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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Telecoms: No Immunity Without the Truth

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 12/18/07 23:51

by Dave Mindeman

When immunity enters the discussion, wouldn't it follow that you need it because something illegal has occurred?

It is very troubling that Congress is poised to grant immunity to the telecom companies without any real investigation into what they did (or more likely, what they were coerced into doing).

We need a full and complete investigation into how far and deep our privacy has been invaded. The telecom companies will have no reason to come forward and explain their participation if they have been essentially "pardoned" before the investigation begins.

Thank you Chris Dodd for standing alone for principle. Shame on Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and yes.... shame on you Amy Klobuchar for not standing with him. Oh, sure.. Clinton and Obama will say they are on his side -- but they weren't there for the vote. And Klobuchar says she still hasn't fully made up her mind.... but she voted to break the filibuster. C'mon on Amy... we've already got Norm to give us that kind of tripe.

The telecoms need to be challenged. They need to tell us exactly what the Bush administration has asked of them. We need records and data. And we won't get it if the telecom industry is off the hook before they start.

It is not like they can't be granted immunity later --- but certainly not before we find out what we are granting that immunity for. Is that asking too much of this administration? A little clarity? A little truth?
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Minnesota Transportation: Molnau and Compromised Safety

Category: Transportation
Posted: 12/18/07 18:27

by Dave Mindeman

"No matter what else happens in the system, safety is the number one priority. Whatever the budget is, the dollars go into safety first and that is the number one priority. We will never compromise safety." -- Carol Molnau, August 3, 2007

Heading toward Minneapolis, I drive Cedar Ave (Hwy 77) a lot and I am always amazed at the commercial aircraft that buzz over the highway on their runway approach. More than once I thought...at some point one of those planes is not going to make it.

Today's Star Tribune feature article talks about the airport zoning restrictions that Molnau has relaxed in order to allow more development close to the airport. Pressure from city and corporate lobbyists were resisted by previous Transportation commissioners, but Molnau decided developers were being shortchanged. For reasons I don't quite understand, the MnDOT Commissioner has complete discretion in changing the airport zoning restrictions.

Oh, there is a buffer zone as required by federal law, but in the past, other zoning restrictions attempted to minimize a concentration of people just beyond that zone.

Thanks to Molnau, the Mall of America water park is right in the path of a major runway. Think about that for a minute..... kids in a water park and a jet malfunction on take off.

"We will never compromise safety." Sorry, Molnau, you already have.
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NorthStar: Economic Salvation?

Category: Transportation
Posted: 12/18/07 02:15

by Dave Mindeman

Light rail critics always cite the public subsidy involved in the building process. But an article in today's Star Tribune analyzes the forgotten benefits -- economic growth around the line. As the article states:

The cost to build the Northstar line is $320 million. But the economic impact of the line, scheduled to open 2009, on the region could actually be worth closer to $1 billion.

And that is over and above the ridership fees.

Given the slowdown in jobs and economic activity that Minnesota is experiencing, the arguments against light rail will wither in light of these numbers.

I do not understand how Republicans can continue to oppose these investments.... they are vital to a healthy economy in this state.
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