Steve Klingaman

Steve Klingaman
Minneapolis, Minnesota,
January 01
Steve Klingaman is a nonprofit development consultant and nonfiction writer specializing in personal finance and public policy. His music reviews can be found at

APRIL 13, 2011 10:05PM

Let’s Boot Iowa and New Hampshire


Can someone tell me why we have to endure Iowa and New Hampshire as the first two states to decide the candidates for president?  These two states generate half of all media coverage for the entire primary season.  Their early influence so far/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 7, 2011 8:27AM

Help Wanted: 7 Million Jobs


March jobless report triggers premature e-jubilation. 

Gushing responses to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics March labor report might set the casual observer to thinking happy days are here again.  Wall Street certainly seems to think so.  And while it is true that we have l/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 31, 2011 8:25AM

Tsunami + Wishful Thinking Spell Disaster in Japan


Disaster recovery workers inside the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. 

A 45-foot wall of water overtops a 13-foot bluff at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.  The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) call it soteigai&mdRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 24, 2011 8:26AM

AT&T & Verizon: Another Coercive Duopoly?


Okay, quick:  VISA-Mastercard, MillersCoors-Anheuser-Busch, FedEx-UPS, Dish-DirectTV, Pepsi-Coke, Moody’s-S&P; what do they all spell?  Duopoly-the peculiar market bottleneck that chokes competition, restricts consumer choice, raises prices, a/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 16, 2011 8:34AM

Are we on the brink of a national tax revolt?


Naussau County Exec Edward Mangano cuts taxes to bone, triggers state takeover of finances. 

Thirty three years ago, Proposition 13 roared out of California to signal the beginning of the nation’s first serious tax revolt since 1932.  Prop 13 restricted… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 10, 2011 8:24AM

Face It. 401(k)s are a Failure


 The first wave of attacks on public sector unions has highlighted the issue of pensions in the U.S.  Tea partiers want to know why public workers should be a privileged class now that private sector pensions are largely a thing of the past. Advocates of worker/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 3, 2011 8:29AM

“Green” Gas Drilling? No Fracking Way


The New York Times may be in the midst of publishing another Pulitzer Prize contender, in the form of its series on the environmental effects of hydrofracking for gas (“Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers”). Hydrofracking, or/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 24, 2011 8:24AM

It’s Bigger Than Wisconsin


It began with a reference to a clause in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s public-employee union-busting bill.  Someone said something about an “automatic no” clause in the annual union certification requirement called for in the bill. It w/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 17, 2011 8:28AM

More Bad Strategy in Obama’s Budget

 Obama Budget 

Sometimes in punditry the first cut is not the deepest; it is instead the most superficial.  Much of the first round of punditry on Obama’s budget misses the point in surprising ways. What I find most disturbing is not how he is “selling/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 9, 2011 12:28PM

On Health Care, Laurence Tribe is Half-Right

Laurence Tribe 

Laurence Tribe at the Supreme Court 

 There’s nothing like a good ideological smash-up over health care.  A good smash-up fuses the lowest in common denominators with the highest of gridlock factors to yield true I-have-no-clue moments in American policy/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 3, 2011 8:32AM

Is Health Care Reform Unconstitutional?



Florida lower court judge Roger Vinson’s verdict that the individual mandate is unconstitutional proves the strategy of judge shopping really works.  The 26 right-leaning state attorneys general reaped a bonus when the U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Flori/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 26, 2011 10:51AM

…Like a Reasonable Republican President


Obama demonstrates that the old right is the new center. 

The big question in the early going of the State of the Union speech was would he cry?  “He,” of course, was John Boehner.  And—surprise—he didn’t, well, almost didn't.  Actually,/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 20, 2011 8:30AM

An Insider Switches Sides in the Health Care Wars

Wendell Potter 

Wendell Potter:  A Daniel Ellsberg for the health care wars?


Wendell Potter, a 20-year PR exec at CIGNA, finally found his footing in the human race one day in the hills of Virginia, near where he grew up, when he visited a temporary health care enca/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 12, 2011 8:26AM

Free Speech, Fringe Speech and the Edge of Violence

Jared Loughner 

Jared Loughner:  We prefer our monsters cut and dried.

The Arizona Republic / AP 

In the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords massacre, we have witnessed one of the most trivial eruptions of collective hand wringing this country has experienced in a long time. While the tone of poli… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 6, 2011 8:32AM

Mastering the Nine-Second Sound Bite

24-second news cycle 


Yesterday was opening day of the sound bite derby in Washington and Republican mastery of the form is expected to dominate the news cycle the way the Yankees dominate Boston.  Democrats conceded the verbal arms race long ago.  If they are wand/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 29, 2010 8:51AM

Assault on Public Employees Begins

 Tim Pawlenty:  Official Portrait

Tim Pawlenty:  Taking on public workers is good politics.

Republican presidential hopeful Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty—a long shot by any measure—revealed in a Wall Street Journal OpEd piece that he has decided to build his pre-candidacy on bashing public employees/… Read full post »

The PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter

PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter:  Deep in the Red Zone 

Government Takeover—as in, of health care.  That is the 2010 Lie of the Year according to PolitiFact, the fact-checking feature of the St. Petersburg Times.  And the Lie of the Year is indeed a whopper.  I/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 16, 2010 8:26AM

Lennon Lost and Found

John Lennon, The Last Interview 

Of all the changes in my early adulthood, losing Lennon was the one I never got over.  From his earliest incarnation as “the smart one,” to the horribly optimistic and prescient interview he gave to Jonathan Cott three days before his death, Lennon rode shotgun to a gen/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 9, 2010 8:25AM

Glenn Beck's Guy, W. Cleon Skousen, Goes Mainstream

W. Cleon Skousen 

W. Cleon Skousen, Glenn Beck’s Guy


Quick, name a dead Mormon crank who’s driving American politics.  Wait, I’ve got one:  W. Cleon Skousen, (1913 – 2006) a lawyer and former low-level FBI administrative drone who went/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 2, 2010 8:26AM

Food Safety Reform: Good Start or Non-Starter?

Michael Hartmann farm in Gibbons, Minnesota

An idyllic Minnesota organic family farm—that sells tainted milk.

Photo:  Dan Browning, Minneapolis Star Tribune 

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate passed the nation’s first food safety overhaul in 70 years.  While the bill was hailed as representing maj/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 24, 2010 8:27AM

Repeal & Replace…With What?

Market-based health care solutions

Illustration: American Enterprise Institute, 

Three nouns to describe what you can expect under the banner of “Repeal & Replace”:  vapidity, cupidity, and stupidity. What would the oxymoron, “Republican health care reform” look like if the R&/… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 18, 2010 8:25AM

Deficit Co-Chairs Gore All Oxen

Bowles & Simpson, Deficit Commission Co-Chairs

“It’ll only hurt this much.”  Bowles & Simpson tackle the deficit.

Photo Credit: AP

Something for everyone to hate.  That pretty much sums up the content of the Co-Chairs’ Proposal of the president’s deficit commission.  This trial balloon ha/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 11, 2010 8:27AM

Food Stamps Soar, Jobs Offshore

Polaris ATV 

Rough Road Ahead 

Photo credit: 

It was a juxtaposition I could not ignore.  On page 1 of the Minneapolis Star Tribune the headline read, “Numbers on food stamps are soaring.”  Then, on page 1 of the Business section I found, “/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 3, 2010 3:59PM

Either way, Senate gridlock is certain

Harry Reid 

Harry Reid rises from the dead 

Here’s one for the record books:  this is the first time in 80 years that the House flipped while the Senate stayed put.  And that is surprising, given that the wave in the House of Representatives was greater even than/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 28, 2010 8:24AM

How the Democrats Will Hold the Senate

Christine O'Donnell  

Christine O'Donnell -- File Under:  Opportunity Squandered


In the last two weeks Senate races have tightened noticeably.  Whether due to inept candidates (O’Donnell), late-stage revelations (Miller), or flat-out screw ups (Rand), aggressi/… Read full post »