It is time for the Republicans to stand up and permanently replace Tom DeLay as a party leader in the House. DeLay's legal difficulties are not about to end anytime soon, which hinders his leadership and damages the party's reputation. He had been awaiting trial in Texas on campaign money laundering charges. A Texas prosecutor subpoenaed records Thursday for a contribution to a nonprofit organization associated with DeLay and Jack Abramoff, a Republican lobbyist. Abramoff pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy and fraud in Florida and has agreed to testify for the government.
SAN DIEGO -- It wasn't surprising that the Mexican government would hire an American public relations firm to improve its image in the United States. Nor was it surprising that Mexican President Vicente Fox tapped my friend, Dallas-based political consultant Rob Allyn, to be Mexico's goodwill ambassador. Allyn worked on Fox's 2000 presidential campaign, after which a Dallas magazine dubbed the consultant "Mr. Mexico." What was surprising was that a simple business deal would result in so many people becoming so unhinged.
I would like to give my opinion on rebuilding New Orleans on its present site. This is a city that lies below sea level, which is adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico, which in turn is part of the ocean. It is a fact that we are experiencing global warming. The cause of global warming can be debated, but the cause is not pertinent to making my point. The ice glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. When this ice melts, it flows into the ocean, which will raise the sea level. The hurricane season is getting longer, which is increasing the number of them.
John McCain had a very good day this week. It occurred Tuesday when super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to various charges of corruption and when, across town, the Homeland Security Department announced it would henceforth depart from its customary procedure and award its anti-terrorism grants on the basis of merit. Here, in a single day, was Washington as McCain always said it was. It could make you sick. Abramoff, of course, is the very personification of the Washington McCain has long railed against.
It was refreshing to hear a new voice in the Public Forum recently, that of Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain, who "took the bait" that Brent Waldemarsen offered in his latest letter bemoaning the fact that the marriage amendment has not been brought to a public vote. Waldemarsen suggested that those of us who oppose bringing the marriage amendment to a public vote lack the basis for intelligent debate on the subject.
Minnesota needs to do more to prevent state driver's license numbers released by the Department of Public Safety from being utilized in check fraud and identity theft. The issue was highlighted Wednesday and Thursday by Attorney General Mike Hatch and Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Driver's license information is available under the Data Practices Act, Minnesota's primary freedom of information act. Under the law, the state is required to release driver's license information to allowed users.
In 'The threat of global bureaucracy', Public Forum Dec. 23, the author says: "The U.N. would control everything -- the timber industry, emissions, redistribution of wealth, global taxes, birth control ..." and, "We must get out of this corrupt organization, now!" But I submit that it does not matter whether we get out; the world will still be heading for one government control. Step back and ponder where all the "stuff" you buy now is coming from.
PORTSTEWART, N. IRELAND -- In America, the party out of power gets to respond when the president makes a major address. The outs try to contrast their viewpoint with the president on one or more issues, hoping to show their ideas are more worthy of voter consideration in the next election. Britain's new Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, has come up with a new scheme. He appears to be trying to identify with the philosophy and political tactics of the Labour Party and Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The ongoing logic of the Minnesota Department of Transportation overwhelms and confuses me. With a new four-lane highway going through my community of Spicer, life in our city has changed, and I am not certain that it is for the better. Initially, the traffic on Highway 23 supposedly traveled at 30 mph (occasionally a lot more than that). With the increased lanes, the speed limit is increased to 35 mph. Now, after MnDOT observed traffic through Spicer, it has increased the speed limit to 40 mph.
Illegal immigration will likely be an election issue in 2006, especially after Gov. Tim Pawlenty's call Tuesday for "get tough" proposals on this politically charged issue. Pawlenty announced a series of proposals, most which would require legislative approval, including establishment of a 10-person immigration enforcement police unit to make it harder to obtain and possess false identification documents. The governor held meetings held around the state.