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Ann Spencer

Bloomington, MN
Commenter for
6 years 40 weeks

Recent Comments

is that this level of disrespect toward the duly-elected President of the United States comes from a member of the House of Representatives and that he's willing, maybe eager, to associate himself with these comments by name. It sounds more like the online vitriol of a guy in his PJs on his home computer.

Posted on 01/07/14 at 11:52 am in response to Majority of Republicans now reject theory of evolution

I grew up in a very conservative small town in western Pennsylvania. I was in junior high in the mid-1960's. We studied evolution in science class as the best way to explain the origin of species. It was totally noncontroversial. No parents protested, withdrew their children, or demanded that creationism be taught as an alternative. I was fascinated by evolution and did a term paper on it. At the time, I was also attending confirmation class at my Lutheran church. Part of the process was a...

that people are so quick to shout "Rationing!" whenever this or that group recommends LESS treatment but seem blind to the financial incentives favoring MORE treatment.

We ought to be highly skeptical of any recommendation that 1/3 of adults take a prescription medication with known adverse side effects daily, year in and year out, for decades. The money to be made is enormous. We need to be darn sure that the recommendations are based on sound science and truly objective analysis,...

Posted on 10/25/13 at 03:28 pm in response to Does it matter how rich the rich are?

is another example of what Professor Reich was talking about---the right's success in framing the conversation. The characterization of any expression of concern about income (and wealth) inequality as simple jealousy effectively shuts most people up. Who wants to be thought of as envious of their more successful neighbors? Politicians avoid the subject for fear of the dreaded epithet "socialism."

What is at stake is the future of a viable democracy. When wealth and income...

Posted on 11/04/13 at 02:25 pm in response to Does it matter how rich the rich are?

A little late to add another comment on this thread, I know, but in case anyone is still listening...

I peeked at Saez and Piketty's scholarly article, from which Eric's graph is drawn, because I wondered if their data is based on individual or household income. Because they used federal income tax returns, their data compares "tax units", i.e., the individual or group of individuals that files a single IRS return. This could be a married couple or an individual taxpayer.


Posted on 10/02/13 at 01:12 pm in response to It's probably nothing, but Obama will meet congressional leaders today

If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to want a glass of milk.

Posted on 09/30/13 at 12:20 pm in response to Looming shutdown is stupid, but it’s not bipartisan stupidity

Keep up the good work, Mr. Black. Very few journalists seem willing to state the obvious: that these repeated crises are largely the doing of a minority of a minority. Most cling to the "both sides do it" evasion, or sidestep the merits of the issues entirely in favor of an obsessive focus on who will benefit politically and who will suffer.

AOL's home page this morning asks the burning question: "Who will be blamed if government shuts down?"

Last Friday night on Washington...

Posted on 08/01/13 at 11:33 am in response to Judge rules against credit-card swipe fee

I think we need to cut many of those opposed a little slack. Mr. Walters isn't the most sympathetic representative of those folks, and his "Hindu marrying a cow" analogy is offensive not only to gay people, but to Hindus. (My daughter's in-laws are Hindu and I've never heard them express any interest in bovine marriage). But we should keep in mind that the swiftness with which public opinion and the law has changed regarding same-sex marriage is highly unusual, if not unprecedented. A decade...

I've lived here for 37 years (since my mid-twenties) and I have several observations on this article, the comments thereto, and the overall issue of the Twin Cities' "brand":

1. There is a deep ambivalence in the Twin Cities about whether we really WANT people from elsewhere. This is expressed in several of the above comments and experienced by virtually everyone "not from here." Transplants are repeatedly asked to explain why they're in Minnesota. I was viewed with suspicion by law...

for taking a whack at this issue. I have long wondered when this unsustainable "high tuition/high discount" model would begin to topple of its own weight. For a while, at least in the world of private colleges, what kept this going was the so-called "Chivas Regal effect". The higher the tuition, the higher the perception of value, and as long as there were a sufficient number of families able and willing to pay the sticker price, the system worked, even with generous financial aid. But as...