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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Hillary on Health Care -- Disappointing

Category: Presidential Politics
Posted: 09/17/07 17:32

by Dave Mindeman

The Democratic Presidential candidates have been timid on Iraq and it appears they are equally timid on Health Care.

Hillary Clinton's roll out on her health plan is a huge disappointment. It is employer based and leaves the HMO's and insurance companies wielding the power.

The Hillary of the 90's has sold out.

I imagine it is too much to ask for that bold leadership in a fiercely divided and partisan nation, but I was hoping.

Still all of the Democratic candidates are proposing changes that are far superior to the Republican's "competitive" models. I hope that if the Democrats get full control in 2009, the real debate will begin.
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FAQs on General Petraeus' Testimony

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 09/17/07 16:43

This is worth a reprint from Alternet:

By Will Durst, AlterNet

Will Durst is a comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and former fork lift driver. Catch Durst performing his solo show "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing" in Off Broadway at the New World Stages (340 West 50th Street)

Posted on September 17, 2007

Q. How did General Petraeus' testimony in front of Congress go?

A. Pretty good. He emphasized that progress was being made in Iraq. The same way he talked about the progress being made in Iraq when he testified in the same room back in 2004. He might be using the same script.

Q. What's the difference between then and now?

A. Back then, Baghdad still had electricity and water and the wheel.

Q. Did General Petraeus speak about what the future holds for our Iraqi involvement?

A. He acknowledged the road ahead would be difficult. He also allowed that fire engines are often red.

Q. The General said we have raised the number of trained Iraqi security forces fighting alongside American troops. Is it a significant rise?

A. 60 percent. From five to eight.

Q. Five to eight brigades? Divisions?

A. No. Troops. Used to be five guys we could trust. Now it's eight.

Q. What happened to the Democrats holding the General's feet to the fire?

A. Everyone except MoveOn.org scampered away like 12-year-old girls running from a big hairy spider.

Q. What did MoveOn.org do?

A. They ran a full page ad in the New York Times spotlighting General Betray Us.

Q. Why?

A. How often do you get a rhyme like that? Once in a lifetime shot; they took it.

Q. Doesn't the latest National Intelligence Estimate report Iraq's government is paralyzed by internal squabbling and petty personal differences?

A. Yes, so if you think about it, we have made strides in installing an American-style democracy.

Q. Did the General really respond to whether our intervention in Iraq was making America safer, by saying, "Unh, I don't know, actually"?

A. Yeah. So?

Q. Nothing. Just curious.

A. Well, move on. I mean, keep going.

Q. What does the General mean when he says security gains since the surge have been "uneven."

A. "Uneven" is traditional Pentagon speak for "getting our butts handed to us on a paper plate."

Q. What about those benchmarks that were oh-so-important in January?

A. Turns out they weren't really all that important. What is important is other stuff. Stuff that looks good right now.

Q. The President called the insurgents in Iraq, Al Qaeda 12 times in his speech. What's up with that?

A. A small group calls itself Al Qaeda of Iraq, but its not the same Al Qaeda responsible for 9/11. Surfing off the credibility of the name. Kind of like a terrorism franchise.

Q. Does fighting one hurt the other?

A. There used to be two teams in the Canadian Football League called the Red Ryders. But if you beat one it didn't mean you got credit for two victories in the standings.

Q. What ever happened to "we'll step down when the Iraqis step up?"

A. Someone stole the steps.

Q. Was a timetable provided for reducing troops in Iraq?

A. Nothing clear cut. Something to do with snow and hell.

Q. And the upshot of the whole thing?

A. General Petraeus asked for more time. He's hoping to come back in March with a new report.

Q. So, they're just going to keep kicking the dead cat down the road. Until when, do you think?

A. Does November 4th, 2008 have any meaning here?

Q. Is that a question?

A. Sorry, no.

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Ramstad Set to Retire In Swing District

Posted: 09/17/07 14:39, Edited: 07/03/13 13:45

by Dave Mindeman

The Star Tribune is reporting that Rep. Jim Ramstad will announce his retirement this afternoon. This is not official yet.

However, this brings some mixed feelings. Ramstad worked with Paul Wellstone on mental health issues and is certainly a more moderate voice than Kline and Bachmann. Ramstad is a known commodity....the election of 2008 will be a question mark.

The 3rd District has to be considered a swing district. If the Democrats can muster a strong candidate, they have a chance to get a turnover. The Republicans will be worried about this one but their nominee will certainly be farther to the right than Ramstad has been.

Another interesting story for the 2008 election.
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