Recent Articles

State of the Union


Great speech – now what are you going to do? Every year for as long as I can remember, the president of the U.S. gives a speech to us that is designed to make the working person feel as if the government works on their behalf. Of course it kind of does, but not really. Nothing ever really changes. The government churns along for the benefit of the wealthy, the big banks, the captains of industry and corporations. Continue Reading →

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Finding common ground

MSR Editorial

Standing up for the middle class in new Congress

I’m grateful to the people of Minnesota for giving me the chance to serve a second term as senator. And I’m ready to keep fighting for middle-class families and for families aspiring to be in the middle class. Republicans now control the Senate majority, and while serving in the minority will be a new experience for me, my job will remain the same: working hard for Minnesota. And just as I worked across the aisle during my first term when Democrats held the majority, I’ll look for areas of agreement with my Republican colleagues. For example, both sides agree we need to cut wasteful spending so we can fund important priorities like education and research and development without running up the deficit. Continue Reading →

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The plantation bowl


White profit, Black poverty in college sports

The “hoorah” is over for the January 12, 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship game. Ohio State University was crowned, salvaging the Big Ten’s reputation. The Pac 12’s Ducks of Oregon lost and must wait for another opportunity. But two injustices continue: racism in college sports and funding college plantation sports programs on the backs of student athletes, many being African American. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote about “why we can’t wait.” Around the world, young people want access to opportunity and fairness. Continue Reading →

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s expansive dream


Martin Luther King, Jr.’s actual birthday is January 15, and I believe if he were alive today he would be well pleased with Ava DuVernay’s film Selma. Many people working for justice today stand on the shoulders of Martin Luther King, Jr. and what he achieved in Selma. But I believe King’s vision of justice is often gravely limited and misunderstood. Too many people thought then, and continue to think, that King’s statements regarding justice were only about race and the African American community. We fail to see how King’s vision of inclusion and community is far wider than we might have once imagined. Continue Reading →

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Remembering Cuomo, Brooke and Scott

MSR Editorial

“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities…because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”  — Winston Churchill

Just as we welcomed in the New Year with various renditions of Auld Lang Syne and well-wishing cheers, we also met 2015 with solemn reverence as we mourned the loss of three great Americans, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, former United States Senator Edward Brooke III and ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott. Each of these men charted a new course and left an indelible mark on America with their passion, pioneering spirit and principled approach to leaving our nation a better place than they found it. Mario Cuomo, who passed on New Year’s Day at 82 years old, was lionized as a great voice for liberalism, the New Deal and the Great Society from the 1970s through the 1990s, particularly during the Reagan years. Governor of New York from 1983 through 1994, Cuomo, the son of immigrants whose deep commitment to values was shaped by his Italian American upbringing in Queens, NY, was widely celebrated for his stirring speeches and oratorical skills. I had the fortune to be in San Francisco at the Moscone Center during the 1984 Democratic National Convention as a young delegate for Jesse Jackson when Cuomo gave his now very famous speech on the haves and the have-nots, a speech that has as much relevance today as it did 30 years ago. Continue Reading →

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