Recently the United States House of Representatives voted 216-214 to pass the federal budget reconciliation bill that cuts nearly $40 billion from mostly student loans and human services. The Republican leadership argued this bill was necessary to slow the growth in entitlement spending and thus control the ever-expanding federal deficit. It seems both mean-spirited and shortsighted to make cuts in programs for the weak and vulnerable in our society. This will include drastic cuts to the already tight budgets supporting our foster care system and other vital human services.
How about a little support for our Kandiyohi County Board? These people sacrifice a lot of their time, and for what? All the money? Hardly. I don't believe any of them have future political ambitions or are looking for anything more than a little community service and respect. If the West Central Tribune keeps going after these individuals, we may find ourselves with no one willing to run for the job.
We have seen the caliber of three of Bush's cronies -- Joe Allbaugh, Mike Brown and Michael Chertoff -- but what happens to the civil service employees in the wonderful world of W? A woman with the improbable name of Bunnatine Greenhouse worked her way up to chief overseer of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers. Bunny, as she is called, had earned a reputation for being a stickler for regulations during 20 years of receiving outstanding job reviews. Then she made "mistakes" that caused her to be demoted from the Senior Executive Service to a lower job. Her "mistakes"?
Why are people concerned about the marriage amendment in Minnesota and America? We've witnessed how one judge has changed things. Our families, schools, state and nation are at stake for the future! Same-sex marriage was made legal last year in Canada. Already those Canadians who believe in the historic definition of marriage are now considered the legal equivalent of racists.
Sen. Dean Johnson's promise for a marriage vote in committee creates the perception that District 13 voters have a chance to vote on the marriage amendment this fall. Don't be fooled. A past history of votes in the Johnson-controlled committee shows that his promise is actually a guarantee to kill the bill and block it from reaching the Senate floor for a vote. In 2004, the bill was "debated" and killed in committee by the Democratic majority. A few Democratic senators prevented the amendment from coming before the full state Senate for open debate and vote by every state senator.
My husband and I subscribe to the West Central Tribune and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I want to thank you for the Feb. 24 headline in the West Central Tribune concerning Sasha Cohen receiving a medal in the Olympics -- "Cohen brings home a silver in figure skating." Your headline was positive and put the correct perspective on Sasha's winning the silver medal. By the Star Tribune saying her "dreams of gold dashed," it made it sound like she didn't accomplish anything because she took the silver medal. She should be given accolades for participating and winning the silver medal.
There are times when George Bush sorely disappoints. Just when you might expect him to issue a malapropian explanation, pander to his base or simply not have a clue about what he is talking about, he does something so right, so honest and, yes, so commendable, that -- as Arthur Miller put it in "Death of a Salesman" -- "attention must be paid." Pay attention to how he has refused to indulge anti-Arab sentiment over the Dubai ports deal. Would that anyone could say the same about many of the deal's critics.
WASHINGTON -- When John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960, he said some things about Catholic bishops that might, in today's climate, be condemned for insolence toward church authority. "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute -- where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act," Kennedy said in 1960. "I do not speak for my church on public matters -- and the church does not speak for me." Kennedy, of course, spoke those words in an effort to fight anti-Catholic bigotry.
It seems strange to see TV ads looking for support for a war. I mean, in one breath, George Bush and the religious right proudly champion respect for life and the next thing, they're running ads to support a war? A war on terror, part of which includes homeland security and now includes Saudi Arabia supervising the comings and goings in our nation's shipping ports?
The 2006 session is set to begin on March 1, with an end date of May 22. Since Minnesota has two-year state budgets, the Legislature won't be crafting a budget this year. Instead, this shorter session will primarily focus on putting together a bonding bill to make investments in Minnesota's infrastructure, including some key area projects such as the Grass Lake restoration project, the New London dam and the Glacial Lakes Trail. We will also be discussing a variety of key policy issues.