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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Warner's Message to Al-Maliki is the Right One

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 08/26/07 13:23

by Dave Mindeman

During the discussion about Senator Warner's call for a message of some troop withdrawal by Christmas, Senator Cornyn of Texas said this:

Senator Warner is a great patriot and a student of history, and he's clearly sending a signal to the Iraqis that our patience is not unlimited, and that's correct," said Cornyn, a fellow member of Senate Armed Services Committee. "But I don't think it's in our best interest to put so much pressure on the new Iraqi government that it absolutely collapses."

Frankly, I would contend just the opposite. It IS in our best interest for the Al-Maliki government to collapse. The Iraq government is paralyzed and it would seem that no amount of "surging" is going to move the obstacles..... because Al-Maliki, himself, is the main example.

One of the areas that Bush keeps talking about as a "success" story, is in Al-Anbar province. This is where US forces and the Sunni tribal sheiks have reached an alliance. Yet, Al-Maliki responded to that with alarm rather than support. It is becoming clear that Al-Maliki is attempting to move his government into Shia dominated coercion rather than unification. If US forces are propping up such a government, then we are spinning our wheels and can never leave.

Senator Warner is right. Start moving troops out now. Al-Maliki must adapt or his government will fall. Either way, at least there will be movement.
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Some GOP Minnesota House Reps Get It

Category: I-35 Bridge
Posted: 08/26/07 12:36

by Dave Mindeman

I am often accused of being overly partisan and for the most part I plead guilty because it has been very hard to find any Republicans who are not obsessed with their "tax message" at the expense of policy.

But in today's Pioneer Press I have found two Republican House members who are the consummate voices of reason.

Rep. Kathy Tingelstad of Andover and Rep. Jim Abeler of Anoka want the Legislature to do its job and get to work on the roads and bridges. They aren't newcomers to this realization; they both voted in favor of the House transportation bill that was vetoed by Governor Pawlenty during the last session.

It is rare that Republican legislators use the word "underfunded", but the black and white of our budget situation tells the naked truth. As they point out in the Op-Ed:

Current MnDOT data shows that many roads in the metro area and Greater Minnesota are deteriorating and congested. To make essential improvements in the metro area would cost over $27 billion. Yet, based on current funding projections, there is only about $10 billion available over the next 20 years ... So, we are about $17 billion under-funded! And that's just to get caught up to today's needs. This is without the inclusion of future roads and upgrades needed to address the growth that is certain to occur with projected population increases.

Finally, it would seem that we are coming to a bi-partisan consensus on a problem that has been staring us down for years. Now, if only the Governor would get the ball rolling, Minnesota can finally have a serious discussion.

Thank you, Representatives Abeler and Tingelstad. Your districts will thank you for your service.
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Michael Vick's Not the Only One

Category: Society
Posted: 08/25/07 11:11

by Paul Bartlett

No doubt about it, Michael Vick's cruel treatment of dogs is pretty
disgusting, and he deserves whatever punishment he gets. But let's put this in a broader context.

Back in October 2004, under the guise of a hunting trip, country singer Troy Gentry walked into a penned game preserve in Sandstone, Minnesota and lethally shot an arrow into a tame black bear named Cubby. This was an act of unspeakable cruelty and it barely made a blip on the public outrage radar. Similar acts of cruelty are committed against helpless animals every day in this country.

Moral consistency would demand that Troy Gentry be Michael Vick's cellmate and that similar acts get similar punishments. Otherwise, all of this outrage is disingenuous and selective, and as a society, we've learned nothing.
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