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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Tax the Turnips!

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 05/20/05 19:09, Edited: 05/20/05 20:58

by Dave Mindeman

Gas taxes are not fees? Cigarette fees are not taxes? I think Governor Pawlenty should put a tax on turnips because he apparently thinks we all just fell off the truck!
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How Dumb Can They Be?

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 05/20/05 16:04

by Dave Mindeman

Good government is a combination of sound fiscal judgment, creative problem solving, and a desire to meet the needs of all constituents. In Minnesota, there is no evidence that any of these factors are being considered.

Today's leadership places rhetoric above sound judgment in terms of fiscal policy. The current case in point is the transportation bill. An important bill because for the first time we had a real bi-partisan answer to a problem that has plagued the legislature for over a decade. A prudent leader would have seized the moment and hailed the bill as a turning point to broader cooperation. But our governor was too bound to his own "pledges" to do the right thing for our state. Again, our only solution will be to borrow and borrow heavily to meet needs that all sides say are factual and immediate.

Creative problem solving is ignored. The bill combined many potential revenue sources.... the gas tax being only one of several. Yet, Governor Pawlenty, would not even allow a full examination of the merits. His answer was simply NO!

The majority of Minnesotans would have benefited from this bill. Every area of our state has transportation needs. Even with this bill it is nearly impossible to fix the huge infrastructure gaps we have and it is equally impossible to satisfy each geographic area fully. But it still would cover a broad base of Minnesota's constituents. Instead of embracing that, Governor Pawlenty tried to pit groups against each other. Outstate vs Metro... Farm vs Suburbs... North vs South. Instead of bringing us together, he used his position as governor to accent the divisions.

Yes, the transportation bill could have signalled some real progress to meeting the needs of this state. Instead what we got was a fundamental breakdown in real leadership. Governor Pawlenty, this gridlock is YOURS!

If the citizens of Minnesota are ever "profoundly stupid" enough to, again, elect a governor that eliminates options for balancing our budget before we even begin the discussion, you have to ask the governor's own question, "How dumb can they be?"
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LickSpittle Norm

Category: US Politics
Posted: 05/18/05 02:06, Edited: 05/18/05 08:35

by Dave Mindeman

Lickspittle. Now there's a word you don't hear everyday (at least not on this side of the "pond";). I felt compelled to find out what it meant when a British member of parliament, George Galloway used the term, calling Coleman's panel a "lickspittle Republican committee, acting on the wishes of George Bush."
Well, I couldn't let that pass -- I went right to the internet and found this definition in the Hutchinson Encyclopedia:

lickspittle: n. toady, flatterer

You know, that is probably a good summation for the activities of this "toady" committee. Norm could be investigating things that are a little more interesting.... like, the British Memo that indicated the Bush administration fabricated the reasons to go to war; or maybe he could track down what happened to that missing $8.5 billion unaccounted for in the occupation; or maybe he could do some checking on why no senior military officers except a woman National Guard general received punishment or reprimand for Abu Ghraib. There ARE things for Norm to investigate. Unfortunately, Norm only has eyes for Annan.

Mr. Galloway also said something else that piqued my interest. He compared our own Senator Coleman to Joe McCarthy. Norm?? Just like Tail Gunner Joe? Ok, I couldn't let that go without some checking there too.... here's my list:

Norm Coleman: Lawyer, JD from Univ. of Iowa
Joe McCarthy: Lawyer, JD from Marquette Univ.

Norm Coleman: Student body President at Hofstra University.
Joe McCarthy: President of his Law School Class at Marquette

Norm Coleman: Defeated for Governor (1998) in first run for state wide office.
Joe McCarthy: Defeated in Republican Senate Primary (1944),
first run for state wide office.

Norm Coleman: Former Democrat turned Republican
Joe McCarthy: Former Democrat turned Republican

Norm Coleman: Supported Wellstone in 1990 and Clinton in 1992
Joe McCarthy: Voted for FDR -- 4 times!

Norm Coleman: Became Senator in a close race, replacing Progressive Paul Wellstone.
Joe McCarthy: Narrowly defeated Bob LaFollette in Republican primary. LaFollette was one of the most liberal people of his day and was head of the Progressive Party previous to this. He attempted to return to the GOP in this primary. (Yes, there used to be Progressive Republicans!)

Norm Coleman: Married to actress and model, Laurie.
Joe McCarthy: Married Washington socialite Jean Kerr, voted the
most beautiful woman at George Washington University.

Norm Coleman: Chair of Senate Governmental Affairs Committee-Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations.
Joe McCarthy: Chair of Government Operations -- Permanent
Sub-Committee on Investigations.

Norm Coleman: Pushed himself into limelight with
December 04 Wall Street Journal piece calling for Kofi Annan to resign because the UN is riddled with an oil for food scandal. Guilt by association offered, but no proof.

Joe McCarthy: Pushed himself into spotlight in a February, 1950
speech accusing the State Dept of having 205 known Communists in its employ. Not a single name was ever divulged or discovered.

It is a little eerie to see that Coleman is chair of the very same committee that led to that ugly time in our history. McCarthy and Coleman are very similar in ego and ambition. While Joe McCarthy's rise and fall were swift in both directions, the jury is still out on good ole' Norm.

One thing for sure. We won't have to worry about what to nickname our illustrious Senator... McCarthy was famous as Tail Gunner Joe but that doesn't hold a candle to "Lickspittle Norm"!

Gotta love it, you old toady.

Shouldn't this guy be on the no-fly list?
comments (1) permalink


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