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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Fearmongering In America - Making Us Wimps?

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 10/24/14 19:17, Edited: 10/25/14 00:00

by Dave Mindeman

Republicans must think that US citizens are all wimps.

I mean they seem to think that we are scared of everything. Ebola, ISIS, the IRS, Taxes, our shadow....

I find it a little insulting that the Republicans in the US House of Representatives think that I cannot understand scientific explanations of how the Ebola virus works and the protocols that can prevent it. They tell me that I should want to shutdown air travel....and not trust the CDC to give me proper information.

I should be scared - and that means to vote against those Democrats.

On the one hand, the GOP puts out this message that the US is the most powerful nation on earth. We are not afraid of anybody and can take on anything. USA!

Then, on a dime,they turn it around and expect us to cower in fear at the very mention of ebola. To hide behind the closet door when ISIS is discussed. To live in constant terror because Democrats are in the government.

When they give us these dire warnings, they seem to forget that it is the Republican House GOP Majority that controls the purse strings of government and has for the past few years. They have blocked funding allocations for critical research. They voted for the sequester and the defense cuts.

They have an Intelligence Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee and a Defense Appropiations Committee which are supposed to analyze our defense posture and then translate that into proper funding mechanisms.

They are as much at fault for any ISIS problems or ebola shortcomings as any of the Democrats or the President.

Yet, they sound the alarms at every opportunity. Run away, America. You are not safe. Elect Republicans before it is too late. Don't listen to anyone behind the curtain. Run, run, run.

It is a shameful exhibition, but unfortunately fearmongering works in the way we do elections. You can say anything in a 30 second sound bite. You can make scary pictures in a lit piece and mail it anywhere.

Yes, America is the greatest country on earth - except when it is not.
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7th District- Westrom: Another GOP Failure Regarding Health Care

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 10/19/14 21:10, Edited: 10/19/14 21:15

by Dave Mindeman

After listening to GOP 7th District Candidate Torrey Westrom on Hauser's At Issue program, I feel exasperated.

In regards to health care, Westrom counts himself as another "repealer". He wants to get rid of Obamacare and replace it.

But, he then takes the puzzling position of telling us that we can keep all the things we like about Obamacare.....

Westrom says we can still get health care with pre-existing conditions. Yet, gives no indication of how we pay for it without the compensating infrastructure of a complete system like Obamacare. If he thinks premiums are going up now, wait till insurance companies have to add that mandate without any compensating mechanism.

Same thing goes for his "assurance" we can keep our children on our policy through age 26. This will cost insurance companies - how will Westrom pay for it?

Then he uses the old Republican ploy about buying insurance across state lines to get cheaper insurance. How? Every state has different standards. Different treatment of health care issues. Different mandates. Different standards of care. If you just open up state borders without setting minimum standards, you have a false cost basis. And the cost savings is lost.

And then he talks about "portability" as if a magic wand can be raised and employees can simply walk away and take their health care with them. Under the employer based system we have now, the employer gets a group rate based on covering the people who work for them. It is a benefit the employer pays for... that is specific for the people who work for them. If an employee leaves and works somewhere else, does he get to keep his policy and have his "former" employer still pay a share? Of course not. True portability would only work under single payer healthcare. But I am pretty sure Westrom is not for that.

And even Westrom balked when Hauser asked him if the popular Obamacare benefit of eliminating lifetime caps would be included in the benefits he would keep.

He stumbled through an answer that indicated that would have to be talked about - which means he can't support it because even he knows that the insurance rates would skyrocket if, again, there was no compensating infrastructure to support it.

Westrom is just another clueless Republican health care denier. No real plan - just talking points that include the popular items. But never giving a method of paying for any of it.

It is kind of ironic that Westrom is making health care an issue in the 7th District because Collin Peterson was one of a few Democrats who voted against Obamacare.

So, although I am not a great fan of the incumbent Peterson, it is absolute foolishness to think that Torrey Westrom is any kind of improvement.
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PAC Influence - Which Is Worse. Peterson Or Kline

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 09/14/14 16:49

by Dave Mindeman

The Republicans are attacking Collin Peterson in the 7th because he takes too much money from unions and AG PACs. Here's the graphic going around:


The assumption must be that Collin Peterson accepts that money and does their bidding.

But does he?

Here is some union ratings for Peterson's voting record:

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - 57%
Unite Food and Commercial Workers - 71%
American Federation of Government Employees - 53%
AFL-CIO Lifetime Score - 75%
SEIU (2012) -66%


National Farmers Union - 50%
American Farm Bureau - 50%
National Association of Agricultural Employers - 66%

Not exactly a 100% record. Has the PAC money influenced Peterson? I guess it would be hard to say - and that is probably the way it should be.

For the 2013-14 cycle, Peterson has raised $785,050 from PACs. And the Republican Party is criticizing Peterson for taking that money and supposedly doing their bidding.

But they won't criticize John Kline will they. How about Kline's record?

Kline has taken $882,132 from PAC's.....over $60,000 coming directly from For Profit College PACs. And we all know how much he sticks up for the For Profit College industry.

So why isn't the Republican Party as concerned about John Kline's voting record and PAC money as they seem to be about Collin Peterson?

I'm certainly not going to defend Rep. Peterson. There are questions to be raised about his positions, but as for being influenced by money? It sure doesn't look like it.

The real culprit in money influence is John Kline. But you will never see that graphic about Collin Peterson being done in regards to John Kline. And that is because the Republican Party doesn't really consider it wrong - it's a matter of who gets away with it.
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