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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Republicans Love War

Posted: 08/05/07 20:37

by Tom Hammond

The conclusion is inescapable?Republicans love war!

They love the flag waving and the patriotic slogans. They love the macho images and the tough talk. They love to see their president strut across an aircraft carrier in a military jump suit and proclaim, ?Mission accomplished.?

They chafe at the idea of peace. Peace is for wimps. Peace is un-American. You?re with us or you?re with the terrorists. Bring them on! Deador alive. Stay the course.

So far, I can find only two things that Republicans don?t like about war. First, they don?t like to actually fight in war themselves. They prefer to get their excitement vicariously through the suffering and sacrifice of others.

Second, they don?t like to pay for war. They prefer to add the cost of war to the National Debt and leave the bill for our grandchildren to pay as they have in Iraq.

Yes, Republicans love war. It is their supreme fantasy to see themselves as fearless leaders, super-heroes, and great patriots. And all from the comfort and safety of their imaginations.
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Promises....Promises

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 08/05/07 18:22

by Dave Mindeman

It is hard to envision any kind of problem that Bush can fix. His visit to the Twin Cities was long on rhetoric, but his track record on following up is....well, it has questionable results.

His eagerness to offer his "help" led to yet more promises:

"I do promise that she's(Transportation Secretary Mary Peters) going to listen to the local authorities to find out what the folks here need. I do promise that when she sees roadblocks and hurdles in the way to getting the job done she'll do everything she can to eliminate them."

And his track record on previous promises?...well judge for yourself. Here's the list:

On the Partisan Divide:
"And at the end of the day it will require leadership - a president who will set a new tone in Washington. A president who will reach across partisan lines and bridge political differences. That's what I intend to do." (Federal Document Clearing House Political Transcripts, June 2, 2000)

On Solving Problems:
"I came to this office to confront problems directly and forcefully, not to pass them on to future Presidents or future generations." (White House Web Site, October 16, 2003)

On Deficits:
"Our budget will run a deficit that will be small and short term..." (White House Web Site, January 29, 2002)

On Funding NCLB:
"Some say the No Child Left Behind Act doesn't provide enough money to meet our goals. ...People say, well, it's an unfunded mandate to put accountability systems in place. No, the accountability systems are largely funded by the federal government." (White House Web Site, May 11, 2004)

On Oil:
"...We will make our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy." (President Bush, President Bush's Acceptance Speech to the Republican National Convention, September 2, 2004)

On Clean Air:
"With the help of Congress, environmental groups and industry, we will require all power plants to meet clean air standards in order to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide within a reasonable period of time." (Governor George W. Bush, Campaign Speech, September 29, 2000)

On Climate "Change":
"My administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change. We recognize our responsibility and will meet it at home, in our hemisphere and in the world." (CNN, June 11, 2001)

On International Relations:
"I don't think it's the role of the United States to walk into a country and say, `We do it this way, so should you'...I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around the world saying, `We do it this way, so should you'... I think the United States must be humble and must be proud and confident of our values...If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. If we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us." (Federal Document Clearing House Political Documents, October 11, 2000)

On Getting Al Qaeda:
"I view the hunt for al Qaeda as part of the war on terror. And it requires all assets, intelligence assets and military assets, to chase them down and bring them to justice." (White House Web Site, February 23, 2004)

On Resources Needed for Iraq:
"The United States is committed to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq is a country rich with an educated populace, abundant and valuable natural resources like oil and natural gas, and a modern infrastructure system." (White House Web Site, Office of Management and Budget, March 27, 2003

On Tracking International Nuclear Materials:
"The next president must press for an accurate inventory of all this [nuclear] material. I'll ask the Congress to increase substantially our assistance to Russia in dismantling as many of their weapons as possible, as quickly as possible." (Bush-Cheney 2000 Web site)

On Playing Politics With Terror:
"I have no ambition whatsoever to use [the war on terror or 9/11] as a political issue." (Washington Times, January 24, 2002)

On Veterans (1):
"Veterans are getting very good health care under my administration, and they will continue to do so during the next four years." (Third Presidential Debate, October 13, 2004)

On Veterans (2):
"We've reduced the backlog of disability claims by about a third. We will reduce it even further." (Remarks by the President of the American Legion, August 31, 2004)

On Veterans (3):
"[When I am President, we] will not have our veterans standing in line waiting for benefits that they've been promised." (Federal Document Clearing House Political Transcripts, September 7, 2000)

On the CIA Leak:
"If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration," July 19, 2005, Press Conference:

On New Orleans:
"When one resident of this city who lost his home was asked by a reporter if he would relocate, he said, "Naw, I will rebuild, but I'll build higher." That is our vision of the future, in this city and beyond: we will not just rebuild, we will build higher and better."
President Bush: Sept. 15, 2005 Address to the Nation

On Keeping Promises:
"A promise made will be a promise kept, should I be fortunate enough to become your president."
- George W. Bush, October 10, 2000


So forgive me for being skeptical.

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Rep. Holberg Is Minnesota's Old School Thinker

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 08/04/07 13:05

by Dave Mindeman

Here is an excerpt from Almanac last night. This is from Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville. She is the ranking Republican member of the House transportation committee and was the chair of the Transportation committee during the Republican majority years.

This quote was made during a discussion of the gas tax being part of any transportation bill, if a special session is called:

"I think we still have to respect the family budget and the economic situation of our state. I think you can make incremental changes -- we can't ramp up the system overnight. We don't have people at MNDOT....we don't have contractors. I think there is a way to address this that can get things done...to solve this thing, but it's not going to happen overnight."

Incremental changes? That is the kind of thinking that Rep. Holberg has been bringing to the legislature for years....and she is wrong.

Senator Steve Murphy, the current chair of the Senate transportation committee was also on the show and he took exception. He said this is not the time for timidity....it is the time for bold policy steps to make this happen now.

He is right. Our infrastructure has suffered from timid solutions. During the tenure of Rep. Holberg, the House transportation committee was more interested in reductions than in solutions of any kind. As we saw during the bidding on the Crosstown project, MNDOT has no funds.

We need to ramp up the system..... we need a bold infusion of dedicated revenue. MNDOT has the staff to do it...(contrary to Holberg's assertion); they are highly qualified people who want to do the right thing but have been hampered by an appalling lack of resources. And the contractors will come. If the projects are funded, contractors will meet the needs in a hurry.

I think Holberg will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly things can "ramp up" when a real infusion of money is provided.

The Governor has been chastised into thinking a little more clearly. He is open to the gas tax.... bold action is needed to restore the confidence of the public.

Don't listen to Rep. Holberg... she is still listening to the Taxpayer League. It's time to listen to common sense.
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