are, they don't care.  In this blog post distinguished economist Brad DeLong shreds this helpless clown.

 

4/7/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the fourteenth week of the legislative session.

 

4/5/17      MMB Director Myron Frans: Republican budget plans using "alternative math"

This article reports that Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) Director Myron Frans sharply criticized Republican budget proposals for relying on "fake savings" in critical programs in order to gorge on tax cuts.

 

4/2/17      Our dishonest president

In this editorial the Los Angeles Times tells it like it is.  Note that this is the first part of a four-part series.

 

3/31/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the thirteenth week of the legislative session.

 

3/24/17      Poll of battleground CDs shows major shift away from Republicans due to healthcare fiasco

Politico published this summary of a Garin Hart Yang poll for Priorities USA and Patriot Majority USA, conducted during March 15-19.  In 20 congressional districts currently represented by vulnerable Republicans, voter attitudes swung sharply against Republicans in response to their efforts to repeal the ACA (Obamacare).  This was true even of Republican voters.  The poll taker concluded that "communicating across a wider playing field of competitive districts can potentially pay big dividends for Democrats in 2018."

 

3/24/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the twelfth week of the legislative session.

 

3/20/17      Wider partisan and ideological gap between younger and older voters

In this article the Pew  Research Center summarizes recent polls that show the partisan and ideological gap widening between younger and older generations.  This is encouraging for Democrats, but younger voters have a much lower turnout rate than older voters.

 

3/18/17      Al Franken: Giant of the Senate

In this article the Washington Post reports that Senator Franken is an extremely hard worker -- which is not fast-breaking news for most of us.  He also has a new book coming out in May!

 

3/16/17      Dayton's brand of budgeting is structural balance -- and it works

In this article Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly and MMB Commissioner Myron Frans highlight the many solid achievements of Minnesota's budget process, which is recognized as among the best in the nation.

 

3/10/17      Republican healthcare: Malevolence tempered by incompetence

In this blog post distinguished economist Paul Krugman clarifies the reasons for the chaos surrounding the Republican healthcare proposal.

 

3/10/17      Republican healthcare: A bill so bad it's awesome

In this op-ed distinguished economist Paul Krugman provides a succinct analysis of the Republican healthcare proposal.

 

3/10/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the tenth week of the legislative session.

 

3/6/17      At DFL convention, fear has a name

The name is Scott Walker.  Minnesota is now perilously close to becoming another Wisconsin.  This article describes the hand-wringing at the DFL convention.

 

3/3/17      How Breitbart and other right-wing extremist media dominated the 2016 presidential campaign

This article summarizes key results from a study of the ways in which right-wing media largely set the tone of the 2016 election.   Traditional and Democratic media were relatively ineffective.

  

3/2/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the ninth week of the legislative session.

 

3/1/17      Legislators deeply concerned about DFL campaign tactics

This article describes in general terms a letter addressed by a group of current and former legislators to the DFL State Central Committee regarding dysfunctional and counterproductive DFL campaign tactics.  Among the signers was Representative Paul Rosenthal (House District 49B).  You can read the letter here.

 

2/24/17      Scenes from the "With or Without" Erik Paulsen town hall

This article describes a town hall meeting that Republican Congressman Paulsen skipped (as usual).

 

2/24/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the eighth week of the legislative session.

 

2/17/17      Minnesota Republicans like Trump (surprise!)

This article, by MinnPost's Republican conduit, shows that Minnesota Republicans are mostly pleased with Trump.

 

2/17/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the seventh week of the legislative session.

 

2/15/17      Gorsuch probably would be even more extreme than Scalia

This article makes the case that Gorsuch probably would be an even more right-wing extremist Supreme Court justice than Scalia was.

 

2/11/17      Trump:  Profoundly ignorant (Part 4)

This article reports that the closest thing to an economic adviser that Trump has is Gary Cohn, formerly of Goldman Sachs.  Cohn surprised Trump by pointing out that his infrastructure proposal actually would cost money.  Nobody could have seen that coming.  Read it, laugh, and then weep.

 

2/10/17      Indivisible CD3 protests Paulsen's refusal to hold town hall meetings

This article describes a recent demonstration to persuade Congressman Paulsen to meet with his constituents in a town hall meeting--which he hasn't done in years.

 

2/10/17      Schumer:  We won't be fooled again

In this op-ed US Senate minority leader Charles Schumer underscores the perils of allowing a right-wing extremist judge to advance to the Supreme Court.

 

2/10/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the sixth week of the legislative session.

 

2/10/17      Trump:  Profoundly ignorant (Part 3)

This article reports that Trump has been surprised by how difficult it is to be president.  Who knew?

 

2/9/17      "Data-Driven" campaigns are killing the Democratic Party

This article explains how pseudo-scientific campaign tactics have done immense damage to Democrats nationally.  The DFL has made the same blunders.

 

2/8/17      Trump:  Profoundly ignorant (Part 2)

This article has more about Trump's ignorance--and notes that the White House staff includes, as yet, no economists.  Read it, laugh, and then weep.

 

2/7/17      Trump:  Profoundly ignorant (Part 1)

This article is ostensibly about how the Trump White House leaks like a bucket with no bottom.  However the most shocking revelation is the depth of Trump's ignorance--he doesn't know the first thing about the impact of the dollar's foreign-exchange value on the economy.  Read it and weep.

 

2/7/17      The New face of American unemployment

This article does a nice job of putting a human face on the chronically unemployed.  However, contrary to the title, there is nothing new.  Economists call this phenomenon "structural unemployment."  Major efforts are required to deal with it--none of which will be forthcoming during the next four years.

 

2/6/17      Chris Cillizza: Franken for president?

Senator Franken has been one of the most effective questioners of Trump's cabinet nominees.  In this column Chris Cillizza argues that Franken could be an effective challenger to Trump.  HowevThe New Face of American Unemploymenter Cillizza is one of the most widely ridiculed Washington pundits, so don't make too much of it.

 

2/3/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the fifth week of the legislative session.

 

1/27/17     Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the fourth week of the legislative session.

 

1/20/17     Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the third week of the legislative session.

 

1/17/17     Economy under Trump: Plan for the worst

In this op-ed distinguished economist Larry Summers describes some of the downside risks of Trump's likely economic policy.

 

1/13/17     Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the second week of the legislative session.

 

1/9/17     Deficits matter again

In this op-ed distinguished economist Paul Krugman explains why government deficits matter in 2017, when economic slack has been mostly eliminated, but they were not harmful in 2009, when the US economy was suffering from a deep recession.  It's Macroeconomics 101.

 

1/6/17      Senator Franzen's weekly message

This message from Senator Franzen describes the first week of the legislative session.

 

1/5/17     Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith Propose Tax Cuts for Over 450,000 Minnesotans

This press release from the Governor's Office describes the proposal to prioritize tax cuts for Minnesota families and the middle class.

 

1/4/17     Ethics Office Victimized Republican Congressman Over Rabbit Travel

This article describes an unusually corrupt Republican congressman's revenge against the Office of Congressional Ethics for, among other things, nailing him for charging his campaign fund for transporting his pet bunny.  You can't make this stuff up!

 

1/4/17     Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith Propose Jobs Bill to Create More than 22,950 Minnesota Jobs

This press release from the Governor's Office describes the proposal to invest in Minnesota's critical infrastructure.

 

1/3/17     Governor Dayton’s First Budget Proposal Would Reduce Health Insurance Premiums by 25 Percent for 125,000 Minnesotans

This press release from the Governor's Office describes the proposal to combat large premium hikes for health care.

 

1/1/17     CBPP’s top graphs of last year!

In this blog post economist Jared Bernstein summarizes critical impact's of Republicans' economic proposals.  You guessed it--millionaires win!.

 

12/28/16     Americans—especially but not exclusively Trump voters—believe crazy, wrong things

This article summarizes polling data regarding disinformation created by mass media in the US.

 

12/28/16     American public opposes almost every element of Trump's economic proposals

Economics professor Alan Blinder summarizes polling data regarding economic policy issues.

 

12/27/16     FAQ on Minnesta's new presidential primary

The office of Secretary of State Steve Simon provides background on the new presidential primary, which will debut in 2020.

 

12/22/16     The top economic charts of 2016

This article summarizes critical economic issues in 13 charts.

 

12/22/16     Fake news is not the real media threat we’re facing

This article highlights the damage done by Republican propaganda TV.

 

12/21/16     Trump is going after health care.  Will Democrats push back?

Political science and sociology professor Theda Skocpol makes the case that the coming Republican assault on health care presents an opportunity for Democrats to push back—hard.

 

12/14/16     How Clinton lost Michigan—and blew the election

This article describes the heartbreaking election disaster in Michigan.  In essence the Democratic campaign did not bother trying to persuade voters to vote for Clinton—the same blunder made in Minnesota.

 

12/10/16     Debriefing on the election disaster

DFL Chair Ken Martin made this presentation to the DFL State Central Committee.

 

12/8/16     The DFL has a problem; here's an intervention and three-step program to help

Former DFL Lieutenant Governor endorsee John Gunyou wrote this humorous and insightful op-ed column regarding the causes of the election disaster and the improvements that need to be made.

 

11/29/16     How the Democrats could win again, if they wanted

Thomas Frank, author of What's the Matter With Kansas?, argues in this article that Democrats can win again if they campaign on the issues that the voters care about. 

 

11/16/16     Where does the DFL go from here?

This article describes some of the blunders that contributed to the election disaster.