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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Re-Writing Bush History

Category: US Politics
Posted: 11/11/05 13:40

In Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, Bush said, "it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began."

Huh? It would seem that before we can "rewrite" history, we would have to know the truth. We don't. What Bush really means is that we must not change his version of how the war began.

From the beginning, there were fundamental failures in all the pillars of Democracy. Our government's intelligence system only passed along the information that led to the conclusion asked for. Our President used his office to instill fear in the American people. The press asked no questions and questioned no "facts". The opposition party demanded no accountability and the courts cowered in indecision, afraid to meddle with a President's war powers. The checks and balances that normally bring the truth to the surface were soundly defeated by a government clearly determined to go to war.

Finally, some of the questions that should have been raised a few years ago are being raised. Some of the administration's defense comes from the Silberman-Robb commission. In a nutshell, this commission is defined as:

A panel, formerly known as the Commission of the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, that submitted its final report to the president in March of this year.

The conclusion of this commission, that the administration now points to as their defense, stated:

"In no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments," the report states. "We conclude that it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate pre-war intelligence assessments."

Excuse me. How do you prove or disprove political pressure? If your boss asks you to bring him a report which shows him how your department is doing -- which way do you slant?

Who knows how many buried e-mails are out there going up and down the intelligence network, cherrypicking the items that get passed to the Oval Office.

No, Mr. President, we aren't re-writing history because we still don't know how you got us to this awful situation in the first place.

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Tuesday's Election in Republican Words

Category: US Politics
Posted: 11/10/05 14:23

by Dave Mindeman

Tuesday's election was pretty positive in Democratic terms. It gets even better when you hear the Republican talk machine assess it:

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) on Tuesday: "If I were a Democrat, I would make hay of this."

Bob Novak: "Bush gets the blame. In the days immediately preceding Tuesday's elections, Republican committee chairmen in Congress grew increasingly contemptuous of their President. . . Thanks to Virginia, Bush can expect more of the same."

Wall Street Journal Editorial: "About the best thing Republicans can say after Tuesday's election debacle is that at least it happened in an off-off year. This was a Democratic rout any way you look at it, from the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey to the ballot initiatives in California. If the GOP learns the wrong lessons, it'll happen again next year, when a lot more will be at stake."

Washington Times headline: "Bush 'sank' GOP in Virginia!"

Delegate David B. Albo, a Republican who narrowly defeated his Democatic challenger in Fairfax County, saying of Bush, "We know that George Bush is just killing us. His popularity just brought the ticket down. There's no other way to explain it."

Enough said!
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The Voters Must Lead..

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 11/09/05 11:54, Edited: 11/09/05 18:10

by Dave Mindeman

I opened up my paper this morning and I checked to see what happened with our local school referendum. I was relieved to see that all the measures up for a vote passed and by a significant margin. But then I started to glance through the other suburban areas that held referendums. As I scanned through them, it soon became apparent that the Yes votes were dominating. In fact, when I counted it all up there was a total of 29 ballot issues for suburban schools and SEVENTEEN OF THEM PASSED! (72% passage rate overall) From Brooklyn Center to Wayzata, from Forest Lake to Hastings -- Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes.

I hope our legislators are taking notes. The constant drone of no new taxes from our representatives is becoming a meaningless mantra. Their consitituents seem to be the ones leading now. The St. Paul crowd forced us all into a choice -- a choice between, cutting funding which will cut back on options and services... or... taxing ourselves to keep education at a quality level that will give our kids the future they deserve. Yesterday, in overwhelming numbers we chose the latter.

Now, I'm not saying that the voters particular like increasing their own taxes. I know that for me, it is pretty painful in May and October to write those big checks. And I voted yesterday to increase the amount I'll be writing. But our legislature has failed to lead. They wanted to make sure the state can balance its budget without raising taxes generally. They held the line! They said NO! And the result of all that is a hard choice for property owners.

Well, yesterday, the voters of Minnesota said -- if you, the legislature, can't lead us to quality education, then we will have to do it ourselves. Those suits at the State Capitol didn't hold the line on taxes, they just refused to make a decision about who will pay. The voters are the leaders today -- and maybe next year in November, we can get representatives who understand what their constituents are saying.
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