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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

It Would Be Funny If It Wasn't So Damn Serious

Category: GOP 2014
Posted: 02/24/15 00:54, Edited: 02/24/15 00:56

by Dave Mindeman

The Mall of America was listed as a target by Al-Shabaab in a recently recent video. The reaction has been kind of pathetic.

Rep. Tony Cornish thinks we need more guns.

Asked to expand on why he thinks banning guns in the mall's common areas isn't smart, Cornish says, "A terrorist pays no attention to signs. A terrorist is going to come in and cause mass casualties and couldn't care less if you have a petty misdemeanor violation of a sign," he continues. "It creates a kill zone of unarmed sheep for terrorists."

I have this scenario running in my head. Someone sets off a piece of fireworks in the rotunda. About a thousand people pull out a weapon. Someone gets nervous and sets off their gun; and thousands of shots ring out. Yes, that would be a kill zone.

What is the Mall of America security supposed to do if hundreds or thousands of people start sneaking weapons into the Mall? Are they going to thank them for their help? I think not.

And to make matters worse, the Congressional Republicans think that now is a good time to teach President Obama a lesson on immigration by defunding the Department of Homeland Security. The department might run out of money by Friday and have to lay off thousands of employees.

The terrorists don't have to do anything - we do it to ourselves.
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It All Smells Pretty Bad

Category: GOP 2014
Posted: 02/20/15 10:28, Edited: 02/20/15 10:31

by Dave Mindeman

Well, the legislature has effectively quashed the Commissioner pay raises. The dutiful "watchdogs" saved the taxpayers the tidy sum of $800,000 and pretty much locked those salaries in place forever.

Its an easy political target. Salaries for government officials make great optics when you can compare them to salaries for the average Minnesotan. Another symbolic victory for politicians.

But if that is the case, then why didn't the pay raises of some of the Republican legislative staff raise some eyebrows?

Ben Golnik who became the GOP Caucus executive director this year got an immediate raise for the position. He is paid $123, 971 - a nice bump of $16,171 from the previous salary for the job.

Golnik doesn't really serve the taxpayers (although his salary comes from them); he is strictly a political operative. His job is to develop strategy for the next political campaign. To advise on what the GOP does politically to keep their House majority and take the Senate in 2016.

Quite frankly, this job offer was a pay back for his work in developing the rural strategy in winning the House. He was a PAC coordinator with the MN Jobs Coalition. A position he had to leave to work at the legislature, but it is hard to imagine that his knowledge of the PAC and its contacts doesn't filter over into his new job.

No Democrat raised a question when Golnik got his raise. No Democrat even mentioned that the House Chief Clerk got a $32,508 raise for his job - which now pays $148,000.

Think the average Minnesotan is being served there? Think that taxpayers should be paying for political strategists?

The hypocrisy of this "flap" over Commissioner salaries leaves a pretty sour taste when it comes to facts and policy.

(It should be noted: Legislators in the last session passed a law giving the Governor the power to lift a roughly $119,500 pay cap on commissioner pay based on the recommendations of a bi-partisan committee, which included Republican Reps. Mary Liz Holberg and Mike Benson, and Republican Sen. Jeremy Miller.)

And the most disappointing figure in all of this is Majority Leader Bakk. Sure, he might have been protecting his caucus from the "optics" of it all. But where was his concern over optics when he ambushed the Senate Office building on the Democratic House and forced them to take that into an election year. The Governor and the House ended up supporting that, but Bakk wouldn't support the Governor on the pay raises.

The politics of this is deep in the manure - good public servants are forced to put their lives on hold to take these Commissioner jobs. Their private sector careers get interrupted. And, on top of all that, they have to listen to politicians accuse them of gouging the taxpayer.

It all smells pretty bad.
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Sen. Cruz Thinks Pres. Obama Is The Cause Of Income Inequality

Category: GOP 2014
Posted: 02/08/15 21:50

by Dave Mindeman

I wasn't sure I was reading this right but I assume this was said....

"The top 1 percent under President Obama, the millionaires and billionaires that he constantly demagogued, earned a higher share for our income than any year since 1928," he continued. "Those with power and influence who walk the corridors of power of the Obama administration have gotten fat and happy under big government."

That quote came from.................Sen Ted Cruz.

Cruz said that the middle class has not seen the same boost as the rich.

"Hardworking men and women across America are hurting," he said. "I'm glad President Obama and Hillary Clinton have discovered income inequality because it's increased dramatically under their failed policies."

Oh my goodness....where do we begin.

It is worth noting that Sen. Cruz has finally discovered that there is a prevalent income equality disparity in this country. But his idea that it is the President's policies causing it is, well, an interesting note.

But when it comes to Congress and income disparity?

1) The House has blocked extension of unemployment benefits.

2) It has blocked immigration reform (Cruz himself has been outspoken on this) without offering an alternatives. Putting pressure on minority businesses and agriculture.

3) They have battled the ACA at every turn and Republican controlled state legislatures have blocked expanded Medicaid which would help several million poor residents obtain health care.

4) They have refused to act on an increase in minimum wage.

5) Congress is repeatedly attempting to weaken Dodd-Frank which would give Wall Street more manipulation over mortgages and securities.

6) They block women's equal pay for equal work legislation.

7) They are against Net Neutrality, favoring corporations over consumers.

8) They continue to refuse to act on Campaign Finance or to act on reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act - which gives political power to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

9) The House GOP refuses to act on business harboring profits overseas and on repealing tax credits and incentives given to large corporations.

10) Continue to cut public education (with resulting increases in college tuition) while protecting For-Profit colleges.

11) The GOP continues their policies to restrict welfare, block jobs programs, and cut food stamps. While promoting corporate aid, special tax incentives for corporations, oil and gas subsidies, and an ever increasing reduction in federal regulations.

Whatever Obama proposes that is clearly marked to help the poor or middle class, the GOP blocks it. Tax increases on the wealthy are dead on arrival. And education help for the disadvantaged is made as difficult as possible by the President's opponents.

Senator Ted Cruz has enormous nerve to blame President Obama for our current income disparity.

But then, he wants to be President. So why not criticize the problem and make some political points - even though you, yourself, Sen. Cruz are just the type of person who can only make it worse.
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