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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Can DFL Play Pawlenty's Game?

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 05/06/05 10:41

By Jay H. Steele

The Star Tribune reports that Governor Pawlenty called the DFL tax increase proposal "profoundly stupid" and a "job-killer." Raising taxes on the richest 46,000 in the state as a temporary measure to fix the budget is profoundly stupid? A job killer?

As for the job-killing aspect of the proposal, let the Governor prove it. As Wayne Cox, director of Minnesota Citizens for Tax Justice, said in the same article:

"Pawlenty says this is a job killer? I say 'Prove it,' " Cox said. Pawlenty's budget cuts have resulted in thousands of jobs lost, he said. "We've lost police officers, firefighters, teachers, day-care workers," Cox said. "His approach is the only proven job killer at this point."

Republicans simply have no reasonable response to the economic boom of the Clinton years, when our high tax state was one of the economic leaders in creating jobs. But Pawlenty isn't reasoning; or at least he isn't reasoning about the facts. He is reasoning that if he attacks loudly, quickly, and with loaded phrases guaranteed to get the media's attention, he can keep his party out ahead of the spin game.

How will the DFL respond? Unfortunately it is not enough to be right on the facts. They have to be ready to immediately respond in the media with their own media-savy statements.

They also need to make it clear they have the moral high ground. 46,000 rich Minnesotans are asked to pay a short-term tax hike so 30,000 working poor Minnesotans can stay on Minnesota Care and we can fund education and fund transportation. If we play this right and smart, it a clear win for us.
comments (4) permalink

Impeach Him!

Posted: 05/05/05 16:43, Edited: 05/26/13 11:25

by Dave Mindeman

When we became embroiled (in excruciating detail) in the sex life of Bill Clinton, Conservatives in this country seemed to have no trouble with bringing this seaminess to an impeachment level. Well, I want your reaction to the following paragraph:

"...(C) reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjucntion of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

This is a paragraph from a secret memo retrieved and published by the London Times. It was written by Matthew Rycroft (a Downing Street foreign policy aide) on July 23, 2002. The memo was restricted as "SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL -- UK EYES ONLY".

Another telling paragraph: "The Defence Secretary (British) said that the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US congressional elections. The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. ....We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force."

"Fixed around the policy" ... "the case was thin". The clear implication is that we were being led to war and the reasons were being sought after the decision had been made. Is that the type of leadership we can put our confidence in going forward in a very uncertain world?

Does this rise to the level of an impeachable offense? Well, as Greg Palast (the author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy) puts it, "a conspiracy to commit serial fraud is, under federal law, racketeering. ... (but) the Mob's schemes never cost so many lives."

It is clear from that memo that the British and American government had cleared a course of action prior to raising the issues that would justify that action. That, ladies and gentleman, is clearly fraud.

George Bush campaigned on bringing honor and integrity back to the White House. It looks like we are still waiting....

comments (0) permalink

Travelin' Norm

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 05/05/05 13:43

Check out this blog post over at Clever Pleasantry on Norm's "foreign" travel paid for by others. A small bite:

All told, Sen. Coleman has taken 36 privately funded trips. Most of them were paid for by PACs or lobbying groups.

My question would be whether or not his staff has been on some of these trips (and how many went.) I?m sure they have. Do they have to claim any expenses? Email Kevin Diaz and ask him to find out.

Coleman?s travel is completely unique in the Senate. His predecessor only made 15 privately funded trips during his last 2 years in the Senate; something Coleman has more than doubled.

The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Dick Lugar, has made 17 privately funded trips since the beginning of 03.

Senator Dayton has one privately funded trip in the same time period. Norm outpaces every member of the Foreign Relations Committee. His staff response is that his duties on this committee require travel. But virtually none of these privately funded trips is out of country.
comments (0) permalink


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