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10 March 2006

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George Harris

Notice that Schieffer did nto say that Rochester would be "unethical and irresponsible." He is saying the he or teh DM&E as a corporation would be "unethical and irresponsible" if they agreed to give in to Rochester's demands. Rochester is simply being ignorant and selfish.

OdaSilva

Stick to the issues, Bill.

Bill

"I respect opponents who meet me head on instead of relying on cheap broadsides."

If only you would do the same.

OdaSilva

Steve,

Any discussion of withdrawl encourages the terrorists when it is not accompanied by a plan to strengthen Iraqi security forces.

Thank you for sticking to the issue. We may disagree but I respect your willingness to engage in debate instead of attempting to detract from it by throwing in a tangential and polarizing subject like, say, the proposed marriage protection ammendment.

I admire your courage and rhetorical acumen. I respect opponents who meet me head on instead of relying on cheap broadsides. Here's to an intellectually honest liberal: "Hear, hear!"

You should be the one writing regular Post-Bulletin columns from the liberal perspective.

Gary Mullen-Schultz

Odasilva wrote:

"it implies a politically enlightened elite knows better than ordinary men and women who are too ignorant or helpless to make their own choices and live with their consequences."

So, you are against the gay marriage amendment after all?

Steve

"We will begin rebuilding America's all-volunteer military by first setting a date-certain for withdrawal from Iraq, beginning with National Guard and reservists. We will pass legislation requiring US troops begin leaving Iraq at the rate of 15,000 a month. We will work as closely as possible with Iraqi government officials to make this withdraw orderly while continuing to provide them the resources needed to train and equip their own soldiers and police forces."

This is a firm policy statement that Oda calls "cut and run." Are there degrees of cutting and running? What if the statement was worded more like: we will train the forces and with those forces trained, we will begin to leave by 2006. Is this way of phrasing more like just using a stick while the policy statement is more like using a heavy log? In any case, both are statements in the direction of withdrawl/cut and run.

President Bush earlier today: "As more capable Iraqi police and soldiers come on line, they will assume responsibility for more territory with the goal of having the Iraqis control more territory than the coalition by the end of 2006...As Iraqis stand up, America and our coalition will stand down."

And here I thought any discussion of withdrawl encouraged the terrorists.

A reader

Change "LIBERAL Contract with America" to "the current Republicans" and you've got it just right. They have abandoned the true conservative principles of people like Reagan long ago. A backlash, long overdue, is starting by true conservatives.

More taxes? Lowering taxes now while spending money faster than ever will inevitably lead to much higher taxes later. They appear to be hoping it won't hit until they are all dead.

Intrusive government? Republicans used to complain about "jack booted thugs" but as soon as they were in power they kicked out the junior league people that came before and put the real pros in. Holding people for years without trial, wiretaps without search warrants, secret prisons, torture, and the list goes on and on.

Initiative and innovation? Fah. They are willing to throw money at dead and dying technology as long as the companies that support it stuff their campaigns full of cash. At the same time they give tax breaks to companies to export good technical jobs while importing cheap labor. And they play stupid games with education, too.

Politically enlightened elite? "Just trust us, we know what's best for you and you don't need to know what we are up to." Operating in secrecy, especially while spending our money, is never good in the long term. Misleading us with information they KNOW is false is unforgivable.

I can't ever quite place when the Republicans went bad but I think it was when they sold their souls to the conservative "Christians" in order to win more elections.

OdaSilva

I hold the door behind me open to those who will legally contribute to the greatness of America, wherever they come from. Like Ronald Reagan before me, I believe America's best days are ahead of her.

If you want myopia, you need look no further than your own LIBERAL Contract With America. It demands more and higher taxes, it requires more intrusive government, it precludes initiative and innovation, it implies a politically enlightened elite knows better than ordinary men and women who are too ignorant or helpless to make their own choices and live with their consequences.

Government, sir, is a tool, not a master. A sail, not a chain. It frees and guides, it doesn't squelch and bind.

Frank W. Hawthorne

Othelmo: You picked-apart that idealism-based Contract with the intellectual honesty of a Sean Hannity and the restraint of an Ann Coulter; but I'll accept it as a failed attempt at neo-conservative humor. Believe it or not, I'm pleased that this American "house" has become your house, as was true for my own two God-fearing-or-at-least-Observant immigrant grandfathers (who found American wives, loving families, and realized modest dreams). I've always thought that becoming a proud, new American was an invitation to quench one's thirst at the fountain of democratic idealism; but your words might lead us to think you found only a well poisoned by Democrats. Do you really think you've earned the right to slam the door behind you, wrap yourself in the flag we all love, and tell anyone who disagrees with you that they're somehow less than patriotic (just because your party of choice happens to be on top)?? I think it's pretty sad that--despite the (shared) belief system you profess to personally cherish, and organizationally lay claim to as some kind of GOP values monopoly--you display a deficiency (at least in print) of the kind of joyous optimism once characteristic to political heroes of both parties. I grew-up in a small town in southern Michigan during the 50's & 60's. Though I cherish mostly happy memories of those years, I now recognize that I unquestioningly heard a lot of otherwise good folks dismiss the idealism of the day (that came to us principally via the news) with derision, ignorance, and outright racism. If it ain't broke, don't fix it; was one of their favorite sayings too; but many of us who were raised to just accept that myopic defense of the status quo will never again believe that America can't do better for all its people. In 1972, when I worked my first presidential campaign as a new voter, I canvassed door-to-door in my community for McGovern and fully expected that at least some of my blue-collar, erstwhile Democratic-leaning neighbors would be supporting Nixon. Imagine my surprise when so many said "We're for George Wallace!" I guess you might see it as foolish, but I'm still looking with unabashed idealism and optimism for the silent majority (as Nixon called them) who see it my/Our way. Too bad--esp. considering your roots--that your "vision thing" sounds so much like that of those who thought they could preserve their privilege by denying it to others. Pax--Frank H.

OdaSilva

Translation of the "PROGRESSIVE CONTRACT WITH AMERICA"

"We Will Bring the Troops Home": We will cut and run

"We Will Crack Down on Corruption": We will do a better job of covering our tracks while we still take money from lobbyists and corporate types. "It's only wrong when Republicans do it," - Abramoff Democrat Harry Reid.

"We Will Make Public Officials Accountable": Never mind Bill Clinton, Dan Rostenkowky, Jim Wright, Mike Espy, Ron Brown et al.

"We Will Unleash New Energy for America": Let India, China and Russia use up all the oil. Who cares about economic development? Let them surpass us. Why compete? By the way, how do you like my new hand-cranked coupe?

"We Will Rebuild America First": We will tax the hell out of everyone. If the rich shelter their income, we will go after the middle class. We know Joe Six-Pack doesn't make enough to pay tax accountants.

"We Will Make Work Pay Once Again": We will squash entrepeneurship and destroy small businesses once and for all.

"We Will Make Healthcare Affordable": Government will take over health care. We will decide if you are sick and how sick you are. If you need surgery, plan on it six to eight months from now. Pray you don't die before then. Oh, did I mention we will outlaw prayer?

"We pledge to strengthen Social Security" We will do more of the same, dumping more and more money on the problem. If it's broke, why fix it?

"We Will Keep the American Dream Alive": We will be your nanny from cradle (those whom we allow to be born) to grave (those whom we do not euthanize). We will punish initiative, eliminate self-respect and extinguish self-reliance from the American landscape.

"We Will Provide Real Security for America": Welcome to El Norte. Mi casa es su casa.


Frank Hawthorne

With all due respect,and awe, for the conservative blogfest in progress--I question whether our good friends on the right even know any "real Democrats" in their desire to cleanse the body politic of same. Certainly, the late Sen. Wellstone never earned a crumb of respect from such ideologues in his lifetime for being true to his ideals, with the exception of a few GOP colleagues who understood that Politics requires hearing and responding intelligently to All sides of serious issues. That is the only way--en route to bipartisan legislation--that fair and just compromise can happen (which is something this Administration seems to have forgotten). As to a master "Democratic (Party) Plan" for solving some of this country's myriad problems--many if not all attributable to recent Republican mismanagement of the nation's affairs--I guess that whatever might happen in Congress that's different from what's happening now will have to wait till Democrats actually control ANY part of government, since all their progressive initiatives at present are either ignored or defeated on party line votes. Though I'd be a fool (bigger than any true conservative who supports George W.'s dishonest excesses) to think that All Democrats are ready to sign-on to the oft-seen "Progressive Contract w. America," I encourage you to read it if you really want to understand us beyond the Limbaughesque ridicule and stereotypes:
PROGRESSIVE CONTRACT WITH AMERICA
We Will Bring the Troops Home.
Our military has been stretched to the breaking point through a series of unwise deployments, particularly the war in Iraq. We will begin rebuilding America's all-volunteer military by first setting a date-certain for withdrawal from Iraq, beginning with National Guard and reservists. We will pass legislation requiring US troops begin leaving Iraq at the rate of 15,000 a month. We will work as closely as possible with Iraqi government officials to make this withdraw orderly while continuing to provide them the resources needed to train and equip their own soldiers and police forces.

We Will Crack Down on Corruption.
The revolving door between corporate lobbies and high public office must be closed. We will pass legislation prohibiting legislators, their senior aides and executive branch political appointees from lobbying for two years after leaving office. We will let the sun shine into the deepest corners by requiring detailed public reporting of all contacts between lobbyists and legislators and the timely posting of such contacts on the Web. We pledge to apply these rules to all, regardless of party, as one way to take big money out of politics.

We Will Make Public Officials Accountable.
When public officials fail to do their job, as in the pre-9/11 and WMD intelligence failures, we will require an independent investigation be launched so that no official's actions, regardless of rank or position, escapes review. We will detail action on the urgent needs that this Administration has ignored: Improve port security, bolster first responders and public health capacity, and require adequate defense planning by high-risk chemical plants. And we will attack fraud, waste and abuse, beginning with the pork-barrel squandering of national security funds.

We Will Unleash New Energy for America.
We understand that the "age of oil," is nearing an end. Therefore we pledge to launch and fund a concerted drive towards real energy independence for America. We must approach this task with the same sense of urgency, funding and attention that the nation gave to the Manhattan Project. We will focus these efforts solely on mainstreaming renewable, non-polluting sources of energy such as hydrogen, wind and solar, with the goal of achieving total energy independence no later than 2020.

We Will Rebuild America First.
We will pass legislation rescinding Bush's tax cuts for the already wealthy and corporations in order to create more jobs here than overseas. We will accomplish that, in part, by using the additional tax revenue to create good-paying jobs rebuilding America's decaying infrastructure.

We Will Make Work Pay Once Again.
There are only three nations on earth with such a vast disparity between rich and poor, Russia, Mexico and the United States. It is a disgraceful effect of GOP economic policies that favor corporations and the wealthy while ignoring hard working Americans. While CEO pay has moved steadily upward, the pay of working Americans has fallen, in many cases below the official poverty level. We promise to reverse that trend, beginning by passing legislation raising the minimum wage to a level that reflects current economic reality. We will encourage workers, including white collar workers, to take a hand in their own destinies by joining unions, as well as becoming shareholders in the companies that employ them and fully participating in both union and shareholder activities. We will insist that any companies that receive government contracts pay the prevailing wage.

We Will Make Healthcare Affordable.
We pledge to fix America's broken healthcare system, and to do so quickly. We will study and then propose a single-payer, universal, healthcare system to be in place no later than 2015. We will also immediately reverse the Republican shameful sellout to the pharmaceutical industry by empowering Medicare to bargain down drug prices and allowing people to purchase drugs from safe outlets abroad. We Will Protect Retirement Security.

We pledge to strengthen Social Security.
We will not risk Social Security by privatizing it. Instead we will modernize Social Security by, in part, recognizing that people live and work longer than they did 75 years ago. We will also modernize the ways the Social Security Trust Fund is invested to assure it always grows at least as fast as core inflation. We will also require companies to treat the shop floor like the top floor when it comes to managing their pensions and healthcare benefits.

We Will Keep the American Dream Alive.
We will immediately stop and reverse current GOP efforts to cut eligibility for college grants and to limit loans. Instead we will offer a contract to American students: If they graduate from high school, they will be able to afford college or the higher technical training needed to be successful in today's economy. We will pay for this by preserving the estate tax on the wealthiest multimillion-dollar estates in America.

We Will Provide Real Security for America.
We will foster and lead an aggressive international alliance to track down stateless terrorists, capture or kill them and confiscate their assets. Captured terrorists will be always be treated in accordance with international law. We will increase efforts and funding to track down and secure "loose nukes." We will detail action on the urgent needs that this Administration has ignored: Improve port security, bolster first responders and public health capacity, and require adequate defense planning by high-risk chemical plants. We will also affirm the reality that no nation can ever be secure as long as its borders are not. We will bring order and security to our borders by increasing border patrols and controls and by instituting a fair, manageable and humane guest worker program. We will also aggressively prosecute employers who employ or exploit illegal immigrant workers.

Bill

"He has never worked an honest day in his life..."

Hmmm. Sounds like many politicians including prominent Republicans like our other senator, the governor, and the president.

It's pretty much a fact of elections that only wealthy people can get elected to "higher" posts because they can't hold down a job (unless they get some rich friend to "hire" them to do no work like the gov) while campaigning (i.e., raising money).

Huh. Now that I search I see that Dayton was actually a school teacher in NYC after graduating from college.

OdaSilva

Like you, I am somewhat puzzled by "big government conservatives." Talk about an oxymoron. That's why I am 100% behind Congressman Gil Gutknecht's reelection effort.

Speaking of millionaire liberals who fund their own campaings because no one else will, how about Kelly Doran? I mean, is he even campaigning? I hear he and Kiscaden were very successful in their straw poll during the Olmsted County DFL caucus, if no where else in Minnesota, last week. Maybe they are running for governor and lieutenant-governor of Olmsted County.

HStassen

OdaSilva:

Quite true that Mr. Dayton never pretended to be anything but the liberal that he was. However, he refused to do any campaigning because he didn't like to beg for money. So, he mostly funded his own campaigns, at great expense. I think he finally ran out of money. There is something to be said for a politician who will meet with his constituents and actively raise the money needed to run. This is a show of support. A candidate who is unwilling to campaign has some problems. Dayton felt it was beneath him to raise money; not surprisingly he favored a government "trust" to fund campaigns. That was actually his solution to most every problem.

Unfortunately, it also seems to be the approach a lot of the Republicancs have taken in Congress. They are spending our money faster than the liberals ever thought of. It gets pretty confusing to watch, and disheartening.

By the way, the term "honest liberal" is really an oxymoron. As noted, when they expose their real agenda, only a small percentage of the populace is willing to vote for it. So they have to hide things. Wellstone was perhaps the closest thing to an "honest liberal". Now if we could only find some "fiscal conservatives".

OdaSilva

HStassen,

I will also be happy to see Dayton go but I must confess that it's refreshing to see a real liberal every once in a while. Unlike our local DFL representatives, Dayton never misrepresented himself to the electorate. People who voted for him knew exactly who he was. No doornocking to "listen" to the voter and no last minute "independent" expenditures that mischaraterized the incumbent's record.

Where have all the honest libs gone?

HStassen

Wow, what a bonus that would be. We would get new railroad tracks through Rochester and be rid of Dayton forever. I will volunteer to tie Dayton to the tracks with bungee chords just in case he changes his mind.

It is good that in about a year we will be rid of this clown. It has always amazed me what makes DFL'ers adore him so. He has never worked an honest day in his life and has lived off his ancestors hard work. He is typical of the hypocritical wing of the Democrat party, which fashions itself the "party of the working man". Sadly he is not in a minority in that party with the likes of Ted Kennedy, John Corzine, Nancy Pelozi, Jay Rockefeller and Hillary Clinton. His 6 years in Washington have been useless no matter which side of the political aisle you reside on.

McLaughlin Report

I think Dayton has it wrong - it was the Democratic Party who threw him on the tracks. What an absurd story, given that Dayton is lame-duck minority party reject. He holds about as much influence in Washington as our former pro-wrestler governor.

Ryan

I threw myself on the tracks on 19th St by the RAC once, but I gave it up after two hours when I realized the tracks weren't in service any more.

OdaSilva

Dayton is a real Democrat and so is Howard Dean. It's no wonder the smart ones pretend to be "bipartisan" and "moderate," not to say "rational."

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