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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Iraq Reports: Folded and Mutlitated

Category: US Politics
Posted: 07/18/07 12:19

by Dave Mindeman

Republicans in the Senate are all hiding behind the September report of General Petraeus. They are stalling.

Just like all the other reports that come out of the administration, we will be asked to accept administration interpretations rather than facts on the ground.

The recent Intel reports have stated that Al-Qaeda has regained strength. Instead of an administration apology for their ultimate failure against terrorism, they spin the idea that it is all the more reason to trust them to continue the fight.

Recent reports also state that Iraq has become a springboard for attacks elsewhere. Terrorists can use Iraq as a training ground.. a place for combat experience... a place to try new tactics and modify weapons. We have given them the ultimate laboratory. Yet, the administration would have us believe that because these terrorists are in Iraq, it means we must stay.

Recent reports concluded that the Iraqi government has failed in all 18 benchmarks outlined by the Bush administration. However, when published, the report was modified to state that "progress" has been made in 8 of the 18. The administration uses that as their excuse for "needing more time".

General Petraeus may bring a report to Congress in September, but the truth will be folded and mutilated within it.

The Senate held an all night debate on Iraq last night. Maybe nothing was accomplished as Minority Leader McConnell would have us believe. But one thing is clear.... the Republicans are blocking any attempt to get our troops home.

This war is on their heads and there is now no way to modify or spin that fact. Senator Coleman, are you listening?
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What's the Point, Senator Coleman?

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 07/17/07 17:47

by Dave Mindeman

"What's the point? It's not going to accomplish anything."
--Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa

Senator Grassley was complaining about the all night session called for by Senator Reid on the topic of Iraq. And maybe we should examine his question...what is the point?

First of all, the context of all this is that a majority of Senators (about 53 at last count) are willing to vote in favor of an important amendment that will significantly alter the course in Iraq.

That's a majority. As you may recall, our own Senator Coleman continuously called for straight up or down votes on Bush appointed judges.... yet, Senator Coleman seems to be very selective about what up or down votes should be allowed.

Debate on Iraq has a point. It has a point to our military personnell and their families. It has a point regarding our budgetary considerations. It has a point for our National Guard resources. It has a point regarding our wounded and recovering veterans.

It is the issue of the day...maybe the decade...maybe our lifetimes.

Yet, a minority of Senators... a group within the Republican caucus will not allow a vote on this issue. They will block it at every turn, because they know they will lose. Our Senator Coleman has cast his lot with them.

I hope Norm Coleman stays up tonight... I hope he listens intently to every word of this debate. I hope he thinks about those National Guard troops that are coming home now and I hope he thinks hard about the possibility of yet another tour of duty for them. I hope he contemplates the bombs and the Iraqi families torn apart. I also hope he thinks about an Iraqi government that takes a month off while our troops labor to protect their "vacations".

What's the point indeed, Senator Grassley. What's the point indeed.

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The Republican Spin on Franken Is The Real Joke

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 07/17/07 15:17, Edited: 07/17/07 15:25

(Again, opinions regarding individual candidates come from the individual bloggers and are not to be interpreted as an official position of mnpACT! or anyone else)

by Roxanne Mindeman

So why is it that Minnesota Democrats are so willing to let Michael Brodkorb define Al Franken? When I ask this question of DFL activists, most responses boil down to "baggage" .....some version of "He swore a lot in his career as a comedian". So Yeah, he used the "f-enheimer" with a frequency generally reserved for personal pronouns. Big whoop!

It's time to get over it, and take a page - arguably The Page - from the Republican play book .........that is, "let the money talk". Beat them at their own game.

The 2nd quarter FEC reports are out and Franken is looking pretty good. And apparently "curse free" Norm Coleman ...(Oh yeah, right).... doesn't have much to brag about. Total fundraising...Coleman $1.66 million to Franken's $1.9 million. Or consider the Franken Campaigns 36,000 small contributors, compared to 21,000 acknowledged by the Coleman campaign. Or how about this little nugget - Coleman's reports show that he has already gone to several of his usual big PAC contributors for absolutely every penny they can give him between now and the 2008 election - NRA $10,000 maximum... Northwest Airlines, $10,000 maximum, ...or how about GOP Senator's Leadership PACs....Cornyn of Texas, $10,000 maximum...Gordon Smith of Oregon, $10,000 maximum..... Trent Lott, $10,000 maximum. These are the resources that normally come through with the big money for the big ad buys and mass mailings in the final days before the election - and Norm has drawn them down to $0, 15 months before the election!

That's a little hard to spin positively. But they will try, without missing a step. They'll keep hammering on the fact that several of Franken's friends in the entertainment industry have given him the maximum allowed individual contribution. Yeah, so Tom Hanks and Paul Newman and Rosie O'Donnell have given him $4,600. Does Norm have no friends who will max out? He certainly did last time around. Or maybe the hypocritical, flip-flop, pretty boy, lap dog, suck up drill of the past 6 years, has made even some of the most faithful, back off. Rest assured, should any of those old friends come through for him this time, they will spin it as totally different from the contributions of Franken's friends. You know, it's time we stop sitting still for this crap.

The Republican spin machine is relentless, but it doesn't have to be successful. Let the right wing nutballs listen to it. But we need to stop. DFLer's, don't let the fact that our next US Senator's "former life" as a funnyman.......actually a VERY funny man..... be used as a tool of the Republican right to camouflage the fact that he will be one of the smartest and most skilled policy people in the Senate. Besides, those of us insomniacs who occasionally check out the day's congressional happenings on C-SPAN, can assure you, the United States Senate could use a little humor. As for the right wingers, offended by his humor - do I really have to say it? ...........If they can't take a joke,.....well, you know.
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