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  Progressive Political Blog

Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Five Unexplainable Political Constants

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 05/12/15 10:30

by Dave Mindeman

There are some things in politics that defy explanation. Let me give you a few.,,,

1. Our Children Should Not Pay Our Debt - We Need More Tax Cuts.
Those two statements should never be uttered by the same person because they contradict each other. As David Stockman has stated, our debt and tax cuts that increase that debt, do not logically go together. Everytime a Republican proposes a tax cut that increases the deficit should be required to write an essay on how much of a burden they are putting upon the next generation of citizens. Republicans always cop out and say that we should reduce spending instead - yet, they propose spending cuts that affect the poor more than anyone else, and even at that, the cuts never begin to make up for the lost revenue of the tax cuts. It is bizarre fiscal policy.

2. Why Are They So Concerned About What Is In a Poor Person's Shopping Cart?
This is a growing trend in GOP politics as well. Welfare recipients get a marginally subsistence oriented stipend, but now it becomes government's duty to watch what they buy. And put together complicated restrictions and legislation about what is allowed for purchase. The cost of the oversight will far exceed any "waste" that occurs in the purchases. Foolishness.

3. Abortion Politics In General.
It is amazing how deeply concerned the political process is about fetuses, yet once they are born they join the ranks of statistical anomalies. Recently, Colorado had a program which promoted and funded the use of the IUD. The IUD prevents pregnancy - it DOES NOT abort anything. Yet, when the GOP in Colorado took over the Senate, they managed to kill this program. What they killed had done this - teen pregnancies had been reduced by 40% and teen abortions were reduced by 35%. Tell me, where is the logic on that?

4. Bad Things Happen Because God Is Mad At Us.
It is always worth noting that evangelicals have this mystical connection with God that allows them to announce God's intentions about natural disasters. And God seems to be particularly concerned about gays and abortion. Lying and cheating and murder never seem to invoke the wrath. Just gays and abortion. Another character has blamed California's drought on the state's legalizing of gay marriage. I do hope the reality of this is that this image of God, being portrayed as a petty, vindictive homophobe, is simply not true. If God is out there patrolling the world, wagging his finger at gays and shaking his head at reproductive choices....and then punishing everybody with drought, tornadoes, and earthquakes...then our God has taken on OUR image - not the other way around. I shudder if people take these God pronouncements seriously.

5. Climate Change Denial.
When Sen. Inhofe held a snowball on the Senate floor as some kind of "proof" that climate change was a myth, the image encapsulated the problem. Because it will cost energy companies and GOP donors a lot of money to work toward a solution, then climate change needs to go away. The damage to our future is palpable and we not only can't work to fix it, we have to keep proving the science over and over again. Science which is proven and accepted by anyone who studies the problem. We waste so much time and political capital on just acknowledging the existence of the problem. We are going to be too late to maintain the earth's capability of sustaining future generations. It has become a simple choice: Money vs The Earth. And this generation seems to be choosing money.
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Cheney Announces Run For 2016 White House

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 04/01/15 11:09

by Dave Mindeman

Wow! In a shocking new development, former Vice President Dick Cheney is throwing his hat into the 2016 ring. Surrounded by a number of former George W. Bush advisors, the former VP sounded determined to make a difference in the Republican primaries.

"We do not have enough war", noted Cheney. "We have become a weak nation and are not looking for enough avenues to exercise our military might - and might makes right!" ....as Cheney pumped his fist into the air.

Calling the rest of the current 2016 field a bunch of "centrist pansies", Cheney noted with confidence that "the base will support me". "They want me to take back the presidency for this Party".

John Bolton was on hand to lend his full support.

"Dick is just what we need right now. Israel could not have a better military friend....and a Cheney presidency will end the Iranian threat once and for all - one way or another," an excited Bolton said.

Paul Wolfowitz also joined the chorus. "Dick Cheney is a strong world leader. He will be the deterrent that will end the terrorist threat. The world will close ranks behind this great leader and take the world down the road of perpetual war that we have so desperately needed."

When asked about his health, Cheney was coy.

"The ticker is still hanging in there. We plan to revamp the White House with defibrillators in every room - and we also will get rid of every microwave in the White House. And the secret service will have a battery stash available for whatever electronic device is needed to keep me ready for every strategic contingency. You guys never thought I had a heart to begin with anyway (heh, heh)", said Cheney with that classic smirk.

Cheney was also asked about fundraising.

"Hell, that's no problem," Cheney quipped. "Halliburton and Lockheed are holding big fundraisers as we speak. No...no need to worry...war IS money."

Other Republican Presidential hopefuls tried to minimize their concern. Sen. Ted Cruz said, "Cheney isn't the only one who can be a strong leader. I can outhawk anybody."

Jeb Bush was asked how his brother would handle this. Jeb noted, "Well, my brother has had a long relationship with VP Cheney. We will have to see if George can get permission from Cheney to continue to support me."

Rand Paul noted, "Cheney will be a strong war candidate. I'll have some statements later that will make me seem more like him."

The political world has had yet another shake- up....

After all it is APRIL 1ST!!!
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Rep. Davids Takes Away Revenue And Health At The Same Time

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 02/19/15 13:47

by Dave Mindeman

Rep. Greg Davids is rapidly becoming one of my favorite Republican lackeys. He epitomizes what the GOP in Minnesota is all about. He stretches the truth like a rubber band and he offers critiques on anything proposed by Democrats and he hasn't met a tax he couldn't hate. Being Chair of the House Tax Committee helps that along.

But speaking of taxes, he's cutting us a new angle....

The House tax committee debated a bill Wednesday that would prevent cigarette taxes from increasing in the future. The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, who chairs the tax committee. His bill would put the breaks on automatic annual increases in the cigarette excise tax.

Cigarette taxes have less to do with raising revenue and more to work as a smoking deterrent. Former Gov. Pawlenty recognized that when he called a cigarette tax increase - a health user fee (his own need for semantics at the time).

Still, it has produced revenue. Davids change would cost the state....

The change would cost the state about $11 million in 2016-17 and roughly $38 million in 2018-19, according to the Department of Revenue. Analysts projected the anticipated decrease in sales of cigarettes would slow if the bill were to pass.

I'd like to hear Davids expound on how loss of revenue from his cigarette tax bill compares to the $800,000 in costs coming from Gov. Dayton's increase in Commissioner salaries, but I imagine Davids wouldn't see the point.

So we would lose revenue and cigarette sales would not decrease as anticipated. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. But Davids gives us his real purpose....

Davids said the tax encourages cigarette smuggling across state lines.

Sounds kind of ominous. But Davids isn't eliminating the tax or even reducing it - what he is doing is preventing automated increases that were put in the original bill to continue to deter smoking in Minnesota.

So how that is going to have any big impact on the current state of "smuggling" is hard to understand. Border cities have to contend with differences in state cigarette taxes and gasoline taxes. There is a fine line between advocacy for these border communities and statewide public policy. In the case of cigarettes, statewide policy has and should continue to have the higher priority. After all, cigarette use has an impact on our health and human service budget as well. And we have made important progress in the reduction of smoking in Minnesota.

What Rep. Davids is doing here is a strange set of priorities. He wants to reverse course on a successful state policy and take away the revenue it generates at the same time.

The GOP House acts in mysterious ways.
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