WASHINGTON -- It has been a cliche of American politics for more than two decades that those poor, tired liberals were bereft of big thoughts and wallowing in a swamp of old commitments, old ideas and old promises. In 1989, a headline in the Outlook section of The Washington Post confidently rendered this diagnosis on the liberals: "Tired and Defensive, They're Out of Ideas." In 1997, Charles Bray, who was then president of the Johnson Foundation, argued that liberal anemia had created the opening for a conservative jolt.
During the last week in October, a group on the West Coast was suing a teacher for bringing his religion into the classroom. The teacher wanted to teach his class some Buddhist relaxation techniques. Oddly, this lawsuit is coming from the very people whose national agenda is to have religious prayer and the teaching of Genesis as science in the public schools. We must have a clear separation of the church and state, as our forefathers intended. Otherwise we will become just as many strict fundamentalists in other places in the world are today.
I love you so. ... Gone? Who will swear you wouldn't have done good to the country, that fulfillment wouldn't have done good to you. Robert Lowell "For Eugene McCarthy" (July 1968) WASHINGTON -- By August 1968, Sen. Eugene McCarthy was gone and his supporters were left to wonder how -- whether -- his fulfillment was connected to doing good to the country. When the Democratic convention nominated another Minnesotan, Hubert Humphrey -- who in 1964 won the vice presidential nomination McCarthy had craved -- McCarthy took the campaign off.
AUSTIN, Texas -- As one on the liberal side of the chorus of moaners about the decline of civility in politics, I feel a certain responsibility when earnest, spaniel-eyed conservatives like David Brooks peer at us hopefully and say, "Well, yes, there was certainly a lot of misinformation about WMD before the war in Iraq, but ... you don't think they, he, actually lied, do you?" Draw a deep the breath of patience.
A letter written by Brad Nordby in the Dec. 10 paper was ironically titled "Untruths from the president," when the entire basis of his letter was untrue. President Bush was quoted to say, "This economy is strong and people are working." Nordby responded to this by pointing out the fact that General Motors is laying off workers and the Ford Motor Company is closing plants. The statistics as of Dec. 2, 2005, can better tell us about unemployment rates than the downfall of a few companies.
Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company in Benson is again leading the way -- this time turning to farm biomass to provide steam and thermal energy to operate their ethanol production plant. The company first began turning farmer-raised corn into ethanol to power Minnesota cars.
WASHINGTON -- After this week's elections in Iraq, will our national debate be about what the United States should do to salvage the best outcome it can from a war policy that has been riddled with errors and miscalculations? Or will we mostly discuss how politicians should position themselves on the war? Here's a bet on the triumph of spin. Politicians, especially Dem-ocrats, will be discouraged from saying what they really believe about Iraq for fear of offending "swing voters." Slogans about "victory" and "defeatism" will be thrown around promiscuously.
Judging from the recent spate of high-profile teacher-student sex cases, you'd think America's teachers -- especially females -- are hopelessly lusting after their students. As a mother of boys and witness to the animal kingdom in which they dwell, I confess to being baffled by the attraction, but that's a subject for another day. Meanwhile, what is going on? And what does it mean in our sexualized culture that the lines seem to be increasingly blurred between what is appropriate and what is not. Forget "normal," not that anyone remembers.
As I recall, first it was the Ten Commandments, then the nativity scene on federal property. It proceeded as an objection to the mention of God in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Constitution as well as the mention of God on our coins. Now the yahoos are taking Christ out of Christmas, replacing it with "Happy holidays." As a result, a group of large retailers have adopted the request and made the switch. Christmas is the holiday celebrated by most everyone.
Freedom does not come easily in any democracy. The price of freedom is often measured in the distance one travels to cast his ballot. Willmar voters were concerned recently when city leaders were considering consolidating voting locations from 12 to four.