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

crystal ball 

It seems like only yesterday when I was wondering, can I really fit in here somewhere between Freaky Troll and Saturn Smith?  More than a hundred posts and a 100,000 words (I know, I’m long-winded) later—here it is, my two year anniversary!  I am honored to have fo/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 14, 2010 8:34AM

The Tea Party Express is Business As Usual

Sal Russo, of Russo, Marsh & Associates

Sal Russo, of Russo, Marsh & Associates, overstates his case / Credit: 

The so-called Tea Party wouldn’t amount to much in this election season were it not for the surprising financial muscle behind it. The Tea Party Express is widely cited as one of the tr… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 7, 2010 8:24AM

Russ Feingold: A Real Maverick Confronts an Improbable End

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold 

AP / Lee Marriner 

Here in the Midwest we produce more than our share of throwbacks.  Minnesota Twin Joe Mauer is a local Pheenom who stays with the hometown team.  Garrison Keillor channels Samuel Clemens, who hailed from just downriver.  And Senator Russ Feingold r/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 8:21AM

Joe Miller’s Alaska Militia Pals…Are They Dangerous?

Salon’s Justin Elliott created a stir last week with a piece entitled, “The militia’s man in the Senate?” about Joe Miller, Alaska’s Republican candidate for Senate.  The piece highlighted video footage of supporters marching for Miller carrying semi-automatic weapo/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 23, 2010 8:27AM

Michele Bachmann: All F’s on Truth-O-Meter Report Card

Michele Bachmann on the campaign trail 

Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann has scored an unprecedented “perfect” record of 100% lies on the fact-checking Truth-O-Meter, according to results released on Tuesday.  The Pulitzer Prize-winning website operated by the St. Petersburg Times name/… Read full post »

Baby panda 

Photo Credit:  Zidane_0120 / 

Small businesses are the baby pandas of the Republican lexicon.  Whenever they want to get their warmest, cuddliest face on, they play the small business card.  “This tax will destroy the small businesses of AmeriRead full post »


Credit:  jcoterhals / 

A new fault line is appearing in our sliced-and-diced body politic.  This one pits public employees and their pensions against unpensioned private sector workers.  The unfunded liabilities in public pensions have led observers to cha/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 2, 2010 8:35AM

Islam is Not the Problem. Try Hopelessness, Fundamentalism

 Militia Training in a Palestinian Refugee Camp

Militia Training in a Palestinian Refugee Camp

Credit:  Franken Owen / 

I was raised to be a Presbyterian.  It didn’t take.  I was far more enthralled by a class called “Comparative Religion” offered at my high school.  It was/… Read full post »

Park 51 Anti-Mosque Demonstration 

Photo:  New York Times

“If the police were not here you would be in danger.”  That’s what an anti-mosque protestor told Michael Rose, a medical student from Brooklyn, at an anti-mosque rally last week, according to the New York Times.

   &nbsRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 19, 2010 8:43AM

We Can’t Afford the War on Terror

Osama bin Laden 


Way back in 2004, Osama bin Laden reiterated his fundamental strategy against the U.S.—a hemorrhaging of cash through protracted war.  One trillion dollars later, a new book by Boston University professor Andrew Bacevich makes the implicit/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 1, 2010 9:00PM

It Was a Jobs Bubble, Too


BGLewandowski, Flickr, Creative Commons 

One thing the sputtering recovery makes clear is that this is no “normal” upturn, especially when it comes to jobs.  And while every recession introduces its own distinct fingerprint into the permanent record, this deformed recov/… Read full post »

Elizabeth Warren 

Elizabeth Warren, New Sheriff on Main Street? 

For all its faults, the brand new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could prove to be an effective bailiwick for the right sheriff.  White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warr/Read full post »

JULY 22, 2010 8:47AM

Boycott Target for Political Ads

Tom Emmer 

Minnesota Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Emmer 

Photo:  Minnesota Public Radio 

In Minnesota, the Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court decision has spawned its first wave of corporate political ads.  Under the rubric of Minnesota Forward, a group of corporations including/… Read full post »


 Bachmann Tea Party Rally Placard

A “slave” signifies at a St. Paul Bachmann Tea Party rally, 2010

Fibonacci Blue, / Creative Commons 

  If you have been wondering whether right-wing extremism is afoot on the campaign trail this season, you need look no further than Minne/… Read full post »

Will Work for Attention 

Stephen Poff, / Creative Commons 

           The June Labor Department jobs report indicates one thing, and clearly—if the economy were going to take off, it would have by now.  Instead, the report reinforced the perception/… Read full post »

JUNE 30, 2010 7:13PM

Amazing New Financial Tool: Cash!


Two features of the financial reform legislation headed for a final vote in the House and Senate may reinvigorate the old cash and carry slogan for millions of plastic addicts.  The law allows businesses to require a minimum charge of up to $10 before allowing the use/Read full post »

Empty Factory

Lights out for American Manufacturing? 

Photo courtesy NickChino, Commons 

A new report by IHS Global Insight indicates that China is on the verge of overtaking the U.S. in manufacturing output.  IHS states the value of China’s manufacturing output at/… Read full post »

Black Swan 

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons 

Two contrarian concepts spawned by economics converge to help illuminate the Deepwater Horizon Disaster.  The first concept, the Black Swan Theory, was developed by Wall Street risk analysis expert Nassim Nicholas Taleb, as presented in hisRead full post »

Medicine and money 

Photo: Brooks Elliott /


An elegant little chart in the June 6 Sunday New York Times highlighted the central paradox of the American market-based health care system.  We spend 50 percent more GNP on health care than our European counterparts, yet our life expectanc/… Read full post »

Deepwater Horizon oil spill 

Image courtesy Central Florida News 

Today marks the anniversary of the 1979 Ixtoc oil spill in Mexico’s Bay of Campeche.  The catastrophic event ultimately released 3.3 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over a period of 357 harrowing days until it was final/… Read full post »

 Twila Brase on Fox News


Twila Brase hits the big time.

            Modern Healthcare magazine has named Minnesotan Twila Brase to its 2009 “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” list.  Ms. Brase appears at num/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 20, 2010 8:53AM

Why We Lurch from Disaster to Disaster & How to Fix It

BP Oil Spill CEOs

    Mark Wilson/Getty Images                             

Oil spill CEOs preparing to make the case for why business will never regulate itself. 

    We seem to be disaster-prone of/… Read full post »

     There is little question that recent battles regarding same-sex marriages have energized the religious right.  The Mormons have piled on, too.  Truth is, they have been quietly on the offensive for years.  When it comes to what they see as the sanctity of the/… Read full post »

      The media coverage of last month’s New York Times / CBS News “National Survey of Tea Party Supporters” tended to focus more on who they are, rather than what they think.  Certainly, the news that they were better off than we thought was worthy of the/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 29, 2010 8:31AM

David Brooks Fakes It in Center

David Brooks 

David Brooks leaning ever so slightly to the right. 

            “Just right of center.”  In baseball, we call it “the gap.”  That is the sweet spot in which New York Times pundit David Brooks informs us he hRead full post »