General News

Start your New Year’s Eve with a review of all the madness in our political and public policy arenas when comedian and writer Lizz Winstead stops by “Pam Without Boundaries” Monday morning. Winstead is a no-holds-barred political satirist who views policy-makers and the media that love them through a progressive lens and she’s back in town for her annual review at The Parkway Theater. This year it’s “The Long and Binding Road,” in which Winstead takes you through the year starting with the general election and reminding us how we all got there

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At this time of year we often pause to focus on the problems of hunger and poverty.  Years ago, the so-called “Green Revolution” increased agriculture production around the world, saving many lives. 

 

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The Federal Communications Commission is considering a proposal to relax rules that govern the ownership of media in this country.  Right now, a single company cannot own both a TV broadcast station and a newspaper in the same market.  The change would allow newspapers to own radio and TV stations, a move opposed some advocates of minority ownership of media entities. 

The FCC was supposed to vote on this in December but didn’t.  They’re scheduled to take it up again next year – leaving more time for comment.

 

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December 26, 2012 is the 150th anniversary of the largest mass hanging in U.S. history. 

The executions happened in Mankato, Minnesota at the order of President Abraham Lincoln.  In 1862 the president commuted the death sentences of hundreds of Dakota who had been rounded up following weeks of fighting and killing between Native people and white settlers along the Minnesota River.  The president let 38 death sentences stand. 

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Minnesota’s Revenue Commissioner, Myron Frans, has been traveling around the state for much of the past year, carrying a three legged stool as a prop while he gives a presentation on our tax system.   If it sounds like a big night out, you could be right.  Tax policy is going to be a major issue during the coming legislative session in St. Paul. 

Tonight (December 19, 2012),  Commissioner Frans will hold a tax reform town hall meeting in St. Paul at the Northdale Recreation Center at 14 14 St. Albans Street North at 7pm. 

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The Chicago office of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has announced the launch of “My Jihad”.  It’s an educational initiative that seeks to share the proper meaning of jihad as it is believed and practiced by the majority of Muslims around the world.   

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Central Avenue in North East Minneapolis is a bustling corridor lined with businesses that offer a wide variety of services and exotic foods.  There are also some empty storefronts and vacant buildings.    A group of people who live and work in the area are trying to change that through the formation of a cooperative focused on development.   Individuals buy into the co-op and their money is pooled to start projects.  Eighty one members are in the group so far, and last week the North East Investment Co-op announced that it has signed its first purchase agree

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University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has announced  that Dr. Katrice Albert will become the University’s new Vice President for Equity and Diversity.  Dr. Albert has played a similar role at Louisiana State University for the past 7 years.  The Equity and Diversity post at the U of M has been vacant for two years.    With the approval of the Board of Regents, Dr. Albert will begin on June 28th of 2013.  She talked with Dale Connelly and Miguel Vargas on KFAI's Morning Blend.  

 

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Minnesota's 5th district Congressman, Keith Ellison, says he will judge any budget deal that comes out of the talks between Presdient Obama and House Speaker Boehner by which segement of society pays the greatest cost.  "Does it make the most vulnerable and the middle class bear the weight of it, or is it shared among all income classes?", Ellison asks.  The answer to that question will determine his vote.  Congressman Ellison talked with Paul Brohaugh and Dale Connelly on KFAI's Morning Blend.  

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It's estimated that more than forty thousand people in Minnesota provide home health care for elderly or disabled people.  Some of them have the power to form a union, but fifteen to twenty thousand of these Personal Care Assistants (PCA’s) work under the direction of the person receiving the health care.  And they can’t, by state law, organize or bargain for their wages. 

One of Minnesota’s largest unions wants to change that. 

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