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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Carol Molnau: Transportation DECIDER!

Category: Transportation
Posted: 11/08/07 20:12

by Dave Mindeman

Carol Molnau is at it again....

Star Tribune.. November 8, 2007

Despite testimony from senior staff about the Minnesota Department of Transportation's improving finances, Commissioner Carol Molnau warned Thursday about possible delays in road projects planned for next year because of limits on agency spending

Hey, she means it. Commissioner Molnau is not above juggling priorities when it comes to transportation projects.

Back in 2003, the legislature passed a much needed transportation bonding bill to "catch up" on projects that were getting too far behind. Who decided where the money went?

Carol Molnau.

From MPR, September 17, 2003

"Highway 212 in the southwest metro gets the greatest percentage of the bond funding, while it's not even listed as a short term priority in MnDOT's plan," says Barb Thoman, Transit for Livable Communities.

Highway 212 has been controversial since the debut of the first rebuilding plan 50 years ago. Part of its success in leapfrogging ahead of other projects is due to decades of lobbying by developers, commuters and the current MnDot commissioner and Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau.

And where does Hwy 212 run through?

District 35A and Chaska.

Who is the current representative for District 35A?

Michael Beard - Shakopee

Who is the former representative for District 35A?

Carol Molnau - Chaska

So watch out! Your pet transportation projects need to tread carefully. Carol Molnau has taken on the role of "decider"!
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KSTP Rants On Homeless Vets

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 11/08/07 12:54

by Dave Mindeman

I don't normally listen much to AM 1500 KSTP TalkRadio, but they are the station that carries the Vikings, so last Sunday I had the car radio tuned in. And, when I was running errands this week, 1500 was still on the dial.

Last night, the Dave Thompson show starting talking about general topics and they picked up a news story that indicated that nearly 1 in 4 people in homeless shelters on any given day are veterans. A rather sad commentary on how well our veterans are taking care of by the system. And Dave Thompson indicated his displeasure with this report; however, he also decided to give his opinion on why this might be. He proceeded, without anything to back it up of course, to say that the large numbers of veterans who are homeless got that way because of the "non-support" from "certain" elements of this country. According to Thompson, anti-war sentiment was one of the reasons these men or women were on the street. He even had a World War II vet call in and agree with his hypothesis.

I grumbled in the car a lot but a few minutes later I was home and went about my usual routine. The next morning I was out on a couple of other errands and another KSTP host, Bob Davis, had picked up on the same story about homeless veterans. His first reaction was, "Well, we have to do whatever it takes to fix this." And I thought, finally, a rational thought. But, he couldn't leave it at that...no, sir. He went to on to expound how, although that was his first reaction, furthur thought brought him to the conclusion that it "simply wasn't true". He wasn't buying it....it wasn't possible. He ranted about how "homeless" people would lie about being veterans, that the VA would have records that could be verified, and that this report was simply just another lie to discredit our fighting men and women.

Same topic...two different right wing nutjobs....two different idiotic conclusions. And they completely missed the real point.

Veterans Day is approaching and we have a problem here. Veterans should never be homeless....they should never lack healthcare... they should never have to fight to get back their jobs. We have a government who gives a lot of lip service to supporting our troops, yet in every tangilble way, they fail them. Billions of dollars are spent every month to keep a war going that has no end game we know of. Our troops protect an Iraqi government that has shown little incentive to find any solutions. Why stop the flow of US dollars by standing on their own?

But in the meantime, our soldiers perform their duties in heroic fashion. I don't know of a single anti-war activist who blames the military personnel for any of this. Our beef is with the chief!

And if it would take an income tax surcharge to get these homeless veterans off the streets -- I'd pay it with pleasure. We really have to do whatever it takes to fix this.... we owe it to these brave souls.

Maybe KSTP could lead the way?????

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Message From A Veteran

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 11/07/07 21:52, Edited: 11/07/07 21:54

Patrick Dooley served with Co. D 1/8 1st Air Cavalry Division and received a Bronze Star and Air Medal. He can be reached at: patdooley@hotmail.com

My name is Patrick Dooley and 40 years ago this October I started my tour of duty in Vietnam. One valuable lesson I learned was to question authority. In fact after many years of trying to figure out what I actually did over there; I comforted myself with the notion that I was defending our freedoms. Some of them are:

Freedom of speech meaning the right to question, to disagree.
Freedom to peaceably assemble. The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

There is a serious disconnect between the people; and those that are supposed to represent us. Americans went to the polls and voted for change, but outside of a little feeble rhetoric, nothing has changed. The people who represent us spend between 2 and 6 times what they will make to get elected. This should be a light bulb moment.

Impeachment is off the table. The congress has a lower approval rating than the President and this isn?t a topic the Media is interested in.

Whistle-blowers are put in jail. Peace people get their legs broken and those that try to help are arrested. A student asked John Kerry a question and was shot with a taser, while a room full of people including John Kerry stood by. Many people are subjected to intimidation and incompetence at their jobs. The people in charge have become emboldened, they make examples of those who resist, which in turn scares more people into silence.

There is hope. Start using the freedoms you still have; use your freedom of speech to speak out and encourage others to speak out; use your freedom to peaceably assemble; and it is time to petition the government to put some issues on the ballot. You can go to Philadelphia II to sign up for direct democracy. Support groups that are fighting for America:

Iraq Veterans Against the War
Vietnam Veterans Against the War
Veterans for Peace
Gold Star Families for Peace
Code Pink.....and others.

The power should come from the people in a democracy. The government should work for US, it is time to turn the table. Put the power in the hands of the People.

Most Americans are good people, they want us out of Iraq. There are no Weapons of Mass Destruction, no ties to Al Queda, and the notion that we have to fight them over there so we don?t have to fight them over here is easily dismissed, when you realize you didn?t have to fight them at all.

Think how you would feel if a foreign power occupied our country? How did our ancestors respond to not being represented? How would they feel seeing what a nation of sheep we have become? Our good name has been ruined by a few unconscionable zealots.

My voice cries out like the ceaseless pounding of one?s fist on the chest of reality! ?We are the people.? ?We are the people.? ?Who are we??

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