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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

And Now, Heeeeeeeeere's Amy!

Category: Amy Klobuchar
Posted: 02/03/09 11:13

by Dave Mindeman

Tomorrow night is the Washington Press Club Foundation dinner and our own Amy Klobuchar is set ot make her "comedy" debut. Word has it, she is writing her own material and has been trying her jokes out on whomever will listen.


Gossipy blog "Shenanigans" in Politico offers a word of warning:

Most communications people will admit that if their boss is ever the entertainment for something like this, they know they ?have to? farm it out.

Upon hearing that Amy was writing her own stuff....

As for Klobuchar?s speech, rumor has it that it?s not farmed out, and she was seen trying out jokes on people last week. Not a good sign. As one Hill observer quipped upon hearing the not-farmed-out news: ?She?ll bomb, then.? Adding: ?When you hear the name ?Klobuchar,? comedy writing isn?t exactly the first thing to come to mind.?

Tough crowd.

Now, I have heard Amy's stories and some of them are pretty funny. But this is a crusty group and Ole and Lena jokes are completely lost on them.

I think Amy will be up to the task.....that folksy charm will win 'em over...and besides she should have a great back up plan.....Al Franken isn't too busy right now.

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Don't Make Transportation and Education Compete for Revenue

Category: Transportation
Posted: 02/03/09 01:49

by Dave Mindeman

I knew a person once who liked to play the credit card shuffle game. They would run up one card to the limit. Then get an offer in the mail for a low interest introduction to another card....use that one to pay the minimum payment on the first card. Then run up the new card to its max and then start yet a new, third card. You know where that led. Trouble is my friend never seemed to figure out that you can't do that forever. Bankruptcy filing soon followed.

That is the mentality that spawns another "priority driven" proposal from a couple of Republican legislators. Sen. Joe Gimse and Rep. Randy Demmer are going to pay one priority by adding debt to another..... taking money from tranit to pay for school transportation costs. Good one.

I know we have a serious budget deficit to deal with....but can't we, just for once, face it realistically rather than keep playing with the "smoke and mirror" payment approach?

Last Friday on Almanac, Taxpayer League gadfly, Phil Krinkie, pushed another of his brain dead ideas about delaying the Central Corridor (yet again) and raid the money to meet budget deficits caused by the ridiculous tax policy Krinkie advocates.

Remember the first rule of digging yourself into a hole?

Transit should have been a main priority for the last two decades. Republicans like Krinkie have obfuscated, delayed, whined, complained, and denigrated mass transit for the entire time.

Yet, for the second year in a row, the top concern for metro residents is transportation.

When asked about ?the single most important problem? facing the region, 36 percent of respondents cited transportation-related issues. Among the specific concerns raised in the survey were adequacy and condition of metro roads, traffic and congestion, amount of construction activity, and the need for more transit options.

It even topped crime as the #1 priority. Yet, when Transit ridership has hit an all time high.... when people are wanting and needing to utilize alternative methods of transportation, legislators like Gimse and Demmer want to add to transit's fiscal burden....making transit and education compete for scarce resources. Innovative thinking? No...credit card shuffle thinking.

We need to get transit into a more stable revenue situation. The main source of revenue for funding comes from the motor vehicle tax. Funny how it works....just when we have the opportunity to offer alternative transportation to people who are obviously deciding to put off more vehicle purchases, we run into a shortfall in transit funding because they aren't buying cars.

The vehicle sales tax supplies about 38 percent of the money the Met Council needs to operate buses and trains.

Is somebody paying attention here?

The Hiawatha Line has set record after record for ridership. Yet, the new lines get delayed, set back, argued about, and stonewalled.

Just build the system. Fix the revenue streams. Move forward.

Transit projects are infrastructure. Transit construction can produce jobs. Transit will increase economic activity along the completed routes. Transit will give tourists ease of access. Transit will give workers better commutes.

Don't wait for the next round of gas price increases to bring it back to the conversation. And, once and for all, reject the idea that transportation has to compete for dollars with education and health care. They are all the highest of priorities and they have all been neglected.

Think ahead... think of Minnesota's future. Fix it.
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Finally....Rove Under Oath

Category: Presidential Politics
Posted: 02/02/09 20:52

by Dave Mindeman

In a possible breakthrough for the DOJ, Karl Rove's attorney has said his client will cooperate with a special prosecutor appointed by former attorney general Michael Mukasey....according to Talking Points Memo.

Karl Rove will cooperate with a federal criminal inquiry underway into the firings of nine U.S. attorneys and has already spoken to investigators in a separate, internal DOJ investigation into the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, his attorney said in an interview.

The special prosecutor in this case is from Connecticut, Nora Dannehy. This could signal a breakthrough in the logjam regarding the case....

Regarding the decision to cooperate with Dannehy, Luskin said that Rove "has not and will not assert any personal privileges." He also said that in regard to the earlier probe, Rove had not done so, but had rather only "followed the guidance of the White House."

Will this increase the liklihood that Rove will testify before the Conyers committee? Have they gotten signals from the Obama legal team that they don't view Bush's "executive privilege" as relevant to the current state of the investigation?

It is also important to note that there has been some talk in the Siegelman case. Rove is the main culprit in Siegelman's conviction.

All I can say is.....make him squirm.
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