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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

GOP Legislative Pay Cut? Hey, Why Stop There?

Category: Economy
Posted: 02/19/09 14:50, Edited: 02/19/09 17:52

by Dave Mindeman

In another one of those symbolic and useless gestures coming from the GOP legislators....

Several Republican lawmakers are proposing a 5 percent pay cut for themselves and their colleagues in the Legislature. The cut would put annual base pay for Minnesota legislators at about $29,600. The salary cut would also apply to constitutional officers like the governor and secretary of state.

Kind of like those proposals about cutting back on postage stamps and getting tougher on those "welfare cheats".

Well, as long as they are going to discuss pay... why stop there? Let's cut the legislators base pay down to $21,500. Then they can officially fall below the Federal poverty line and will at least qualify for food stamps.

There you go.
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Cong. Kline on the Intel Committee: Count One Vote For Torture

Category: John Kline
Posted: 02/19/09 01:32, Edited: 02/19/09 01:33

by Dave Mindeman

Congressman John Kline was on MPR's Midday on Tuesday and it was a little discouraging to hear what he said.

Kline is the newest member of the House Intelligence Committee. He is still learning the ropes somewhat, but the pre-conceived opinions that he brings to the table are a little disturbing.

Let's talk about "enhanced interrogation methods":

"The United States must be clear that we won't torture, but the degree of uncertainty that has been out there is helpful. To the extent that you eliminate all uncertainty on exactly what is going to happen to you upon being captured.... I think that may hurt our efforts."

Now, it is hard to interpret that any other way than to simply say...torture must be an option.

And he continues:

"Congressman Sam Johnson....was not supportive of efforts by the CIA to outline exactly what you can and cannot do....and that's the problem with publishing exactly the procedures that we will use with every detainee.....By insisting that the CIA follow the Army Field Manual for example.

People fundamentally know that if you are caught by an American, you are not going to be shot...you are not going to have your fingernails torn out....and you are not going to be beaten the Sam Johnson and Senator McCain were".

"A little bit of uncertainty may not be that bad."

Sounds like Congressman Kline endorsed the Bush/Cheney methodology whole heartedly. If torture needs to be available to promote that "uncertainty", then it follows that at some point it will also be used.

More euphemisms.....

"I do think it's important that the President keep the tools necessary in his tool box.. The policy of the US -- That we don't torture --is absolutely the right policy. I have said for some time, that beyond that, it is a little bit dangerous for us to talk about what we will and will not do."

So, what is beyond a policy of "we don't torture"? I think we all know the answer to that.

And, staying consistent, Kline can't even bring himself to criticize Guantanamo:

"I've been to Guantanamo. The jail there...the detention facility.. is as nice as anything we have here in Minnesota....in terms of being modern and so forth."

Gosh, those detainees are so lucky.

It is pretty obvious that Congressman Kline is going to look back on the Bush years as "the good old days".
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Olbermann Should Apologize to Betty McCollum for That Picture

Category: Michele Bachmann
Posted: 02/19/09 01:05

by Dave Mindeman

A little aside about tonight's Keith Olbermann Countdown story on Michele Bachmann --a brilliant piece of fact checking by the way.

But, Keith wasn't perfect. If you Tivo'd the show and look at the opening segment..you know, where he says..."Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow".....you'll notice something funny about the opening Countdown photos.

Here is the link to the MSNBC website.... before you start playing the video, look at the pictures...

If you look at the opening pictures, you will see they have Betty McCollum pictured....ostensibly to depict Michele Bachmann. They use the same picture a little later also.

Betty McCollum has her moments but there is no way in hell anyone should be mistaking her for the Bachbomber.

No biggie really, but McCollum probably doesn't want that mistake happening too often.....
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