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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Republicans Seem To Have Forgotten What America Means

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 11/18/15 14:50

by Dave Mindeman

Amidst all the Syrian refugee talk coming from the Republicans, we seem to be missing a very important fact.

These refugees are not just going to walk into the US tomorrow. There is a year long process of information checking that goes on whenever someone seeks asylum. And if they have no information to check, as our GOP friends keep pointing out, then they do not enter the US.

Former Congresswoman Jane Harmon, who spent years on intelligence committees, spoke on MSNBC and mentioned that since 9/11 we have taken in 700,000 asylum seekers in the US and of those, only 3 had any connection to terrorist activity - and that connection was money laundering, for which they were deported. No terrorist acts can be traced to these asylum seekers.

This country has spent enormous resources to keep us safe. There is no way we can be perfect, but for Republicans to panic over the remote possibility that refugees could be terrorists in disguise is completely out of proportion.

In addition, this fallacy that we can protect the homeland by sending in more American troops into the Middle East is ludicrous. All we would be doing, in such an instance, is providing ISIL and terrorist elements a focal point for their destructive intentions. Yes, maybe we could take back territory that the Iraqi army was unwilling to defend, but the idea that terrorism would be snuffed out by such actions is pure fantasy.

It is discouraging that Republicans have chosen to use fear as a political tool. They have done it before, but never in such a harmful, blatant way. This nation needs to reject this equivalent to yelling fire in a crowded theater. It is foolish, it is harmful, and undignified.

This country is never going to cower in fear. So many men and women have fought and died to keep the shackles of fear far removed from our way of life. And if Republican fear baiting wants us to let terrorists change that equation, then we have to reject it...fully and completely.

The idea that we can run and hide from this fight is just wrong. And I believe we won't. The Syrian people are asking the world for help. If the US truly is the world leader, then we need to be leading the world in that help.

That is who we are. That is who we must be. Danger or no danger, we must show the world what leadership really means.
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Senate Republican Squatters

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 11/13/15 12:56

by Dave Mindeman

When you have to manufacture a political issue you are losing.

That seems to be the state of the Minnesota Senate Republicans. Looking for relevancy, it looks like they are going to be "squatters" in the State Office Building. Refusing to move to the new Senate offices.

I wasn't a big fan of how the new Senate Office building was pushed through the legislature. Bakk's methods of legislation are not transparent and often self-serving, but it happened. It's done. Kind of like the citizens pollution control board is gone or the Auditor's office has been weakened. They happened as well, but we deal with it. Senate Republicans are not dealing with it, they are intentionally trying to gum up the works. All for trying to make a political point.

I think we have more important things to deal with.

It is interesting to note that while Sen. Hann whines about office space, his Republican House comrades will have to deal with a Capitol building with no plumbing. The GOP Senators will have two office, while GOP House compatriots are using Port-O-Poddies.

I guess that has a certain element of karma to it.

Sen. Hann may have gotten some political mileage out of the Senate office building in the beginning, but wringing more out of it looks a little desperate. I would suggest that they stop the posturing and get down to the business of a transportation bill. The MnDOT bill is increasing as we speak.

As for those vacant offices, I bet there are more than a few House members who would like to call dibs.
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The Senate Office Building & The Posturing Of The Minority

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 10/18/15 03:33

by Dave Mindeman

Senate Minority Leader David Hann has been curmudgeonly complaining about the "lavish" Senate office building for more than a year. He and his caucus are planning a kind of boycott of the building by staying in their current digs in the State Office Building.

Yes, Hann is going to teach that Senate Majority a lesson. He is going to rob them of any Republican presence in the new building. What will the Democrats do?

Well, probably they will pick out the prime office space and go about their business. And since the 2016 Senate sessions will be held in the new building (because the renovation has forced them out of the Capitol), I guess the Republicans will get some exercise walking back and forth....and hope they don't forget something in their office. (Might see interns beating a path between the buildings keeping up with that.)

But Hann's complaints are a continuation of a Republican pattern. They continue their "no is the only answer" response to pretty much everything and then just expect somebody else to fix the problem.

When the Senate office building was proposed, the need for the space was not in question. The Capitol renovation would be booting the resident majority Senators out of the space and the opportunity to have all the Senators housed in one building presented itself. The old State Office Building is probably still serviceable for awhile longer, but not without additional upkeep and renovation expense. So why not pool the money into a new building that will maintain the Senate for another hundred years. Yes, Sen. Bakk probably got carried away with his office wish list...but that was justifiably walked back.

So now that the building is nearing completion and ready for use, the Senate GOP wants to continue to complain and milk those complaints as a campaign issue indefinitely.

Still, complaints aside, what exactly would the Senate minority have done to solve the space issue? Yes, they could continue in their current digs, but where would the other 40 plus Senators go? Senator Hann did not offer a Plan B to the "lavish" Senate office building. I mean a complaint is only legitimate if you have a better solution.

That seems to be the MN GOP modus operandi....MNSure, Medicaid, Senate Office Building, Transportation, Education...the same pattern presents itself. They vote no and then complain about what gets done, without ever putting something on record that provides an alternative.

My guess, when all is said and done, that the GOP Minority senators will end up trudging their way over to the new building and setting up shop. They will, of course, have to take up the leftover space because of the "hold out", but even that will probably be an improvement on their aging space in the State Office Building.

When we finally get past all of the posturing maybe, just maybe the legislature can get back to doing what they are supposed to be doing - the people's business.
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