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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

The Mimes Are Coming!

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 06/01/05 14:16

by Glenn Marshall

Brace yourself. I'm going to get abusive.

As I drove towards work this morning, I heard a story which I found less than gripping. A bill had been introduced that would create a poet-laureate for Minnesota. Not my primary area of concern. I let this announcement glide by.

I then heard that Governor Tim Pawlenty had vetoed the bill. Again, no major red flags went up. I mean, I like poetry, and it seems odd that a governor would waste a veto on something like that, especially in a state where the arts are held in such high regard, but hey, whatever steams your bean, Tim. Still no big issue.

What came next was unbelievable. Timmy felt so strongly about this that he decided to explain himself. He felt that the establishment of a state poet-laureate would be the slippery slope that would lead to (in order):

- A state mime
- A state interpretive dancer
- A state potter

I had no idea that we were facing an impending Mime Threat. I was entirely unaware that dancers were flitting around in the wings, just waiting for the right domino to fall before they move in for the kill. I apparently have ignored the historical record which shows that states that declare a poet laureate are all too often faced with a mass influx of pottery artisans.

What is this man smoking? Was he trying to be clever? Perhaps he was going for irony, because he preceded this statement by saying that he had great respect for the arts.

Think about it. If I were to say, "I have great respect for Governor Pawlenty, but if we re-elect him we might as well elect a sock puppet?" What does that say about my respect for this man? Granted, the similarity between Timmy and the puppet is much greater, if you can picture the Tax-Evaders League as the fist shoved up the puppet's... well, you know.

Has anyone ever noticed that Tim always precedes his most snide and vitriolic criticism with an expression of respect?

"He's a great guy, BUT..."
"I think that's a noble effort, BUT..."
"Their heart is in the right place, BUT..."

The man is the master of the "but" sandwich.

Just to clear things up, I *DON'T* have respect for Mr. Pawlenty. I gave him the benefit of the doubt early in his term, but he soon showed that he is only out to ingratiate himself with anyone who can advance his career. He's a dishonest, lying, cheating bastard who would sell his own mother for some air time, and I won't dissemble by asserting anything to the contrary.

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Remembrance

Posted: 05/30/05 16:50, Edited: 05/26/13 11:25

by Dave Mindeman

Senator Becky Lourey lost her son this week. It won't matter how or why. It will only hurt... deeply. Although we can never fully know the anguish in her heart, we stand with her -- all of us. There aren't any political statements to make, arguments to get into, or wartime legalities to debate... no, one of our young soldiers has fallen. And we salute him for his bravery, his courage, his honor, and his dedication to duty.

Minnesota has lost 22 young heroes. Debate over the reasons or the causes don't matter for them or for their families. They didn't ask for a war, but they fulfilled their duty. They had a job to do and they did it. Matt Lourey, like many fellow soldiers, signed up for a 2nd tour in Iraq. As we go into Memorial Day, it is time to pause a moment and honor their sacrifice. They serve both Red and Blue states and while we can disagree on the politics of it, we stand united in our appreciation and admiration of their devotion to their country and their comrades, and their dedication to service.

On Memorial Day, I always reflect back on two vacation moments that are, for me, frozen in time. The first occurred in Washington, D.C. One of the most moving sites in our national capital is Arlington National Cemetery. As one strolls the manicured rolling hills and absorbs the reality of row after row of white crosses in perfect order, one must pause and become deliberately aware of the personal story that lies behind each burial plot. As we strolled the grounds, deep in thought, a caisson with stately horses and perfectly choreographed soldiers moved in procession toward a final resting place for another soldier. The dignity of the moment impressed me and the special care and attention to detail made me feel proud.

The other moment occurred in Normandy, France. It was an anniversary date of the D-Day invasion - probably about the 45th - and we were just returning from a visit to the American cemetery at Omaha Beach. As we walked the beach and explored the bunkers that still stand ominously guarding the cliffs, I saw an old man seated near a precipice, his fixed gaze on the open sea. He was motionless. He wore a red beret and was leaning rather heavily on his cane. The ocean and the echo of gulls were the only sounds. But I wondered what else this old soldier heard in his private world. He could have been French, English, or American -- it didn't matter. For every soldier, war, once experienced must be a perpetual companion.

I would hope that all of our service people know that this country stands behind them 100%. We believe in them, and they constantly inhabit our thoughts and prayers. Too often, they hear the political rhetoric and misunderstand, thinking opposition to war is, somehow, a disrespect of them. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We all stand with them, all of us. Some of us will continue to question the political machinery that put them all at risk. That, in reality, is our gift of support for them. We want them safe; we want them supported with the best American technology, and, most of all, we want them home..soon!
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Mr. Kline, You are NO Coleen Rowley!

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 05/27/05 11:46

by Paul Bartlett, Eagan

I am just giddy at the prospects of Coleen Rowley challenging John Kline for the 2nd congressional district seat in 2006.

Rowley is the real deal; she is thoughtful, bright, articulate and honest. I have never met anyone less pretentious than Coleen; she is firmly anchored to our Minnesota and MidWest values. We could not hope for better representation.

And, did I mention, she also happens to be a legitimate national hero. Rowley had the guts to stand alone, to expose FBI foot-dragging surrounding our 2001 national tragedy. This is the sort of independent courage that is sorely lacking in Kline. Kline has demonstrated a total inability to separate from the administration, and stake out his own positions. Norm Coleman has been rightfully accused of being a toady. Well, Kline is toady extraordinaire.

To paraphrase Lloyd Bentson's response to Dan Quayle during the 1988 vice presidential debate: I know Coleen Rowley. Congressman Kline, you're no Coleen Rowley!

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