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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

TPaw Gets A 2012 Head Start

Category: Tim Pawlenty
Posted: 11/11/08 02:48, Edited: 11/11/08 02:51

by Dave Mindeman

Well I guess we are catching a glimpse of the Pawlenty 2012 strategy. TPaw will be the green 21st Century candidate vs. Palin the anti-science, back to the middle ages retrogressive.

Hey, I kind of like it.

The first salvo from Pawlenty is a series of green tax breaks for businesses. They are, in essence, where we should be going, but, is this lightweight package more form over substance? These incentives are not going to put any kind of dent in the overall economy but they do focus on the right part of the economy. The real problem, however, is that pushing these into the public domain before we have a real budget forecast and months ahead of the legislative session is probably going to, again, look a bit premature to the Legislative leadership. As Senator Anderson put it:

Anderson accused Pawlenty of grandstanding, saying he unveiled his proposal at the same time that a joint legislative task force on green jobs, which includes his agency representatives, was meeting in north Minneapolis to develop a unified plan. "Obviously, he's not real interested in working with the Legislature or even his own people," Anderson said.

But, ok, let's add it to the mix. Maybe a legislative package that expands this kind of stimulus is warranted and now that Pawlenty is on record with his support for this method, the state could use it as an add on to any similar proposals coming from the new administration.

Gov. Pawlenty looks to be in serious Presidential candidate mode. Guess this is a good thing to do while Sarah Palin is sorting out her clothes.

What About the "Fraud" Against Franken?

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 11/10/08 15:09, Edited: 11/10/08 15:11

by Dave Mindeman

I got an e-mail from a person in Atlanta, Georgia today. He asked an interesting question....

Why is there not outrage in Minnesota and around the country over the vote fraud committed against Franken? Isn't Minnesota the most democratic state in the Union?

I won't belabor the second point about how democratic Minnesota is... that's kind of a subjective question. But let's talk about that first one.

Voter fraud against Franken. Hmmmm. I realize that as the margin between Franken and Coleman shrinks, there hasn't been much talk about any possible shenanigans by the Republicans... mostly because the changes are usually in Franken's favor.

Coleman's campaign suggests that the shrinking margin is enough, by itself, to call the process into question.

However, anecdotal evidence from past elections seems to be indicating that the Democrat ALWAYS gains votes during the final auditing process. Klobuchar gained in margin. Mondale, in Coleman's first Senate race, gained in margin. Lori Swanson gained in margin big time. Why do Democrats always seem to either widen their win margin or close the gap in statewide races?

In the blather of Coleman camp rhetoric, there is a converse argument that doesn't get made. What if Republicans are intentionally holding back Franken votes? What if GOP election judges are intentionally making reporting errors? What if ballots were intentionally mishandled or marks made on them to kick them out? What if...what if...

Now, before you roll your eyes and dismiss what I'm talking about as just another crazy conspiracy theory, let me make one thing clear. I do NOT think such craziness is happening. I have dealt with election officials enough that I inherently respect their integrity. The people involved are hard working and the long hours of volunteer duty they put up with, borders on sainthood. If mistakes were made, there is no doubt in my mind that they were honest ones.

But when an election is on the line like this one, why do Republicans always opt for casting doubt on the outcome? In a race as close as this one, there is something pretentious about declaring "victory" before the race is certified. Heck, its not just pretentious, its just plain wrong.

Now, if the numbers were reversed and the Democrats were watching their lead shrink in a similar manner, would they try to cast doubt on this vote? Quite honestly, I don't know. In the election world of winner take all, partisans are capable of many things.

One thing for sure though, Norm Coleman has never hesitated to do whatever has been necessary to protect himself. It is one thing to ask your opponent to come forward with the grand gesture and concede, it is another to destroy the reputation of a sound and honest Minnesota election system.

Do everybody a favor, Norm, and shut up.

"Post Lieberman" Politics

Category: Presidential Politics
Posted: 11/10/08 12:58

by Roxanne Mindeman

Well, the debate is on. I'm not sure that I agree that America is "post racial". It might be easier to decide, if someone - anyone - could clearly define just what that means. On the other hand, I am relatively certain (and extremely hopeful) that America is finally "post-Lieberman".

I haven't ever really trusted him since he slid on over to slink in behind the Gingrich-Livingston lead lecherous lynch mob that tried to impeach President Clinton. It raised more than just a few questions and eyebrows in my world, when Al Gore selected him for his VP running mate. But hey, if Gore, whom I trusted on pretty much everything, said he was the guy, then .... he was the guy. Eventually however, motivated, among other things, by the overly exuberant, Bachmann style, hug and kiss shared by Bush and Lieberman after the 2005 State of the Union Address, I began to believe that the selection of Lieberman might go down as the worst VP choice ever. Then there came this Palin thing.

In 35 years of political activism, I have learned my share of hard lessons. With very few exceptions, there is a need to be willing to forgive people their temporary defections. Pick up the pieces and move on. More than once I have had to bite my tongue until it bled. Not this time.

Many Americans who share my view, have also reluctantly held their disgust in check. After all, Lieberman has long been viewed as a, if not the, political champion of Jewish Americans. But, this morning I read that it is estimated that 80% of Jewish Americans voted for Obama. WoooooHooo!

So for what it's worth, my humble advice, Senator Reid, if I may borrow a bold and appropriate phrase attributed to Hillary, by the Saturday Night Live cast...."Grow a pair". Don't back down. Get rid of this schlimazel. Let the Republicans have him. None of us should trust him. Ever.


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