WASHINGTON -- A listless intellectual fog had fallen over the Senate hearing room on Tuesday, the first full day of questioning for Judge Samuel Alito before the Judiciary Committee. As one Democratic senator strode out to the hallway during an afternoon break, he leaned my way and said: "We have to hit him harder." The senator was expressing frustration over a process that doesn't work. It turns out that, especially when their party controls the process, Supreme Court nominees can avoid answering any question they don't want to answer.
WASHINGTON -- This much is clear: Whoever follows Ariel Sharon will follow Ariel Sharon. Sharon himself followed no one. In the army, he was famous for not following orders. Later, in various governmental posts, he did pretty much as he pleased -- building settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, plunging into Lebanon, deserting one political party for another (even Likud, the one he helped form) and, ultimately, reversing himself by dismantling the Gaza settlements and abandoning Gaza itself. As opposed to too many Israelis, his ideology was simple: Deal with reality.
There was a very interesting letter to the editor written by Janice Carlson recently in the West Central Tribune. In it, Carlson complained about how the new Minnesota Highway 23 is turning into a race track through Spicer. I don't know why this is such a surprise.
I am responding to the letters to the editor in the Jan. 11 paper. It really disturbs me when adults blow a gasket about beauty and sexuality. Kids see images like that of Lindsay Lohan all the time. They buy Britney Spears, Hillary Duff and rap CDs by the millions. They are trying to figure out their hormonal changes, urges, and feelings. Then, when the very adults they may be looking up to for honesty and guidance openly embarrass themselves, the result is confusion.
In Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain's letter (Public Forum, Dec. 30) he says that "marriage is strengthened by legally acknowledging commitment between partners, heterosexual or homosexual." According to what data?
Minnesota has put the state's biodiesel mandate law on hold for another 30 days. It is the right step to allow the biodiesel industry more time to ensure the soybean-based fuel does not cause fuel filter problems. In fact, the Minnesota biodiesel industry has suggested consumers not use the new fuel until they can make sure any fuel-quality problems have been fixed. The Minnesota industry, the No.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- To know what's at stake in the Supreme Confirmation hearings, it's best to travel 1,200 miles west from the paneled Senate room to a small nondescript clinic in a Great Plains state. It's best to turn from the blue-and-white charts brandished by senators to the parking lot filled with cars from places as far away as Rapid City or even Wyoming. It's best to turn from the buzz about precedents and privacy to the quiet of a waiting room. Here, late in the afternoon, the clinic is still full.
There are many worthwhile programs for seniors in Minnesota -- one of which is senior dining. There is no reason whatsoever for a senior citizen age 60 and over not to have good meal. Every day, Monday through Friday, a well-balanced meal is served at the VFW dining room in Willmar for a small fee. The menu is published every Wednesday in the Tribune. It is up to you to call in the day before to make your reservation. The number is 235-9811. Come for the fellowship, come to make new friends, come to take part in their activities, and become a part of the group.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty took a kinder, gentler tone Thursday with his latest immigration proposals for Minnesota. It is a step in the right direction for west central Minnesota. The latest Pawlenty proposals seek to encourage legal immigration, while his earlier proposals aggressively moved against illegal immigration. Among his proposals are providing tax credits to encourage immigrants to become citizens and another to assist immigrants in learning English. Pawlenty is seeking more foreign doctor visas to help recruit doctors for rural Minnesota.
I am very distressed when I listen to the news about all the criticism directed toward President George Bush. People may not realize it, but they are looking at a man who will go down in history as one of our great presidents. Our history of presidents is colored with the actions of many great leaders. George Washington was asked to resign twice. Abraham Lincoln was also asked to resign twice. Teddy Roosevelt was the most colorful of our presidents. He took over the Panama Canal project when the French abandoned it and completed the project against all odds.