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Roger Brooks

St. Paul, MN
Commenter for
6 years 7 weeks

Recent Comments

I'm just your average season ticket holder, but I have followed the classical music scene since the late 50s and I have witnessed greatness stirring in Orchestra Hall over the past several seasons. This is a result of many factors, but at the top of the list is the artistic leadership of Osmo Vanska. He has led our orchestra to some kind of pinnacle which, if sustained, could put the Minnesota Orchestra in the top tier worldwide. I hope this is still a possibility. It is simply a joy to...

Posted on 12/02/13 at 09:37 pm in response to What did Lincoln argue at Gettysburg?

Garry Wills has written an excellent book about the meaning of the Gettysburg Address. He points out the fact that Lincoln reaches back to the Declaration (Jefferson) prior to the Constitution (Madison) for his claim that "all men are created equal".

Lincoln was not just the guy on the penny; he was a living, evolving, politician. He did not see the world in the same way in 1865 that he did a few years earlier. Many thing were changing quickly, and many new opportunities were...

Posted on 12/19/12 at 09:54 pm in response to Mondale on the filibuster: Mend it, don't end it

First of all, the Senate is an undemocratic institution because it gives two votes to every state in the union no matter what their population. California's 37 million gets two senators, and Wyoming's half million gets two. This was the "Great Compromise" that made it possible to have a United States. Unfortunately, 220 years later, it's just undemocratic. But the filibuster rule makes things even worse. It's an extra monkey wrench tossed into the equation that further removes the...

Is this really happening? First, it does sound like a harebrained idea that could be mentioned in a subcommittee hearing by a brand new legislator who doesn't have a clue about real life or the way laws affect people--yes, they do exist. But second, how could the full legislature enact such an intrusive and ill-considered law? Didn't some of the senior members warn that this might not be a good idea, given the low probability of fraud? Why not do a little auditing first to see what the...

Posted on 03/27/12 at 08:36 pm in response to Reflections on my reporting about the environment and global warming

Well, you have to report on what's really happening, Don. Thanks!

Roger Brooks, Retired Deputy Legislative Auditor

Posted on 09/17/11 at 07:30 pm in response to Bachmann's vaccine blunder is a trademark of her public life

Bachmann does tend to speak first (mainly from an ideological world view) and think later. We've never had a president like that, and we can't survive with one now.

Posted on 07/08/11 at 09:52 pm in response to Grover Norquist looms over Minnesota's budget impasse

Signing "pledges" is what ideologues do. Leaders weigh alternatives, talk to everybody, and find compromises that satisfy majorities.
Is this so difficult?

Posted on 07/01/11 at 07:49 pm in response to Pawlenty says state shutdown may have 'positive impact'

Shifting school payments to the next biennium did not solve our fiscal problem, Mr. Pawlenty, it kicked it "down the road" which is where we are now.

If we want the same level of service as we have enjoyed in the past--schools or otherwise--we need to pony up the dollars. In the past, the theory has been: the richer you are, the bigger the tax bite. Since the 1930s Minnesota has always been a "high service, high tax" state and we have thrived, but suddenly we don't want to pay the...

Posted on 07/01/11 at 04:33 pm in response to Let's have it: What do you want to say about the shutdown?

I think the legislative rhetoric has gotten ahead of some of the facts. House and Senate leadership repeatedly talks about "runaway spending", "out-of-control government", and so forth in defense of their no-tax-hike position.

But according to the official figures compiled by the State Office of Management and Budget, state and local spending as a proportion of personal income--the "price of government" measure--has been basically flat over the past decade.


Posted on 06/14/11 at 07:09 pm in response to Clap hands and nod heads at new TPaw video

This video ad is like a satire of the opening scenes from the Colbert Report, except that it's supposed to be serious. I guess we've come full circle. Colbert, BTW, did his own riff on an earlier Pawlenty video, probably by the same film maker: