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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Fightin' Words? Get Out of the Locker Room and Get To Work

Category: Economy
Posted: 06/29/11 23:07

by Dave Mindeman

It is hard to listen to a negotiation process which can get sidetracked by juvenile indignance like "fightin' words".

Doug Grow, Minnpost, has a piece about how Republicans are all up in arms over some words from Rep. Ryan Winkler....

Republicans.....apparently have themselves in a tizzy over words uttered and tweeted often by Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley. Winkler frequently has noted, in tweets and one early morning floor speech, that Republicans will "cave" to the wishes of Gov. Mark Dayton.

Just another confirmation that these negotiators are still thinking of this as some kind of foolish game. They win, they lose. That's what is put on the board.

Until this becomes a serious quest to do what is right for the state, rather than racking up scoreboard points, there will be only losers in this game of "chicken".

This is no longer about making points or standing on principles or pointing fingers. This is about governance. About getting the state of Minnesota back in working order.

If either side thinks that they need to rally around "fightin' words", then they need to get out of the damn locker room and start acting like responsible adults.
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Potential Deal Possible? Beware the Price

Category: Mark Dayton
Posted: 06/29/11 02:13, Edited: 06/29/11 02:14

by Dave Mindeman

There is talk that a budget deal is getting closer. The narrow framework that they have to stay in makes it difficult and it certainly could fall apart at any time, but their is a positive tone.

If it happens now, I would say that the higher income tax is completely off the table and both sides are working on "language" that could allow additional revenue from other sources.

The Republicans need to be able to say no more taxes happened. The Governor has to acquire new revenue of some kind.

My guess is that a hospital surcharge is in the works for health and human services. Education may get an additional payment delay. And possibly some tax loopholes will close. Racino may be a delayed option, but it is a more complicated measure to enact and also needs time to get set up.

I will be curious to see how much "revenue" could possible be wrung out of this state without moving toward a tax change of some kind. At present, that looks like the only way to patch this together.

And believe me; patch is the correct word. Nobody has talked of anything that resembles a long term solution. That will take some actual work from this legislature and bi-partisan work at that.

I listened to Phil Krinkie repeat the $34 billion, biggest budget ever, and huge increase over the last budget, bag of wind, on MPR today. He continues the GOP adage that if you repeat something often enough, everybody might start to believe it -- even the speaker.

This $34 billion figure does not account for the education shift. It does not account for the $2 billion in Federal stimulus. It does not account for inflation. And it does not account for population growth.

It is a farce.

But the GOP have told their base that this is gospel and therefore they have locked themselves into it for the entire negotiation process.

I hope that any budget deal includes enough money to prevent the awful health and human services cuts that are represented in the GOP budget numbers.

If it doesn't meet even that basic need, then I would rather shut the government down. It would be grossly unfair to the public employees, but the citizens of this state need to understand that government needs to work for the state to work.
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Bachmann's Run Possible Because of Pro-Choice Democratic Women

Category: Women's Issues
Posted: 06/29/11 01:47, Edited: 06/29/11 01:48

by Dave Mindeman

In 2008, I supported Hillary Clinton for President. Her viability as a serious Presidential candidate was a breath of fresh air and a culmination of the women's movement in this country.

When a young and ambitious Barack Obama entered the scene, I had mixed feelings. My first reaction was please, not now..... patience, your time is coming.

Well, as we know now, Obama's time wasn't about to wait and although I was disappointed, it was still exciting to support a break through candidate like Obama.

Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I think Hillary would have actually made a better President in the ways that Progressives have been disappointed with Obama policies. She would have used her considerable political skills to move health care in the right way...with that public option. She would be less apt to compromise with Republican on the important issues and I also believe she would have been bolder in fixing the economy.

But that is idle speculation and water under the bridge. What did happen is that Hillary Clinton ended any discomfort that may have remained about a woman as Commander in Chief.

That way was paved by pro-choice women. Women who fought the fight for equality and equal opportunity. A fight that became a core constituency of the Democratic Party.

The irony of a Michele Bachmann candidacy should be evident to all. She would not have supported the women of the 1970's and 1980's that made her candidacy for President even possible. Bachmann would have been in the Phyllis Schlafly belief system which insisted on women staying in the home and out of the workplace. On women being seen and not heard in the public forum. That is the roots of Republican women in politics.

Yet, here Bachmann is -- getting all the advantages of a new assumption that women can now have an equal chance at the Oval Office.

It is hard to think that Pat Schroeder, Shirley Chisholm, Geraldine Ferraro, and others....endured the obstacles and painful dismissal in their candidacies, only to have people like Michele Bachmann reap the fruits of their labors.

But that is how it works. The door is opened and who passes through it doesn't really matter and is not up to any particular preference.

The important thing is that the door is wide open.

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